3 Mechanisms Of Muscle Growth


Active Member
Heyhey, thought I'd get another thread going.

Something I've been researching a bit the last few years is the 3 mechanisms of muscle growth (Brad Schoenfield): Mechanical Tension (heavy loads), Metabolic Stress (higher reps/lighter loads, occlusion etc), and Muscle Damage (eccentric loading).

I've seen it say there only the two, but am just going by what I've read as a few people have really honed in on these three in the last little while.

Has anyone explored using these whilst sticking to HST principles, or would you say HST primarily focused on mechanical tension, increasing linearly to heavier loads? (With a little metabolic work in the first half of a cycle)

Have experimented a bit with this, and have done some training to keep 3x week frequency but incorporating these mechanisms all within the week:

Total reps for each session varied:
MT 15-24, MS 50-80, MD 45-62
(Note: all being different because each dedicated day had a different purpose, MT being to increase tension and increase loads, MS being to reach/simulate an occlusion effect and essentially a "pump", MD being to increase stretch under load, increase loads and negative portion over time)

DAY 1: mechanical tension- cluster sets. Start with 7-8RM weight, do 2-3 sets 4+4+4.
Progression: increase LOAD(drop reps over time)

DAY 2: metabolic stress- 1) compound exercise myoreps (not full ROM! CONSTANT tension in muscle group); 2) isolation w/ blood flow restriction wrap
Progression: increase TUT and metabolic demand via more reps, shorter rests, doing pauses at shortened position. Multiple drop sets.

DAY 3: muscle damage- 1) compound exercise with slow negative (6-12reprange); 2) isolation with dropsets, but at end of set, holding the weights in the fully stretched position for 20-30s.
Progression: Progressively slower negatives, pulses in lengthened position, increase stretch-hold times.

Just wondering if anyone else has incorporated the 3 mechanisms in a similar fashion, or how one would within a HST template, because to be honest this routine was exhausting haha, and yes probably overkill :). I think I ran it more as a specialisation cycle, with only maintenance sets for others.

Better to do each one in a phase of its own (MT for 4 week, MS 4 weeks etc), or within a week? Am just wondering about overkill, and keeping it more simpler than that whole crazy routine to be honest haha
Just realised this really is a sort of DUP setup hehe... but each day is more focused on the goal of that mechanism rather than just doing a different rep range for the days. Each session is designed to facilitate a different pathway and contribute to hypertrophy in 'different ways' so to speak, whilst working in progression for that particular mechanism.

I'm actually thinking of doing a straight HST cycle first (but finding a way to incorporate myoreps on certain days... when i tried for every session it overdid it for me...), then running this semi-DUP moreso as a specialisation cycle for 2-3 muscle groups. All other bodyparts will be VERY low maintenance.

Sounds fun anyways :). Am definitely going to have more fun with my training and not have it so very structured and orderly.