Ah Ha, Think I Caught On To Something....

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by NWlifter, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. NWlifter

    NWlifter Active Member

    it's all over the internet now, that different loads cause the same hypertrophy. So 6Rm is pretty much the same as 12RM. That led me to think, why do rep blocks of increasing loads if all are pretty much equal....

    then, in an email to a friend (we were discussing this) I had a thought...

    HST doesn't say 5RM is better than 10RM, it says 5RM is better than 10RM AFTER you have adapted to 10RM. This sounds trivial on the surface, but I think might be a significant point that many might not catch on to.

    Take two groups of people, have one group do 10Rm another 5RM, and sure, they both get a good new significant stimulus and both grow about the same. But HST isn't about the first few weeks, it's about KEEPING the stimulus going. what happens when the 10RM people stall? HST principles would say, move to a heavier RM, now you can continue to stimulate, that's the key point in Bryan's principles. Not that heavier is better 'ala cart', heavier is better AFTER less heavy loses it's stimulating power.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
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  2. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    yeah, progression is the key, always has been. Same reason why people who get stronger tend to grow and people who don't gain any strength (bad programming, bad diet, whatever) tend to look the same from year to year.
  3. NWlifter

    NWlifter Active Member

    yes for sure, my post came out wrong I think ...
    Let me try again...
    Everyone is talking about those studies (I'm guilty of it too) where say 3x6 and 3x12 show the same hypertrophy, so for that study period, 3x12 did indeed equal 3x6 for hypertrophy. But what I caught on to, or rather, thought of, is if you take two groups like that, for both, at first, the stimulus is probably 'high' so either works the same. But if they then did a follow up study, took those same people, and had them do a few more weeks of training, had the 3x6 people do a few more weeks of 3x6 but had the 3x12 people NOW increase to 3x6, the 12 to 6 people I bet would gain more hypertrophy than the 3x6 that repeated 3x6.

    OK, I think that made more sense. The caveat of the load studies are the longer term implications, not the novel stimulus idea.

    Kinda like this... the studies are just looking at the blue
    Fresh, SD , rested
    2 weeks of 6RM, novel stimulus
    added 4 ounces of muscle

    2 more weeks of 6RM, not novel
    added 4 grams of muscle

    Also equal is
    Fresh, SD, rested
    2 weeks of 12Rm, novel stimulus
    Added 4 ounces of muscle

    2 more weeks of 12Rm, not novel
    Added 4 grams of muscle


    Fresh, SD, rested
    2 weeks of 12RM, novel stimulus
    Added 4 ounces of muscle

    2 weeks of 6RM, novel stimulus
    Added 4 more ounces of muscle

    so all RM's have equal hypertrophy, but only if you stay with that RM range.

    I guess I could say, heavy isn't better, but 'heavIER' is better.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
    Sci likes this.
  4. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    The studies you’re referring to equated for total work done.

    3x6 is not the same as 3x12 if the load isn’t calibrated in the context of total work done.

    At the end of the day, if you want to grow continuously, you need to eat enough food, and continue getting stronger. Whether that strength is experienced by lifting 10s, 12s, 3s or 5s doesn’t matter. But you can’t keep lifting sets of 10 without increasing the load for those sets of 10 - not unless you’re happy to stay small.

    Honestly, I think sometimes you’re losing the forest for the trees in the context of guiding your actual lifting. Just find a program you can manage health/injury wise that incorporates load progression and covers full body.

    My advice is start lifting and keep a log on here to keep yourself honest and disciplined.
  5. NWlifter

    NWlifter Active Member

    Yes, some studies equated work, some volume, it caused differing results. Borge talks about these on his blog.

    Well of course, you have to add weight as you get stronger..., I'm just talking about HST principles here, about mechanical load increases vs absolute RM's in comparison. Like in the FAQ (i think that's where it is) pointing to how standard progression (add weight 'as you can'), might be slower than Bryan's HST setup, since this is the HST board, it seems to fit.

    Thanks, but don't confuse my 'enjoyment with theorizing' with my actual outlook on training.
    I think your too cynical dude! My advice is have some fun on here, talking doesn't have to mean 'doing' or changing outlooks...your missing out on the enjoyment of these kind of discussions, we used to have a lot of these years ago, it was just another fun part of this hobby. But, I guess no one is up for good old hypertrophy theory anymore, or even into HST anymore.... oh well...
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  6. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    Not at all, just easier to keep up with if there’s the applied side as well, all good.
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  7. Bryan Haycock

    Bryan Haycock Administrator Staff Member

    I know a lot of good comments have already been made, but I'll add mine as well.

    One HST principle is, "The growth potential of any given load depends on the condition of the muscle at the time the load is applied."

    As has been mentioned, acute studies show that both low/medium loads can induce growth similar to heavy loads. This has nothing to do with the load if you are using an "untrained" subject. It's all about the condition of the tissue at the time the load is applied. Both low and high loads will both cause enough disruption/trauma to unconditioned tissue that it will respond with growth.

    If we are talking long term however, that stimulus must be increased as the repeated bout effect (i.e. adaptation) sets in. Thus, HST suggests that the loads be continually increased as a way of increasing the disruptive potential of the load on the tissue.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
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  8. NWlifter

    NWlifter Active Member

    Ok, yes, worded perfect, that's what I was trying to say up above, and with my examples, that low and high load are only equal when both are a novel stimulus, enough to both elicit maximum adaptations, it's later when RBE sets in, that what you do really matters. (load , stimulus increase).
    Thanks for commenting
  9. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    Progressive load. Nothing more, nothing less. There are many ways of achieving this. 15, 10, 5 is just one example.
    adpowah likes this.
  10. NWlifter

    NWlifter Active Member

    Just for the sake of discussion, I'd say though HST is not standard progression, it's 'amplified progression'.

    The difference would be,
    Choice A
    Bench 150x8.. add a little, work up, add a little 6 months later your finally exposing the tissues to 190
    Choice B
    HST's loading, your exposing the tissues to 190 within weeks, and in a 'fast forward' progressive manner
  11. Bryan Haycock

    Bryan Haycock Administrator Staff Member

    Excellent point. This is another fundamental difference between HST and traditional resistance exercise methods (e.g. ACSM). The traditional method of progressing the load is to wait until you get stronger before exposing the muscle to higher loads. HST, aiming specifically at growth, knows that strength will plateau too soon to be used as a guide for increasing load. If you want to tissue to grow you have to expose it to the loading stimulus. Take the lifter out of the equation, and focus on the muscle tissue itself to make your decisions about progressing the load.
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  12. adpowah

    adpowah Active Member

    Nice discussion, as I was ruminating on it I had the some questions:
    • Where did it come from that 2 weeks was optimal exposure to a rep range? Could it be longer/shorter?
    • How do (daily/weekly) undulating schemes achieve these principles? Are they a bunch of micro cycles?
    • How does this relate to strength adaptations? For instance (anecdotally), I notice that I can take an entire month on 1rms and exert similar efforts but gain 20lbs from the beginning of the month to the end. So I guess what I am asking is, the same as question one. If I can find an additional 10lbs on my 15rm over 3-4 weeks is it worth sticking there and then progressing to 10 rep sets? Or is this just building too much fatigue staying at high intensity for too long?
  13. NWlifter

    NWlifter Active Member

    I think Bryan picked 2 but said could be longer or shorter, but 2 was just a nice time frame for progression and cycle length.
    I guess you could think of it that way
    I'm sure if 4 weeks worked for you, then it would be better 'for you'.
  14. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    HST is not a particularly fatiguing program, but design as much as anything.

    Stretching to 3-4 week blocks will be fine.
  15. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Active Member

    Ah awesome, good thread, and an important point I think.

    Yeah it definitely seems like you said, that there's a difference between relative load (relative conditioning) and absolute load. Both are necessary to focus on, but it's the state of conditioning of the tissue that will dictate what effects will occur. Yet both relative and absolute are intricately linked when it comes to training for hypertrophy.

    This is why focusing on relative changes in load (what HST does) is important, as the tissue is sensitive, and you're constantly trying to stay 'ahead' of adaptions. I loved the way you put that @NWlifter, "it's about KEEPING the stimulus going." So HST keeps the big picture in mind, but also realised the limitations of the short term, and the need to stay ahead of RBE. So rep ranges don't matter as such. They sort of do though, which is what I'm puzzled about a little. In terms of the different adaptions and 'types' of hypertrophy (fibre growth vs sarcoplasmic adaptions). HST covers both, but in terms of whether both need exclusive focusing on or whether JUST progression is necessary...

    Always keeping in mind the current conditioning of the tissue, thanks Bryan!

    Over time (especially for more trained individuals), absolute load needs to increase (and absolute for THEM, not some arbitrary number that someone designates).

    So hypertrophy demands that (so to speak):

    -relative tension changes (to accommodate the quickness of RBE setting in and staying ahead of it, THUS keeping the stimulus going ;D)


    -absolute (long term) tension changes (to ensure that the long term exposure on the tissue keeps that demand on them)

    And btw I LOVE talking about all this stuff, it's alot of fun to me and just utterly fascinating. Even if some stuff may have been talked about it's great to bring some topics back up in light of a) new research understandings/findings, and b) different perspectives from others and ways of seeing it.
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  16. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Active Member

    Ah so it's like:

    -15s, 10s and early 5s keep in mind relative conditioning, and constantly work to stay ahead of it (via bigger increments rather than tiny little ones that the tissue will struggle to 'notice'). This keeps in mind the tissue's short term state and adaption level.

    -5s and beyond push your absolute load/conditioning, and prepare you for the next cycle.
  17. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Active Member

    What I struggle with is understanding the actual physiological effects of rep ranges in all this, and whether this needs purposeful addressing in a cycle (which admittedly, HST still does, albeit not as a primary focus as such). Some programs do focus solely on metabolic stress for a bit (to mimic occlusion effect), then work on mechanical tension stuff.

    Yet others will do all (DUP) within the span of a week, and work on them all at the same time. (Not to mention muscle damage/loaded stretch stuff as well, Schoenfeld discussed this also as a hypertrophy mechanism...).

    Just wondering where this fits in. To focus on these (via dedicated 'days' or cycles); or not, and keep progression of load as a priority...
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  18. NWlifter

    NWlifter Active Member

    that's a good line! I like how you worded that
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  19. NWlifter

    NWlifter Active Member

    I'm not quite sure I'm getting what your asking...?

    With HST, the rep ranges merely 'happen' due to the continual increase in loads.
    I know 'fatigue' based programs work for sure, done those, had some great gains.
    I think the whole idea though of HST is 'fast forward', .... faster gains through faster loading and higher frequency.
    To accommodate all those you need lesser volume and less 'effort based fatigue' so you can train more often, to do this, you rely on the mechanical load path to stimulate hypertrophy. And instead of plugging away and adding a little weight here and there, you progress through RM ranges instead of staying with an RM and just putting some weight on when you can. With fatigue programs, that's O.K., but would gain slower theoretically.
  20. Sci

    Sci Well-Known Member

    I like NWlifters explanation about how altering the study to progressive loading via HST cycle style would cause increased gains, (and Bryan’s additional explanations) my thoughts exactly. So... ditto
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