Bryan, What Are Your Thoughts On Higher Frequency Training?

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by Renky, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Active Member

    Wow, so awesome to hear from you Borge :), yeah still a few veterans around, I can't tell you how many old forum threads I've read with you guys and the epic discussions haha.

    That was a really insightful post, got a lot from that. What I'm wondering is what the difference would be (ie which would be more effective or in line with hypertrophy principles) doing a straight HST cycle vs a HST cycle whilst using myoreps. I know myos aren't generally used for lower reps, but it seems that myoreps really get more reps at full activation for those higher reps. Would love to hear Bryan's thoughts too on whether it's necessary to reach full activation (ie closer to failure training) or whether progressive load is more important in the long run. I guess both used in their respective times/context they both contribute and have there place (not an either/or)? Like you said, higher reps training takes quicker to adapt to, so progressive loading keeps things moving.

    Both work I guess, and I have done both styles and seen similar results, but found that I did burn out a bit with myoreps, but am now using them smarter and not pushing too far with then (ie being brutally honest when I'm done in a set haha).

    Btw thanks for your training thoughts, articles and interviews, they've truly changed how I train completely, especially your stuff on auto-regulation and on not smashing yourself every single time. I pushed myself too hard for years and years, so this definitely helped in easing up and being kinder to myself, so thank you :)
     
  2. Blade

    Blade Super Moderator Staff Member

    Glad to hear it, Simon :)

    Well, as I have pointed out in both the articles and the e-book, I think Myo-reps really shines at lighter loads where you need to work closer to failure - and stay there - to reach all available motor units.

    When working submaximally with 40-50% loads - i.e. more than 5-6 reps from failure - it fails to produce significant hypertrophy. So this is where you should use Myo-reps.

    As you get closer to the 70-80% of 1RM loads, you can - and in my opinion should - train submaximally (2-4 reps from failure) and still get high MU recruitment. As we already know from the HST principles, this period of submaximal training also ensures you are able to keep up the volume and frequency of full-body training.

    Then the last 1-2 workouts of the training cycle you push closer to the failure point - and this is usually more than enough for most people before they switch into a lower rep range and submaximal work. I have myself tried pushing to failure for another few workouts, but quickly get signs of overreaching.

    I do not think Myo-reps is really necessary at this loading range, although it can be used as a time saver if you only have, say, 20-30mins available for a workout. The fatigue generated from Myo-reps training is still higher than traditional sets, so I would suggest you use Myo-reps sparingly at anything over 10-12 reps.
     
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  3. NWlifter

    NWlifter Member

    Hey Borge/(Blade, your still Blade to me! )

    Good post, you hit on some things I've posted about on here too recently. I had even setup a prototype HST (in another thread on here) routine, where as the RM's increased, so did the volume and the frequency lowered with each step up on RM loads.

    I've thought about 'good reps' a lot too. What's interesting, is all reps, are good reps for earlier recruited MU's since they are fully active for the whole set, and as the set progresses, more and more MU's increase activation levels and experience 'good reps' too. What I've wondered, is some research shows that ST fibers might need more 'work' than FT fibers, if so then maybe some of the sets where only the earlier recruited ST fibers are experiencing 'good reps', might not be such a bad format. At the end, the ST fibers end up with way more 'good reps' than the FT fibers, maybe that isn't such an inferior method? I've had good luck with Gironda style training which ends up like that. I'm doing it again right now, but last summer I had continual gains with the lighter loads for about 10 or 11 weeks, then some 'life' stuff happened and I bailed on it, but was still gaining when I ceased it, so for 'me' anyway, the light loads did keep working for a lot longer than 2-3 weeks.
     
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  4. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Active Member

    Awesome, thanks heaps Borge that clarified alot :)
     
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  5. Blade

    Blade Super Moderator Staff Member

    Good to see you here, NWlifter - always enjoyed your posts :) You can call me Blade, I have no issue with that. Hell, you could call me Shirley and sprinkle cinnamon on me for all I care - I have adopted the Stoic philosophy in recent years :D

    That might be the case, but IMO ST fibers don’t have a huge growth potential in the first place, and from what little literature exists (Schoenfeld recently published a review here: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2018.00402/full) it seems as if ST fibers are preferentially growing from low-load training already. Having said that, Myo-reps training can be brutal, especially when training full body (strength recovery is actually slower with high rep training than low rep training, contrary to belief) - so for most lifters I would indeed agree that some or most of the high rep phase should be spent doing regular sets, with Myo-reps only being used towards the latter part when one is closing in on the 15RM loads.
     
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  6. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Active Member

    Ah interesting, yeah best to be cautious, I've even used myoreps for only a couple of muscle groups during a HST cycle and just normal sets for the rest, just to see what happens and so I don't overdo things. Definitely paying more attention to the body and listening to it, being kinder to myself ;). Truly does pay off, and I'm enjoying training so much more as a result, much more motivated and not as burnt out all the time.

    I think I actually used myoreps the opposite way one cycle, myoreps during the earlier parts of the cycle, and normal straight sets as I was closing in on the RM weight (my rationale was that those submax weights weren't as stimulating, so I was making sure they were effective reps, then by the time of the RM weights it was fine to lay off myoreps). But your way makes more sense, and it's as though you're having more minibreaks at the start of a rep range. Building intensity and progression then backing off. The way I did it there always the going close to failure, so no chance for much recovery haha..
     
  7. NWlifter

    NWlifter Member

    LOL that's hilarious!
    And thanks! Me too, the old fast and furious posts on here with you, Dan, Mikey, and many others were GREAT! We all learned so much


    Ah interesting, great info. thanks Borge.. um Blade.. Um Shirley.. ;) (seriously, good info.! )
     
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  8. Bryan Haycock

    Bryan Haycock Administrator

    So great to see you again Blade! My life circumstances have changed for the better recently and I hope to have more time to spend on the board. Hopefully we can attract some new readers as well.
     
    Jester, Sci, Blade and 2 others like this.
  9. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    Good news Bryan. I know both you and Blade have been doing some work on occlusion. Hopefully that will become a topic here and energize everything and everybody.
     
  10. Bryan Haycock

    Bryan Haycock Administrator

    After finishing my dissertation on the topic I do have a few opinions on the matter. ;)
     
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  11. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    Is it published?
     
  12. Bryan Haycock

    Bryan Haycock Administrator

    Not yet, its at the thesis office getting the formatting edited. Although its generally not kosher to talk about the results until it is published, I can certainly talk about what I learned.
     
  13. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    Great Dr. Haycock!
     
  14. Bryan Haycock

    Bryan Haycock Administrator

    Yeah, I make my kids call me doctor now. Feels good. :D
     
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  15. Renky

    Renky Member

    @Blade - What does your training routine look like these days?
     
  16. Blade

    Blade Super Moderator Staff Member

    My routine these days is really minimalistic as I have a lot going on at the moment, and I’m also trying out different volume and frequency combinations to see what affects what. So it’s hard to tell you specifically. But just to give you an idea, I recently dropped down from 4 workouts to 3 workouts per week, due to being in a slight calorie deficit - but still using the same overall template.

    At one point this was:

    A:
    RDL
    Split Squat
    OHP

    B:
    Bench
    Dips
    Face Pulls
    Chins

    C:
    Squat
    Leg Curl
    OHP

    D:
    Bench
    Feet Elevated Pushups
    Shoulder Pulls
    Chins

    Then I noticed that both my Bench and OHP were kinda stagnant, so I tried upping the frequency for chest work and lowering it for shoulder work - while also increasing the frequency for pulling (both a horizontal and vertical pull in a single workout was too draining). So the routine is currently:

    A:
    RDL
    Split Squat
    Dips
    Chins

    B:
    Bench
    Face Pulls
    OHP

    C:
    Squat
    Leg Curl
    Feet Elevated Pushups
    Chins

    D:
    Bench
    Shoulder Pulls
    OHP

    The next step will be to do an SD and go back to an alternating A/B setup with the HST progression.
     
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  17. Renky

    Renky Member

    Thanks Blade! So it looks like you are working a muscle twice a week? What are your thoughts on frequency for a lagging muscle? On some occasions, I have gone as frequent as training 3X a day (lower volume) for short bursts of 2-3 weeks.
     
  18. Sci

    Sci Active Member

    Great choice of movements. Those are all my favorite, (except bench, for shoulder reasons)
    Especially like the feet elevated pushups, which are amazing for the serratus, and pecs/delts as well
     
  19. Blade

    Blade Super Moderator Staff Member

    My connective tissue health prevents me from having a higher frequency right now, and also - as mentioned - my stress and sleep now (e.g. a 7 month old who still wakes 2x/night for extra feedings) is a variable to take into consideration.
    http://borgefagerli.com/the-most-ignored-causes-when-your-results-are-lacking-part-1-stress/

    I thought everyone knew my stance on higher frequencies ;)
    https://www.elitefts.com/education/training/reignite-progress-with-new-science/

    Having said that, I’m not really sure that 3x/day is a good way to go about it - i.e. think of frequency as another way to get in more volume, but I also think there is a lower threshold of volume. So let’s imagine for a second that 10-20 sets/week is the range where the dose-response curve pretty much flattens out, and we have good research to support this. We also know that 2-3x/week is better than 1x/week. We have a few studies indicating that even higher frequencies are better, especially as you get more advanced and recovery requirements are outpaced by volume requirements - but given that someone advanced can also induce a higher mechanical stress on a muscle (from being stronger) I find it hard to believe that the volume should increase in a linear fashion.

    Also - a stubborn muscle group is often defined as such because it is, relatively speaking, weaker or smaller than other muscle groups. If we assume this is true (as some people just have a subjective experience of this that isn’t always objectively true), then in reality - that muscle group is less advanced. So my approach is first of all to reduce direct training for that muscle group. Sounds counter-intuitive, but consider this:

    An 80kg lifter can do a 250kg legal depth squat, but can barely bench his own bodyweight. So his pressing muscles are "stubborn". Barring any severe genetic issues, or neural/physical issues, my take on this situation would simply be that he has been overdoing things - and where the lower body can respond well to excessive volumes and loads, the upper body won’t. So reducing volume for the upper body will most likely provide much better results than doing more.

    Another common observation is the problem some guys have with getting bigger arms. They tend to forget that arms are worked indirectly with all pressing and pulling movements, so adding the same volume of direct work is overkill. Dropping direct training and relying on the indirect stimulus instead, and arms suddenly start to grow again.

    Having said that, there will be a few cases where a stubborn muscle group would indeed need a higher volume and frequency to respond, but I would first try a reduction (or even SD followed by higher reps) as the default strategy.
     
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  20. Renky

    Renky Member

    Thanks Blade! I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and experience on this.
     

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