Frequency 2x Per Week Vs 3x And Question About Muscle Hyperplasia

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by UCS1932, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    RBE will be stronger in 3x, but the PS will be less. The evidence is prettt compelling for higher frequency IMO, especially if you use different exercises to achieve the frequency;

    Day 1 squat

    Day 2 leg press

    Day 3 split/front squat etc.

    I’ve started to appreciate that a different exercise of appreciable load will keep RBE at bay somewhat. Maybe the bros has it right re: different angles, but not understanding why... they definitely had it right about volume being relevant.
  2. NWlifter

    NWlifter Active Member

    good thoughts Jester!
  3. Sci

    Sci Well-Known Member

    Yes, for me Arthur Jones style high intensity training yields good results. He recommended a single set taken to momentary muscular failure (peak tetanus) 3 times per week for full body workouts.
    Similar to HST in some ways.
  4. Brixtonian

    Brixtonian Active Member

    Back in my youth, late 1980s, I built up a huge amount of size with Ellington Darden's BIG routine - as Sci says, it was hitting each muscle group 3 X week.
    Squats, db pullovers, chins and dips - and a couple of accessory movements
    It didn't vary the rep range particularly, but it was all about adding weight to the bar each workout if you can, even just 1 or 2lb - progressive loading, frequency. It worked well for me in my 'invincible' late teens/early 20s, but I'm not sure the constant training to failure would do me (joints and CNS) much good now.

    I do still keep thinking about using the BIG template in vanilla HST style. I havent done so yet, but I do like the idea of it.
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  5. NWlifter

    NWlifter Active Member

    Cool, yes, I've thought about that too, how it's similar

    Hey cool info. , never talked to anyone before that actually used that routine long enough to see gains. Did you use the slow reps like the book suggests too?
  6. Brixtonian

    Brixtonian Active Member

    Late 80s/early 90s I followed Darden and Jones and Mentzer et al. - later Yates of course (being British and all that!) I was very much into the HIT and SuperSlow protocols.
    Yes, I followed Superslow BIG routine - which was a 6 week mass gain routine split into three, two-week cycles (sound familiar??) but it was definitely the first two weeks that were the most effective. Superslow squats supersetted with superslow DB pullovers, the superslow dips supersetted with superslow chin ups. Sticking around 10 reps per set usually.

    I trained like that for about 10 years up until early 2000s when I started to read Bryan's ThinkMuscle emails and subsequently, albeit skeptically, started to use HST.

    Its difficult to be specific regarding results, due to my changing domestic situations, my diet, the maturity factor/test levels, and not really keeping any records, etc.. but yes, that period I did put on a lot of weight/muscle mass and went from a scrawny 13 stone (180lb) teenager up to about 17 stone (240lb) man. Probably around the 18% bf range. Definitely sub 20%.

    I progressed more accurately with HST from early 2000s and hit 290lb at about 16-18% bf in my mid 30s - peak.

    How much of this is down to the actual training is difficult to say, because so many variants, but yes, I definitely, noticeably, made progress - strength and size - with Darden's routines, particularly the superslow protocol. I know this flies in the face of much of what we know today, but I know, for me, at that age/stage in my circumstances, it worked. Would other protocols - HST or DC for example - have worked better? I will never know, so I cant say. But I did transfer to HST afterwards and probably this was a lot easier on my joints and tendons at least!
    Would I go back to Superslow or HIT? No. But that is probably because of my age and fear of injury now, and my better knowledge and understanding of how it all works - courtesy of Bryan, and Lyle and Borge etc.. "If I knew then, what I know now..." :D
    Of note, of course, is that Darden himself doesn't promote such high intensity or superslow protocols either now.
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  7. NWlifter

    NWlifter Active Member

    OK cool , yes I have the book, always wanted to meet someone that actually followed it and was successful, so you did BIG for 6 weeks, then used other HIT methods after?

    Dang that's some great gains!

    290!!!???????? E-freaken-gads lol wow!
    so HST took you from 240 to 290 at similar BF levels???

    I'm just amazed that superslow single sets really gave someone gains like that (besides Eddie in the book).
    Now superslow though is really easy on the joints, but you still wouldn't use that anymore? IMO, it's not worse or better, just 'something else' ie slow fast, no matter as long as one is progressing.

    How did you set your HST routines up?
    (cool interesting info., thanks for posting)
  8. Brixtonian

    Brixtonian Active Member

    Thanks mate.

    I followed the BIG routine to the letter for the first 6 weeks, but, as I said, it was really the first two weeks that made the routine what it was. Even Darden suggested using a variant of the first two weeks - ie sticking to the basic compound supersets of squats and pullovers and chins and dips, and specialising in weaker exercises/muscles on the accessory work.
    This included supersetting a crazy slow chin up - as in a single 30-60 seconds positive and 30-60 sec negative - with AMRAP barbell curls, and the same with a 30-60sec positive and 30-60sec neg dip, supersetted with AMRAP skullcrushers or pressdowns.

    I don't know how the science behind the slower movement compares with the explosive positives or 2up 2 down cadences, but I do know that you can really feel the superslow movement the whole way, and yes, I vomited more than once....:eek::D:D:D from superslow chin ups, and got a few headaches (probably from incorrect breathing) from superslow squats.

    I probably used that for nearly a decade as my basic go-to. I mean, squats and pullovers, chins and dips - that's the whole body covered pretty well anyway.
    I did follow his next routine too - which was another 6 week program split into two week cycles - and several other high intensity routines, but it still didn't compare with the BIG routine, as far as I was concerned.

    It was always around 3 full body workouts per week.

    When I first read about HST, and the initial submax work, I was very skeptical. I chatted with Bryan and Bob Evans, Fausto, Vicious, Aaron, O&G and a few others early on here. Back then Bryan always said to me that as I got older, to maybe cut down to each body part twice a week, but to be honest, and being natty, I always found that frequency was more effective for me.

    I started with the basic full body vanilla routine, though keeping it to basic compounds. But, again after pm chatting with Bryan and a couple of other guys - and Kate;) - particularly what Vicious (Jules) was talking about - I started on the am/pm split, 3 times a week.
    So Monday Wednesday Friday I trained at 6am for about half hour, and then again at about 4pm for the same. Short and sweet workuts.
    I would do squats in the am, and leg press or leg extension in the pm. Bench in the am, flyes or dips n the pm. T-bar rows in the am and pull-ups/chin ups in the pm.
    Shoulder press in the am, side raises and rear raises in the pm.
    Something along those lines.
    Still linear progression as in the basic template.
    Everything else as in the basic layout. 2 weeks of 15s, then 10s, then 5s and then negatives (I always did the two weeks of negs - still do) Volume would have been the 1X15, 2X10, 3X5 - because I was training twice a day, and only about 5 or 6 exercises.
    Nowadays I do more volume, 2X15 3X10 etc... because I only train once a day.

    I dont know whether it was maturity factor - I was in my mid 30s, so hormonally at my peak - or my diet, because I was pretty hot on it then thanks to fitday - or whether it was the split and the frequency, but that is when I really made the fastest and biggest gains. That is when I hit 290lb.
    I was working as a street cop at this time, so I was physically very active all day - and night - and working shifts. Eating on the hop. Running after a lot of people. Rolling around on the floor with these same people too...:D:D:D and still hitting the iron hard.

    My protein was high. At least 1g per lb bwt - usually more. The only supps I took were the ECA stack f0r pre workout and glucosomine and fish oil for my squeaky aching knees.
    But yes that split was by far the biggest advance for me, and even now, I would recommend that split 100% - if someone could do it. Its not easy to schedule, and I know I was very lucky to be able to.
    I think I ran with this for about 6-8 months.
    I probably did get a bit burned out from the frequency, but I cant remember as it was over 10 years ago now. But I do know that it worked and that built size and muscle more than any other routine I have done in over 30+ years of lifting.

    Ok, sorry for going on a bit. Memories!:rolleyes:

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  9. NWlifter

    NWlifter Active Member

    No sorry's, this is awesome interesting info.! I live for this kind of stuff. :)
    thanks a ton for posting all this info!

    If I'm not bugging you, just to clarify two points you said..

    1) So you actually did the super slow BIG stuff for 10 years?

    2) The 2x per day, HST, high protein was the best of all your routines for results?

    3) Sounds like all your routines were minimal basic exercises then? Even HST?

    oh wow you actually trained till you puked!! Man I've never done that, I HATE puking lol

    thanks for the info. this thread has become a 'keeper, print and save' thread for me. :)
    _Simon_ likes this.
  10. NWlifter

    NWlifter Active Member

    forgot to comment on this, you said
    Man, I'd love to reach 180 lbs and be even just 'leanish'!
    I graduated highschool, 5' 9 inches tall, 117 lbs, hows THAT for scrawny! lol

    PS, just looked at your avatar photo , your forearm is bigger than my leg lol !!!
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  11. Brixtonian

    Brixtonian Active Member

    Hey, this is my passion too. I love to talk and learn.
    There is/has been some very interesting people on this forum over the years and it's always nice to hear from genuine people. I have to follow certain groups on Facebook, because of my business, but really there is so much BS and ignorance that it is tiring and frustrating.

    1) I did Superslow protocol for nearly 10 years, yes. The BIG routine primarily, on and off, but also adapting other High Intensity routines to use the SS method.
    I really believed in the principles behind it. Feeling the muscle, the focus and concentration. Explosive movements always seemed to rely on momentum, whereas SS was pure muscle movement, so it always seemed more effective.
    I read most of Darden's work - which was obviously related to Arthur Jones and Nautilus - although neither Darden nor Jones actually 'created' Superslow. That principally came about from Ken Hutchin, and from rehabilitation exercises.

    Of course then we got our own HIT hero in the form of Dorian Yates - so in typical patriotic British style, we all went HIT crazy - back then we were young enough to weather the CNS burnout. No way can I do that now. I still feel wrecked now, after using myo-reps - which I use most weeks.

    2) Yes. am/pm split (working a muscle group twice a day, lower volume) 3 x week was my most productive routine. As I said earlier, there are other variables - primarily hormonal, being as I was probably at my physical peak at this time, - but would I have had the same results with a PHAT or GBR or DC routine?? I don't know for sure, but I don't think so.
    For me, the frequency, and split and using compounds was the biggest factor. I remember Vicious listed in order of preference, what he thought would be most effective, and it was something like; 6 days a week, with am/pm split :)eek:) then 6 days a week, once a day, then 3 X week, am/pm split :), then something like am session on day 1, pm session on day 2, rest day 3, am session day 4, pm session day 5 etc..
    I think Blade was involved in these discussions too, but it was a while back now.
    I never had the opportunity to to try am/pm split 6 days a week, but, something Bryan noted was that at that frequency, it could get boring and that would be psychologically damaging.

    Nowadays, with a family, and running my own business, it is about the time and convenience, so less options on the table, unfortunately.

    3) Yes, I have always liked the basics. Squats, Dips, Chin ups, Tbar rows. I do occaisonally some iso movements, but not many.
    Yeah, back in the HIT days, I puked a few times! The sign of intensity... or stupidity:rolleyes:
    In the early 90s there was something called the Puke Club. Basically, it was 50 rep squats, with your 20 rm. Then clustering reps to hit the 50. Then repeat with Dips - 50 reps with 20 rm weight attached. And then finish with Chin ups - 50 rep with 20 rm weight attached...
    Can you see why it was called Puke Club. It was a once a month blast really.

    No one talks about it much anymore...:D:D:D
  12. NWlifter

    NWlifter Active Member

    Yes, completely agree!
    there are so many that 'deem' themselves a base of knowledge yet in reality are just quoting some study or article they read like it's solid fact.. hate that!

    Very cool, I think seriously that you are probably the biggest SS success in the world, that is amazing.
    Me too, I have almost all Darden's books too.

    Man me either, regular to failure training and I'm am wiped out badly. And not like tired muscles, but like 'fried system' stuff, where you just feel bad for days.

    OK very cool thanks!

    Me too, my own business, home stuff, responsibilities.. takes recovery away quite a bit

    OK, very cool, so your 10 year growth phase was mostly just a few basic exercises with very few isolations... very interesting. Same with HST too? What did your 1 a day HST routine look like?

    ha wow ! That sounds killer, cool stories! Thanks for your time and answers, really appreciate it!
    Brixtonian likes this.
  13. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Active Member

    Yeah enjoying hearing stories and results :). I've just been reading up on the Super Slow method now that you've mentioned it @Brixtonian, very interesting! I guess the main premise is that it really forces the load onto the muscles working so to speak, so that it minimises momentum and muscles are really being worked. I wonder what they would say about fibre types however, surely slow twitch would be the ones primarily used and called upon, although if you're going to failure it's a different story.

    Have also seen very different recommendations for SS training, from 5s concentric and 5s negative, to 10/10, to even 20/20! I'm gonna trial it out a bit (am in a relaxed, fun, experimental training phase) and see how it goes. Couldn't find how many reps and sets they recommend, might just stick between 40-80s TUL (so for 5/5 maybe 4-8 reps, 10/10 2-4 reps, a few sets depending on how I feel), and to be honest I may not go to complete failure. Just for fun and something different. Gonna be interesting trying to count reps and seconds

    I feel training to or close to failure is just not working for me... tried a bit more myoreps recently and got yet another cold soon after the session... my CNS may just not be able to take it :s
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  14. NWlifter

    NWlifter Active Member

    Remember, recruitment is based on percentage of momentary maximum output. So if a certain muscle fully recruits at 80%, then anytime your CNS is putting out 80% or more of it's maximum neural output, recruitment is full. Plus with superslow, you don't 'have to' use light weights. When I did it, I used heaviER weights and sets of 3-4 reps (45-60 second sets)

    Recommended is usually 10/5 and 8-10 reps which I myself found way to tedious and light. I liked either 10/5 with 3-4 reps or 5/5 with 4-6 reps

    Super slow is usually a single set to real killer failure, that's the part I had trouble with too. I'm like that, too much 'effort' (failure stuff) and I am wiped out.

    If you want a fun good read on it, the book is under 4 bucks on amazon!
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  15. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Active Member

    Ah cheers for that!

    Yeah it's odd that the recommendation is 10/5, I would have thought 5/10 to really focus on the negative, but also as a more efficient way of getting TUL, less effort on the negative portion so to speak, but there ya go.

    I might give 5/5 a go, then progress to 10/5. Might try 8-10 reps (that's a long set though haha), and go 2-3 sets. Probably not train to absolute failure.

    Yeah I had a hard time finding specific articles from Darden, only his forum, and articles about it, but not much direct stuff. I guess that's in his book.

    No idea what weight to try (heavy or light), but will start light.

    Bryan's probably shaking his head at all this haha, but am just in an experimental, fun, non-serious phase of training at the moment ;).
  16. NWlifter

    NWlifter Active Member

    Hey it's fun sometimes to try something like this, sure gives a great pump, that's for sure!
    yes, try 5/5 just for fun, see what you think, go non stop with the reps, they call it 'turn arounds' where you just smoothly go from one direction to the other.
    Try lighter loads like your 15RM, see how it feels, it's a fun experiment anyway. When I did it, I actually took a little tape recorder, and recorded myself saying...
    "1,2,3,4, one rep, 1,2,3,4,5,1,2,3,4, two reps,1,2,3,4,5. etc"
    then I could push play, it counted my times and my reps for me.

    that book is worth reading, if anything, it's one of my favorite books like this to just read, reminds me of the good old days when I got it.

    To me, all this is interesting as 3x full body, low volume with progression seems to be the common denominator (slow , medium, fast, zig zag, clusters, myo, etc.) all just icing on the cake, the frequency, leading to growth, leading to 'real' progression in the background behind the day to day progression of the routine is the magic.
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  17. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Active Member

    Yeah that's it hey. I like doing little in-between cycles of just having fun and exploring new methods. Also exploring exercises you've never done before is eyeopening. Just did BB landmine presses and DB seal rows for the first time, good fun!

    That's a good idea about the recording!

    Will be a fun little experiment :). Cheers for the info
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  18. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    I have usually touted frequency as the key to success. I still believe that for younger people, say under 40. However, I now find at age 73 that 2 1/2 times per week for each body part to be ideal. Probably has to do with recoverability.

    Although the volume was too high to be comparable to HST, here is some recently published data about recovery although I am still not convinced that 100% recovery is needed for maximum gains but it certainly does lessen as one ages:

    Sci likes this.
  19. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Active Member

    Hmm that's interesting.. wow 10x5 squats, that'd knock me out haha.

    I'm very surprised that CNS fatigue was not more than that! I thought that would be far more affected than just local muscle fatigue..
  20. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Active Member

    Actually... now that I say it out loud of course it makes sense that the muscles directly related to the activity would be far more fatigued than the whole CNS. Whoops haha.

    But just thought CNS would be more depressed than is shown, and I guess it depends on the activity, intensity etc

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