You read my mind was thinking of condensing too! OK yes... and... recruitment and rate coding increase at the same time. So just in case anyone reading this is thinking we increase recruitment, THEN rate coding goes up, no it's all at the same time. It's like one signal coming in, as the signal increases, the first recruited increase firing rate, kinda like increasing the voltage on a motor, it spins faster, then it 'spills over' to the next MU, it starts out lowest firing, the signal goes up, it fires faster, that spills over, then next one comes online, etc. So... if like your saying you start a set with say an 8RM and for the muscle, ALL fibers are recruited right off the bat. The first are at max rate coding during the first rep, larger MU's are progressively less up to the largest that is at minimal firing rate. Each rep, firing increases for all, but the first ones are at max so they don't fire faster, finally at the last rep, even the last MU is firing as fast as possible. Ok lighter load, none ever drop out, but they do lose force as they continue to be fired over time. The higher the rate coding, the faster they lose force. Then effort increases which is supraspinal output, the 'voltage' so to speak, causes larger MU's to fire faster to make up the force lost by other MU's./fibers. Yes, and for 'whole muscle', the last reps, what people call good reps, are 'better' , at that point, all fibers are working hard enough and many have lost so much force from the previous part of the set, that fibers are getting stressed and stimulated. Right recruitment actually has zero to do with fiber stimulation, except it has to be recruited to 'be used and stimulated', but MU 1 doesn't need MU 35 to be recruited for 'it' to be stimulated. recruitment is just how many are working. But rate coding, firing rate, that leads to higher fatigue. Yes that's the thing, you can't get the last fibers at high rate coding unless all are recruited, so that's all recruitment has to do with stimulation. It's like you have a group of 100 people, if you have 3 of them working, when they get tired, you add 2 more to help, then they get tired, add 3 more ect. So adding the later guys doesn't change anything for the first ones working, but it does for the guys you did recruit. Did I word that at all in a sensible way ? LOL Ok actually YES what you said there... that is a good point! If tension was the key then rep 2 with a 4RM would have the same tension as rep 12 with a 12 RM. and thus the same hypertrophy.. but it doesn't.... That's why I'm saying , the tension thing just doesn't fit... BUT... If you run a fiber until rate coding is high/max, regardless of actual generated tension, then keep running it, it starts to lose force, and THAT IMO is THE stimulus. It explains why 5 -30RM has the same hypertrophy, why running them hard until fatigue, .... is the common denominator... and it's logical, the only reason a cell needs to adapt, is if it is stressed and it's current capabilities are inadequate and it threatens cell survival.