Johnston Rep Method

Discussion in 'Basic Training Principles and Methods' started by shakeel, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. xahrx

    xahrx New Member

    Thanks for the more in depth explanation of method. One of the claims brought up here is that muscle fibers are preferentially activated in different portions of the muscle at stretch as opposed to in the middle of the ROM. Is there anything to back this up?
  2. Fausto

    Fausto HST Expert


    At last someone who is not scared of reprisals....what's more, a doctor and someone who has test driven the method.

    Well, what better could we ask for?

    The only thing I see fit is to end the mad discussion for one, and to do our own test run of what has been shown! For those who want of course!

    But Alas, thanks for coming to the rescue, the real HST style, credentials and all.... [​IMG]
  3. shakeel

    shakeel New Member

    One gets far more muscular contractions per unit time, a great pump and if weights and performance are fine-tuned, your muscles feel rubbery with a deep buzzing sensation afterwards. Plus for those who like to train heavy and to failure you feel less systemic fatigue yet your local muscle tissue is worked harder.

    exact feelings i get
  4. xahrx

    xahrx New Member

    And I don't doubt anyone's subjective experiences on this method, nor would I suggest they don't use something that works for them.  But, the only methods that are worth while in the sense being discussed here are those which are presented, argued and based on facts, because those are the only ones that stand a chance of deepening our understanding of how the whole process of building muscle works. Which I would say is everyone's goal here.

    Those feelings you guys report are the same feeling I get after a good set of 21s, or a good set of ACIT style training which I recently tried.  We know it's possible to get faster rate coding and to 'fail' in a workout sooner than usual with a lower weight while sparing the CNS overall.  Nothing new there.  What's new, or supposedly new, is BJ's claim, and I'm going by Dan's quote here as I haven't read the book, that the pump somehow matters when it comes to building muscle.
    From what I can dope out from this forum and others he's actually claiming the pump is responsible for the signalling usually attributed to pushing against a load.  I find that hard to swallow to say the least.  Perhaps it's a mischaracterization of BJ's ideas, but since few if any people willing to discuss even the technical aspects of why his method works, it's hard to judge.

    Also the preferential recruitment of fibers in one area as opposed to another depending on which point in ROM the load is at is something that I can't find any justification for.  In other words there's no evidence, to my knowledge, that focussing on one part of the ROM can possibly work certain fibers preferentially over others in specific areas of the muscle. As such, if Johnston's method 'works' as other similar methods might, there's really nothing new here. There's also nothing to say that his method is even the best, most efficient way using such a training technique.

    Another example is the focus on the transition point. Now I could easily be wrong but I've never seen anyone make any progress by somehow avoiding or working around this transition point. For example I see no advantage to bench pressing up to the transition point where your triceps take a lot of the load and stopping there. If your triceps are lagging and holding your bench back there are other techniques you could use to increase their strength if that's your goal. For hypertrophy I think there's general acceptance that the stretch/eccentric part of the ROM is the most important. Not because of preferential recruitment of fibers and not because of the sticking point, but because of the strain on the muscle generally experienced at this point. In other words there's again, nothing really new and some weird explanations as to why BJ's method is somehow better.

    When you come down to it, it's another reduced ROM method with some odd claims and justifications as to why it works. If it does work to any extent it's probably increased TUT and occlussion because of the decreased ROM, which can be achieved any number of ways.
  5. Fitness clinician is what the iart calls its personal trainers.  

    buy personal trainer course from iart + pass course = call yourself fitness clinician.

    Sorry, but had to clear that up. When I read somebody mistook Andrew for an MD, I actually threw up in my mouth laughing. Andrew is probably the rudest, most insulting member of the iart second only to johnson.

    You can read more from him about these jreps here
  6. mikeynov

    mikeynov Super Moderator Staff Member

    Maybe Ashortt can explain BDJ's magical muscle physiology:

    Are motor units recruited progressively towards the center of a muscle as it contracts, Andrew? Do you have any empirical evidence to support this claim?
  7. Fausto

    Fausto HST Expert


    Sorry I really thought the guy had a MD, I don't recall people going around calling themselves clinitians without having been to med school.

    :confused: :confused: madness I tell you, madness and missleading!
  8. 11 pages, amazing, simply amazing.
  9. xahrx

    xahrx New Member

    My fingers are getting HUGE from the typing in this thread.
  10. AShortt

    AShortt New Member

    Fitness Doctor? Not sure why you would mix up “clinician” with MD but I have no intention on being misleading. There are far too many completely out of shape MD’s for that mix up to be a honest one ;^). One could simply go to to verify my credentials so to speak.

    A - F.C. is one who utilizes a marriage of nutrition and exercise to meet client’s goals. This would be done, in case study format as per standard “clinical” format and guidelines.
    Pump: Pump is a good sign that you are dong the right thing. When pump stagnates or subsides, it is a good marker to back off and stop training that session. Whether or not a pump can actually “in and of itself” contribute to growth is unknown – loose speculation at best. There is reason to believe it may encourage muscle wall thickening and increased resource “uptake” (ATP, Glycogen etc.). Johnston notes the pump from JReps as a “good sign" and causing increased muscular feel - which can contributed to stronger/harder higher quality contractions.

    Are motor units recruited progressively towards the center of a muscle as it contracts, Andrew? Do you have any empirical evidence to support this claim?

    Think about the structure of a muscle belly, leave the minutia to the physiologists. If what they can note and prove can be utilized in a useful way when integrated back into the “whole” (of cross influences and inter-dependence issues) of exercise then fine.
    Eyes of a troll I mean eyesoftexas is an old Internet rat that let the greenness of his envy turn his face purple. Thus, he “stalks” the net regularly looking to bad mouth the IART.
    “Careful who you make feel like a fool, they may have such sad little lives they spend most of it seeking revenge thereafter” – Shortt

  11. xahrx

    xahrx New Member

    I see. Not sure I agree, but thank you for clearing that up as I definitely had the wrong impression of what Johnston was saying.

    So what I'm gathering here is that Johnston's claim is that during a contraction individual motor units are recruited progressively from origin to toward the middle of the bundle until full contraction is reached? That doesn't seem to make sense as to actually move something like a muscle contraction woul have occur across the whole unit. Take a slinky as an analogy. If one portion of it is compressed but the majority isn't only a very small contraction is possible. However, if all sections are compressed even only a little a very large contraction is possible. Plus by the nature of muscles and how they're attached to the skeleton it would seem impossible to maintain tension on only one section of a muscle, it would be spread over the whole or not at all. To get the kind of recruitment he seems to be talking about you'd have to some how mechanically isolate one part of a muscle from another which you can't do by manipulating ROM.
  12. mikeynov

    mikeynov Super Moderator Staff Member

    Okay, I'm thinking about the structure of muscle.

    Now, can you answer my question?
  13. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    mikey, mikey

    you have to think about the structure of muscle while ignoring physiology.

    In other words, make up concepts about muscle to support your ideas rather than have something supported by science.
  14. No they can't because it's not true. That's why BJ decided to skirt the question when I originally asked it.

    Just like they can't answer how strength is is diminished via gettting larger muscles.

    Just like they can't back up their pump integrin relationship theory.
    Now moving on,
    What? Let's see if I got this right. IART is admitting that as your pump begins to subside you should stop training?
    At best
    What reason, or are you extrapolating what is seen in blood vessels wall changes with increased pressures to muscle tissue?
    As does full ROM, so how does limiting ROM change this?
    So limiting range of motion somehow changes cross bridge energetics differently than full ROM?
    So now we are discussing how J-reps can somehow increase MVC? and again let me ask, how does this happen differently than when using full ROM?
  15. smf

    smf New Member

    According to Webster, the definition of "clinician" is: 'a person qualified in the clinical practice of medicine... as distinguished from one specializing in laboratory or research techniques.'
    That might possibly be why someone would "mix up 'clinician' with MD." :)
  16. thehamma

    thehamma New Member

    I can get a good pump posing or using the 2.5lb dumbells next to "the ball" and the yoga mats if I wanted to.  The pump means nothing you can get a pump painted a ceiling or blowdrying your hair.  I think saying that
    is an understatement.
  17. Fausto

    Fausto HST Expert

    Thanks for that smf that is exactly why I thought he was a doctor!
  18. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    And you know this how .. . . ?

    This reflects that your parents didn't over-eat for their lifetime, and didn't spend a significant portion of it training to build muscle mass using an effective method. Your genetic base makes you human. If you had direct muscle-growing deficiencies, then you'd likely be dead (or you'd have a form of muscular dystrophy). So you have a slightly greater metabolism and need to eat more...I guess that makes you genetically-inferior or something...

    You have studies on your desk? Please post them.

    Really.... please explain why we live longer, don't get scurvy, our teeth don't fall out, smallpox (as one of many diseases) has been eradicated, we are stronger and faster physically than in the last 40,000 years, the industrial revolution, the discovery and production of anti-biotics (in fact...seeing as you love war so much, go and talk to some WWII, Korea, Vietnam vets about this...hell talk to a retired GP about the kids he helped 3 decades ago), steroids/HgH/protein powders/creatine/power training/UD-2.0/etc, ultrasounds, anti-inflammatories...need I go on about the benefits and proven results of science..?

    No...his biceps grew bigger. They weren't 18inches at 8% bodyfat on Monday then a year later a different looking 18inches at 8% bodyfat. They...grew...bigger.

    I'm starting to re-evaluate my contention that you are not genetically inferior . . .

    I am not a genius. I am not implying anything close to that. I am telling you what genius' (or genii ??) have worked on and have credible (key word right there - ...credible) evidence supporting them.

    I am also ridiculing BDJ/IART/JReps for being such a poorly marketed/presented program -> a prospective buyer asks qu's, and gets turned away with a threat of legal action. I wonder if Microsoft or American Express tried that approach.

    I do have experience. I put on 10kgs without a change in bodyfat over the course of a year. In the last 3 months I've cut down on BF without losing any size in my arms, legs or chest. I've done this using HST and associated nutrition information. Do I need 30years of trying everything that "doesn't work" to have a credible opinion..? Good God no. That would make my efforts terribly inefficient and an arguable waste of 3 decades...and as we're on the subject - I'm sorry for your useless years in the gym and all the approaches you used that didn't provide gains.

    I don't need to try all these out. People older than me and wiser than me have already done the groundwork. That's the beauty of being my age.

    Maybe you SHOULD have questioned others - and then you wouldn't have wasted all of those long hours doing something that didn't work....are you actually proud that you spent so long doing everything the wrong/slow-way..?? If you've tried everything there is then surely you must realise that almost everything you've tried has not worked...because if it did, you wouldn't have ever moved on.

    If you've moved onwards from HST (or more accurately the principles and concepts developed) then I pity you. You're walking away from scientifically and anecdotally sound methods.

    I'm not going to waste time on something that is;

    a) Not even described to me in detail. Read through Bryan's HST-Intro pages and all the free info on this site. That at least provides me with a choice.

    b) Has no credible evidence. For instance...get some proof that building muscle is related to the pump/fatigue sensation. A direct link. Just as there is a direct link between mechanical strain and microtrauma.

    Where have I shown that I do not have a "grasp on anything" ..? Quote me showing exactly that.

    Where did I indicate that I am immature..? Younger than you? Yes...immature? No.

    You see...the key thing about humour is that what you say/do needs to be f-u-n-n-y.

    Do you need people contributing laughing-smileys...? ...nope, me neither.

    Once have failed to address my key point;

    No credible scientific evidence has been produced to show that JReps - either the method or the logic of why they work - actually increase the amount of muscle (not glycogen retention, we're talking protein here) in a skeletal muscle.

    Or why JReps are superior to any other method of training in well conditioned (lets say more than 5 years of consecutive training) lifters.
  19. AShortt

    AShortt New Member

    Mike N. ,

    What fibers are recruited, and when is determined by load and by cumulative fatigue. I don't recall Johnston ever suggesting that M.U. are recruited progressively towards the center as a muscle contracts, thus your questions seems somewhat "off" so to speak. I take it this is what you have gleened from the converstaion in this thread.

    "Pump" in this context, is not pump generated from aerobic exercise but anaerobic exercise. That is, I am not referring to light weights that you can move for better than 2 minutes etc.

    From pg. 17 (The Johnston Rep Method, ISBN 0-9739721-0-6)

    "...muscular activity appears to be the fundamental determinant of muscle mass. This concept has been extended and reinforced by more recent workers: Various sensors of mechanical strain seem to possess the ability to translate strain into chemical signals that induce the activation of the skeletal muscle α-actin promoter. The existence of a mechano-transduction mechanism in skeletal muscle is reinforced by the tensegrity hypothesis, which suggests that a protein framework within the cell maintains its overall cellular architecture; in response to mechanical forces, cell structural networks interact with gene and protein signaling networks to allow cytoskeletal proteins to reposition and renew themselves, permitting the cell to resist deformation from the applied forces."

    - Rennie, Michael J., et al. Control of the Size of the Human Muscle Mass. Anu. Rev. Physiol. 2004. 66:799-828.

    And that "renewal" and "resisting" is to include the fact that cell walls can become thicker in order to combat deformation from applied forces better. Nonetheless, this should not be misinterpreted or exaggerated, to suggest that the pump solely is responsible for muscular growth (since the strain of the load is vital), but that the pump seems to have an influence in promoting further protein uptake, - Johnston

    Hope that helps.

  20. AShortt

    AShortt New Member


    [Just like they can't answer how strength is is diminished via gettting larger muscles.]

    You are exaggerating a valid point. As a muscle grows larger its possible force output does not grow comparibly (to that of earlier size increases). This is because a muscle only "pulls" in a straight line towards its center (from origin and insertion points). As a muscle grows it grows at a greater "angle" from the bone (and points of origin and insertion). Thus, it loses mechanical efficiency (to some extent) as it gets larger.

    [What? Let's see if I got this right. IART is admitting that as your pump begins to subside you should stop training?]

    When your pump isn't getting any greater from subsequent sets and especially if it subsides noticeably, this is a strong indicator that your workout should be coming to a end. That is what "I" am saying. I will have to post a specific quote from Exercise Science "Theory and Practice" to say what the IART says.

    [As does full ROM, so how does limiting ROM change this?]

    The Johnston Rep Method IS NOT about limiting ROM. It isn’t about changing the way you do full ROM reps nor about using partials. It is about training the entire possible ROM in a more thorough and efficient manner.

    THE JRep method is about creating a dramatic increase in the amount of muscular contractions per unit time (i.e. comparable sets 60 sec. TUT vs. 60 sec. TUT). This appears to fatigue more muscle fibers "more" thoroughly – without – the need to decrease intensity (effort) or increase volume (TUT, # of sets). Thus the result is a greater depletion of resources which may lead to a greater retention of such through "over" or "super" compensation (as per basic GAS stress physiology principles).
    With regards to "feel" this is from my experience and the experience of my clients (as well as those trainers and enthusiasts now utilizing this methodology).

    - Enhanced pump (from an increase in # of muscular contractions) makes it easier to feel the working muscle(s) and does so sooner in a set. By the way I mean “enhanced” big time, I received so much pump my first shot at JRep Triceps work I LOST FEEL. That is, excessive pump actually caused nerve impulse inhibition or some such thing (I’m no MD ya know ;^)

    - Working with shorter rep times one finds a rhythmic element at play. This allows for easier mind/muscle connection just as it does with drumming, dancing etc. (speed remains constant from a standard rep but shorter ROM means quicker rep times)

    - A muscle feels different to some extent when contracting at stretch and near full contraction. This can distract some from "general" muscular feel. With JReps the "feeling" is constant and repetitive.

    I think allot of you are mistaking JRep commentary (especially from Johnston himself) as marketing. That is a mistaken assumption, read the comments again and forget about marketing per se. You may find you still aren't interested or disagree but you may ask better questions and contribute more relevant points.

    Some IART confusion can be traced back to misinformation like that spread by WJA – a.k.a eyesoftexas and the like. He will (for instance) note me as rude. However, it is commonplace to see him posting pictures of the female "Monistat" product for yeast infections and noting that one should use it for their itch ;^) Funny in its own "fraternity" ilk way but rude never the less. I am not trying to imply that I am better than anyone but attempt to peg me as worse and you may find you have bitten off more than you can chew.

    Why would anyone waste time spreading "misinformation"? Well in sales it is common place and in general Sickos/Sickies like lurking and hiding in the shadows – as with the virtual anonymity provided by the internet. Ask me I know, as a parent I have gone to great lengths to educated myself about this issue.
    Personally I sign my posts with my name and my contact info is available. If you wish to remain anonymous then fine but consider your commentary can be taken as troll like or even stalking if it is nasty. Furthermore, one can only take anonymous comments seriously if a relationship as been built. That is chiming in with anonymous points is not only useless but usually pollutes a thread.

    Bottom line - Johnston is less than gracious, curt and even outright nasty when someone asks snide or loaded questions, then makes comments that completely misrepresented his (Johnstons) views. As a non parent Johnstons writings are "his baby", and are stood up for as such.


Share This Page