Discussion in 'Hypertrophy Research' started by Bryan Haycock, Jul 3, 2012.
Yup, just like all of us HSTers are
Probably “confirmation bias,” very common in internet forums.
This article by Bryan Haycock based on Wernbom's work got me thinking. It says:
Using the HST calculator I quickly found out that 85% load is 6RM. 5RM occurs no sooner than at 88%. So shouldn't we assume HST's lower rep range to be 6RM to match newer research? It's a bit less stressful or risky for joints and tendons, injury potential is a bit lower, and optimal "per bout" rep count can be achieved with a bit less time & effort.
Heck! 85% of your 1RM load is exactly your 6RM! Of course! Why didn't anyone suggest this sooner? Working toward your 6RM instead of your 5RM will change everything: not only will you make the same gains but you'll be able to lift so much more safely.
Ah, but wait just a darn minute! The downside will be that, should you ever try for a 1RM, your whole body will immediately melt. It will serve you right, too, for being stupid enough to try such an outrageously dangerous thing.
Ok, sorry... but you asked for that.
Well, that might be because Wernbom's study covering optimal rep ranges is dated 2007, Bryan based his stuff on earlier research.
I see where you're coming from: due to specificity principle you won't necessarily be able to lift your calculated 1RM after having trained 6RM 85%. I just don't see how being able to lift my 1RM is going to help me build muscle It might be clearer to think this way: weight you can lift 6RM @RPE 9-10 is most probably within your 85-87%.
Anyway, what I'm saying is 6RM is closer to that "good" range. If you consider that trying new weights inevitably drops my reps even lower. it's even more so.
I think there might be some neurological benefits to occasionally doing some heavy singles closer to, at, or even trying more than your calculated 5RM to 1RM. But the thing is like all other tools, you use it where it's effective. If you hit a strength plateau then pull out some of the powerlifter tricks for getting past the plateau. As long as you're gaining strength and muscle via HSTish approaches, use them.
HST already has a well defined way to overcome plateau: SD + load back-off.
If you're somehow combining HST with training for strength, then it's another story.
Well if the HST calculator says so, it must be true.
There's some parallel in the logic ...
I really think the difference between 85 and 88% 1RM is negligible, not to mention being almost impossible to accurately calculate at a given time.
After 12yrs of research, I'm still yet to identify a set of principles for hypertrophy that advocates lifting lighter loads, and then backs this up successfully with results. Hell, myo-reps are merely an optimisation of the 8-12rep range (and you aren't going to reach your genetic limits for hypertophy training in that range, when it's all said and done. *May still look fantastic none-the-less).
Load absolutely matters, and advocating, let alone identifying the actual difference between 5RM and 6RM is just not worth the time.
Another interesting research, probably involving previously untrained subjects:
List of issues I have, just from the abstract:
-Knee extension as the chosen exercise
-No differential/discussion of sarcomere vs sarcoplasm (are they gaining muscle or storing more glycogen in the muscle)
-Best way to gain is to train to fatigue (seems about as anti-progressive load as one can get)
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