Discussion in 'General Training' started by mellon, Aug 5, 2005.

  1. mellon

    mellon New Member

    I have read in this forum that throughout any point in a repetition, the stress on the muscle is equal throughout. The muscle was described as being like a rubber band, with the tension equal in all parts. I think this puts away the myth that certain ranges target certain portions of the muscle; such as tagetting inner pecs rather than outter pecs.

    With this in mind, why should I train the full ROM instead of just the range which yields the post power. It seems that if I can lift twice as much in a partial repetition, and the stress across the muscle is equal, then I'm not missing out - only gaining.

    Is it because the distance traveled is greater, increasing the force that is required to move the weight? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Tcup

    Tcup New Member

    That not true that in any point stress in equal. Of course when you stretch you mucles to the extreme it need more power to return to the original state. Eg. need to use smaller weights if you let your arm go straight rather than use 45` angle. I`m not quite following your idea here but trust me, do the movement all the way!
  3. Fausto

    Fausto HST Expert

    A question to ask from the experts, I am too of the opinion that as the weight progresses the ROM should be reduced (only slightly) till only the strong range of motion is used, it not only avioids injury but allows one to move more "iron" at once.

    Refer experts [​IMG]
  4. 9to5lifter

    9to5lifter New Member

    I am by no means an expert, but I would vote for a full ROM. Partials may be useful, especially during the post-5's, but for all the other rep schemes I would utilise a full ROM, since this allows better streching of the muscle. Just think of the traditional bench press, if you don't go all the way down, your pecs do not get a good stretch. I believe this is the reason why O & G recommends DB bench pressing instead of the classic BB press.

    I also remember reading in the FAQ that you will get a hypertrophic effect just by switching to an exercise that allows better stretching of the muscle, even if the weight stays the same. Please correct freely if I am wrong.

    However, sometimes, especially during the post-5's, I will use partials in order to futher increase the load and extend the cycle a bit. Hope this helps, the experts will be able to better answer your question.
  5. jvroig

    jvroig Super Moderator

    Hey guys :)


    Greater ROM generally means greater stretch.

    1) enough load = muscle gain
    2) more stretch = more microtrauma
    so generally:
    3) enough load + greater stretch = greater gain

    And just in case you want to argue that stretch isn't important, there are already many studies that show loaded stretch, whether progressive or non-progressive, increases muscle hypertrophy. No point debating importance of stretch.

    Ok, let's go on.

    Sure, if you put it that way, then yeah you train the whole muscle. The full ROM recommendation is there because we also realize that the greater stretch contributes to greater hypertrophy, not just the load.

    During lighter weights, we train on a full ROM so we don't sacrifice stretch, since we don't have to.

    As we go to heavier weights for our core compound exercises...
    ... as Fausto mentioned, the ROM for that core compound exercise can be reduced. This is because we are sacrificing it at that point (most often, but not always, during very heavy weights post 5's) to accomodate a greater load and/or for specialization techniques like partials. (Of course, it may also be more beneficial to add an isolation that provides greater stretch in order to induce the stretch-related microtrauma that we won't be getting due to the decreased ROM)

    In summary: greater ROM generally means greater stretch, and stretch is important in hypertrophy, not just load. We can't always train with very little ROM, otherwise we will be discounting stretch, thus limiting the hypertrophy we will obtain.

    Regards, hope that helps :)
  6. precious_roy

    precious_roy New Member

    General Question: For exercises (particularly pulling) where the strong range is near the stretched position, how do you get the weight TO the strong range position from the floor? (Assuming that the load is too much to move through the weak range).
  7. Actually a very good question and one I am pondering myself, as noted by my recent post in my forum.

    My notion is that a progressive ROM may be utilised as an effort to stave of RBE a little longer. For example, stretch = damage we all know this, damage = not only a hypertrophic response but also an increase in the resistance to further bouts of stretch causing additional damage. Therefore would a progressive model of ROM work for delaying the onset of RBE. Looking at your 10RM, perhaps by using a partial ROM, in the strongest part of the LT curve, you could not only load more but working in a dynamic fashion with emphasis on the concentric part wouldn't cause as much of an RBE response. Then as your strength in that ROM increases so should your ROM. This in turn would create more damage with each successive increase in ROM, when you reach full ROM then either up the volume or better yet up the load and start again.

    It might look something like this.

    Starting @ 50% of ful ROM, when you can do 12 to 13 reps at 50% ROM increase the ROM by 30 to 50 degrees, when at full range of motion and you can comfortably complete 13 reps, up the weight by 15% or whatever gets you back to a 10RM at partial ROM again and start over. Or instead of upping the weight up the volume to 2 sets @ full ROM, when you can complete 2 complete sets of 10 then up the weight and start over.

    Just some thoughts I had during a 24 hr, drive to Alabama this weekend.
  8. jvroig

    jvroig Super Moderator

    Hey Dan,

    Following what you said, that would practically mean no SD needed until a long time. Combining progressive load AND progressive stretch / ROM per exercise means a very long extended cycle.

    As I understand it, there would be increments both in weight and ROM, ROM being the "inner" increment, meaning it gets incremented first, not the load, then after we exhaust all the increments (we reach full ROM after a couple of workouts),
    we up the load to such a degree that going back to a minimum ROM (the strongest part) for each exercise will produce a hypertrophic effect again, and thus continue incrementing the ROM until max stretch is again achieved.

    Estimating from that, given that we get around at least 18 increments for standard HST routines (most probably more, but can also be less), and guessing that if we can increment our ROM even for just 6 workouts (not actual increments of course; I just mean 6 wrkouts total from initial ROM to full ROM, repeating ROMs would be unavoidable), that would mean that each weight increment could be used 6 times while still staying ahead of RBE. 18 * 6 = 108 increments total, so 108 possible workouts for a cycle, and assuming we workout 3 times a week, 108 / 3 = 36... a 36 week cycle before we SD. That's 8 months long! [​IMG] Of course, to actually stay ahead of RBE, larger increments probably would be used. And 6 workouts for ROM progression to finish might actually be a bit short. So lessen the number of weight increments a bit to accomodate greater weight increments, add more workouts to the estimated ROM progression length, more or less still a heck of a lot of months per cycle. Still around 8 months probably.

    This does seem exciting. While I would never argue that such a way would indeed stay ahead of RBE, would it actually yield significant hypertrophy?

    While I do believe we do stay ahead of RBE, we still have some few things to figure out. I'm more concerned with questions like: If we did 8 months of that super long cycle using combined ROM and load progression, would it actually yield greater hypertrophy than 4 or 5 standard HST cycles (which you could do in more or less 8 months)? I'm thinking right now that such a routine (the 8-month long combined load and ROM progression routine) would probably develop more strength than hypertrophy - it just reminds me of using smaller increments and repeating weights with those smaller increments (not yet microincrements, but close) - microtrauma, sure, but isolated like that (ROM and load progression, I mean), each workout may not be as hypertrophic as microtrauma caused by both full stretch and significant load per workout, but it would probably be much better at building up strength. But then again, there would be a lot of times in the long 8-month cycle where full stretch and load would be present! Grrr...

    I'm a little messed up right now, stuff from work is haunting me. But I'll give this more thought and look at a few more studies and peek at your site when I get the chance (soon hopefully).

    [​IMG] Dan, you have this all figured out by the time I come back, ya hear?! [​IMG]

    Regards, :)
  9. Fausto

    Fausto HST Expert

    9 to 5

    I agree, that during the lower weight high rep range, full ROM should be used.

    Consider this:

    The traditional bench press, should only be done to the natural ROM, which you can verify by checking your bent arm pushed back (as in the benching motion) to where it naturally stops. Beyond this point it is an unatural movement and will cause more damage than good, so stretch should only be taken to about a fist's distance from the center of the chest.

    When the weight starts getting heavier and heavier, using your strong range of motion avoids injury and still produces th enecessary hypertrophy, you can always do loaded stretches and pulsing if you intend to cause extra microtrauma.

    I am curious, where is Dan's site?

  10. 9to5lifter

    9to5lifter New Member

    Fausto, basically we agree. When I say "full ROM" I mean the greatest possible natural range, not going beyond what is safe. I advised using a shorter ROM only towards the end of the cycle so we don't end up doing partials all of the time (though I understand that by "shorter ROM" you do not necessarily mean true partials, at least not until the latest stages of the cycle). In short, I just wanted to make sure that we do not use the strong range always only because it is good for our ego.

    About Dan's site, just check his signature. [​IMG]
  11. Exactly, one thing I will mention before going back to my ROM theory. Bryan has mentioned many times that a weight may be effective at producing some stimulus for a number of weeks, now with this in mind I have noticed, by the posts here, that many aren't taking this into account and simply work the 8 week cycle, which in and of itself is fine but, to get the most from each loading increase and I feel that it should be used until it is no longer effective.

    With that said, it's known that a muscle produces the most tension in a given length, Length Tension Curve, so at optimal length more load can be used because cross bridge attachment is at it's optimum with enough pivoting clearance to not provide restriction.

    Incrementation in all actuality would be large, just not as frequent simply because you are using the same load for an extended period but causing larger degrees of stretch over a larger period of time. Assuming there is a realtionship between degree of damage and magnitude of RBE response this may be one way to attenuate the response allowing longer loading periods. So back to incrementation, once you have used the full ROM, and using reps to monitor the strength response (adaptation) you would increase the load, I am assuming a 15% increase in load could be used, thus quite large to again get back to your strongest LT curve and start again.

    Anyway I will continue to explore this idea and others further on my forum as not to interfere or detract from Bryan's work.

  12. jvroig

    jvroig Super Moderator

    Hey Dan :)

    I've thought of that as well, and considered a lot of times to actually repeat a weight two or three times intentionally, thereby significantly extending the length of each RM phase. But never though of using a weight for more than a week, though. The thing is, the weight load most probably will still be good for a couple of times after the first loading... but we can never be sure how long it will actually take. It's going to be a nightmare. We have no way to measure the effectiveness of a load for each workout, and assessing it by our strength increase (if at all) wouldn't be that accurate - I think it is actually possible for a muscle to adapt to a load completely before we get a significant strength gain because the stregnth gain is "delayed" by other factors, like daily stress, rest, etc.. If we went by that strictly (that is, using the weight until we feel it isn't effective anymore by waiting for a gain in strength to happen), it might end up like instinctive training. Some weights will be used 3 or 4 times, others may end up getting used 6 or more times, depending on how we "feel" the weight... this is just my personal view of it of course, it scares me because it might make the training instinctive, whereas now, I know exactly what to do for pratically the entire cycle, even when I repeate a weight 2 or 3 times, because it's all done by design before the cycle starts. Of course, if you can assure that a strength gain will definitely happen as soon as the muscles adpat or as the muscles fully adpat to the load making it ineffective, then this concern is effetively nullified.

    Yes, exactly what I meant. We'll be using a weight several times before increasing the load, because we wait until a ROM is ineffective before moving on to another ROM until we make the full ROM ineffetive, for maybe a set or a few sets.

    But wouldn't that make arranging (and maintaining) the workouts difficult?
    1). First, not all exercises have the luxury of a good ROM for us to play with. Some exercises might get at least 3 ROM increments (for example, we start with 40%, then move to 80%, then move to a fulll ROM), while some may get only 2 (we start with the strongest ROM, but the next effective increment is already the full ROM). This might make the workout a little confusing as some exercises will get progressively loaded before others, like for day 9 we add 15% to exercise #4, then on day 11 we add 15% to exercise #7 and #9, then on day 12 we add 15% to exercise #1... see what I mean?
    2) Also, given a heck of a lot of exercises we deal with per workout (6 or 8 at least), incrementing the ROM itself can also turn out to be confusing. Since we wait for a strength increase per exercise to determine if the muscle has fully adapted, each exercise will increment its ROM independent of each other. Just like the situation above, exercise#1 might be increased to 80% ROM on day3, exercise#2 on day4, then exercise#3 on day7.... etc...

    There is no way for us to plot in advance before we increment
    either the ROM or the load... all we know is to wait for a strength increase that allows us to life the weights over a given number of reps/sets for that ROM, and when we go over the full ROM, increase the load to come back to a minimum effective ROM again. The exercises won't increment at the same time at all, others will lag behind while some lead.

    Well, I'm sure Bryan won't mind, after all, HST is HST as long as its principles are applied, and I don't think we are going against any HST principles here. But yeah, I guess better discuss it in your forum, at least until Bryan explicitly gives the go signal to freely discuss here.

    This is really pretty exciting Dan! The way I see it, if we can just workout the logistical problem of the exercises not getting incremented at the same time (perhaps by finding a more uniform way of incrementing both ROM and load), this kind of training atually rocks.

    Yes, I do believe so. Even after you SD enough, RBE will quickly catch up with your max weights if you train immediately with your max... but by starting with the minimum effective weight and slowly and gradually incrementing towards the max, RBE is effectively managed and the cycle goes 8+ weeks. Had we immediately started with max weights, the cycle would at best only be 2 or 3 weeks. Clearly, the RBE magnitude depends on the degree of damage.

    Well, I'll just finish all my piled up work (I'm not getting anything done!!!! ), then I'll join you in your discussion of this in your forum.

    Regards! :)
  13. I don't have references on hand, but there was research at the university of FL using MedX testing tools that demonstrated that strength gains are specific to the ROM trained in about 80% of the population.

    Also consider that during compound movements the relative contributions of the different muscles involved changes from position to position over the ROM, and that working a limited portion of the ROM may result in less than ideal stimulation of some of the involved structures.

    Further, the "strong range" in many compound movements is the result of leverages - the reason you're capable of using more weight in some positions is that the muscles encounter less resistance in those positions. The need for heavier weights when performing strong range partials is to compensate for the fact that the leverages reduce the resistance those weights provide (important to distinguish between weight and resistance, which is the product of weight X lever).

    If you do not have access to equipment that provides balanced resistance over a full range of motion, there are ways of performing free weight movements to provide a more congruent resistance curve (see Bill de Simone's book Moment Arm Exercise ) but in cases where that isn't possible, strong range partials can be used occassionally in conjunction with full range movements to hit areas where the full range movements don't provide as much resistance.
  14. NWlifter

    NWlifter Member

    Remember these things also when thinking of partial ROM...

    1) Most exercises use more than one muscle, (more than 10 usually) and certrain parts of the ROM might or might not stress some of the muscle adequately.

    2) Muscle fibers generate the most tension when in a 'slightly more stretched than resting' length. This is where maximum overlap of the crossbriges occurs. So whether or not leverages allow you to lift the most weight in that position, the muscle itself still can generate the most force in that position.


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