The point of Myo Reps in HST

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by Lateralus, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Lateralus

    Lateralus New Member

    Noticed a lot of you guys both using and recommending Myo reps.
    Never heard of it until i joined this forum, so did some reading and think I now understand the concept. But what I don't understand is this:

    Why incorporate this technique into HST?
    To make my specific qustions clear: I understand that Myo reps is a technique which promises better activation of musclefibers, of cource leading to more damage done pr set of ie. 15 reps.

    But why would we be interested in that? ..Isn't the point choosing the least effective load and progress from there?

    I can't get around thinking:
    When using Myo reps, you effectively bring the load up.
    This would in turn, force you to either do you're RM test using this technique, or stop using it mid mini-cycle.
    Case one would dictate lower weight troughout the cycle, negating the effects.. Case 2 would alow for less progression.
    Is see no sweet deals there. Best case is no change.

    As I consider many of you, more experienced than me, I'm guessing i'm missing something here.
    So the point of this thread is not critiqueing this method, but understanding why it's usefull in HST.
  2. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    I like it for what I've been recommending - when lifting heavy, using it after your main work it done in order to emphasize muscle groups that are lagging. I also like for isolations where I do not want to go heavy due to risk of injury.

    However, as it is basically clustering, you could do it throughout a whole cycle and you wouldn't have to drop the loads. Just plan out your cycle like normal but instead of setting certain numbers of sets and reps for each rep range, just assign a certain number of total reps per rep range, then do them myoreps style. All myoreps does is give you more reps at full activation. That's all. It does keep you closer to failure as well so you would have to be careful with fatigue. So if you do 2 sets of 10 normally, you probably only get full activation on the last few reps of each set, so let's say ideally 6 reps at full activation out of the 20. Do them myoreps style and you'll have 3 reps at full activation for the activation set, then 10 more reps at full activation if you do it right, so now 13 reps instead of 6 at full activation.

    Personally, I think once you are in the 5s, you probably don't need it since you will likely be at or near full activation on each rep anyway, since it is such a heavy load.
  3. Lateralus

    Lateralus New Member

    Thanks. I understand 2 of your recommendations, and your summary pretty much confirms my understanding of the concept.
    Myo reps def. seem useful for added emphasis on lagging muscle groups.
    I also see the point of reducing joint streign.

    But then you kind of lost me:
    I understand that the method of activating stronger fibres and keeping them active, allows for more effect per rep.
    But your statement about planing the cycle out the same, I don't get.
    Stole this example (slightly modified) from a post on another forum, reviewed and commented by Blade.
    * = full activation reps

    Conv. sets
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8* 9* 10*
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7* 8* 9* 10*
    1 2 3 4 5 6* 7* 8* 9*
    29 total reps of which 11 was effective with full fiber activation.

    Myo reps
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8* 9* 10*
    1* 2* 3* 4*
    1* 2* 3* 4*
    1* 2* 3*
    1* 2* 3*
    24 total reps of which 17 effective.

    In this example you achive an additional 6 reps at full activation. Of cource this is easily acheaved considering this session alone.
    But what i'm thinking is: The only reason you are able to do eg. 10 reps througout your 10 rep cycle, is the actual fact, that not all reps are effective.
    So back to my original point: If you add more reps at full activation, how would you be able to handle it, over time, on a systemic level? I don't see a way around, that the level of muscle damage and CNS streign would increase to what, in effect, equals more weight and/or reps, using conv. methods.

    Hope i'm not being a difficult student here.
  4. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    One of the ideas behind Myo-reps is that some muscle fibers are not even being used unless others have already been “tired out” with those being recruited last also the ones with the most potential for growth, unless the weight is sufficiently heavy for full fiber activation from the start. Here IMO is a better example of the difference than the standard example given because it compares the total number of reps needed to attain an equal number of “full fiber activation reps:”

    Conv. Sets
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8* 9* 10*
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7* 8* 9* 10*
    1 2 3 4 5 6* 7* 8* 9*
    1 2 3 4 5 6* 7* 8*
    1 2 3 4 5 6* 7* 8*

    45 total reps of which 17 are at full fiber activation

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8* 9* 10*
    1* 2* 3* 4*
    1* 2* 3* 4*
    1* 2* 3*
    1* 2* 3*

    24 total reps of which 17 are at full fiber activation

    So in order to get an equal number of full fiber activation reps (recruiting the toughest to recruit fibers) it takes 45 total reps using conventional sets/reps vs. 24 total reps for Myo-reps. Since both examples have the same CNS hit for the 17 full activation reps then any additional CNS hit is coming from the extra reps it takes to get to full fiber activation (28 for conventional and 7 for Myo-rep). If all reps were created equal (above about 85% of your 1RM they are) then Myo-reps would lose this advantage which is why I switch over to Max-stim (essentially time limited singles) when things get that heavy.
  5. Lateralus

    Lateralus New Member

    Thanks a lot Grunt, this is starting to make sense to me.
    So much so, I think i'd be able to use it effectively.. And think I will.

    To be able to plan this properly for my next cycle, i think I need to be clear on the RM tests.
    Considering your example it is perfecly clear, that the Myo approach would have less of a systemic impact. But it is also seems clear to me, that testing your RM would have to be done differently.

    Given your example (which for this purpose is the oposite og mine):
    If I was able to handle a 45 rep total I would be capable of more work, than the 24 myo-reps.
    Anyway you put it, wouldn't you have to do test your RMs using whichever method used in the cycle?

    Or does in fact 10 myo reps equal 10 conv. reps when looking at the CNS only?
  6. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    I came to the same conclusion about testing RMs and decided it was just simpler to use straight progression starting from around 60%-75% of my 1RM (either tested or determined by calculator). So I don’t do 15s, 10s, 5s since in each Myo-rep activation set you are going to 1-2 reps short of failure not a set rep count for that set. So you might get to 12 or 8 for that day instead of exactly 10. The idea is “auto-regulation” or letting your body tell you how much it can handle. Theoretically this should be more efficient than sticking to a predetermined set/rep schedule since you are pushing your body to just short of its limit each time which is unlikely to happen when trying to stick to a scheduled number of sets/reps.
    The activation set and the first regular set should have close to the same amount of CNS fatigue. However, each Myo-rep after that should have a little more CNS fatigue than an “average” conventional rep since you’re working closer to failure on each Myo-rep than on each conventional rep. So no I would say that in the example if you could normally perform and recover from 45 conventional reps you couldn’t recover as quickly from 45 Myo-reps.

    One advantage of Myo-reps is that is that you don’t need as many total reps to stimulate growth and strength gains because you are using your muscle fibers more effectively (recruiting the hard to recruit fibers) on each rep. Doing the same with conventional reps/sets would require more total reps or heavier weights which both will cause greater CNS fatigue and put more wear on your joints and connective tissues.

    This link has some advice on how to plan your Myo-rep totals:

    To find out how much you can manage and still recover from the best thing to do is to shoot for the recommendations in the link and then let your body tell you what it can handle as you go along. Again the real concept behind Myo-reps is “auto-regulation,” or letting your body tell you what’s the most it can handle. If you’re doing too much your weights won’t progress and/or your rep counts will drop which is telling you that you’re not recovering. It could take a couple weeks to a month to get use to Myo-reps.

    Also, note that Myo-reps are not IMO good for everything. Sometimes you just need to pick up a heavy weight if that is your ultimate goal. So for my Power lifts I don’t use Myo-reps but rather Max-Stim (or heavy singles) as I find that the best way to get use to lifting heavy weights is just to lift them.
  7. Lateralus

    Lateralus New Member

    Great post Grunt, I think I have all I need now. At least, no further questions at this point.
    It's funny, in my first post, when I believed I understood the concept. I was waay of. :p

    It also seems a lot harder harder to get into, than I first imagined, so think i'll be trying it out on a couple of iso's for a cycle or two. Then maybe go full blown if it works out.

    Thanks again, you guys where a big help. (As always)
  8. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    That’s also how I decided to do it. I tried it out with isos first and liked both the workout and the time saved. Now I use myo-reps for all but my primary strength exercises since I didn’t find that they worked for them though some people do.

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