The Skinny On Zig Zag

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by Skerr, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. Skerr

    Skerr New Member

    Hey everyone,

    I am on my 1st HST cycle ever having just finished day 1 of my 10s yesterday and finishing my 2 weeks of 15s last Friday.

    This first week of 10s I feel like I am just doing last weeks workout (for most exercises I am) just for 10 reps. By then end of this week I will have matched the load for end of last week on most exercises if I keep the program as is.

    I have seen a lot of people hear avoid the zig zagging. I also have read, can't find the source, that avoiding the zig zag does not effect hypertrophy in the long run. Even Bryan mentioned on the SSD podcast that starting a new week and doing less weight for less reps really bothers people but it works.

    I started tweaking my weight goals for tomorrow and thus then rest of the 10s cycle though wanted to hear opinions, thoughts, anecdotes, evidence etc...from some of the fine folks on this forum.

    I have seen the tips on adjusting the weight to have only 1 or 2 days of ZZ and am looking at that. I am also contemplating just doing my program as written and stop over thinking it.

    What does the community think?
  2. mickc1965

    mickc1965 Well-Known Member

    Personally I stopped doing ZZ when I used to do HST, just my preference tbh
  3. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Active Member

    Ah nice, I just did the first day of 10s too, we're in sync ;)

    I've experimented with having zigzag and not having zigzag, and honestly I think it's not worth worrying about. A little drop like that is good for recovery I reckon, but somehow my weights aren't zigzagging anyway like they used to. Probably depends on the lift. There are ways to avoid it through using repeated loads, eg instead of
    80 85 90
    85 90 95
    100 105 110

    You do something like

    80 85 90
    95 95 100
    100 105 110

    But I personally don't think it's that big a deal. You've just gotta keep in mind that's it's about progression in the long run, over the WHOLE cycle. It's not like by doing those drops and repeats in weight that there's literally no stimulus for hypertrophy, it won't adapt that quickly. You're still lifting frequently and being around that load range still takes a bit of time to adapt to so a little zigzag will not matter. Those workouts are still doing something (and I think that's the biggest 'fear' that people have about them, that they're ineffective).

    I actually finished the 15s, did my first day of 10s, got sick and didn't train for a week, and now just repeated day 1 of the 10s again. An extended zag if any! But I'm not fussed :)
  4. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Active Member

    Hey, anyone know of any studies that show how long it takes for the muscle to adapt to a single unchanging load? I swear it was something like 2-3 weeks before full adaption and the diminishing returns are fully setting in..

    Could be useful to reference regarding zigzag questions! @NWlifter ?
  5. Skerr

    Skerr New Member

    Thanks Simon those are great tips to mitigate. I read this last night and was able to tweak before this mornings work out.

    I re-listened to the SSD and Marconi podcast yesterday and recall Bryan saying that the state of the tissue will determine if the load is sufficient to elicit a response. That we don't always have to train at the edge and that we can still get good growth from lighter loads. I also overthink stuff to often instead of just doing the program, seeing the results and adjusting. That being said I did increase weight a bit more for today than planned, this being my first HST cycle and first step into zz land. I agree it is probably not a big deal though I do think I underestimated my 10 rep max on some exercises.

    I cannot cite a source though I want to say I heard recently an average was about 21 days for muscle to adapt to the load. Not sure how accurate that is.

    MickC1965 I did see on another thread how you set up your ranges to avoid ZZ all together. Thank you for that, will look into that for next cycle perhaps even the 5's for this mesocycle.

    Thanks for the tips fellas.
    _Simon_ likes this.

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