Increasing Volume AND Tension

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy Research' started by ryolacap, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. ryolacap

    ryolacap Member

    Any studies that you know of gradually increase the volume and tension? Or just the volume?

    I have seen where writers talk about the value of volume. How valid is the research?

    Also wouldn't it be logical, if gradual increases (progression) in tension causes hypertrophy and counteracts RBE, wouldn't the same thing be evident in progression of volume.

    I am not talking about extreme volume, but volume that builds upon itself like adding a set of progressivly heavier weights each workout, like I stated in my Pyramids post.
     
  2. dkm1987

    dkm1987 New Member

    There are two reactions to work that occur in the muscle cell, speaking basically here and not all encompassing, 1. tension produced during crossbrige attachment, and 2. the metabolic need for energy to produce the crossbridge attachment.

    There is also a term used around here called Time under Tension or TUT for short. The way TUT is generally used is the simplest way. I did 10 reps for 4 secs each so my TUT was 40 secs. Now simply increasing the time portion (IOW volume) does not really change the tension because once a MU is recruited the fibers are on, period, and are already (if at a level of rate coding high enough) fused IE contracting at max or very near max tension. But what adding volume does do is increase the metabolic cost and increases fatigue. Is this a good thing? Well it can be.

    For instance in your 15's it take more reps to reach failure or very near failure because the load is light enough that not all Motor UNits are activated but as the initial motor units become fatigued more and more are called upon to overcome the force of the object you are moving. At some point you will have recruited and exhausted all motor units available and you no longer can move that load, IE concentric or eccentric failure. Which is why many believed or still do that the last rep is the crucial one and also why, or one of the reasons why, failure training took off and became all the rage.

    Now since all the goodies inside a cell that react to strain need a certain amount of time to actually sense the strain there is obviously a prerequisite amount of time needed. Once sensed and signalling begins adding more time does no good so it can be said that there is a threshold needed. Not too much but obviously enough.

    So IMOO, I think keeping volume constant at a number of reps that is manageable even at the heaviest loads in your cycle is the way too go. Others feel reducing volume as the loads get heavy is the way to go. One commonality between both these views is that the load is the key player and progression of load is a must.

    One thing I did a while back was write a series of articles with my friend Ron Sowers called "The Basics". In one of the articles I took a look at the work performed by several studies at that time. I cited all the studies I used back then and if you are truly interested you can pull up those I cited and take a look.

    I believe the series is still floating around the web somewhere and it shouldn't be too hard too find. If you can't let me know via email and I'll send you a copy.

    Hope I didn't bore you.

    Dan
     
  3. ryolacap

    ryolacap Member

    I found "The Basics" and it makes sense, I have never had better results than from progression and a set volume, which brings me to my 2nd question/point about pyramiding.  

    Would it make sense, as metabolism fatigue sets into the muscle, that each consecutive set increase the weight and decrease the the reps?  You would reach full MU recruitment sooner from increased tension, muscles would be fully warmed up from each consecutive set and to be honest I find emotionally it would be easier to work up to heavier weights, not to mention easier on the joints.  You could keep the volume at a set point and still handle heavy weights.  It's seems that with say max-stim you are looking for multiple bouts of fully recruited MU's and a set volume.  But if I were to set my volume to say 28 I find it almost impossible to do 5 sets of 5-6 at 80-90%RM squats followed by bench and so on, without a decrease in performance.  Yet if a did 10 8 6 4 at 60-70-80-90%, volume remains, I get the multiple bouts of 100% MU, I still hit heavier weights, and it is easier to make the switch to different body parts.

    A.  Would it be better to progessively lower volume
    B. Split the workout
    C. Do extra long light weight warmups between each bodypart
    D. Do a progressive pyramid scheme

    BTW Max Stim worked great to break my dependence on lifting straps, but I found overall athletic performance was reduced, which makes sense.
     
  4. ryolacap

    ryolacap Member

    Oh and also, you would still use progression in each workout with the pyramid scheme.
    workout 1: 10-8-6-4 reps 45%-55-65-75%1RM
    workout 2: 10-8-6-4 reps 50%-60-70-80%1RM
    workout 3: 10-8-6-4 reps 55%-65-75-85%1RM
    workout 4: 10-8-6-4 reps 60%-70-80-90%1RM
     
  5. dkm1987

    dkm1987 New Member

    Obviously you have been experimenting with this issue and you could probably report more on it than I can.

    But just one observation I would like to note.

    In workout one you are obviously starting with a load and a number of reps which is doubtful that it will induce enough fatigue to cause significant recruitment advances unless some other strategy is employed eg. fast concentrics, static holds, or some other method.

    With that in mind in your lighter loads you may want to think about something like below (example only and you would need to adjust as you see fit)

    workout 1: 30-25-20-15 reps 45%-55-65-75%1RM
    workout 2: 25-20-10-5 reps 50%-60-70-80%1RM
    workout 3: 20-15-10-5 reps 55%-65-75-85%1RM
    workout 4: 15-10-5-5 reps 60%-70-80-90%1RM

    But over all pyramid schemes have been around for a long time and obviously these have some utility.

    Also take a look at some of the ladder schemes that are floating about. Matthew Perryman wrote an article not too long ago about this.

    http://www.ampedtraining.com/articles/SpeedTrainingForSize.pdf
     
  6. ryolacap

    ryolacap Member

    Yea I was thinking that the first workout would be like the 15's in HST. (healing)

    One more thing I was thinking, if full MU activation happens at 80-85% maybe a reduction in volume wouldn't be bad, since in lower tension the first reps would be used to work up to that point.  Therefore if you only think in terms of recruitment and tension and not total tension:
    65% + 15R = 85% + 5R
    since the first few reps of 65% is just getting you to the full recruitment phase and 85% starts you there.  So it could be reasoned (by someone insane maybe) that even with decreasing volume, it is actually remaining equal.

    (only a representation)
    In terms of 1's and 0's activation would look something like this:

    Muscle cell @ 65% 1=on 0=off
    100010001001011 = 1 MU in 'on' or 'off' state 15 reps

    Muscle cell @ 85%  1=on 0=off
    11111 = 1 MU in 'on' or 'off' state 5 reps

    In that, the decreasing volume in HST makes MUCH more sense.

    Holy crap I blew my own mind!!!
     
  7. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    <div>
    (Dan Moore @ Oct. 17 2008,3:58)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">Also take a look at some of the ladder schemes that are floating about. Matthew Perryman wrote an article not too long ago about this.

    http://www.ampedtraining.com/articles/SpeedTrainingForSize.pdf</div>
    Nice article by Perryman. Thanks for the link Dan.
     
  8. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    <div>
    (ryolacap @ Oct. 17 2008,4:17)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">In that, the decreasing volume in HST makes MUCH more sense.

    Holy crap I blew my own mind!!!</div>
    That tends to happen if you hang around here long enough!  [​IMG]

    My feeling about pyramids is that as it's harder to gauge the effective overall TUT, why not reduce the effect of fatigue as much as possible by limiting warmups and then get to the working load as soon as possible.

    If you progress the working load each session and keep total reps pretty constant you know that TUT is increasing and work done is either increasing or remaining pretty constant (if rep count drops a bit over the cycle).
     
  9. ryolacap

    ryolacap Member

    I am also thinking that activation is important in it's relation to tension.  Meaning that each individual MU or muscle cell, must 'feel' the same amount of tension no matter what the actual tension is on the entire muscle, since the tension would be spread out to an amount of MU in relation to that tension.  ie 10 MU's pulling 100 pounds = 10 per MU but increase to 200 pounds the muscle would increase to 20 MU's which still = 10 pounds per MU.  If tension is always equal then the main importants of heavy weight is overall MU activation, which relates to the amount of times the weight is lifted.  So volume might have a huge importance on overall hypertrophy. And progession in volume over time just might be as effective as tension as long as you progess in tension also
     
  10. ryolacap

    ryolacap Member

    something like this: (I am not really sure yet how to set it up I am not a huge believer in 'sets' and think total reps are more relevant)

    Cycle 1
    Sets = 1
    Reps 1/2/3 = 15/10/5

    Cycle 2
    Sets = 2
    Reps 1/2/3= 15/10/5

    Increase weight on all rep ranges

    Cycle 3
    Sets = 1
    Reps 1/2/3 = 15/10/5

    Cycle 4
    Set = 2
    Reps 1/2/3 = 15/10/5

    and so on.... (bye bye strategic deconditioning)
     
  11. dkm1987

    dkm1987 New Member

    <div>
    (Lol @ Oct. 17 2008,12:35)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE"><div>
    (Dan Moore @ Oct. 17 2008,3:58)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">Also take a look at some of the ladder schemes that are floating about. Matthew Perryman wrote an article not too long ago about this.

    http://www.ampedtraining.com/articles/SpeedTrainingForSize.pdf</div>
    Nice article by Perryman. Thanks for the link Dan.</div>
    It wasnt bad and honestly I was kinda surprised. Normally I saw the nasty side of Matt over at Lyles but he really did a good job on that one. I was impressed.
     
  12. dkm1987

    dkm1987 New Member

    <div>
    (ryolacap @ Oct. 19 2008,1:47)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">I am also thinking that activation is important in it's relation to tension.  Meaning that each individual MU or muscle cell, must 'feel' the same amount of tension no matter what the actual tension is on the entire muscle, since the tension would be spread out to an amount of MU in relation to that tension.  ie 10 MU's pulling 100 pounds = 10 per MU but increase to 200 pounds the muscle would increase to 20 MU's which still = 10 pounds per MU.  If tension is always equal then the main importants of heavy weight is overall MU activation, which relates to the amount of times the weight is lifted.  So volume might have a huge importance on overall hypertrophy. And progession in volume over time just might be as effective as tension as long as you progess in tension also</div>
    I never have said volume has no part to play, if so go do one 1RM rep and be done. What isn't known, at least as far as I am aware, is where is the sweat spot?, is it set?, is it sliding?, is it indivualistic? all these questions are yet to be answered.

    Which is one reason I personally like a set volume, there is no guessing involved. If I have been doing 20 reps with X amount, increasing the load over time and then alfter a few weeks I've gained a 1/4 inch, the only thing that has changed is the load.

    Just my opinion mind you.

    As far as activation, again I have no doubt that it is key and a while back there was a paper looking at some molecules reaction to activation frequency while blocking tension production, guess what the molecules did react.

    Dual progressive systems has been used for years, start with my 5RM when I can do 8 reps add more weight, or whatever RM you wish to analyze, it all adds up the same. Once the muscle has adapted to the loading, adding more volume does train the engergetics of the cell and this energetic system can cause changes in size but what is changing, contractile elements or metabolic?
     
  13. ryolacap

    ryolacap Member

    <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">I never have said volume has no part to play, if so go do one 1RM rep and be done.</div>
    I know you believe in volume, Max-Stim is based on it.  And personally, setting volume is what I did to get great gains.  30-32 reps, I would either have mandatory increases in weight or any time I could do more than 32 reps , I would not use sets per say (a set of prescribed reps) I would just do as many reps possible each set then increase the weight and add a set each week always striving for 30 reps.  So basicly doing 3 sets followed by the next week doing 4 sets and so on. I did this with infrequent body part training.  I am now trying to work in frequency because studies shows frequency to be productive.
    ...Anyhow like I stated above, and you might have more knowledge than I do about this.  
    <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">65% + 15R = 85% + 5R
    since the first few reps of 65% is just getting you to the full recruitment phase and 85% starts you there.  So it could be reasoned (by someone insane maybe) that even with decreasing volume, it is actually remaining equal.</div>
    So in stating that increasing tension, and keeping reps equal, actually is the same as increasing volume.  And decreases in volume, while increasing tension, like in HST is actually maintaining volume.  So since tension becomes the limiting factor, while volume is potentially unlimited, by finding ways to manipulate volume, you could continue indefinitely (probably not really but you get my point), no strategic deconditioning, or at least very few and very long ones which is probably the only way to really decondition (like once a year, taking off a month) .  If this proves to have some validity together the manitpulation of volume and frequency, is progressively unlimited, that's the only reason I bring it up.

    Just a thought/theory
     
  14. ryolacap

    ryolacap Member

    <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">As far as activation, again I have no doubt that it is key and a while back there was a paper looking at some molecules reaction to activation frequency while blocking tension production, guess what the molecules did react.</div>

    Very interesting, I was brainstorming  and looking at mild cardiac stressors effect on hypertrophy of heart tissue or enlarged heart, which is by far the greatest volume/frequency monster in the body. Plus gymnists, speed skaters, even acrobats and performers in the circus, who train and perform constantly, seem to always be pretty buff.
     

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