Can someone clear up moderate rep vs low rep size vs strength for me?

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    Can someone clear up moderate rep vs low rep size vs strength for me?


    Im very confused being new to this game. My understanding was that reps of between 6 and 12 gave type 2 muscle which is bigger due to increased vascularity and low reps 1-6 gives strength which is type 1 muscle and is more dense.

    Thus smaller guys are often stronger than bigger guys (in like strongman comps)

    However i read in FLEX or somewhere recently that low reps were the key to mass. Then after i read that 50 rep sets would make you huge.

    HELP! Im sure my initial statement was correct but i would like someone to straighten me out!

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    Reps 1-5 are for hyperplasia of type 2 muscle fibers.
    reps 6-12 are for hypertrophy of type 2 muscle fibers

    reps 25-50 are for type 1 hyperplasia(I am only guessig not hypertrophy as they dont grow much).

    The reason not many train type 1 is because theres not that many and they dont grow much. The reason strongmen are not huge is because they train for strength which is hyperplasia not hypertrophy.


    Elaborating furthur:
    Theres 2 types of type 2 muscle fibers 2a and 2b.

    6-8 reps primarily builds type 2b
    9-12 reps primarily builds 2a


    Type 2 are the ones which have the most hypertrophy and the least amount of blood. You could say type 2a are inbetween type 1 and 2b.

    I dont know how credible this infomation is except that I come across it over and over again.
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    In reality its diffrent for everybody. Try them all and see what your body responds to. Even if one is the best its still good to switch now and again for something diffrent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsHectic View Post
    Reps 1-5 are for hyperplasia of type 2 muscle fibers.
    reps 6-12 are for hypertrophy of type 2 muscle fibers

    reps 25-50 are for type 1 hyperplasia(I am only guessig not hypertrophy as they dont grow much).

    The reason not many train type 1 is because theres not that many and they dont grow much. The reason strongmen are not huge is because they train for strength which is hyperplasia not hypertrophy.


    Elaborating furthur:
    Theres 2 types of type 2 muscle fibers 2a and 2b.

    6-8 reps primarily builds type 2b
    9-12 reps primarily builds 2a


    Type 2 are the ones which have the most hypertrophy and the least amount of blood. You could say type 2a are inbetween type 1 and 2b.

    I dont know how credible this infomation is except that I come across it over and over again.
    Where are you getting your information concerning hyperplasia? Also, type IIb has been changed to type IIx.

    To the OP, you can train in a method that increases both size and strength or one that focuses just on a single aspect. There is not universal system that works for everyone, but there are several programs that are better than others. A few of the best programs for size and strength are DC training, 5x5, and Max OT.

    Take everything that is in FLEX magazine with a grain of salt. Their training programs are the same crap that has been recycled for decades now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    Where are you getting your information concerning hyperplasia?
    I know you are not a believer of hyperplasia, and tbh I have not come across a study yet showing evidence that it does or does not exist in humans, but until it is proven not to exist I am assuming it does, as we know strength and hypertrophy are 2 diffrent things although related. My logic for this is that I cant see any reason why an animal can get muscle hyperplasia and humans cant, and why are powerlifters so much stronger than bodybuilders without all the size.
    Last edited by ItsHectic; 07-14-2007 at 09:25 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsHectic View Post
    I know you are not a believer of hyperplasia, and tbh I have not come across a study yet showing evidence that it does or does not exist in humans, but until it is proven not to exist I am assuming it does, as we know strength and hypertrophy are 2 diffrent things although related. My logic for this is that I cant see any reason why an animal can get muscle hyperplasia and humans cant, and why are powerlifters so much stronger than bodybuilders without all the size.
    You forget that BB'ers use IGF-1, which does cause hyperplasia in the muscle. To disprove your theory, clenbuterol is anabolic in rats, but does not have these effects in humans.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    You forget that BB'ers use IGF-1, which does cause hyperplasia in the muscle. To disprove your theory, clenbuterol is anabolic in rats, but does not have these effects in humans.
    You have very good points, I wanna start looking into all this a lot more now. Do you know why it is that powerlifters have harder stronger muscles while bodybuilders have bigger muscles? is it a CNS thing?
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    Like hectic said. The cns is responsible for powerlifters strength. Same thing happens when you taken something highly androgenic like halotestin. It boost the cns so you can get insanley strong at the same weight.
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    Take the FLEX magazine and throw that bullsh1t in the trash. Freaky mass comes from freaky drugs, not 20+ sets for bench 3 times a week drug-free. Stick with the basics and do about 2-3 sets per exercise.
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    Hopefully what the guys above wrote isn't too confusing for someone new to the game.

    "basically", 1-6 reps for strength (CNS muscle fiber recruitment)
    8-12 for size
    15-20 is often useful for leg muscles

    * apparently nothing happens with 7 reps, lol

    FYI - just a few days ago, I've started going to 15 reps for most things, just to see and change it up. Unless there is a hot chick watching, lol...then it's all 1 rep power grunts! (kidding)

    BUT - this is just a BASIC guideline. Everybody has a different makeup of fast/slow twitch fibers. Alternating between them all is good, especially at the start. Plus, your body is always lazy, and looking for the easiest route with anything - so it will get used to whatever reps you're doing eventually.

    Strongmen are typically stronger because of their CNS system. Whenever your brain "activates" a muscle - even though you think the ENTIRE muscle is contracting, it's not. Only a certain % contracts.
    This is why/how you can get stronger without getting a bigger muscle. More fibers are recruited in a contraction.

    Strongmen (I don't have stat #'s in front of me, so I'm guessing here) probably have trained themselves to fire off at least 90%+ of the muscle fibers when they lift.

    Bodybuilders...70-80%....pure guess here...broad stereotype too

    I have no idea on endurance athletes, but I'm going to guess they don't fire off nearly as many fibers per contraction as strongmen and bodybuilders - it wouldn't be efficient. They want use as little energy as possible with each movement.

    Strongmen typically use up too much energy to last as long as a marathon runner. Likewise, a marathon runner cannot "instantly" use as much strength as a strongman can. Plus there's the whole speed of muscle fiber twitching, etc.

    non-workout people <25-50% of the fibers are recruited at each contraction.

    Before puberty hits males, this is primarily how boys get stronger. There isn't as much testosterone in their body to grow muscles.
    Also can be seen with females - much lest test in their system, yet some girls are so much stronger than others - even if they aren't bigger.

    That's my laymen's answer. I'm sure someone of this board can correct/go into more detail, etc. I'm only half-assed educated, and it's late at night, and I already took my PowerFULL, so I'm sleepy, lol.
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    Hey thanks for that Sunder, reps to you. Ive got a pretty good idea now i think, i was sort of on the right track i geuss but just so much conflicting info was messing me up.

    So far im doing 12 weeks 8-12 and 12 weeks 4-8. Would anyone reccommend changing those up more frequently? i have 3 alternate excercises for each muscle (so like bar bench, or DB bench or decline bench etc). This means ill do each excercise approximately 4 times per cycle however each muscle gets 2 excercises per week minimum plus compounds. Is that changing up enough would you say?
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    Fuk me....No wonder why I always get stronger but my muscles don't seem to grow////fukin 10-15 is my new **** from now on
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    Like it's been said, everyone is different, but you might want to try what I've been doing for the last 2 months. I don't know where I got this idea from but it seems to be extremely productive.

    Week 1
    All sets 12-15 reps.
    Week 2
    All sets 4-6 reps.
    Week 3
    All sets 12-15 reps.
    Week 4
    All sets 4-6 reps. And so on...
    I usually take week 5 off completely...

    I'm not an expert, but I do believe this equally works both slow and fast twitch muscle fibers. When I say 4-6 reps and 12-15 reps, I mean, use a weight that causes failure at the last rep in the set. For example, towards the end of my workout the 5th or 6th rep of a set is all I can bear. It seems to me that when I utilize this strategy, I can lift 5-10 lbs more at the beginning of each week.

    Hope this helps...
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsHectic View Post
    You have very good points, I wanna start looking into all this a lot more now. Do you know why it is that powerlifters have harder stronger muscles while bodybuilders have bigger muscles? is it a CNS thing?
    The harder muscles mostly occur from sarcomere hypertrophy as opposed to the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy that is typically associated with bodybuilding splits/routines. Sarcomere hypertrophy is also one reason for the stronger muscles of powerlifters and strength athletes, along with their more efficient nervous system. I tried to find a picture online that detailed the difference in sarcomere and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy but I couldn't find one. If you saw a picture the difference in the type of hypertrophy is very understandable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDrive View Post
    Like it's been said, everyone is different, but you might want to try what I've been doing for the last 2 months. I don't know where I got this idea from but it seems to be extremely productive.

    Week 1
    All sets 12-15 reps.
    Week 2
    All sets 4-6 reps.
    Week 3
    All sets 12-15 reps.
    Week 4
    All sets 4-6 reps. And so on...
    I usually take week 5 off completely...

    I'm not an expert, but I do believe this equally works both slow and fast twitch muscle fibers. When I say 4-6 reps and 12-15 reps, I mean, use a weight that causes failure at the last rep in the set. For example, towards the end of my workout the 5th or 6th rep of a set is all I can bear. It seems to me that when I utilize this strategy, I can lift 5-10 lbs more at the beginning of each week.

    Hope this helps...
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    +

    Progressive Loads and you have almost the basic set up for an HST cycle.
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    Good discussion here... just to add a little, I read a study in grad school that discussed SOME conversion of type 1 fibers to a "hybrid" that resembled structure/function of IIb.

    I've also read in several ex phys texts that type II fibers can readily (although relatively) morph between IIa and IIb.

    I got the impression that no complete changes occured, only partial adaption to the recurring stress they were exposed to. Unfortunately, I don't have the sources on hand.

    I'm certainly NOT posting this as gospel, just throwing it out there to see if anyone has anything to add.
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    Quote Originally Posted by celc5 View Post
    Good discussion here... just to add a little, I read a study in grad school that discussed SOME conversion of type 1 fibers to a "hybrid" that resembled structure/function of IIb.

    I've also read in several ex phys texts that type II fibers can readily (although relatively) morph between IIa and IIb.

    I got the impression that no complete changes occured, only partial adaption to the recurring stress they were exposed to. Unfortunately, I don't have the sources on hand.

    I'm certainly NOT posting this as gospel, just throwing it out there to see if anyone has anything to add.
    Type IIa can take on the characteristics of either type IIX or type I depending on training.
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    Rodja, is there a story behind the renaming of the IIx fibers?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsHectic View Post
    The reason not many train type 1 is because theres not that many and they dont grow much. The reason strongmen are not huge is because they train for strength which is hyperplasia not hypertrophy.
    No, powerlifters etc usually don't get as big because they get quite a bit of their strength from development of their central nervous system, and to a lesser (and possibly meaningless extent) they rarely do high rep stuff which increases sarcoplasmic volume in the muscles.
  

  
 

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