- 04-17-2011, 09:07 AM
What's your favourite hypertrophy training schedule?
Post your routine, it doesn't matter what bodypart it's for.
I'm posting one for legs.
Training systems in use:
Pre exhaust, post exhaust, complete pyramids, straight sets, drop sets, partial reps.
Leg Extensions (15,20,25,20,15)
I use these to pre-exhaust my quads before going in for 3 sets of heavy squats. Granted I can't squat as heavy but we're here for growth.
Leg Curl (15,20,25,20,15)
Used for same reason as the first pyramid set for extensions.
Leg Press, Wide stance (10,10,10)
Hip Abductor (15, 20, 25, 20, 15)
To target the glutes and post exhaust them after the wide presses.
One legged box squats (10,10,10)
Usually done with pretty light weights, after doing all the presses and pre exhaust work there aren't many other options. These are employed because they underline any imbalances in strength and I feel they train every part of the leg equally.
Leg Extensions (10,10)
Leg Curl (10,10)
Rotary Calf (10,10,10,10,10)
(Drop sets, 15 partial reps at the end of each set)
Let's discuss our methods and give constructive criticism.
It would be nice if we could formulate new workouts for ourselves based on snippets from each others workouts.
Reps for good workout ideas and friendly criticism.
- 04-17-2011, 09:31 AM
If hypertrophy is the goal, the first question becomes: what mechanisms are responsible for the increase in muscle mass?
I've answered these in details in other posts, but in short we have a few processes to address:
1. Stimulus. The resistance training sessions that give the body a reason to adapt.
2. Physiological: The mechanisms taking place on a tissue and/or cellular level that are responsible for adapting the body to better react to the stimulus next time. (Hence the most important system for increasing growth: progressive overload)
We know muscles adapt w hypertrophy via two mechanisms:
Myofibrillar - increasing the density and cross-sectional area of the contractile proteins
Sarcoplasmic - the "spilling" of myo-stemcells into the myofibril, as well as the increase in intracellular organelles (mostly those responsible for protein synthesis and energy production), nuclei (which governs everything), and storage depots (vacuoles - glycogen, etc.)
3. Nutrition - providing energy and substrates to allow these processes to occur.
So, for the sake of this discussion, it appears we are going to focus on the stimulus.
The next question (with regards to the OP post) becomes, how much does muscle damage correlate with increased hypertrophy? IE: is muscle damage a major stimulator of hypertrophy?
A number of the "intensity techniques" etc. named above result in significant muscle damage. From a physiological standpoint, excessive muscle damage may not improve hypertrophy. Increased damage to the sarcolemma (muscle cell membrane) and myofibrils increases recovery time, and results in excessive inflammation. In addition, when associated with large movements (squats, rows, etc.) the CNS is also stressed.
Lets take a look at the research and see what we can come up with.
First, the theoretical purpose behind pre-exhuastion is to increase recruitment of the targeted muscle. But, we know pre-exhuastion does not, and sometimes does exactly the opposite:
EFFECTS OF EXERCISE ORDER ON UPPER-BODY MUSCLE ACTIVATION AND EXERCISE PERFORMANCE.
Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 21(4):1082-1086, November 2007.
GENTIL, PAULO 1,2; OLIVEIRA, ELKE 2; DE ARAUJO ROCHA JUNIOR, VALDINAR 3; CARMO, JAKE DO 3; BOTTARO, MARTIM 3
With the purpose of manipulating training stimuli, several techniques have been employed to resistance training. Two of the most popular techniques are the pre-exhaustion (PRE) and priority system (PS). PRE involves exercising the same muscle or muscle group to the point of muscular failure using a single-joint exercise immediately before a multi-joint exercise (e.g., peck-deck followed by chest press). On the other hand, it is often recommended that the complex exercises should be performed first in a training session (i.e., chest press before peck-deck), a technique known as PS. The purpose of the present study was to compare upper-body muscle activation, total repetitions (TR), and total work (TW) during PRE and PS. Thirteen men (age 25.08 = 2.58 years) with recreational weight-training experience performed 1 set of PRE and 1 set of PS in a balanced crossover design. The exercises were performed at the load obtained in a 10 repetition maximum (10RM) test. Therefore, chest press and peck-deck were performed with the same load during PRE and PS. Electromyography (EMG) was recorded from the triceps brachii (TB), anterior deltoids, and pectoralis major during both exercises. According to the results, TW and TR were not significantly different (p >= 0.05) between PRE and PS. Likewise, during the peck-deck exercise, no significant (p >= 0.05) EMG change was observed between PRE and PS order. However, TB activity was significantly (p <= 0.05) higher when chest press was performed after the peck-deck exercise (PRE). Our findings suggest that performing pre-exhaustion exercise is no more effective in increasing the activation of the prefatigued muscles during the multi-joint exercise. Also, independent of the exercise order (PRE vs. PS), TW is similar when performing exercises for the same muscle group. In summary, if the coach wants to maximize the athlete performance in 1 specific resistance exercise, this exercise should be placed at the beginning of the training session.J Strength Cond Res. 2003 May;17(2):411-6.
Effect of pre-exhaustion exercise on lower-extremity muscle activation during a leg press exercise.
Augustsson J, Thomeé R, Hörnstedt P, Lindblom J, Karlsson J, Grimby G.
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden 41345. [email protected]
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of pre-exhaustion exercise on lower-extremity muscle activation during a leg press exercise. Pre-exhaustion exercise, a technique frequently used by weight trainers, involves combining a single-joint exercise immediately followed by a related multijoint exercise (e.g., a knee extension exercise followed by a leg press exercise). Seventeen healthy male subjects performed 1 set of a leg press exercise with and without pre-exhaustion exercise, which consisted of 1 set of a knee extension exercise. Both exercises were performed at a load of 10 repetitions maximum (10 RM). Electromyography (EMG) was recorded from the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, and gluteus maximus muscles simultaneously during the leg press exercise. The number of repetitions of the leg press exercise performed by subjects with and without pre-exhaustion exercise was also documented. The activation of the rectus femoris and the vastus lateralis muscles during the leg press exercise was significantly less when subjects were pre-exhausted (p < 0.05). No significant EMG change was observed for the gluteus maximus muscle. When in a pre-exhausted state, subjects performed significantly (p < 0.001) less repetitions of the leg press exercise. Our findings do not support the popular belief of weight trainers that performing pre-exhaustion exercise is more effective in order to enhance muscle activity compared with regular weight training. Conversely, pre-exhaustion exercise may have disadvantageous effects on performance, such as decreased muscle activity and reduction in strength, during multijoint exercise.
PMID: 12741886 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
04-17-2011, 12:04 PM
Thanks a lot for the feedback. What do you suggest for maximal growth? From what I read above, it would seem that straight sets of 10 repetitions would be the preferred stimulus... Back to basics. Just goes to show that people are always looking for ways to overcomplicate things...
04-17-2011, 12:25 PM
The use of isolation exercises is debatable, and the trend (finally!) appears to be moving away from excessive isolation work ala: 5x5, 5/3/1, etc.
A couple key questions come to mind.
First, I mentioned to two unique ways in which a muscle grows. So, one question is: Does each mechanism require, or respond best, to a different stimulus?
The answer appears to be yes: higher reps (10-15) and shorter rest periods elicit more sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and a greater GH response, while lower reps (5-8) and longer rest periods elicit greater myofibril hypertrophy.
Which is one of the reasons why periodization (linear or non-linear) is so effective.
Next, what is the optimal volume and frequency.
Overloaded muscle + Successful recovery = adaptation (growth)
The more frequent this combination is employed, the faster we would expect gains to occur. Therefore, a balance must be struck between overload and recovery, such that we are optimizing both. Personally, I think each muscle should be trained at least once every 5 days.
Here's an interesting abstract:
J Strength Cond Res. 2005 Nov;19(4):950-8.
Applications of the dose-response for muscular strength development: a review of meta-analytic efficacy and reliability for designing training prescription.
Peterson MD, Rhea MR, Alvar BA.
Department of Exercise and Wellness, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287, USA. [email protected]
There has been a proliferation in recent scholarly discussion regarding the scientific validity of single vs. multiple sets of resistance training (dose) to optimize muscular strength development (response). Recent meta-analytical research indicates that there exist distinct muscular adaptations, and dose-response relationships, that correspond to certain populations. It seems that training status influences the requisite doses as well as the potential magnitude of response. Specifically, for individuals seeking to experience muscular strength development beyond that of general health, an increase in resistance-training dosage must accompany increases in training experience. The purpose of this document is to analyze and apply the findings of 2 meta-analytical investigations that identified dose-response relationships for 3 populations: previously untrained, recreationally trained, and athlete; and thereby reveal distinct, quantified, dose-response trends for each population segment. Two meta-analytical investigations, consisting of 177 studies and 1,803 effect sizes (ES) were examined to extract the dose-response continuums for intensity, frequency, volume of training, and the resultant strength increases, specific to each population. ES data demonstrate unique dose-response relationships per population. For untrained individuals, maximal strength gains are elicited at a mean training intensity of 60% of 1 repetition maximum (1RM), 3 days per week, and with a mean training volume of 4 sets per muscle group. Recreationally trained nonathletes exhibit maximal strength gains with a mean training intensity of 80% of 1RM, 2 days per week, and a mean volume of 4 sets. For athlete populations, maximal strength gains are elicited at a mean training intensity of 85% of 1RM, 2 days per week, and with a mean training volume of 8 sets per muscle group. These meta-analyses demonstrate that the effort-to-benefit ratio is different for untrained, recreationally trained, and athlete populations; thus, emphasizing the necessity of appropriate exercise prescription to optimize training effect. Exercise professionals may apply these dose-response trends to prescribe appropriate, goal-oriented training programs.
PMID: 16287373 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
04-17-2011, 02:05 PM
Once again, fantastic information.
Is that to say that the more often we switch between a 5-8 range and a 10-15 range the more effective training we'll have?
So if for example, we utilise a 5-day split, and in each cycle vary the rep range... This seems optimal for growth, no?
04-17-2011, 02:11 PM
04-17-2011, 03:30 PM
Same session like Rodja pointed out
Focus on one at a time
Focus on both
Focus on one while maintaining the other
Focus on one for upper while focusing on the other with lower
Don't fall into the "muscle confusion/switch it up" mind set. You need to make progress on one movement for a period of time (albeit, not forever) to really track overload.
So, you can focus on the squat for 2-3 weeks (at no less than 1 session each 5 days) and attempt to increase the weight in a 10-12 rep range. Then, for another 3 weeks you can focus on the front squat while working to increase the weight in a 5-8 rep range.
Of course, your ancillary movements (split squats, travelling lunges, single leg rdls, etc.) are going to be higher reps (8-12) generally.
04-18-2011, 02:55 AM
04-18-2011, 02:38 PM
Go for it, always happy to give feedback.
I'm a year away from completing a PhD in exercise physiology.
07-20-2011, 04:49 PM
07-21-2011, 10:21 AM
Progressive overload can be done in several ways. The most common way is to use heavier weights, but you also increase the rep ranges or total number of working sets. Everything else you need to know is in the second post.
M.Ed. Ex Phys
07-22-2011, 02:42 PM
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