With regards to all the confusion and back & forth arguing between opposing training styles and methods, I took it upon myself to eliminate some of the confusion and list what you really need to know to get results, without getting too detailed with all the scientific B.S. and endless diatribe of self-serving posts that try to justify our own methods as right and someone else’s as wrong.
All this stuff works. The real question is how well it will work, and that is all up to the individual and his or her preferences.
Strength, Hypertrophy, & Endurance
The contractile proteins in a cell are responsible for most muscular growth(Hypertrophy). These must be exposed to enough stress or they will not be damaged enough to OVERCOMPENSATE by increasing in size. Therefore it is not enough to recruit a muscle fiber, you must also DAMAGE the actin and myosin filaments if it is to grow.
If you choose to ignore the potential growth of quite possibly half of the cells(muscle) in your entire body, then you are literally shutting the door on a gold mine of pure mass from Type I’s IIa’s or IIb’s! So many people complain about their lack of ability to gain mass, when the real problem is their lack of knowledge in working out for mass.
The point is that their are muscle groups that are over 80 percent slow twitch, and to ignore that high a comparative ratio of fibers would be ludicrous!
Too many generalizations and oversimplifications are made geared towards lumping ideas all together when they need to be broken down.
(1) The recovery time is not the same for all muscles and should not be trained that way.
(2) Targeting fast twitch Type IIb’s through explosive movements can be beneficial on the concentric phase, but it takes away from the benefits of strain and force on the muscle that slower reps or longer duration sets provide on the eccentric phase.
(3) Lower rep sets do not recruit and exhaust as many muscle fibers as higher repetition sets. (4) Low reps does and or heavy weight does not mean size gains, not without hypertrophy specific training involved such as decreased rest periods or drop set style fatigue. ie… lifting in a 1-5 rep range will do little for mass if the contractile proteins are not broken down.
(5) Defintions of intensity and rep ranges are specific to the individual, two lifters lifting in the 6-8 rep range may have night and day ideas of what failure and pain thresholds are when deciding to end the set.
(6) Your sets must be heavy enough and long enough for optimal mass gains to be realized otherwise you are training for strength or endurance, a quick 1-3 rep in a powerlifters set with a 3-5 minute rest is geared towards strength and limited size gains where a bodybuilder may do the same 1-3 reps but needs to do them without enough time lapsed to take away from the hypertrophy response
(7) Training for size in the smaller Type I endurance fibers has been clearly misunderstood. Fail or come close to failure in the repetition range discussed below and your slow twitch muscle fibers will give you more mass then you would have believed! After all muscle is muscle.
When did we decide to stop training some of it, because it could possibly take 50 exaustive reps to hypertrophy it?(maybe because its harder to do) and make it grow, or because these fibers arn’t as big as the other fibers? Makes little sense to me. That would be like saying "I’m not training biceps and only targeting triceps because triceps are bigger and take up more mass on the arm.
(Mitochondrial density is often ignored and overlooked and extremely beneficial for adding muscle size)
BACK TO BASICS
General guidelines for rep ranges at or near failure and their effect on Strength, Hypertrophy, & Endurance. These would be straight sets, but combining a drop set method of any rep range would be along the lines of hypertrophy and size adaptations due to the fatigue factor.
(These are loosely stated and are specific to the individual and their genetic makeup and or experience with training. …ie training with certain rep ranges (higher or lower) will cause certain type muscles fibers to take on characteristics of the said rep range).
Strength 1-5 reps(fast fast fast and long rest intervals)
Hypertrophy 6-12 reps( can be fast or slow, shorten the rest intervals & lengthen the sets, higher frequency)
Endurance 13+ reps(long exaustive durations, slow slow slow)
Type I’s 25-50 reps are excellent (16-25 are very good) (13-15 are decent) (12 or less are low)
Type IIA’s 9-12 reps are excellent (6-8 & 13-15 are good) (below 6 and above 15 are low)
Type IIB’s 6-8 are excellent (9-12 are very good) (3-5 & 13-15 are decent) (below 3 & over 15 are low)
There are 2 things you need in order to make a muscle grow. Both the RE method and the ME method use them, they just use them in different amounts. You need STRAIN and you need FATIGUE.
What Chad Waterbury is trying to do is really just CHEAT FATIGUE(Fast to big) on some of the smaller motor units and give it to the larger motor units. This is relativly untapped with regards to bodybuilding. This is basicly modified powerlifting but the programs will be set up with hypertrophy in mind.
It’s not a bad idea at all considering the tremendous size of powerlifters. Even though they train for strength, their training is so effective on hypertrophy that they develop a tremendous amount of it(hypertrophy) almost as a side effect. We will have to wait and see if it works as well or better than other methods, or you can just try it out for yourself and see. I think it will work just fine.
But then again, the best program in the world will have little effect on trainees with poor training habits or intensity. Give a determined trainer the worst program in the world and he’ll make it work regardless of how poorly it is set up.