T Nation

BroScience VS You Guys

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
This is getting somewhat muddy, as originally you credited your back development to deadlifts.

I simply don’t find training economy a goal worth having, so I do not feel I can engage in that conversation. If training economy were my goal, I believe I would primarily perform the sandbag clean and press, with maybe a carry medley from time to time.
[/quote]

I believe I said “most” back development, and virtually all trap development. I definitely think pullups and rows contributed. But the deadlift is an easier lift to load incrementally over a long period of time (hundreds of pounds, over the years).

I would say training economy is inevitably a factor for you and for anyone. You have to make choices about what you’re going to do, include some movements and exclude others, right? You can’t do EVERYTHING, not only because of available time but because you reach a point of diminishing returns – more volume past a certain point doesn’t actually increase rate of improvement and can actually decrease it.

I do not feel we will see eye to eye on this topic.

Haha, ok. I still can’t say I really understand your position.

To confirm, if I want to look more like Kingbeef I should add a day to my split where I just do shrugs and abs and wrist curls and calf raises?

[quote]craze9 wrote:
Haha, ok. I still can’t say I really understand your position.

To confirm, if I want to look more like Kingbeef I should add a day to my split where I just do shrugs and abs and wrist curls and calf raises?[/quote]

You will definitely develop those muscles more by working them directly versus indirectly, yes.

[quote]craze9 wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
This is getting somewhat muddy, as originally you credited your back development to deadlifts.

I simply don’t find training economy a goal worth having, so I do not feel I can engage in that conversation. If training economy were my goal, I believe I would primarily perform the sandbag clean and press, with maybe a carry medley from time to time.
[/quote]

I believe I said “most” back development, and virtually all trap development. I definitely think pullups and rows contributed. But the deadlift is an easier lift to load incrementally over a long period of time (hundreds of pounds, over the years).

I would say training economy is inevitably a factor for you and for anyone. You have to make choices about what you’re going to do, include some movements and exclude others, right? You can’t do EVERYTHING, not only because of available time but because you reach a point of diminishing returns – more volume past a certain point doesn’t actually increase rate of improvement and can actually decrease it.[/quote]

The reason why the deadlift built the majority of your trap size is because you spent most of your training with that lift to build that muscle. If talking from a pure training economy standpoint, you can put in significantly more volume using pullups, rows, shrugs, etc. to build the traps compared to wasting energy in other muscle groups with the deadlift. This is based on the assumption that building trap size is the primary goal. (It’s actually difficult to compare volume when deadlifting because most of the back is under isometric contraction so you can’t calculate work in those muscle groups in the traditional sense.)

It doesn’t seem like building the traps is your primary goal though.

[quote]craze9 wrote:
more volume past a certain point doesn’t actually increase rate of improvement and can actually decrease it.[/quote]

That’s only true if it taxes you so much that you can’t put in more work often compared to other schemes. It’s better to look at training volume over an entire cycle. If the trend shows an increase over each entire cycle (or avg vol/day) then you’re likely making progress.

Edit: Ignore the last part. It gets complicated when discussing volume. It’s better to decouple volume into reps for each intensity range, e.g. 100 reps at 50-55%, 20 reps at 80-85%, etc (ignoring TUT, ROM, etc. for simplicity). That way people can’t say volume at 100 reps for 50% is the same as 67 reps for 75% because it provides a different stimulus. So to oversimplify the main point was that a person can focus more on hypertrophy of the back if they only use movements to target that area and focus a bit more on total reps and low/moderate intensity for most of the programming.

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]craze9 wrote:
Haha, ok. I still can’t say I really understand your position.

To confirm, if I want to look more like Kingbeef I should add a day to my split where I just do shrugs and abs and wrist curls and calf raises?[/quote]

You will definitely develop those muscles more by working them directly versus indirectly, yes.[/quote]

I didn’t think that’s what we were talking about. As a general point I think the above is obviously true. But it would depend what you mean by “directly.” I think hang cleans and deadlifts and farmer walks work the traps pretty directly. My traps get sore when I do them.

And if you’re saying that for a beginner lifter barbell shrugs will build traps better than deadlifts, I don’t necessarily agree. I don’t know for sure either way, but there was just a thread on traps the other day and no one said “just do a lot of shrugs”.

[quote]craze9 wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]craze9 wrote:
Haha, ok. I still can’t say I really understand your position.

To confirm, if I want to look more like Kingbeef I should add a day to my split where I just do shrugs and abs and wrist curls and calf raises?[/quote]

You will definitely develop those muscles more by working them directly versus indirectly, yes.[/quote]

I didn’t think that’s what we were talking about. As a general point I think the above is obviously true. But it would depend what you mean by “directly.” I think hang cleans and deadlifts and farmer walks work the traps pretty directly. My traps get sore when I do them.

And if you’re saying that for a beginner lifter barbell shrugs will build traps better than deadlifts, I don’t necessarily agree. I don’t know for sure either way, but there was just a thread on traps the other day and no one said “just do a lot of shrugs”.


[/quote]

I agree with most of what was stated in that forum. Getting big traps comes from forcing the traps to do a lot of work. That’s why the answer can be doing a ton of reps which also translates to a large amount of TUT.

The holistic answer is that you have to get your traps strong so it can do more work. More work forces adaptation to get stronger. Basically periodizing between strength and hypertrophy because they build off one another. If you only focus on the strength end of the spectrum, it will take a long time to gain size.

IMO, there isn’t much of a difference between a bodybuilder, powerlifter, oly lifter and strongman. The goal is to get as big and strong as possible for the given weight class. The strength athletes just tend to focus more on technique for strength and are generally more efficient at using their body as a whole to execute each competition lift. It doesn’t necessarily mean that a person focused on aesthetics can’t learn to move big weights in the same competition lifts - some can be stronger than their counterparts.

The large work load is technically most responsible for the mass gains but if you’re talking about getting big over an entire lifting career then it’ll be wise to have a good mix of work ranging from light to heavy intensity and low to high volume.

[quote]craze9 wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]craze9 wrote:
Haha, ok. I still can’t say I really understand your position.

To confirm, if I want to look more like Kingbeef I should add a day to my split where I just do shrugs and abs and wrist curls and calf raises?[/quote]

You will definitely develop those muscles more by working them directly versus indirectly, yes.[/quote]

I didn’t think that’s what we were talking about. As a general point I think the above is obviously true. But it would depend what you mean by “directly.” I think hang cleans and deadlifts and farmer walks work the traps pretty directly. My traps get sore when I do them.

And if you’re saying that for a beginner lifter barbell shrugs will build traps better than deadlifts, I don’t necessarily agree. I don’t know for sure either way, but there was just a thread on traps the other day and no one said “just do a lot of shrugs”.


[/quote]

As I said, I do not feel we will see eye to eye on this issue.

[quote]lift206 wrote:

[quote]craze9 wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]craze9 wrote:
Haha, ok. I still can’t say I really understand your position.

To confirm, if I want to look more like Kingbeef I should add a day to my split where I just do shrugs and abs and wrist curls and calf raises?[/quote]

You will definitely develop those muscles more by working them directly versus indirectly, yes.[/quote]

I didn’t think that’s what we were talking about. As a general point I think the above is obviously true. But it would depend what you mean by “directly.” I think hang cleans and deadlifts and farmer walks work the traps pretty directly. My traps get sore when I do them.

And if you’re saying that for a beginner lifter barbell shrugs will build traps better than deadlifts, I don’t necessarily agree. I don’t know for sure either way, but there was just a thread on traps the other day and no one said “just do a lot of shrugs”.


[/quote]

I agree with most of what was stated in that forum. Getting big traps comes from forcing the traps to do a lot of work. That’s why the answer can be doing a ton of reps which also translates to a large amount of TUT.

The holistic answer is that you have to get your traps strong so it can do more work. More work forces adaptation to get stronger. Basically periodizing between strength and hypertrophy because they build off one another. If you only focus on the strength end of the spectrum, it will take a long time to gain size.

IMO, there isn’t much of a difference between a bodybuilder, powerlifter, oly lifter and strongman. The goal is to get as big and strong as possible for the given weight class. The strength athletes just tend to focus more on technique for strength and are generally more efficient at using their body as a whole to execute each competition lift. It doesn’t necessarily mean that a person focused on aesthetics can’t learn to move big weights in the same competition lifts - some can be stronger than their counterparts.

The large work load is technically most responsible for the mass gains but if you’re talking about getting big over an entire lifting career then it’ll be wise to have a good mix of work ranging from light to heavy intensity and low to high volume.[/quote]

I agree, but I thought we were talking about the best “in general” approach for a lifter in his first few years of training.

To which I’m saying 1) it’s a good idea for most of these people to at least try doing deadlifts, or some deadlift variation and 2) it is a waste of training resources for these people to have an entire day focusing on isolation work for small muscle groups like calves/traps/forearms.

At no point did I say that someone who really wants to focus on maximizing trap size should never do shrugs. Or that a bodybuilder shouldn’t isolate a muscle or use targeted lifts rather than larger compound movements.

But for someone whose goal is more overall size and strength (the vast majority of lifters), and is still relatively a beginner, I don’t see shrugs or wrist curls as important, at all. I’ll go one further – a lifter in that category who focuses on deadlifts and hang cleans and farmer walks and does zero shrugs or wrist curls will tend to have just as good trap and forearm development as a guy who devotes a day in his split to shrugs and wrist curls, but he will also have been training additional qualities via those compound lifts – full body strength, core stability, explosiveness, etc. If you are an advanced bodybuilder and don’t care about any of those things, then fine, do the isolation work and load up the volume, but I was never talking about advanced bodybuilders.

[quote]craze9 wrote:

[quote]lift206 wrote:

[quote]craze9 wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]craze9 wrote:
Haha, ok. I still can’t say I really understand your position.

To confirm, if I want to look more like Kingbeef I should add a day to my split where I just do shrugs and abs and wrist curls and calf raises?[/quote]

You will definitely develop those muscles more by working them directly versus indirectly, yes.[/quote]

I didn’t think that’s what we were talking about. As a general point I think the above is obviously true. But it would depend what you mean by “directly.” I think hang cleans and deadlifts and farmer walks work the traps pretty directly. My traps get sore when I do them.

And if you’re saying that for a beginner lifter barbell shrugs will build traps better than deadlifts, I don’t necessarily agree. I don’t know for sure either way, but there was just a thread on traps the other day and no one said “just do a lot of shrugs”.


[/quote]

I agree with most of what was stated in that forum. Getting big traps comes from forcing the traps to do a lot of work. That’s why the answer can be doing a ton of reps which also translates to a large amount of TUT.

The holistic answer is that you have to get your traps strong so it can do more work. More work forces adaptation to get stronger. Basically periodizing between strength and hypertrophy because they build off one another. If you only focus on the strength end of the spectrum, it will take a long time to gain size.

IMO, there isn’t much of a difference between a bodybuilder, powerlifter, oly lifter and strongman. The goal is to get as big and strong as possible for the given weight class. The strength athletes just tend to focus more on technique for strength and are generally more efficient at using their body as a whole to execute each competition lift. It doesn’t necessarily mean that a person focused on aesthetics can’t learn to move big weights in the same competition lifts - some can be stronger than their counterparts.

The large work load is technically most responsible for the mass gains but if you’re talking about getting big over an entire lifting career then it’ll be wise to have a good mix of work ranging from light to heavy intensity and low to high volume.[/quote]

I agree, but I thought we were talking about the best “in general” approach for a lifter in his first few years of training.

To which I’m saying 1) it’s a good idea for most of these people to at least try doing deadlifts, or some deadlift variation and 2) it is a waste of training resources for these people to have an entire day focusing on isolation work for small muscle groups like calves/traps/forearms.

At no point did I say that someone who really wants to focus on maximizing trap size should never do shrugs. Or that a bodybuilder shouldn’t isolate a muscle or use targeted lifts rather than larger compound movements.

But for someone whose goal is more overall size and strength (the vast majority of lifters), and is still relatively a beginner, I don’t see shrugs or wrist curls as important, at all. I’ll go one further – a lifter in that category who focuses on deadlifts and hang cleans and farmer walks and does zero shrugs or wrist curls will tend to have just as good trap and forearm development as a guy who devotes a day in his split to shrugs and wrist curls, but he will also have been training additional qualities via those compound lifts – full body strength, core stability, explosiveness, etc. If you are an advanced bodybuilder and don’t care about any of those things, then fine, do the isolation work and load up the volume, but I was never talking about advanced bodybuilders.
[/quote]

I’m surprised that you are taking this stance when you have previously lamented about guys in the gym being bigger but much “weaker” than you. You still believe it’s genetics rather than training approach?

I also don’t understand how one cannot develop full body strength etc, etc, by using a split. Bearing in mind that I have focused on “strength” training a lot in the past, this is something I would say sounds right in theory, but not in practice.

I happen to believe that starting with equal emphasis on all bodyparts and variety in exercises and rep ranges will set up a beginner for specialization in the powerlifts later if he so decides to take up the sport because then he will have far less weaknesses and sufficient muscle to focus on technical proficiency, but this would just be a theory of mine.

Let’s be bros who embrace science!

Stick to an approved schedule for your main lifts. Use total volume or some scientific approach or routine to keep from grinding yourself away on the main lifts.

Put your bro side in charge of your back and beach muscles. Once you do your “real” work, you can do some curls and some tri’s. I don’t know if it’s real science or bro science, but gym rats and lab coats agree that getting a pump makes your muscles grow.

Deadlift or don’t, but hit those rows/pulldowns/shrugs twice a week each. Vary the grip, use barbells once and dumbbells once, whatever. Let bodybuilders be your guide. They have all sorts of cool non-deadlift back moves from all angles.

If you really, really want big traps and forearms you’ll find yourself doing deadlifts, cleans, shrugs, farmers walk, wrist curls, cable upright rows, hammer curls and probably a bunch of other stuff. Scientifically, all that stuff won’t all fit in. So give in to your bro side, and do an extra workout. Use scientific techniques, like no Deadlifting on that extra day, to make sure the extra work doesn’t detract from your main sessions.

The more muscles you can build, the better your main lifts will progress.

5x5 dogma is every bit as annoying as the so-called “bro split”

also, I think it’s pretty clear that rows and chins build way more upper back mass than deadlifts ever will

[quote]Yogi wrote:
also, I think it’s pretty clear that rows and chins build way more upper back mass than deadlifts ever will[/quote]

I think it’s pretty clear at this point that if you hit insert back exercise here with enough load and volume, over time you will develop a big, strong back. I also think you could make a similar statement about insert chest exercise here and chest development etc. etc.

The more theories I see about how to lift, the more I become convinced that the only common theme is that hard work and time are the key.

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:
also, I think it’s pretty clear that rows and chins build way more upper back mass than deadlifts ever will[/quote]

I think it’s pretty clear at this point that if you hit insert back exercise here with enough load and volume, over time you will develop a big, strong back. I also think you could make a similar statement about insert chest exercise here and chest development etc. etc.

The more theories I see about how to lift, the more I become convinced that the only common theme is that hard work and time are the key.[/quote]

I think the x-factor here would be considering the deadlift a back exercise rather than a hip hinge exercise.

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:
also, I think it’s pretty clear that rows and chins build way more upper back mass than deadlifts ever will[/quote]

I think it’s pretty clear at this point that if you hit insert back exercise here with enough load and volume, over time you will develop a big, strong back. I also think you could make a similar statement about insert chest exercise here and chest development etc. etc.

The more theories I see about how to lift, the more I become convinced that the only common theme is that hard work and time are the key.[/quote]

I think the x-factor here would be considering the deadlift a back exercise rather than a hip hinge exercise.
[/quote]

I would say that deadlifting and powerclean variants have contributed almost 100% to the fact that my upper back is my most comparatively developed feature. Having said that, I’ve never really divided my lifts down by body parts so I haven’t given any thought to what I would classify it as.

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:
also, I think it’s pretty clear that rows and chins build way more upper back mass than deadlifts ever will[/quote]

I think it’s pretty clear at this point that if you hit insert back exercise here with enough load and volume, over time you will develop a big, strong back. I also think you could make a similar statement about insert chest exercise here and chest development etc. etc.

The more theories I see about how to lift, the more I become convinced that the only common theme is that hard work and time are the key.[/quote]
Pretty much this. In a balanced program it is hard to tell what growth is from what exercise. Also if back training really is a priority, then hit some band pull aparts/DB rows/pull ups in between pushing exercises to get extra volume and frequency. Keep it far from failure though, if you can get a set of ten, then try to keep it around 5 reps per set for pullups/rows, or just bust out sets of tens with bands.

Great advice DE.

Uncle Louie spent years figuring this stuff out for us. Then he spent years trying to tell us what he figured out.

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:
also, I think it’s pretty clear that rows and chins build way more upper back mass than deadlifts ever will[/quote]

I think it’s pretty clear at this point that if you hit insert back exercise here with enough load and volume, over time you will develop a big, strong back. I also think you could make a similar statement about insert chest exercise here and chest development etc. etc.

The more theories I see about how to lift, the more I become convinced that the only common theme is that hard work and time are the key.[/quote]

I think the x-factor here would be considering the deadlift a back exercise rather than a hip hinge exercise.
[/quote]

I would say that deadlifting and powerclean variants have contributed almost 100% to the fact that my upper back is my most comparatively developed feature. Having said that, I’ve never really divided my lifts down by body parts so I haven’t given any thought to what I would classify it as.[/quote]

If you were doing no direct back work and also not training the rest of the body with development as the goal, I can see this being very possible.

[quote]Destrength wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:
also, I think it’s pretty clear that rows and chins build way more upper back mass than deadlifts ever will[/quote]

I think it’s pretty clear at this point that if you hit insert back exercise here with enough load and volume, over time you will develop a big, strong back. I also think you could make a similar statement about insert chest exercise here and chest development etc. etc.

The more theories I see about how to lift, the more I become convinced that the only common theme is that hard work and time are the key.[/quote]
Pretty much this. In a balanced program it is hard to tell what growth is from what exercise. Also if back training really is a priority, then hit some band pull aparts/DB rows/pull ups in between pushing exercises to get extra volume and frequency. Keep it far from failure though, if you can get a set of ten, then try to keep it around 5 reps per set for pullups/rows, or just bust out sets of tens with bands.[/quote]

Big fan of this approach. Pull aparts are like jello: you always have room for them.