Thanks CW, i’ll definately check out your book when its available.
I appreciate all the comments everyone, but I still disagree with the fact that lighter weights will not build muscle.
The key ingredient for muscular growth that is dependant on load, is intramuscular tension(IMT). IMT is a direct result of force. Also, greater forces are the result of greater MU recruitement. Now I know when using a weight around 20-30rm your not going to be able to produce max force on the first few reps, I already stated this. If you did produce max force with this weight, you’d likely have to release the weight into the air. But after a few reps, max force can be produced without this problem.
This means that some of the fast twitch fibers that were recruited from the beginning of the set have fatigued, and other fibers take over. As the set goes on, your max force decreases as more and more MU’s fatigue.
I do agree that with this set, your max force or maximum IMT is never as high as it would be with a heavier weight. So there is a drawback to this method. But as CW mentioned this method does work speed strength. And as I mentioned this method is not being used alone.
Some other direct advantages of this method are that the force required at the transition between ecentric and concentric movement is much higher than with heavier weights and a slow eccentric. This is likely why its a good method for speed strength.
This is another reason why this method is not to be used alone. Much of the force produced using these lighter weights with faster movements is the result of elasticity. This results in the musculature involved in the transition from eccentric to concentric being responsible for most of work in the set. For example in a set of bench press, the chest and shoulders are going to almost all of the work, while the triceps will do nearly nothing, because the inertia involved. (This could be looked at as an advantage or a disadvantage) I think this is a great method for longer limbed lifters, because now they are not limited by sticking points or poor leverages. But like I said they will have to do something else to work those neglected muscles, or sticking points.
Which brings me to the next portion of training. Heavy partials, and full range eccentric training. In the bench press that I mentioned above, the lower portion of the movement is getting a lot of work, but the top of the movement is recieving nothing. The solution? Rack work. The top 1/2-1/3 of the movement in a power rack will make sure that your increasing the strength of any neglected muscles. Then you can also do “traditional” strength training using the full ROM, which will still be limited by your sticking points, but will be much less of a problem. Your sticking points will be stronger, and your accelerative capabilities of your strong points will be greater, so sticking points wont be as much of a problem. Lastly, i’d include some negative only training, or assisted eccentrics to work with supramaximal weights.
Here’s a sample of one of my workouts that focuses more on TUT than reps:
- Pullup- BW+25 5-8 reps (I dont count TUT on sets shorter than 15 seconds)
REST 60 seconds
Repeat 2 times
- Lat pulldown ?RM 20 seconds
REST 40 seconds
Repeat 2 times
- Reverse flies ?RM 40 seconds
REST 40 seconds
Repeat 2 times
Everything is performed in sequence. So after your third set of pullups, you rest 60 seconds, and go right into lat pulldowns. Also, I put ?RM for exercises 2 and 3, because I dont know what my 1RM is and it really doesnt matter. You choose a weight and basically do as many reps as you can in the time period. It doesnt matter if the weight is a little too light, because you’ll just lift faster to produce more force. The weight is too light though if you are accelerating the weight to the point where inertia is removing tension from your muscles. The only other thing that I think is really important, is that you’ll notice, as you fatigue, your eccentric/concentric ratio increases. So basically your getting less reps in the same time, but the total TUT is the same. Your still producing max force on almost all the concentric movements, but your spending more time controlling the weight in the eccentric which is easier than lifting the weight.
I know it doesn’t go along with everything thats been suggested for hypertrophy, but ive already noticed its working pretty well for me. So if you want to try something different, give it a try.
And again, thanks for your comments and criticisms.[/quote]
In my opinion i think it just all goes back to being if using DE is NEEDED in one’s HYPERTROPHY program. It makes sense for powerlifters who have plateaued to throw it in, or to have it in from the start so sticking points are less of a problem, but training for the sake of lookin good nekkid, I would think other progression methods are just fine. e.g. rep progression, shock methods (rest pause, supersets, etc.)