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Hardness/Density

Does anyone have any experience with strength training resulting in hardness and density as opposed to hypertrophy training give more size but less density as suggested in thes weeks mag? I cant say that I have any experience with lifting aimed at hardness and whilst I hear talk of it in relation to bodybuilders, I always suspected it was more an issue of water retention.

Dre: I asked a similar question once. At the time, I was looking at pics of Shawn Ray and wondered about how does one go about getting that “hard” look and density he had. After the obligatory comments about juice and what an asshole Shawn could be, the general concensus boiled down to this: maturity. That hard, dense look of muscle takes years of pushing the iron and deligence to diet. No one particular regimen was going to do it. What about the contribution of Juice? Anybody’s guess.

Damn, I nominate this for post subject of the week. Personally, as I’m not a guy with a big frame (5’7 165) I love “thickening exercises”. Rows with pauses at the top are great, as are Dumbell Bench Presses. Thickening will give density, and when combined with diet to produce cuts gives you (and me) that “pitbull” style appearence which I train for. If anyone else has any kickass thickening routines or exercises do not be shy about throwin’ 'em up here. Lata.

"MB Eric: Infidels tremble, enemies flee, when this lil monkey roars aloud from his tree since 1980."

-Eric

It is also the type of hypertrophy you have attained. Poliquin and some of the other strength coaches advocate heavy lifting for denser muscles. Hypertrophy gained from lifting heavy weight with low reps is actually from increasing the amount of muscle fibers, hence the dense look. Hypertrophy from higher reps is the actual enlargment of existing fibers along with sarcoplasmic hypertrophy which is a greater of amount of a plasma type substance in the muscle bellies. Do a search on sarcoplasmic hypertrophy for a better explanation, I’m going from the top of my head heh.

Also resting tension in the muscle can effect overall hardness. To increase resting tension you need to lift heavy. Powerlifters tend to have extremely dense muscles though they are usually hidden by a layer of fat.

Diuretics…As far as traing, sacromere hypertrophy might give that apperance more than sacroplasmic hypertropy. Then again, what the hell do I know? But, I have seen that theory before.

Pure strength training leads to hypertrophy of the actual muscle fibers whereas bodybuilding type training leads to hypertrophy through increased nutrient loading, glycogen storage as well as some actual contractile protein being added. So basically with a strength athlete what you see is what you get…with a typical bodybuilder there’s some other things that contribute to the growth other then just the addition of more protein to the muscle fibers. Over time, however, a bodybuilder will eventually be able to get the hard dense look but it just takes time and muscle maturity.
If you want to make sure you’re adding the right kind of size just make sure you’re getting stronger as you’re getting bigger. It’s very possible to add a significant amount of muscle size without getting any stronger, but this type of size is typically of the non-contractile variety and will tend to disappear very quickly.

i believe Pavel mentions it in one of the interviews. Its the myofibular hypertrophy not sarcoplasmic (putting more juice in the sack kind, if you will). Hmmm some one said this, it seems it was some one famous like Charlie Francis… they said if you hit Ben Johnsons bakc it’d feel like a rock, not squishy like arnold.

Charlie Francis addresses the “hardness” issue in his new article at T-mag, “The Truth About EMS.” Pretty interesting stuff. Check it out.

Vageta-You are speaking of hyperplasia (building additional muscle fibers) which has not been shown to occur in humans. It has been shown to occur in rats though. That’s just a random sidenote I guess! Anyway, Kelly explained it well. As for getting that dense muscle look, I would say powerlifting type workouts.

I wonder if that is part of the reason why the strength coaches like Poliquin and Kind recommend switching back and forth between volume phases and phases of higher intensity? Kind of using the volume to get the hypertrophy or filling up of fibers, and the heavy weights to create the hyperplasia or increasing of actual fibers. Forgive me if I confused my terms here. But it would seem to be one of the reasons why it appears to work best when one alternates their phases between volume and intensity.

Vagetta had it kinda right, and others. Basically, hyperplasia in muscles just about never happens (although PGFA2 supposedly causes some), but when you do sarcoplasmic (less weight induced) hypertrophy, you just enlarge the cells with more fluid. Lower rep, heavy stuff, should get you harder cause it should cause myofibular hypertrophy which DOESNT increase the amount of fibers, but DOES increase the amount of motor neurons per fiber.

Tuda Bompa (sp?)in his book Serious Strength Training advocates switching to very low reps (1-5)and slightly less cals during a strength phase to ‘thicken up’. As part of periodization, do hypertrophy phase and then a mixed phase of hypertrophy and strength (2xeach pw) then strength with each phase being 6 weeks with varying intensity and workloads all based on 1rm. Good book but suggested workouts just too long - some about 2 hours in gym, nothing under an hour.

Sorry to jump on the minor details, but several of you have hit really close and I can’t take it anymore… your’re right there but just a little off! Hyperplasia is an increase in the number of muscle fibers and has not been demonstrated in humans yet, but is highly suspected to occur in conjunction with anabolics. Hypertrophy of the sarcoplasm is an increase in the non-contractile portion of the muscle fiber. Hypertrophy of the sarcomere is referring to an increase in the size of the contractile proteins in the muscle fiber. There I feel better, sorry for the interuption.