I have read a lot - mainly from T-Nation authors like Waterbury - about the purpose of using heavier weights for lower repetitions for hypertrophy. It makes sense to me - you recruit more fibers with heavier weight, and if you add more volume, you’ll see growth. So that’s what I’ve done. I’ve certainly seen progress.
What I don’t understand is what bodybuilders do. I see people doing reps of 25-30 (what I would consider almost worthless) and they’re still seeing progress. These are bodybuilders I’m talking about, and they do competitions, so their physiques are fantastic.
I mean - why do they look as good? I mean, these low reps must work! But the trainers here don’t recommend it. Is the progress is just slower? Is it less effective? Has anyone ever studied the rate of muscle growth when you compare a normal trainee doing low reps to a bodybuilder doing sets of 25?
Or, if they’re fatiguing themselves to the point where they can only train a muscle once a week, is the point that the ability to work a muscle more than once a week helps it to grow more quickly?
I feel silly telling gym members to step up the weight and do 6-12 repetitions, only to see someone with an incredible body walk by and do 25 repetitions. They keep saying to work more slowly and work the eccentric - I keep saying work on speed and the concentric movement, vary rep ranges, etc…