Yeah, I made that up, but it describes a phenomena I’m interested in… I found this part of your work particularly intriguing (paraphrase coming)–while you were olympic lifting, though focused on strength, power, and speed most of the time, you’d gain more size during your 4-6 week hypertrophy blocks than most bodybuilders would gain in 4-6 months!
The typical explanation goes something like this: “The stronger lifter will be able to use heavier weights in the ‘hypertrophy’ ranges, leading to greater muscle gain.”
I believe that statement to be true but that there is more to it than that… Faster, more powerful athletes gain muscle very easily. A sprinter who decides to take up bodybuilding puts on muscle at an alarming rate. We chalk this up to his (or her) fast twitch makeup and say “it must be nice to be genetically blessed!” But maybe we shouldn’t just stop there…
Your olympic lifting background primed you for muscle gain and I have an idea as to how: Motor unit “conversion”. Sort of. I don’t necessarily mean that you converted fibers from slow to fast (maybe, maybe not), but that you pushed them down the “firing rate spectrum” (made up term?) in the fast direction. Then when you’d do a hypertrophy block you would blow up like the aforementioned sprinter.
I know that I am speculating here, but might I be on to something? If so, how could this be applied? How could power training be fit into a hypertrophy plan in order to maintain “hypertrophyability”? Could such training help to prolong “newbie gains”? Your layer system already has a power exercise (high pull) and really, you’ve altered the deadsquat protocol to increase power output… maybe that’s enough to illicit the effect to which I am referring? Would pushpress as a layer exercise be useful in this respect? Could choosing the speed layer over the max pump layer (or maybe incorporating periods using each) result in more size gains down the road?