T Nation

Max reps and body type

I was reading an article on Fred Hatfield’s site the other day. It had an interesting section that went into reps with 80% of your max, and how this determines your body type. What Fred basically said was that fast gainers can 1-4 reps at 80% of their max, normal gainers 8-10, and hard gainers 18-20. This intruiged me, so i decided to try it out my next time at the gym. After warming up I loaded the bar with 80% of my max, and sure enough, got about 4 reps. Yet i consider myself a very hard gainer. Any thoughts on this?

anton

I think it’s more effective at determing whether your fast,slow twitch,or somewhere in between.Contrary what many people think,being fast twitch does’nt guarantee you size.There are plenty of big dudes who fit into the high rep category.

yeah i agree with mike. that can help you determine whether you are fast or slow twitch, but i dont see how that can tell you whether you are a fast gainer or slow gainer. maybe as far as strength is concerned if you are predominantly fast twitch than you will be able to gain more stength easier because of your fiber makeup.

I’ve never heard of this but it would hold true for me. I gain very easily (bicep grew 1.5" over last 2 months to 19.5) and my maxes have nothing to do with how many reps I can do of lower weights. For example, on bench, my max is 365 (405 before I got sick but the following numbers still held believe it or not!!!). I can only do 8-10 of 275, 4 of 295, 20 of 225 (really really concentrating 'cause by the 15th every inch of fiber would be burning) this is on a great day. If a spotter gives me a nudge off the bottom on the last one, I might get one more but I am simply drained and even after doing so few reps, I get out exhausted. My muscular endurance is laughable but I grow in size and strength like a weed. (but I very rarely do more than 8 reps)

Maybe you aren’t really such a hardgainer but are just training in the wrong rep range. If you have predominantly fast twitch muscle fibers, you aren’t going to grow very well on a high rep program. The load just won’t be high enough to activate the fast-twitch motor units. You’d be better off at a higher load/lower rep range. By the way, the formula is muscle specific. What I mean is, if you tested this on your bench it doesn’t mean your back is fast twitch too. You should try it with all major muscle groups.

Warrior Spirit, I believe, is on the money. This test is no joke–Dr. Squat knows what he’s talking about. The test is muscle specific also. One can have predominantly fast-twitch chest fibers, but any other combo in the back, etc. You have to train for your fiber type. If you’re fast-twitch, you’re not going to make much progress with traditional bodybuilding programs. You have to train in lower rep ranges with big weights. It’s also important to realize that fast-twitch fibers take longer to recover (both short- and long-term). I think the test is valid, but after getting an idea of your muscle fiber composition, you need to train fiber-specific. Also, training age/experience plays a factor.

Didnt Ian king address this issue. Poliquin did too i believe. they both stated that these tests might be good for the untrained but less effective on people with more experience. Poliquin said that both are trainable and could skew the results. I for one despise training with higher reps and only get bigger and stronger on reps of less than 6. ive tried to use higher reps for extended periods of time but all i get is smaller and weaker. i know im fast twitch because im damn fast and i have a 35 inch vertical jump. i just wish i hadnt wasted all that time on higher reps.