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New Training Routine Critique

This is a perfectly acceptable strategies to use within a systematic approach to getting conditioned to move more weight.

Maybe not ideal for hypertrophy, but stepping down the reps while increasing the weight is an old training strategy.

Some older conjugate programs and approaches like the Waterbury method use 10x3 at various times under different percentage based loading parameters.

Yes, you are misunderstanding.
The idea was that your body can produce X amount of force for, lets say - 10 reps.
The rest interval should be long enough so you can produce SAME amount of force, as producing force agains this object that weighs that one specific amount is what stimulates the best growth.
Under-resting and not being able to produce as much force as you already know you can, leads to upper thresh-hold fibers not firing as much, therefore creating less stimulus to growth.
What stimulates growth is the upper threshhold fibers, but those only fire up when you are under a certain intensity. Thats why drop sets dont work, because you are feeling the burn and you are tired because you are just skipping rest, and only fibers that work at that point are the endurance fibers.

To iluststrate it, lets use 10 reps of 10 rep max.
So we know there are 3 types of muscle fibers. Slow oxidative (SO) , Fast oxidative (FO) and Fast Glycolytic (FG).
The first ones cant contract super fast but they can maintain the work for long time, while the last ones can contract like a mothafucka but only for a rep or two.
Also the first ones dont need much rest while the last ones need super long rest to be able to fire off for that 1-2 reps.

So when you do 1-3 reps of a set at the beginning, the only fibers working are the SO. When you do 4-8 reps, the SO and the FO. And only the 9th and 10th rep of the set is so friggin hard, that the FG fire off, finish the set and send the signal to your body that “this was heavy enough, we need to build more of US, so we can do this work easier next time”.
If you lower the weigh, do drop sets, or dont do 10 reps again with the same weight, you repeat the process i described but you never get to the point where FG gets to fire off as those will only fire if ALL conditions are met :
1)They had enough rest and enough energy
2)You are under the same tension where they are needed.

Of course, when high amounts of IGF, HGH and anabolics come into play, the metabolic fatigue(just jerking off for lots of reps and sets with light weight) also produces stimulus for growth, but its still not the most optimal way. Its just that for some people genetics and drugs do the most work. Its not that they train smarter, its just that they would have the same result no matter what they are doing.

Again, i am not an expert and i havent accomplished shit in this field, i just express my opinion on the topic based on how i understand the current materials on the exercise science topic, so dont bash me, if i said something completely stupid.

Maybe I wouldn’t write “drop sets don’t work”, just that “drop sets don’t fatigue fast glycolytic muscle fibers other than on the first set”. But, if you go to muscular failure on each, shouldn’t they?

Yes, my thought also…

Well thats the popular belief, but as far as i understood the research - no. Muscular failure can be achieved in many ways. Metabolic fatigue, mechanic fatigue etc. Again, not and expert so i cant really name all the ways of failure, but the thing is that FG fibers are the ones that stimulate the most growth as the growth is needed exactly for them to be stronger(the slower fibers can work without actually growing that much). And the FG fibers dont fire off if you dont reach the tension you CAN reach if you are rested enough.
The idea is that if you can do 10 reps with a certain weight, the only reason you cant replicate the set is that either you dont rest enough or the FG fibers are done. At that point the only way for them to work again and to stimulate growth is to recover long enough. They can fire for a short period of time, at maximum intensity, after a longer rest. That is why we cant grow much muscle doing rowing machine for an hour. We only work our slower twitch fibers and those do not stimulate much hypertrophy.
The fact that you reduced weight on the bar or did less sets is the sign of FG not turning on and helping. IF the FG fibers are working, you WILL be able to the set just like you did the first one. There is no reason for you NOT to be able to replicate the set unless these fibers are done for this period of time, or not rested enough.

Edit - not sure if comparison is fair, but as far as i know the sprinters dont do a few sets of their sprint distance and dont finish off the training with a 10k run. They only sprint. They also dont start with 400m and then drop down to 200m and 100m and then finish off with a half-assed 1k.

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As you alluded to, hypertrophy is stimulated by mechanical tension, muscle damage and metabolic stress.

You are correct in saying that drop sets don’t apply enough mechanical tension to elicit growth from high-threshold muscle fibres, but they may still stimulate hypertrophy through metabolic stress and/or muscle damage.

For fairness’ sake, it seems that mechanical tension is the primary driver of hypertrophy, but as far as I know it hasn’t necessarily been disproven that the other two avenues produce muscle growth.

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What about Doggcrapp training then? I assume rest pause sets would be similar to drop sets, so can you or someone else explain why doggcrapp training produces very good results?

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Hard work with heavy weight!

I think sometimes when we pick apart training programs (and this not an attack), we try to independently analyze every variable. If we step back, though, that wouldn’t make sense with anything else. Like we didn’t win some market share specifically because I said “what’s up” to an engineer in the cafeteria last Tuesday at 11, but that doesn’t mean it would be a competitive advantage for us to stop talking to each other.

I don’t know if that made sense.

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Doggcrapp training actually allows trainees to sustain and repeat higher levels of mechanical tension than normal sets or drop sets, since more reps are done at a very high RPE, at a heavy weight.

I.e. the last few “stimulating” reps in a set (as mentioned by @hankthetank89 ) are repeated for each rest-pause set. Myo-reps and clusters, when performed properly, achieve this as well

I completely agree. As hard as it can be to accept, we don’t need to know why something works, to know that it works.

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My understanding of these three techniques is that they differ in important ways:

–In DC training you take the initial step to positive/form failure, rest briefly, then repeat (ie, go to positive/form failure again), rest briefly then repeat again. For each set/add-on set, the last rep should make you feel like your spleen is about to burst–if it doesn’t feel that way, you stopped the set too soon. In other words, in DC training you are chasing fatigue, ie, your endpoint/goal is failure.

–Myo-reps are performed differently, and have a different intra-set goal. In myo-reps, you push the initial set until you’re in ‘tough reps’ territory, but you intentionally stop short of failure–you leave 1-2 reps in the tank. After a brief rest interval you repeat–again, stopping 1-2 reps short of failure. This is repeated a number of times–significantly more than the 1-2 add-ons done in DC training. In myo-reps the goal is to get into ‘tough rep’ territory repeatedly, but not so far into it that you wear yourself out and can’t continue. As Blade Fagerli (myo-rep creator) puts it (paraphrasing), whereas in DC training one chases fatigue, in myo-rep training one manages fatigue.

–Clusters differ from both of the above in that fatigue is simply not an endpoint.

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You have just explained magnetism. And gravity. And an awful lot more of science.

Somewhere I read that if you train Heavy you begin to build up muscle inhibiting Myostatin. And as you train Heavy session after session you build up more and more Myostatin until you can’t build muscle anymore. So theoretically even though the heavy, hard stuff targeting the fastest fast twitch fibers works “best” it works less and less over time. And lighter work somehow gets rid of the Myostatin and sets you up for future gains.

Dr. Squat said that the high threshold fibers respond best to high force stuff, but they get friggin’ smashed and torn to bits by all these forces. And that the high threshold fibers are repaired by Satellite Cells. Hatfield felt that after an intense, heavy, high force workout you should do a lighter, higher rep, more “pump” oriented workout to get “Satellite Cell Proliferation.” This (theoretically) allows your slow recovering fast-fast fibers a chance to recover and more satellite cells to use for rebuilding.

Allegedly fibers can also change type. Maybe your 2b will change to 2a or something? And this can limit your growth. If you train the same way for too long you convert all the fibers and then you can’t gain anymore.

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I was reading a critique on an assessment program offered by some online climbing coaches. The person was asking about how specifically they’ve arrived at how these measurements translate to climbing performance and personally I enjoyed the rebuttal from one of the authors.

The author acknowledged that they didn’t know exactly what they were measuring with these measurements, in the sense that it was sometimes unclear how it translated to performance but that as long as the correlation between the measurement protocol and the corresponding climbing ability is strong then they don’t have to get into the nitty-gritty of what measures what and how.

In particular, one of the criticisms was hinting at how a continuous hang can fail by virtue of biomechanics but also resolve and willpower. The rebuttal made it clear that they as coaches don’t care which is which, the important thing is that a climber at a lower level will fail their continuous hang earlier than a climber at a high level. So the measurement works, and it doesn’t matter why it works.

This is slightly different in that some stimulus works better or worse for certain individuals, and that it takes time to see growth regardless. But, much like investing, there is nothing stopping a person from going to failure one week/block, doing a drop-set the next, rest-pause after that, and diversifying the growth stimulus they are placing on their body. If one of them works poorly, it won’t have that much of an impact overall.

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I completely agree, but in the classical stimulating reps theory, the last 3-5 reps in a true RPE 10 set are considered “stimulating,” and recruit all high-threshold motor units with maximal tension. Therefore all three of those methods, should be stimulating (although certain forms of clusters may remain further away from failure than 3-5 reps)

True, Satellite cells are immune cells in the muscular system that repair muscular damage. That said, hypertrophy may be stimulated without significant muscle damage, and therefore satellite cells don’t always factor in.

Could be reasonable I guess (thoughts @EyeDentist ?). I will add that there are only a limited number of Satellite cells IIRC, and a loss of satellite cells and hence a loss of Satellite cell Proliferation seems like a more reasonable cause for growth plateaus than increased myostatin. Again, theoretical though.

Its cool that this idea is reflected in a lot of track and field and sports performance realms, where it’s recommended trainees alternate high stress days (maximal outpus, high neurological demand) and low stress days (sustained/repeated outputs, muscular and metabolic demands) to improve recovery.

Fibres definitely change type. It appears that most forms of strength training convert 2b fibres to 2a, and 1 fibres to 2a as well (of course, you’ll never end up 100% 2a). Research has shown you can preserve 2b fibres by performing a high enough volume of jumps and plyometrics, but it is feasible to speed work and sprinting should have this effect also. You should be able to preserve type 1 fibres by performing enough endurance work. Time off from strength training leads to an “overshoot effect” in which the proportion of 2b fibres actually increases. This usually occurs after about 6-12 weeks of detraining.

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That’s cool about track guys loving the Conjugate style.

It’s just one more piece of evidence that all the weights and speeds (Heavy/Light/Medium) work better than just 1 kind of weights/speeds.

Muscles fibers and Myostatin may be mumbo jumbo but you can’t argue with the results dudes like Starr, Kaz, Haney, Hatfield and Evander Holyfield achieved across sports and decades.

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