T Nation

% of 1 Rep Max for Muscle Gain?

Thibs, I have recently read some articles stating that training with 30-40% of your 1 rep max will let you gain as much muscle and size as going heavier as long as you take those sets to failure. What are your feelings on this, even though I think I know your answer?

The reason I ask is because I recently re injured a shoulder in which I’ve had previous surgery on and can only train to about 50% of my previous pain free 1 rep max( on chest only, strangely my overhead pressing is about 90%intact) and I was wondering if training this light and going to failure and using other high intensity techniques like pre exhaust, or 15 sec rest periods, drop sets, etc., would be enough to gain or at least maintain size till the end of summer when I would either get 2nd surgery or layoff and do rehab.

I personally like to train heavy lower reps and explosive without fatigue because that’s what works best for me and have been following many of your programs. Especially I really like your layering system and have been using that recently. Thanks for that.

Would you have any other suggestions to get me to last just through summer? Do you think maybe just sticking to overhead pressing 2-3 times per week (skipping chest workouts altogether) and doing high pull the other three? I’m lost. Thanks

[quote]as wrote:
Thibs, I have recently read some articles stating that training with 30-40% of your 1 rep max will let you gain as much muscle and size as going heavier as long as you take those sets to failure. What are your feelings on this, even though I think I know your answer?

The reason I ask is because I recently re injured a shoulder in which I’ve had previous surgery on and can only train to about 50% of my previous pain free 1 rep max( on chest only, strangely my overhead pressing is about 90%intact) and I was wondering if training this light and going to failure and using other high intensity techniques like pre exhaust, or 15 sec rest periods, drop sets, etc., would be enough to gain or at least maintain size till the end of summer when I would either get 2nd surgery or layoff and do rehab.

I personally like to train heavy lower reps and explosive without fatigue because that’s what works best for me and have been following many of your programs. Especially I really like your layering system and have been using that recently. Thanks for that.

Would you have any other suggestions to get me to last just through summer? Do you think maybe just sticking to overhead pressing 2-3 times per week (skipping chest workouts altogether) and doing high pull the other three? I’m lost. Thanks[/quote]

Not going to go nuts with the question, but I think the training study you saw was based on the Occlusion effect, or Katsuu. Which is basically training with a cut off strap to reduce the blood going to and from the area which increased muscle gains.

They even did it with walking on an incline using cut offs, this actually GAINED muscle mass.

Very extreme IMO, for anybody I don’t like, I recommend trying cut off’s around their necks to increase their brains size :wink:

The studies were indeed done using occlusion training… basically cutting off blood flow to a muscle by compressing the vascular system (an apparatus like a blood pressure cuff around the arm or leg).

Training with light weights while occluded will work because of the increase in IGF-1 in the training muscle due to the occlusion.

The same will not work with regular reps.

Can you maintain size only doing pump work? For a while yes, especially if you really go heavy on the peri-workout to have a ton of nutrients to send to the muscles. But after a point, without at least some heavier lifting, you can’t really add mass if you are natural. I’m not talking necessarily about using near max weights, but you will need to go higher than 50-60% if you expect to gain some muscle, regardless of the intensity technique you use.

I think this is the paper he may be referencing.

CT, which study were you referring to?

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
The studies were indeed done using occlusion training… basically cutting off blood flow to a muscle by compressing the vascular system (an apparatus like a blood pressure cuff around the arm or leg).

Training with light weights while occluded will work because of the increase in IGF-1 in the training muscle due to the occlusion.

The same will not work with regular reps.

Can you maintain size only doing pump work? For a while yes, especially if you really go heavy on the peri-workout to have a ton of nutrients to send to the muscles. But after a point, without at least some heavier lifting, you can’t really add mass if you are natural. I’m not talking necessarily about using near max weights, but you will need to go higher than 50-60% if you expect to gain some muscle, regardless of the intensity technique you use.[/quote]

Well I was expecting that badnews. I wouldnt know how to occlude my chest muscles nor would I want to train like that. You’re absolutely right about the higher rep pump training. Every time I tried that in the past I would look bigger at first but then slowly fade away and shrink. Thanks Thibs.

What about just sticking to overhead movements exclusively since they don’t bother me too much and my upper pec/clavical aea is shallow and lower pecs much bigger. Is 3 times a week too much with your layering system?

In grad school we did an experiment with occlusion training for a class. Yes you are using very light weights. Holy mother fing shoot it is extraordinarily painful to do. No joke, it was horrible.

[quote]bro1989 wrote:
I think this is the paper he may be referencing.

CT, which study were you referring to?

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0012033[/quote]

CT was reffing to -

Apparently several Hockey Players have been injured using this form of training though.

According it Blade (Borge Fagerli) You can mimick the effect by cutting your rep range short at both ends, ie do 80% of the range of motion, missing an inch or so at each end.

[quote]Sawinwright wrote:

[quote]bro1989 wrote:
I think this is the paper he may be referencing.

CT, which study were you referring to?

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0012033[/quote]

CT was reffing to -

Apparently several Hockey Players have been injured using this form of training though.

According it Blade (Borge Fagerli) You can mimick the effect by cutting your rep range short at both ends, ie do 80% of the range of motion, missing an inch or so at each end.[/quote]

Yeah I read that too by Blade. I guess since I have no choice I might as well give it a shot along with his myoreps type stuff.

[quote]as wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
The studies were indeed done using occlusion training… basically cutting off blood flow to a muscle by compressing the vascular system (an apparatus like a blood pressure cuff around the arm or leg).

Training with light weights while occluded will work because of the increase in IGF-1 in the training muscle due to the occlusion.

The same will not work with regular reps.

Can you maintain size only doing pump work? For a while yes, especially if you really go heavy on the peri-workout to have a ton of nutrients to send to the muscles. But after a point, without at least some heavier lifting, you can’t really add mass if you are natural. I’m not talking necessarily about using near max weights, but you will need to go higher than 50-60% if you expect to gain some muscle, regardless of the intensity technique you use.[/quote]

Well I was expecting that badnews. I wouldnt know how to occlude my chest muscles nor would I want to train like that. You’re absolutely right about the higher rep pump training. Every time I tried that in the past I would look bigger at first but then slowly fade away and shrink. Thanks Thibs.

What about just sticking to overhead movements exclusively since they don’t bother me too much and my upper pec/clavical aea is shallow and lower pecs much bigger. Is 3 times a week too much with your layering system?[/quote]

@as… this is probably the polar opposite to what you’re used to doing, but give it a read (for the pushing side of the program to stimulate chest growth); http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/big_back_big_chest_real_fast

[quote]lboro21 wrote:

[quote]as wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
The studies were indeed done using occlusion training… basically cutting off blood flow to a muscle by compressing the vascular system (an apparatus like a blood pressure cuff around the arm or leg).

Training with light weights while occluded will work because of the increase in IGF-1 in the training muscle due to the occlusion.

The same will not work with regular reps.

Can you maintain size only doing pump work? For a while yes, especially if you really go heavy on the peri-workout to have a ton of nutrients to send to the muscles. But after a point, without at least some heavier lifting, you can’t really add mass if you are natural. I’m not talking necessarily about using near max weights, but you will need to go higher than 50-60% if you expect to gain some muscle, regardless of the intensity technique you use.[/quote]

Well I was expecting that badnews. I wouldnt know how to occlude my chest muscles nor would I want to train like that. You’re absolutely right about the higher rep pump training. Every time I tried that in the past I would look bigger at first but then slowly fade away and shrink. Thanks Thibs.

What about just sticking to overhead movements exclusively since they don’t bother me too much and my upper pec/clavical aea is shallow and lower pecs much bigger. Is 3 times a week too much with your layering system?[/quote]

@as… this is probably the polar opposite to what you’re used to doing, but give it a read (for the pushing side of the program to stimulate chest growth); http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/big_back_big_chest_real_fast[/quote]

Thanks. I actually had something like that in mind. Being that I’m only concerned with the clavicular(sp?) head/upper pecs I plan on doing multiple sets of explosive triples on an overhead press movement first. Then I will finish off with some type of incline press at a lighter weight for higher reps in the myoreps format. I was even considering doing speed reps at lighter weights after pump sets. I believe Thibs mentioned that after the pump sets the speed reps are more productive.