T Nation

PLer Muscle vs BBer Muscle?

This is a questing I have researched a lot about, but I never exactly feel like I get the answer I’m looking for. It is regarding sarcoplasmic vs Myofibrilla. Is it correct to say that sarcoplasmic is all show and no go? So that being said does isolation type bodybuilding techniques have a place in strength training? If I want to do curls and have bigger biceps will they just be like balloons filled with blood and water?

Can you use a isolation move and get big strong muscles? Is it possible to follow a hybrid training routine utilizing powerlifting, bodybuilding isolations, and strongman training? What will that get you? Is that sending your body mixed signals?

In Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding he states that you need to be specific about the signals you send to your body. Has anybody followed a hybrid type routine to a good end? I look at people like Derek Poundstone and he is super strong and absolutely beefy.

Can you do something such as ezbar curls with heavy weight and low reps? Will they build your biceps in strength and mass? I want to be big but I don’t want it all just to be for show!

Strength and size have an observable relationship. From what I’ve observed, you don’t see a big guy that can’t put up at least somewhat impressive weight. Similarly, you don’t see a strong guy that doesn’t have at least a fair amount of muscle, even if some fat is hiding it (Hysen Pulka and other seem to be exceptions, but this is probably due to body fat and weight class limitations).

Basically, appears sarcoplasmic hypertrophy to be a function of myofibular hypertrophy. The more actual muscle mass you have (which increases strength) the more additional size you can pump into your muscles that isn’t actual muscle mass.

No such thing as beach muscles (unless they are using mostly synthol), a guy with big looking muscles is going to have some go along with all that show.

Many people have success do bb around a powerlifting routine. Mike O’Hearn probably being the most notable. As far as doing high weight low rep iso exercises, I can personally tell you they do build great strength. When I was a noob and had no clue that workouts should have structure, I was preacher curling 100+lbsx3 for 5 sets twice a week. My grip strength was sick, and no one I ever faced in several Army Combatives(mma-esque) tournaments could get out of even the sloppiest of choke holds. It was so effective I’ve often considered doing something crazy like that again.

There are really 2 things going on - first is what you describe at the physiological level, the muscle might be adding things that don’t really help it contract, or it can add things that do help it contract.

Another huge factor is neuromuscular coordination - the ability to use the muscles you have to perform a specific movement. BBers tend to do a lot of machines, etc and that strength transfers poorly to free weights and higher skill movements. PLers do more free weights which is generally considered a better experession of strength but it all comes down to how you test it - a good PLer would likely look pretty wimpy on a set of gymnastic rings compared to a good gymnasts, but a good gymnast isn’t squatting or pulling triple body or more most likely.

Having said all of that, neuromuscular coordination is less important to the small muscles - big biceps are almost always pretty strong unless somebody uses synthol. So absolutely do curls and stuff if you want bigger and stronger biceps, but just don’t train entirely like a BBer if you want to be seen as super strong.

Hope that is helpful

I believe there was an article on T Nation about how bodybuilders had superior muscular endurance and powerlifters had superior 1RM.

[quote]amayakyrol wrote:
I believe there was an article on T Nation about how bodybuilders had superior muscular endurance and powerlifters had superior 1RM.[/quote]

That’s because bodybuilders tend to have sets with much higher reps than powerlifters, which of course will increase their endurance. In the Train With Kai videos, he’s always doing sets of like…25 reps.

[quote]amayakyrol wrote:
I believe there was an article on T Nation about how bodybuilders had superior muscular endurance and powerlifters had superior 1RM.[/quote]

You would think that but almost every single “lift for reps” competition Ive seen the PL usually kicks the crap out of everybody. Makes me rethink certain points of that article thats all.

[quote]amayakyrol wrote:
I believe there was an article on T Nation about how bodybuilders had superior muscular endurance and powerlifters had superior 1RM.[/quote]

I seem to remember this one, too… Which doesn’t mean, however, that high-rep sets don’t belong in a strength program and max effort training doesn’t belong in bodybuilding. I got a huge boost to my deadlift from doing timed sets for max reps (which, of course, is different than pounding out 25 reps of preacher curls, but a similar effect in terms of endurance and conditioning).

Will switching to a strict program like Starting Strength make my biceps stop growing? Basically it doesnt call for curls so will they stop or even worse get smaller?

I think bodybuilders have more work capacity where PL have all the one-rep strength. I don’t think there is such a thing as all show and no go when it comes to muscles. I would say BB are prob 90% as strong and just more conditioned.

[quote]Tim Henriques wrote:
There are really 2 things going on - first is what you describe at the physiological level, the muscle might be adding things that don’t really help it contract, or it can add things that do help it contract.

Another huge factor is neuromuscular coordination - the ability to use the muscles you have to perform a specific movement. BBers tend to do a lot of machines, etc and that strength transfers poorly to free weights and higher skill movements. PLers do more free weights which is generally considered a better experession of strength but it all comes down to how you test it - a good PLer would likely look pretty wimpy on a set of gymnastic rings compared to a good gymnasts, but a good gymnast isn’t squatting or pulling triple body or more most likely.

Having said all of that, neuromuscular coordination is less important to the small muscles - big biceps are almost always pretty strong unless somebody uses synthol. So absolutely do curls and stuff if you want bigger and stronger biceps, but just don’t train entirely like a BBer if you want to be seen as super strong.

Hope that is helpful[/quote]
So Tim, in regards to your first point, would it be right to say that in the process of sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, the muscle adapts to the stress placed on it by adding non-contractile elements, but also chemicals and compounds to increase the contractile force of the muscle for next time? Or have I misinterpreted that?

And assuming that, sarcoplasmic hypertrophy should be something to be considered when aiming to increase strength, as the contractile elemtents accumulated from the ‘bodybuilding’ work work symbiotically with the neural adaptations of heavy weights?

Thanks.

All things being equal, a larger muscle has the potential to produce more force. This is the exact reason why competitions have weight classes.

The answer to your question is yes. And also, no. Muscle size (regardless of what kind of hypertrophy) is one of the few qualities of strength training that is 100% genetic. For me, personally, I could do curls everyday for the rest of my life and they will never be bigger than what they are now. I just am not predisposed to that trait. On the other hand, I have been able to dunk a basketball since middle school (before I even started training for anything). Maybe a big reason why I have a hard time with true hypertrophy work is because I am inherently type II fiber dominant. That would definitely explain why it has taken me 14 years to get to the upper 200’s in bodyweight.

So, the problem with “wanting to train for bodybuilding, powerlifting, and strongman?” What the hell is your goal? If you just want to be big, stop counting reps and start focusing on time under tension and timed sets. Or, train for 14 years.

[quote]StormTheBeach wrote:
All things being equal, a larger muscle has the potential to produce more force. This is the exact reason why competitions have weight classes.

The answer to your question is yes. And also, no. Muscle size (regardless of what kind of hypertrophy) is one of the few qualities of strength training that is 100% genetic. For me, personally, I could do curls everyday for the rest of my life and they will never be bigger than what they are now. I just am not predisposed to that trait. On the other hand, I have been able to dunk a basketball since middle school (before I even started training for anything). Maybe a big reason why I have a hard time with true hypertrophy work is because I am inherently type II fiber dominant. That would definitely explain why it has taken me 14 years to get to the upper 200’s in bodyweight.

So, the problem with “wanting to train for bodybuilding, powerlifting, and strongman?” What the hell is your goal? If you just want to be big, stop counting reps and start focusing on time under tension and timed sets. Or, train for 14 years. [/quote]

If you legitimately have more type II fibers than normal, you should still be able to induce growth in them. Just do more muscular endurance work, that’s how a lot of guys get their calves to grow.

[quote]BCP27 wrote:

[quote]StormTheBeach wrote:
All things being equal, a larger muscle has the potential to produce more force. This is the exact reason why competitions have weight classes.

The answer to your question is yes. And also, no. Muscle size (regardless of what kind of hypertrophy) is one of the few qualities of strength training that is 100% genetic. For me, personally, I could do curls everyday for the rest of my life and they will never be bigger than what they are now. I just am not predisposed to that trait. On the other hand, I have been able to dunk a basketball since middle school (before I even started training for anything). Maybe a big reason why I have a hard time with true hypertrophy work is because I am inherently type II fiber dominant. That would definitely explain why it has taken me 14 years to get to the upper 200’s in bodyweight.

So, the problem with “wanting to train for bodybuilding, powerlifting, and strongman?” What the hell is your goal? If you just want to be big, stop counting reps and start focusing on time under tension and timed sets. Or, train for 14 years. [/quote]

If you legitimately have more type II fibers than normal, you should still be able to induce growth in them. Just do more muscular endurance work, that’s how a lot of guys get their calves to grow.
[/quote]
I’m so glad you’re here to help guide my friend. He’s a little slow, so anything and everything you’re willing to contribute is a step in the right direction.
(Use smaller words. He’ll respond faster.)

Is it true that you can take a rep max, then calculate a max out of that and then compare it to a true max to figure out if you’re slow or fast twitch dominant?

I know with deadlifting my rep maxes predict a number lower than my true max. The opposite is true for squats. It’s almost always right with any grip width bench.

I’m wondering if this means my p-chain is a bit more fast-twitch dominant, my legs are more slow twitch, and my pressing muscles are in the middle? Or if I’m stretching way too far and this doesn’t indicate anything?

The only way to figure out your fiber type distribution is with a muscle biopsy. Anything else is just a guess.

[quote]BCP27 wrote:

[quote]StormTheBeach wrote:
…Maybe a big reason why I have a hard time with true hypertrophy work is because I am inherently type II fiber dominant. [/quote]

If you legitimately have more type II fibers than normal, you should still be able to induce growth in them. Just do more muscular endurance work, that’s how a lot of guys get their calves to grow.
[/quote]
I think you have those confused. Type II (anaerobic) fibers have more potential to hypertrophy than type I (aerobic). Our calves our type I dominant.

It would also truly be hard to believe that you could never put muscle on your bicep from mad curls. Could that be even possible? Maybe if you have reached your absolute genetic potential.

[quote]StormTheBeach wrote:
Muscle size (regardless of what kind of hypertrophy) is one of the few qualities of strength training that is 100% genetic. For me, personally, I could do curls everyday for the rest of my life and they will never be bigger than what they are now. I just am not predisposed to that trait.[/quote]

Not sure if serious…