T Nation

Sarcoplasmic vs. Sarcomeric from a BB Standpoint


#1

aka "high reps and many sets" (the "3 exercises 4 sets each) vs "lower reps/volume" (5x5, 3x8, 8x3 etc.) induced hypertrophy

Does sarcoplasmic hypertrophy make muscles feel "puffier"/softer/have less "tone" compared to sarcomeric hyp.?
Since you can't contract sarcoplasm, but you can contract sarcomeres... Been thinking of this but would like some confirmation.

A simpler question would be "Why do some people have soft/puffy muscles while others are rock hard despite having close/same BF %?"


#2

there’s roughly two ways to get stronger:

  1. improve neural/intramuscular efficiency
  2. get bigger

These two work usually together. An extreme example of 1) would be a figure skater who’s onyl concern is to push a certain weight/his partner once over his head. He usually doesn’t want to get bigger or press more and more weight.
An extreme example of 2) is hard to find. A huge bodybuilder who ONLY does medium reps (whatever that is), never tests his max or even goes out of some 70% comfort zone? I’ve never seen such a fella.
Think about this: If there’d be a sure way to increase mass, even if it’s by adding tissue that is completely useless, competitive bodybuilders would’ve already discovered it. Hell, some of them inject oil into their body to look a tiny bit bigger on stage!
So far, it seems that 1)+2) are almost always connected and, in rare cases, you can get 1) without a lot of 2). 2) without 1) is more a theoretical thing.

And for your second question: looking “harder” is a bit overrated.
It’s first and foremost a question of how much water you carry naturally.
That means: as long as you keep training or even just, you’ll get “dryer” as you age.
That’s not a good thing, things that age usually die some day (if that’s the case with you, go see a doctor!).
You never see a young bodybuilder have that “hard” look, no matter how talented. Older bodybuilders, however, do have the “mature” , “hard muscles look” if bodyfat is in order.

so…don’t worry about that stuff, it’s from a practical perspective rather useless (“is my mass functional? Is it as hard as it should be?” <- scary stuff).
Unless you are a figure skater.
Then I advise you to go immediately to the coiffeur, fashion & accessories and makeup subforums and trade your secrets with us!


#3

???
I was asking if a certain type of training contributed to ~softer to the touch, when flexed muscles, not if it contributed to looking harder.

I’ll soon get my PT cert, and in training people, many will ask something like this (“why are my/his/x’s muscle soft and y’s hard?”).

And you can certainly get bigger without getting much stronger. In the average gym population, I’d say “big but not strong” is more often seen than “strong but not big”. More so, Oly lifting and PLing, lighter weight classes. They are usually stronger than pretty much any bodybuilder/ recreational lifter of the same weight.
How many gym enthusiasts do singles, doubles, triples? The average person is still afraid to train really heavy, or do few reps. Muscle and Fantasy, anyone?


#4

[quote]Sterneneisen wrote:

I’ll soon get my PT cert, and in training people, many will ask something like this (“why are my/his/x’s muscle soft and y’s hard?”).

[/quote]

x is fat, y isn’t

and the second part of your post makes no sense… never seen a weak, big guy unless he’s fat, and even then he’ll push more weight than an untrained skinny guy… also, most people I see train with 1-rep maxes more often than is conducive to progress


#5

Hmmm, I thought we had already killed the idea of “sarcoplasmic hypertrophy”.


#6

Muscle is muscle, it doesn’t physiologically change because of your program. 200lbs at 10% is 200lbs at 10% either way you cut it.

Muscles get harder the longer you lift for, takes awhile to build density. One of my buddies muscles didn’t even start getting rock hard when flexing until around 2 years in, and he’s pretty damn ripped year round.

How do you know that the two people have the same bodyfat anyways? It’s almost impossible to judge.

This was not a very thought out question to be honest. No offense OP.


#7

From his “training” log:

[quote]Sterneneisen wrote:
…hmmph, do they not know big guys got big because of genetics/drugs/Muscle and Fantasy routines which work for Capricorns born in February (EC said this first?) etc., not because of their knowledge? [/quote]

Quality trolling is quality

6/10


#8

@countingbeans: I was being sarcastic in my log.

Then again, most bigger guys I know do the ole’ 4 exercise, 3 sets each/muscle group, split training, consider that sets of 15-20 reps for the burn will get you cut, etc… So, I’ll take it they have good genetics and they got big despite their programming.

@K-man32: the question was legitimate. Also it wasn’t meant to say that one shouldn’t train with higher reps/for sheer size or anything. Muscle built by sets of 3-5 reps IS physiologically different (at least in terms of number of mitochondria and capillaries) from muscle built by 8-12 reps (maybe going past failure). Also, biopsies have shown that bodybuilders have a greater percentage of type I fibers compared to Olympic weightlifters.


#9

And do read the rest of the log. Does it seem to be “training” or training?


#10

[quote]Sterneneisen wrote:
Muscle built by sets of 3-5 reps IS physiologically different (at least in terms of number of mitochondria and capillaries) from muscle built by 8-12 reps (maybe going past failure). [/quote]

Prove it.


#11

Also:

We’ve done this before. Many times.

Read that thread and then tell me where the study is that allowed you to arrive at that conclusion.

There is a reason we haven’t heard that term from many authors here lately.

That reason?

It’s bullshit. It is an idea that allows people making very little progress to believe they are better than those making more in terms of muscle growth and overall size…nothing else.

It makes as much sense as labeling things as “unfunctional”.


#12

[quote]Sterneneisen wrote:
@countingbeans: I was being sarcastic in my log.

Then again, most bigger guys I know do the ole’ 4 exercise, 3 sets each/muscle group, split training, consider that sets of 15-20 reps for the burn will get you cut, etc… So, I’ll take it they have good genetics and they got big despite their programming.

@K-man32: the question was legitimate. Also it wasn’t meant to say that one shouldn’t train with higher reps/for sheer size or anything. Muscle built by sets of 3-5 reps IS physiologically different (at least in terms of number of mitochondria and capillaries) from muscle built by 8-12 reps (maybe going past failure). Also, biopsies have shown that bodybuilders have a greater percentage of type I fibers compared to Olympic weightlifters.

[/quote]

Idiot paradox in action right here.


#13

The fact that some people actually believe people made progress “by accident” baffles me.

Reasonable people can’t honestly believe this guru dribble.

If someone has made above average progress, then they know what they are doing.


#14

Too many big words to say nothing.


#15

not this dead horse again


#16

On days I feel weak, I write “sarcoplasmic day” in my log. :slight_smile:


#17

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Also:

We’ve done this before. Many times.

Read that thread and then tell me where the study is that allowed you to arrive at that conclusion.

There is a reason we haven’t heard that term from many authors here lately.

That reason?

It’s bullshit. It is an idea that allows people making very little progress to believe they are better than those making more in terms of muscle growth and overall size…nothing else.

It makes as much sense as labeling things as “unfunctional”.[/quote]

Read the thread.

Hey, if Mell Siff ,based on some Russian scientists 1 study, said it’s true, then it must be.
How was I supposed to know that all the results come from one mouse study? rofl
As for the biopsies…


If one study with less than 10 participants is all they used…then this also sucks.

And, one would expect much more reason and analytical skills from a scientist than from a <random lifter - in this case, me>, and that’s why I’d believe them.
Well, proves it ain’t always so.