T Nation

strength vs. hypertrophy training cycles

I have stumbled across some interesting, referenced articles. The part that struck me as most interesting was that there seems to be a well accepted theory of nuclear to cytoplasmic ratio. What I have seen referenced and I guess accepted as fact is that heavier training induces an increase in sarcomere hypertrophy and higher volume/ligher load training produces sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. (Nikituk and Samoilov, 1990). If these are accepted as true, then hypertrophy only training can lead to a counter or non productive stage, where an increase in sarcomere density via heavy load training to get the ratio back in order so that further gains are possible is not an option. My next thing to look at is to see how long it is before a muscle cell has adapted to a point where additional hypertrophy via sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is possible, and how to determine when your body is ready for a new bout of sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. My initial guess is that with slow progressive loading and the adaptive responses that occur because of this focus, your body will tell you when it is ready by not being able to increase the load any further, that is with smart choices like a sound periodized approach. the second question that I have is just how would one go about determining other than by feel when they have milked a sarcoplasmic hypertrophy cycle to its max. I know that each person is different, but initially I would guess that a strength focus (sarcomere hypertrophy) should take up the bulk of training time, whereas sarcoplasmic focused training should be breif, short and infrequent centered around the strentgth phases. Any thoughts?

Interesting stuff. As for milking sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, I think this is a personal decision. Any rep range that leads to hypertrophy is going to mix a little sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and sarcomere hypertrophy.

I think you can easily determine if the majority of the size gains are from sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, because there will be minimal strength gains associated with this. Take for instance a program like Meltdown. Many people experience hypertrophy along with the fat loss, but experience almost no strength gains and sometimes even a loss of strength. So in general, I think that if your goal is hypertrophy, then you need to use a program that does not solely rely on sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, such as Meltdown or any other high rep circuit program.

I heard about listening to your bosy, but listening to your cells is a little to much for me…

just kidding

look, I think yu are missing something. those nculues-related hypertrphy gains will not tell you as they diminish that you are ready for higher volume gains but rather that your CNS has been burned down with all this high intensity and u should give it a rest…

I do think you are on to something. the great ones always knew they had to cycle volume and intensity to get the growth going in both types of “growing”. but the trick here is to change right before the gains diminish. (If I only knew how…)