T Nation

Todd Effect


Just asking for opinions of the Todd Effect, as explained in Jack Reape's article "More Thoughts From the Weight-Room Floor."


It's basically doing 100+ reps on a lift and seeing where you're sore the next day. The sore areas are supposed to be the weakest links in the movement.

What do you all think? Is it a good way of finding weaknesses or flawed?


Well, soreness is most likely due to microtrauma ---> microtrauma is caused by tension in the muscle ---> more tension equals more work being done leading to more soreness. therefor I would see those sore areas as having done more work and being your strong points (if anything is actually indicated by it).


Wouldn't your strong points do LESS work than your weak points? Like, if you have an overdeveloped chest and underdeveloped triceps, your triceps will burn out before your chest on a bench press? That would be the whole premise behind the bodybuilding "pre-exhaust" strategy.


Do you really need to do 100 reps and wait a day to find your weak points? Assuming you are looking for weak points in your powerlifts, could you really stay in your competition form and tightness for 100 reps?

Maybe the idea has some merit but I wouldn't do it.


At a guess, I'm thinkin there's too many variables for this to be super accurate.

For instance, if you do the 108 deadlifts, and your glutes are sore? Your glutes might be the weak link. They might be the strong link, and they ended up doing much more work. Your hamstrings may not have the endurance to keep up, and glutes took over. Could be a factor of mobility: your hammies can handle 108 full ROM deadlifts, but that was pulling too much on your glutes, etc, etc.

However the best way to find out, is to try it.


It would be really awsome to find out what's the sorest. Then, set up a program focusing hardcore on those weaknesses especially the absolute sorest muscles, then let us know the results.

But god... staying in a competition bench arch for 100 reps.....


Yea, I agree with your point actually. I was thinking of it from the perspective of recruiting a muscle. Eg. if you're good at recruiting your glutes then they will get sore - yet this does not mean that they are a weak point.


i have been doing something like that with 1-2 20 rep sets on various movements. i have been hammering the sore body parts and i find after 3-4 weeks those parts dont get sore so much or at all, the major lifts go up, and aches & pains are starting to go away completely. i have been doing this for about 4 months now.

now i am not sure if its me strengthening weak points or just doing more of a prehab type of thing. or its maybe something as simple as not hammering the shit out of myself with 90+% weight every workout. either way, im feeling better and getting stronger.

of course i started doing this due to following more of a westside template and adding in RE work.


I think STB mentioned in his log that soreness is a sign that the muscle is weak - I like that idea and what have I noticed - deadlifting, my lower back is sore later that day and the next day; benching, my lats and tris are sore the next day.... coincidentally, these are the bodyparts I consider my weakness at those lifts and am working hard now on hammering them away


I think safely working up to a 1 RM and seeing where you fail or lose form is just as effective.


This doesn't seem very scientifically sound, especially considering that at 100 reps you'll be recruiting almost exclusively slow-twitch muscle fibers. They would likely, then, be the most sore, because they were the one doing most of the work.


The article posted in the OP explains it better - the guy did 100 reps over 25 sets of 5 or less reps to maintain form and not risk injury - this is an entirely different animal from just doing 100 reps all at once. I agree that this would be... ugh...counterproductive? I don't think I can do 100 squats with only the bar lol.



You don't do 100 reps in a row, you do 100 singles, 50 doubles or 20 sets of 5 with a heavy weight.


There are way too many variables that come into play for this too have even a little bit of validity. One for example, what if you are in really, really good shape? I do 100 rep sets often, all in one set, on off days. I don't get sore anywhere anymore when I sumo deadlift 135lbs 100 times. Then lactate and pain tolerance come into play as well. Then form. 100 reps with shitty form is just going to give you more practice with shitty form. That's not good.

The fiber typing is a bad example because most lifters do so much volume that the distribution of cross sectional area is mostly shifted to type I anyway. Just because you are 'smashin' weights, brah' doesn't mean you are developing type II fibers... and then even if you have a mostly type II distribution (which humans do not) then you are still developing slow twich like qualities in the light myocin chains, anyway (heavy, not light chains, determine fiber type).


Yea, there is no way you can definitively say that any one thing is causing soreness.

I don't know what you mean here. Lifters generally have a 50/50 distribution or close to it in any study I've read or heard of. If by "shifted toward type I" you mean type IIx to IIa, then I agree, otherwise I'm confused. It takes years on end of intense endurance training to shift a type II fiber to the characteristics of a type I. Also, nerves determine fiber type. If my type II motor nerve dies and the muscle is cross-innervated by a type I nerve, the fiber becomes type I.

My only point with fiber typing is that doing 100 reps, whether it's in one set or 100, will not recruit motor units the same as a max single.


I don't know what one thing I said that casues soreness. There are lots of things. Mostly it is being too undertrained to handle a given load or activity.

There is no data anywhere on fiber types switching. A type I fiber will always be type I. Same with all of the type II's. They can take on characteristics of one an other due to training and activity stimulis. Also, type I fiber characteristics and cross sectional area aren't just a result of 'years of endurance training.' All recovery is aerobic. Even when you are lifting heavy, you are developing type I fibers (size and function in non-type I fibers). Yes innervation has some to do with it. Human beings are no where near 50/50 when it comes to distribution. The highest distributions are in olympic sprinters and sedentary people in wheelchairs and those barely hit 30% in RARE cases.


I'm still not sure we're on the same page here. IIx is the default fiber type and produces the most force, but it the last to be recruited. It shifts to IIa with training, so yes, I get what you're saying with all training being aerobic. For clarification, you're saying that sprinters and sedentary people are 30% type I? From the literature I've read, and this is multiple papers confirming the same data, elite sprinters are around 80/20 fast-twitch to slow-twitch. Marathoners are 30/70, and Olympic lifters and powerlifters alike are around 50/50. The discrepancy could be how you're defining FT and ST, because new techniques allow us to see transitional fibers as I think you've described. But if you're talking strictly FT vs ST, what I'm saying stands.

Again, from what I've read and have been taught, the motor nerve determines fiber type. I'll dig through Blackboard and see if I can find the studies that back that up.


There is way more too it than just innervation. Parapalegics (spell check) have the highest cross sectional area of type II fibers when compared to other populations... including elite athletes.

In terms of distribution, no one on earth has every been anywhere near 80% for fast twitch fibers. Maybe if you are talking about cross sectional area, 80% could be possible in extremely elite athletes, with perfect diets, and superior genetics.

Fiber types can't change. They can take on characteristics of other fibers but no amount of training will actually shift a type I to be a type II. The only way the distribution of fiber types could change is if new fibers are made. This means hyperplasia would have to happen. Even thought, personally, I think it can happen, it's never been shown to happen in humans.


The concept of doing 100 reps to determine what is weak in your body is like running a marathon and saying the parts that you are sore the next day are your weak parts. It doesn't mean a fucking thing besides these are the parts that are sore after 100 reps (or after a marathon).


Agreed , it's silly. There are two kinds of weak points. 1. You're just weak everywhere where just getting overall stronger will help you.
2. The kind Louis is talking about. You're deadlifting 525 and realize you hamstrings are a little weak proportionately .

This weak point thing can really derail people.