"The problem with applying the Volume Method to the goal of maximum hypertrophy is that you'll find people claiming every conceivable system worksï¿½?? low volume, high volume, and everything in between. Some trainees merely perform one set to failure for any given exercise. If that set is 12 reps, then their set-rep volume for that exercise is 12. At the other extreme you find guys who'll try to do 10 sets of 10 reps of a single exercise.
As any second grader could tell you, 10 times 10 works out to a set-rep total of 100. In the first case, one all-out set of 12 reps, you're using between two-thirds and three-fourths of your 1RM. Let's split the difference and say you're using 70 percent of your one-rep max. You can certainly build muscles at that intensity, but in my experience you need a lot more than 12 reps to do it.
In the second case, the most you'll be able to use for 100 reps is about 60 percent of your 1 RM. Put another way, you're not using 40 percent of your 1 RM, which means you're not using your body's biggest and highest-threshold muscle fibers. You're working the hell out of your smaller fibers, and while they have some growth potential, it's nothing like the growth you'll get when you throw the big boys into the mix."
It's the part about German Volume Training that interests me the most. He claims that because you are not working the larger fibers you are not achieving maximum hypertrophy with a 10X10 at 60% of 1RM. I have a ton or respect for Chad's writing and work but this does not make sense to me. Will the larger fibers not fire as the smaller ones tire?
I have personally witnessed many (including myself) experience incredible hypotrophy using GVT protocols when it was first introduced by coach Poliquin several years back.
A lot has been written in the past couple of months about this topic. I think the best way to sum it up is to say yes, it's a great muscle-building system. No, it won't optimally hypertrophy the largest fibers, but if you're a bodybuilder, who cares? On the other hand, you probably won't get big doing exclusively heavy, low-rep work, either. For overall size, like pretty much everything else, the solution is somewhere in the middle.
Also, regardless of what any strength coach theorizes, you can't argue with real world results. Personally I could care less if Zatsiorsky himself said, "X system is suboptimal due to Y, Q, and L." If that system produces results in a large percentage of those who try it, then guess what, it's effective.
Now, one thing I will agree with CW about is that GVT is a high volume program, and high volume like that can be hard on the joints. It also takes longer for your body (nervous system, muscles) to recover from a high volume workout. So, frequency must be kept low (once a week).
Still though, those things don't make the program ineffective. The only thing that can do that is if the program fails to produce results. And honestly, from all of the testimonials I've heard, it's a pretty effective program. That should really be the only thing that matters.
Well, if Waterbury knows how to do one thing, it's to grow muscles. I, however, have not sank my teeth totally into his notion of speed training and muscle fiber recruitment theories. Not that I disagree with him per se, I just can't understand why the parameters have to be so strict.
Why you should stop when the weight slows down and not push beyond that point in either sets or reps. I don't know why partial recruitment in conjunction with with full recruitment is a bad thing, or not as effective thing.
It's kind of a battle between advanced training and common sense, I guess.
i think the idea of speed strength training is to condition your body to always recruit the fast twitch fibers and not the slower ones. If this is worrying us too much we should just ask Waterbury maybe he can clear things up.
I dont think he explicityly states why,but i was under the impression that u would terminate the set when the forms breaks down or the rep speed slows as a way of recruiting the maximum fast twitch fibers and minimizing fatigue.
When u start to slow u aren't going to be using fast twitch fibers so u might as well save ur energy for later sets so that u can continue to recruit high twitch fibers for the most reps
example: You do bench press on the first set with 7 reps (even though u slow down after 5 reps) ur next four sets might look like this 7, 6, 6, 6. Each slowing down 2 reps prior to stopping. That gives u (5+5+4+4+4)22 reps with maximum motor recruitment.
But if u hadn't pushed gone past those fast reps ur sets may have looked like this 5,5,5,5,5 giving u 25 reps with maximum motor recruitment
This is what i think CW may have meant, though im not agreeing or disagreeing with his putative theory
Thank you son. I've been reading/contemplating CW's new methodology for weeks now and it finally clicked with your post. Thanks. It makes perfect sense now. It seems to me that it is the way to train, unless you are training for a metabolic effect (i.e. burn/pump/lactic acid build-up for hormone release purposes).
If simply training to render the most protein degredation by way of the most reps with the highest weight in the shortest time period, then we had better damn well stop the set when the speed slows down!!! I've got it!
You know, before actually looking at the research I'd have agreed with this post. But, since having read through a few articles (during a couple extensive, and very enlightening debates about this subject) I'd have to say that this is not in actuality what occurs.
Here is the thing, like Zatsiorsky mentions, there are basically 3 ways to recruit maximal MU's/muscle fibers.
The first is to lift a maximal load (all fibers must be called on in order to produce sufficient force), move a submaximal load at a maximal velocity (according to the research I've read, ballistic contractions lower force thresholds, thus leading to Mu's/fibers being activated which would have have been at submaximal velocities), and move a submaximal load to momentary muscular failure.
(fatigue also lowers force thresholds, thus once again causing the body to activate larger fibers which would not have otherwise been called upon)
The most interesting thing that I noticed in regards to the fatigue study was that no fibers that were ever called upon ever dropped out. In other words even during those reps at the end of the set where your speed decreases, your largest fibers are still firing.
It's just that due to fatigue (build up of lactic acid, lack of available energy, etc...) those fibers are capable of producing less force, thus the speed slows down.
Now, am I suggesting not to use fast lifting (concentric) speeds? No, absolutely not. But, the idea of avoiding failure (or slower rep speeds) doesn't make all that much sense to me personally. And like someone said above, perhaps CW can clarify his reasoning for this in a future article or over in his "Maximal Recruitment...." thread.
Another thing that Zatsiorsky mentions is that in order for a muscle fiber/MU to hypertrophy, it must not only be recruited, but also fatigued. So, why on earth would one want to avoid fatigue? So you can do more sets/reps to reach the same level of fatigue? Does that really make sense? Is that really a more efficient use of time/energy?
Seriously, think about it, you have two options (and while these are hypothetical, there is some real world anecdotal evidence for both);
A) you can perform one all out set to momentary muscular failure at which time you have fatigued all of the muscle fibers/MU's capable of producing enough force to overcome the resistance.
B) you can stop your sets short of momentary muscular failure (using speed, ROM, etc... as a gauge) and then perform multiple further sets until your muscle fibers/MU's are fatigued.
So, I can do one set or five to achieve the same basic objective. Now, I'm no rocket scientist, but it seems to me like doing one set would be more efficient.
Now, before you all jump on my back and chastise me for being a HIT Jedi, I most certainly am not. But, I can see why they went the direction they did and the basic theory they were operating from. After all, why do we perform multiple sets? Why does volume have any bearing on hypertrophy at all? The answer, fatigue and muscle damage.
If that can be achieved using one set (or one extended set, say drop set, rest-pause, etc...) why prolong that fatigue and muscle damage just so you can do more sets?
Maybe I'm way off. Maybe I've completely missed CW's point and he can set me straight. Maybe one of the other forum members can shed some light on this subject for me. But at this point, while I like the concept of lifting as fast as possible, I don't understand nor agree with stopping the sets when speed slows down.
Interesting post Sentoguy. I believe a couple of the main reasons many (myself included) feel that multiple sets not to failure produces far greater hypertrophy than a single all out effort is time under tension and protein synthesis. It is pretty much accepted at this point that the high volume moderate intensity work is the optimum way to achieve hypertrophy and that low volume high intensity work is the optimum way to achieve relative strength.
Basically martial artists (and all combat athletes) should train completely differently than someone simply trying to alter their body composition where performance and total body weight arenâ¿¿t really factors. I think Pavel does a decent job of explaining this in â¿¿Power to the Peopleâ¿¿. Chad Waterbury also talks about this in Muscle Revolution.
Time under tension is a good argument. But, the question is, is more time under tension always better? Or, is there an optimal amount and beyond that point adding more won't produce better results?
I know that a lot of coaches talk about TUT and I think that they are right to an extent (poliquin mentions that sets lasting between 30-60 seconds will result in an optimal hypertrophy stimulus). The question is though, is performing multiple hypertrophy stimulating sets more effective than a single hypertrophy stimulating set, or an extended set?
If the answer is no, then the single set (or extended set) would produce the same level of hypertrophy as the multiple set workout. The advantage with the single set workout however would be that there would be less volume to recover from and therefore frequency could be increased (as opposed to a workout involving numerous sets to failure) while still maintaining "intensity", which must be lessened if sets are not to be taken to failure.
Also, let's say that I do 8 sets of 3 reps (24 total reps), do the reps as fast as possible. and stop before going to failure. And let's just say for the sake of simplicity that it takes me on average 1 second on the concentric and 2 seconds on the eccentric. Therefore each set lasts an average of 9 seconds for a total of 72 seconds.
Now in contrast let's say that I do an extended set rest paused fashion (perform reps to failure, rest approx. 10-15 seconds repeat reps to failure, rest another 10-15 seconds and once again perform reps to failure, if this looks familiar to anyone you may know where I'm coming from), perform 15 total reps (8,4,3) and since I am taking each set to momentary muscular failure it takes me an average of 2 seconds on the concentric (since the last few reps of each set will be gruelingly slow) and 4 seconds on the eccentric. Therefore my total time would be 90 seconds.
So, I've achieved greater TUT in far less time than with the 3x8 method. Now I also realize that this is just an example and yes, I manipulated the variables so that the second workout produced a greater TUT than the first. But, who's to say that one couldn't do this in actual application? So I think the example still has merit.
In regards to the protein "synthesis" argument. Well, no amount of weight training produces protein synthesis, only protein degradation (damage). Protein synthesis is what occurs when you're done working out and your body is repairing and rebuilding itself (hopefully supercompensating).
Now if you meant protein damage (which I suspect that you did), then that's another good argument. But, generally the more damage that you cause the more sore you're going to get (as a result of the repair process), even though I know that several authors claim that soreness isn't indicative of effectiveness. I would say that it is most likely indicative of how much damage you've done to the muscles though. And from what I understand one of the reasons for not going to failure is to actually avoid soreness. This would at least suggest a reduction in protein degradation as well.
And if someone knows otherwise I'd love to hear their response and the reasons behind it. I'm all for learning and am just responding from the knowledge that I have gathered so far.
Also, like the TUT topic, is there an optimal level of protein degradation, and anything beyond that is not productive, or even counterproductive?
For instance, having someone beat you in the legs with a bat will cause tonnes of damage to your muscles, as would trying to pick up an impossibly heavy object, like a car. And while the former would not cause the damage from exercise, the later would. Both would result in huge amounts of soreness and would probably result in the trainee not being able to train for an extended period of time, thus frequency would have to also be greatly diminished.
But, I'm rambling. Good arguments, I'm just not sure that the multiple set workout would necessarily produce more optimal levels of TUT or protein degradation than the single extended set workout.
I'm also not sure you understood what I meant by "intensity", I wasn't talking about %1RM. So, we're not talking about relative strength work (i.e. 3x3), we're talking about high "intensity" as in you bust your balls and give every rep everything you've got. And you keep going until you simply cannot lift the weight (despite your best efforts).
There is also no "universally accepted best" method for hypertrophy (other than eat enough, rest enough, and progressively increase resistance). Yes, many people get good results from high volume moderate intensity (as in effort), but lots of other people get good results from low volume high "intensity" as well.
Hey Sento, I don't have the exact details, but as far as the neurological/speed end goes, they are training for maximum output by training in the range of ability to perform at maximum output.(sounds redundant, I know.) What trainers have found is that when the ability to perform decreases, what the trainee begins to do is train for a sub-maximal performance. The current solution to this is to stop training that movement when the trainees ability to perform at the highest level has dropped signifigantly- 2 to 5%.
This is similar to the reason that sprinters have stopped using resistance like parachute training and training too far into fatigue. It was just training them to run slower.
Another reason Waterbury is a proponent of the high thresh hold MU training has to do with turn over and replacement of the cells and fibers. When the loading and resulting fatigue breaks down the tissue, it is theorized that this signals for the replacement and supercompensation to be done with high thresh hold MUs, which may have more potential for growth. He covered the neurological signaling and cellular encoding in one of his articles, but it's late and I can't remember which one right now.
From a performance standpoint that makes perfect sense. Athletes with performance as their number one priority should definitely do things in a way that maximizes their performance.
But, we're not really talking about performance here, we're talking about muscle building. Sure, some athletes do have great builds, but there are very few athletes out there with muscular levels comparable to bodybuilders (people who train exclusively for muscle).
And as I stated before, regardless of the scientific data that theories are formulated from, you simply can't argue with anecdotal evidence (real world evidence). A lot of high level bodybuilders and powerlifters have received great results going to failure (in terms of building muscle).
Also, in regards to the HTMU's point that you made...I completely agree that if one wants maximal hypertrophy that one must recruit and fatigue their largest MU's/muscle fibers. But, there are 3 ways to get at those fibers/MU's:
Speed seems to be the one that CW is most fond of at this point, and from reading his articles it does seem very promising. Fatigue (which is basically the method used when going to momentary muscular failure) is also quite effective however, and has been proven effective for building muscle over decades now.
Also, from a bodybuilding perspective, one would actually want to fatigue as many fibers as possible, not only the HTMU's. Yes, the largest fibers have the most growth potential, but the intermediate ones also have growth potential (albeit less).
If one always lifts with the intent to only fatigue the largest fibers, then the intermediate one won't receive maximal stimulation. This could be remedied by using lighter weights and more reps, but that's not the example we're talking about here.
So once again, for performance I think that CW's theories would pay huge dividends. For pure muscle building I think that, while if applied correctly could still be helpful, there may be more efficient methods out there (and methods that have stood the test of time and been proven effective for countless trainees).
Now I am most certainly not suggesting that CW's plans don't work, or are ineffective. His concepts do work and I've applied them to my workouts in the past (and still do to an extent) with success, as I know many others have as well. I'm simply speaking from the perspective of efficiency. And I honestly believe at this point that there may be more efficient wants to build muscle than by performing 8 sets of 3 reps.
First of all, I'd like to say that this is a great conversation and there are some very intelligent posts here from which I have learned a few things, I thank you for that.
I especially like Sento's presentation of Zatsiorsky's research. It made some interesting points. From the Waterbury side of the tracks, I think I am starting to understand maybe a little better.
His prescribed methodology allows you to utilize 100% (actually probably more like 95% to 99%, in reality) MU recruitment repeatedly so that your high threshold MU's get more work and hence grow where as working at a lower capacity does not exhaust those high threshold MU's and limits you ability to do so as the set goes on; or so the theory goes.
That Zatsiorsky guy, made mention that more and more MU's are recruited as the set goes on, but the fibers are not dropping out as the set goes on. That is also interesting, but the question is are you getting 100% MU's recruitment as the set goes on. I would say not, at least anecdotally. For if you were to completely exhaust all of your muscle fibers during a set, you would then not be able to move up in weight during the set, only down.
Try this for an experiment, I think triceps rope extensions would illustrate it the best. Do a declining set, starting as heavy as you can. Go down say, three to four increments. On each increment go to failure.
Work the last increment to failure and then start moving the weight back up. You'll notice that you will be able to move the weights that you were previously failing at, with in the same set while continuing the fatigue the muscle. What this seems to indicate, at least anecdotally, is that, not only did you have some MU's left in the tank, but those MU's were already recovered even though the muscle itself was still being recruited. That is just plain weird.
Perhaps, Waterbury could explain that phenomenon. I think it goes with out saying you'll be sore as holy hell after doing it. So at the moment, my thinking is this, the most effective way to recruit the and exhaust you muscles is to do speed/intensity training until the you speed slows down on subsequent sets, thus exhausting you high thresh hold motor units and then killing off the rest of them with high volume and varying resistance.
Thoughts? I hope I didn't sound like a moron, I don't know if I was able to express my thoughts clearly.
Actualy, I was going to bring this up. This is just about word for word the strategy that I'm currently using, with the only difference being a strictly heavy day on each movement thrown in to the rotation.
I'll let you know how it goes in the comming months.
You most definitely didn't sound like a moron. Your post was well thought out and you brought up some interesting arguments.
You questioned whether 100% of MU's are being recruited on the last rep of a fatigue set (set to momentary muscular failure). According to the research that I've seen at least, you are recruiting 100% of (identified) MU's on that rep. As I mentioned fatigue lowers force thresholds, meaning that as your smaller MU's fatigue, the larger ones must be called in to help to produce force. But like you mentioned the smaller MU's don't drop out (nor do the larger ones), but simply produce less force due to fatigue.
As far as anecdotal evidence, actually I'd have to say there's exponential amounts more to suggest that lifting to momentary muscular failure results in maximal hypertrophy than there is to suggest that lifting fast, but avoiding fatigue leads to maximal hypertrophy. I'm not saying there are no good examples, just that there are fewer.
Also, at least from my experience you can't move up in weight upon reaching momentary muscular failure. I've personally never even heard that theory or argument, and it doesn't really make any sense from a physiological standpoint.
Momentary muscular failure is due to insufficient force being produced by the muscle fibers/MU's. Meaning that the force they are generating is equal to or lesser than the resistance being placed on them (the barbell, bodyweight, etc...).
Therefore, they would certainly not be capable of overcoming an even greater force. Now, drop sets work because while the muscle fibers are incapable of overcoming the resistance used in the set, they are still capable of producing some force. Therefore by decreasing the resistance the fibers are once again "magically" capable of overcoming it and continuing the set.
But, like I said before, I've never even heard of, let alone tried, this method/theory before. So, while it doesn't seem to make sense to me, it's possible that it could actually occur. If someone knows of a study that points to the physiological phenomenon behind this, or anyone with a greater knowledge base than myself cares to explain it, I'd definitely be interested.
Now for techniques like rest-pause, sufficient time is allowed for some energy reserves to replenish and for some lactic acid to be buffered/cleared from the muscle(s). However, due to insufficient recover time some fatigue is still maintained thus once again causing a larger emphasis on the larger fibers/HTMU's.
Hey Sento, I don't know if Waterbury acknowledges that 100% High thresh hold muscle fibers are being recruited on a fatigue set or if he is espousing that that is not the best way to get the "big boys" in to play during the course of a set. It seems, that more than 100% recruitment of MU's he is really trying to get the lifter thinking about truly working those HTMU's more than they would with the "standard" lifting methodology where you increment up and work to fatigue the muscle. Sort of a trickle down effect versus a bubble up effect, I guess. The HTMU's are getting hit with higher frequency. Those HTMU's have a higher potential for growth. Therefore, all else being equal, you stimulate more muscle growth. My problem with the Waterbury's methodology here is that it seems to leave too much in the tank, which is not how I like to train, but I can see where that can be very useful. You can repeatedly trash you HTMU's through out the course of a week with out much nervous system degradation leading to a lesser need for rest and faster recovery so you can hit the same muscles over and over. The problem is, that the LTMU's need love too. I think he assumes they are getting sufficiently hit because you are using 100% MU recruitment, I however don't think so. I think he is just changing the focus to primarily hitting the HTMU's first.
Using a fatigue style technique where a moderate weight is used and achieving momentary muscle failure, while still achieving 100% muscle fiber recruitment you already are losing force by the time the HTMU's are being activated and hence not being activated for a long enough duration and/or frequency and therefore making it less efficient? I don't know really, its tough call. Obviously, there is a need for ample HTMU recruitment in training and there is a need to completely fatigue a muscle too, MU recruitment be damned. I think a lifter would experience impressive initial growth from Waterbury's plan because many lifters have never thought of lifting for the purpose of 100% MU recruitment where the highest threshold muscle fibers are stimulated so frequently. But I also think they will plateau just like with any other lifting methodology. Also, it can be hell on the joints of older lifters.
You should try the drop set/up set thing. It is weird but it does happen. I like triceps because when they fail it is total, you can't move them as you well know. But say you start at 80 lbs, work it to failure, drop to 60 lbs. work to failure, 50 lbs work to failure, 40 lbs work to failure, then go back to 50 lbs and work to failure and then 60 lbs to failure. Obviously, when you go up failure comes in 1-3 reps, but you can move it where you failed on it in the same set. It doesn't make sense, especially according to research. But when has research been able to build more muscle than a meat-head? It also make me question these MU recruitment theories because what happens should not happen. It seems that there is some recovery already while the set is still in progress. Sorry for the long diatribe. What do you think?
It really doesn't matter whether Waterbury acknowledges that 100% of MU's are recruited at the end of a set to failure, lifters have been using that method for decades with great success. Not to mention that there are studies that pretty much back up the theory that it does (as many as there are that illustrate the benefits of ballistic contractions).
I'm also not arguing that the HTMU's have the best growth potential, nor that one shouldn't try to stimulate them. My point is that just stimulating them isn't going to cause them to grow, you must also fatigue them. I personally like lifting fast and have CW to thank for really bringing that concept to the forefront (although there have been people utilizing it for quite some time, so I don't really think you can give him credit for inventing it).
So, why would we want to avoid fatigue? Why would we want to do five sets when we can do one (or one extended set)? That's the part that doesn't seem to make sense to me. Why not lift explosively to failure? That way we're hitting the HTMU's and fatiguing them in as short a time period as possible. That seems a lot more efficient to me.
Yes, but you would be losing force due to the smaller fibers fatiguing. When failure is reached it means that your muscles are simply not capable of producing sufficient force to overcome the resistance (due to fatigue). That method of lifting therefore is much more efficient of both stimulating and fatiguing muscle fibers (and a larger number/type of muscle fibers are fatigued).
Once again I'm personally not questioning whether Waterbury's programs are effective. I believe that they are. My only argument is that they may not be the most efficient use of time and energy. And that there are programs that have much more anecdotal evidence to support their effectiveness than Waterbury's newest program.
Right now I'm currently doing a program that I really like, and it doesn't really allow for using that method. But, I'll try it out when I get the chance.
I also agree that real world results (anecdotal evidence) will (and should) always hold more water than research. As far as I'm concerned research rarely does anything more than to prove what we already know to be true through anecdotal evidence.
pat36: I don't mean to interject in the conversation, as pretty much everyone in this thread is far more knowledgeable than I am, but I am wondering if the phenomenon you are experiencing with your "pick up" sets (60 > 50 > 40 > 50 > ...) is the same phenomenon that makes rest-pause training possible.
You do, let's say, 8 reps at 60, then 8 at 50, then 8 at 40, then 4 at 50, then 2 at 60, for example. In between your set at 50 and the next one at 50 you are pausing momentarily to reset the weight. I know it's an extremely short pause, but it might be just enough time to let your muscle recuperate for the next set.
Try dropping down and doing a set of pushups to failure. Then, relax on the ground for a second or two and do another pushup. You can do this for quite a while before you reach total failure and can no longer continue.
I'd imagine that if you had a machine that could smoothly adjust load while you were in the middle of a set, and you were doing your tricep rope pulldowns, you'd be unable to do your "pick up" set.
For example, if you failed on the 8th rep at 60 pounds, then the machine was adjusted as you struggled with the 8th rep to drop to 50, you continue for 6 more reps then the machine adjusts to 40 while you struggle unsuccessfully with the rep. I'd bet that when you reached failure on, say, the 6th rep at 40lbs, you would continue to fail (so to speak) if the machine auto-adjusted back up to 50 lbs.
That's just my initial thought. I'm not sure if recovery can happen that quickly, but I don't know how else you'd explain it.
On another note, I'm surprised no HIT junkies have developed a machine like the one I described.
Actually there already exist machines like the one you described. They're called isokinetic resistance machines. Basically, the more force that you exert against the machine the more resistance it gives you, the less force that you exert the less resistance it gives you.
So, as you fatigued and were capable of producing less and less force the machine would give you less and less resistance. I think you'd find though that this would tend to disprove the notion that you can go back up in resistance after failing at a lower resistance.
Like Industrial suggested, the reason for being able to go back up might be that you are taking mini breaks between changing the resistance.
Try this for an experiment. Get a pair of 25's, 20's, 15's, 10's, and 5's and line them up next to one another. Now, doing bent over laterals go to failure with the 25's, immedietely drop them and pick up the 20's and go to failure, immediately drop them and pick up the 15's, repeat this until you've failed with the 5's, then try doing reps with the 10's.
You must really, really be quick switching between the dumbbells. No breaths, no rest. You should be switching between the dumbbells like your life depends on it.
I've done this going down the line (trying also to not only switch between the weights as quickly as possible, but also to finish the reps as fast as possible) and can say from experience, that I know I wouldn't have been able to go back up the line (at least without using atrocious form and making the bent laterals into more of a dumbbell high pull). If you can then either you're not really going to failure like you think you are, or you've got some crazy physiology that's quite different from mine.
Feel free to interject. I have learned a lot from this conversation and anybody willing to constructively add to it is a help.
As far as the drop set thing, yes it is possible, as it is impossible to change weight with out some sort of pause. The quickest way to switch it up is to have somebody do it for you, but inevitably there is a pause however slight.
I would like to think that the pause is negligible enough to that the muscle does not have time to recover, but recovery can be fast, I guess.
I'd like to try those Isokenetic machines Sento is talking about. That would truly test the theory. The only problem with testing it is it hurts, and I do mean bad. You really have to muscle your way past the burn to endure it, more than usual I'd say.