After muscle gains, would high rep bw training be benefical for tendons & ligaments?

Training for Life

Level 3 Valued Member
Not exactly related to my current training (S&S), just something I've been wondering for a while and have a hard time finding a solid answer for. Also IIRC I overheard something related to the subject in one of the previous Original Strength podcasts and it left me thinking.

Let's say one puts on weight rather quickly by eating a caloric surplus and lifting heavy weights. Does the strength of their tendons and ligaments generally increase in tandem with the amount of muscle mass they put on, given that the individual puts on muscle naturally and does not specifically focus on hypertrophy (eg. not bodybuilding)? That said, would it be beneficial to do some higher rep bodyweight work for a period of time afterwards to further strengthen tendons and ligaments? I've understood that especially lighter, more high rep bodyweight training is good for tendon & ligament health.
 

Erik Hournou

Level 6 Valued Member
muscle develops faster than other systems, according to my understanding, it would seem doing some high rep work would be beneficial, although you could also do yoga or pilates to increase flexibility and joint health.
 

kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
Does the strength of their tendons and ligaments generally increase in tandem with the amount of muscle mass they put on, given that the individual puts on muscle naturally and does not
Muscular vs Connective Tissue Development

Muscular strength increases more rapidly than connective tissue (tendon and ligament) strength.

Tendon Training for Injury Prevention and Explosive Power - The Bioneer

"...A new lifter will take about 2 months in order to see structural changes to their tendons (study). This is as compared with muscle tissue, which begins to respond in as little as eight days. The good news though is that connective tissue also retains its strength for longer than muscle."

would it be beneficial to do some higher rep bodyweight work for a period of time afterwards to further strengthen tendons and ligaments?
Higher Repetition For Connective Tissue

"...Tendons receive less blood flow as compared with muscle. That makes them slower to respond to training and slower to recover. "

"...Using higher rep ranges and ‘pump’ work is a good idea, in order to increase blood flow. That means lifting lighter weights for 12-20 repetitions as described in my video and post on vascularity training. Better yet, it might mean using a super-high rep flush-set at the end of a training session, ..."

The Take Home Message

Higher repetition increase blood flow to the connective tissue increasing their training recovery.

Dr Keith Basr (35:58 minuitre mark)

Baar goes into how connective tissue with heavy, slow Maximum Strength Movements (load of 85% of 1 Repetition Max for sets of 1 -5 Repetition per set) assist in their development.

Also, Maximum Strength Isometric Holds are one of the most effective methods of increasing connective tissue strength and connective tissue size.

Research on Isometrics has demonstrated that up to 15% more force (strength) is applied with an Isometric Hold compared to a heavy Concentric Repetition in the same exercise.

Isometric Holds have been shown to increase Maximum Strength around 15% just above and 15% just below where it is performed.

As Baar sarcastically states there is nothing is slower than Isometric Hold; there is no movement.

Baar also provides his research on how Collagen combined with Vitamin C, taken around "Connective Tissue Training", elicits greater development of connective tissue.

For those interested in obtaining more collagen in their diet, one of the the best foods and one of my favorite desserts is...

Jello

"The primary ingredient in jello is gelatin. Gelatin is made from animal collagen — a protein that makes up connective tissues, such as skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones."
 
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Dasho

Level 5 Valued Member
I add a packet of gelatin to my coffee, but here is a trick that has saved me many clumps:

Pour some heavy cream into your mug/thermos/what have you first. Sprinkle the gelatin on top of it, and wait 5-10 minutes. Then add the coffee and stir. I've found that it dissolves much more easily. I also add coconut oil and cinnamon, but your mileage may vary.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

Aleks Salkin also talks about high repetition bodyweight training, in general at the end of session tp increase tendon and ligament strength. It can be around a hundred of push ups or squats. It may be less if we consider pull ups.

Pavel Macek also mentions this "high repetitions" in his recharge routine. Basically, this stands for something we can find in ancient writings: age = number of push ups (Hindu push ups are a most in this regard) and age x 2 = number of squats (Hindu squats). Indeed, these two moves are quite smooth. It seems this is a minimal effective dose.

Concerning diet, bone broth is the most obvious and easy way. Of course, collagen powder is even easier.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Training for Life

Level 3 Valued Member
Thank you everyone for the thorough answers!

Based on this, it sounds like daily, recharging high rep bw work with some isometric holds and collagen would be a good pre-emptive remedy.
 

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
I've seen the idea of working up to higher repetitions, like maybe sets of 15 reps, before increasing the difficulty of an exercise specifically to slow you down and give the connective tissue time to adapt. Just wondering if people have thoughts on that approach?
 

Marc

Level 6 Valued Member
Research (I think it was mostly Schoenfeld) in the last years has shown that even low intensitiey (~40 %) done for high reps up to 30-50 yield similar hypertrophy gains compared to lower intensities (~70 - 80 %) done in the 5-10 rep range. The important point is to do those high reps close to or to failure.
 

Papa Georgio

Level 5 Valued Member
Not exactly related to my current training (S&S), just something I've been wondering for a while and have a hard time finding a solid answer for. Also IIRC I overheard something related to the subject in one of the previous Original Strength podcasts and it left me thinking.

Let's say one puts on weight rather quickly by eating a caloric surplus and lifting heavy weights. Does the strength of their tendons and ligaments generally increase in tandem with the amount of muscle mass they put on, given that the individual puts on muscle naturally and does not specifically focus on hypertrophy (eg. not bodybuilding)? That said, would it be beneficial to do some higher rep bodyweight work for a period of time afterwards to further strengthen tendons and ligaments? I've understood that especially lighter, more high rep bodyweight training is good for tendon & ligament health.
I think the problem of connecting tissue not keeping up with muscle is a more prominent issue with the chemically enhanced crowd. With natty's, it probably not something that's a huge issue. Maybe a minor issue as age creeps in. As other have alluded, doing some lighter high rep work within an existing strength program is pretty healthy to get the blood flowing to the connecting tissues.

Having said that, I don't think it make a case for totally selling out to a program exclusively using lower intensity/higher reps. You might be able to build some temporary pump (sarcoplasmic) muscle, but it won't be the longer lasting dense myofibril muscle that can produce higher tension.

JMO
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
Whenever I have had PT after injury (or surgery) the therapists always without fail prescribe higher reps. Typically in the 15-20 range...
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I think the problem of connecting tissue not keeping up with muscle is a more prominent issue with the chemically enhanced crowd.
That would be my suspicion also. For those of us who've gotten stronger over the years gradually, connective tissue strength as a separate thing is much less of an issue. Speaking for myself, it's never something I've paid attention to.

-S-
 
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