Discussion in 'Masters (50+ years old)' started by banzaiengr, May 4, 2016.

  1. KIWI5

    KIWI5 More than 300 posts

    Don't get me wrong- sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is highly valuable. Especially when you are trying to score women on spring break.........wait a minute, that was 35 years ago.....! Stuart Elliot- if I knew what I know now when I was 42..you crazy kids- so much potential.
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  2. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    Relative to myofibrillar/sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, the more I read on this topic the less clear it becomes.

    Sarcoplasmic volume is limited by myofibrillar density, any increase/decrease of non-contractile elements as a variable % of total volume it is actually pretty small. Even now, from what I have found there is no consensus on this from a scientific viewpoint. It is simply an easy way to explain the differences in adaptive response to different loading schemes.

    Biopsies don't show much difference between muscle mass trained in different ways - certainly nowhere near the drawings used to illustrate the theory. I have gotten stronger without getting bigger, but I have never gotten bigger without getting stronger, even from working at 70-80% 1RM.

    Effect on the connective tissue and possibly CNS seem to be more effected by lower volume/higher %1RM schemes, higher volume lower %1RM schemes (with increases in food intake) seem to be correlated with the increased mass (relative) that results from that sort of training.
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  3. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    Here is a screenshot of PttP regarding types of hypertrophy:

    Kind regards,

  4. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    To the best of my knowledge the condition that image illustrates has never been verified scientifically. Despite attempts to do so the results are all over the map. It is a theoretical explanation.
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  5. Kettlebelephant

    Kettlebelephant Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I own all three TB books (I, II, AA) and have recommended them multiple times on the forum.
    This is the important part which makes it doable for seasoned lifters.
    5 reps at submaximal weights is a completely different animal than 5 reps with the load you use for Starting Strength (-> what you say is very close to Barbell Prescription)

    I have to agree with @North Coast Miller. You get conflicting information regarding what happens in a muscle/muscle cell for the different kinds od hypertrophy. E.g. I've read that you can only increase the size of the fibers, but not increase the numbers. The picture clearly shows an increase in numbers, which is in contrast to the thing I read.
    I'm not speculating which statement is right, just showing that there's not a clear answer.

    Btw people think too much in black and white with this.
    A) sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is in no way useless (like it says in the picture) and
    B) it's not an either or situation. You'll experience both types of hypertrophy with either training method. It's just a bit more on one side of the scale with the different rep ranges.
  6. 305pelusa

    305pelusa Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    OMG LOL.

    "Bloated, soft, useless muscle". Pavel used to be such a savage to bodybuilders back in the old days. I wonder if it was because he wrote for DD, which meant his writing needed to be more rhetorical (especially with all that communist party deal).

    Nowadays, Pavel's writing (or at least 4 years ago, when he made S&S and posted in the bloq) seems a lot more composed and elegant. I think it's a good change. As much as I do miss the hilarious condescending comments about BBers and Jazzercise and so on.
  7. Harry Westgate

    Harry Westgate More than 500 posts

    I agree on all your points. I remember reading TNW and PttP! aged 16/17 and I used to love the humour he had.

    Pavel's more recent writing style is definitely a welcome change though, "composed and elegant" is a pretty spot on description in my opinion.

    Like a fine wine, Pavel has gotten better with age, which is saying something given how awesome his work was 10+ years ago.
    jca17 likes this.
  8. Stefan Olsson

    Stefan Olsson More than 500 posts

    So, has he (Pavel) changed his view in this matter or is it just his Writing?
  9. Mirek

    Mirek Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    ... and partly also on purpose I think. He knew that there is a segment of the market not interested in bodybuilding and he had to clearly and loudly distinguish himself.
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  10. Harry Westgate

    Harry Westgate More than 500 posts

    I suspect it's a bit of both - Pavel's more recent articles about slow twitch training seem to indicate to me that he's more open to bodybuilder-esque training...

    I try not to get to deep in the woods about this stuff though so I may be wrong.

    My training has always followed Pavel's recommendations - fast twitch/myofibrillar development. Having said that, since 1H swinging and bent pressing a 40kg kettlebell comfortably I have gotten bigger, but far denser too (no soft, bloated or useless muscle in my frame thank you very much!).

    My bodyweight has gone from 72-74kg while working with the 32kg, to 76-78kg now that I'm using the 40kg, with minimal gain in fat, and minimal gain in waist circumference (at a height of 174cm).

    This is despite not eating to try to gain mass, and training S&S-style, albeit doing bent presses rather than TGUs for the last 5 months or so.

    I would add that I've recently turned 22 so perhaps some filling out was always going to be on the cards. However, I'm also wary of the school of thought that bigger isn't necessarily healthier, even if the additional size is pure muscle. As such mass-building is never likely to be a priority of mine. Even if it does look better to have some more meat on my bones...
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  11. Kettlebelephant

    Kettlebelephant Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    The following is from S&S. See the part about "just pumping you up". He's still about prioritizing strength.

  12. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    This is an interesting vid and corresponding article. Again it is hardly definitive as the studies cited are far from exhaustive with tons of limiting factors. It seems to be a well researched bit of info.

    There are several interesting factoids I came away with (tho still not sure how to apply them in any sort of day to day).

    One is that myofibrillar density actually seems to consistently decrease in trained athletes. And this is apparently true of powerlifters and BBers.

    However, this decrease accompanies increases in overall size. IDK at what point myofibrillar density would increase as you shrink, but the trade-off is not going to be worth it!

    The force produced by a muscle fiber is a function of its diameter and not its cross section, so as muscle size goes up, overall force projection will increase as well but is not linear. This is likely related to the above observation re myofibrillar density as it was consistent with both BBers and (to lesser extent but still evident) powerlifters.

    The good news - even if inefficient, an increase is muscle size will pretty much always result in an increase in strength above baseline relative to bodyweight.
    About 40% of the typical male’s mass is skeletal muscle. Let’s say he weighs 100kg, and has 40kg of skeletal muscle, and totals 600kg (nice rough numbers just to make the math easy). That’s 15kg per kg of muscle, and a Wilks score of 365. If he increases his muscle mass by 25%, but that extra muscle mass is only 80% as strong, then he’s adding 10kg of muscle and 12kg on his total per kg of muscle added – another 120kg. So, weighing 110kg, he’d have a total of 720, for a Wilks score of 423. He’d only need a total of 620-625 to keep the same Wilks score while added an extra 10kg of muscle, or in other words, the extra muscle he added would need to be only 20% as strong as his original muscle to reach the break-even point.

    Most studies show that strength trained people’s whole muscles have higher specific tensions than those of untrained people. However, this study (to the best of my knowledge) is the only one that compared whole muscle specific tension (force/CSA) to single fiber specific tension pre- and post-training. They found that specific tension for single fibers was unchanged, but specific tension for the whole muscle increased. They posited that lateral force transmission (muscle fibers side-by-side linking up with each other to aid in force transmission) was the most likely cause for the increase in whole-muscle specific tension, and that myofibrillar density within the individual fibers themselves was unchanged since single fiber specific tension didn’t change.


    A last one I thought was very interesting:

    A recent meta-analysis by Schoenfeld et al looking at the effects of training load on hypertrophy, dynamic strength, and isometric strength helps counter one of the main arguments people use to contend that light, high rep training causes sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. People claim that since strength gains are larger with heavier training, heavy training must be adding more contractile proteins (myofibrillar hypertrophy), while lighter training must be expanding muscle size without adding as many contractile proteins (sarcoplasmic hypertrophy). Earlier in this article I discussed why that’s not an entirely logical argument, but this meta-analysis provides us with some direct evidence to refute it.

    Unsurprisingly, heavy training was better for dynamic strength. However, there’s a skill component to dynamic strength, and heavier training helps to train that skill. On the other hand, there was no significant difference between high load and low load training for gains in isometric strength (i.e. force output with virtually no skill required). This suggests that low load training is still adding contractile proteins just as effectively as high load training; it’s just not great for training you to use them effectively for maximal dynamic contractions (i.e. 1RMs).


    As mentioned, I still don't know what to make of this in terms of applicability or how many of the conclusions are accurate, but sure is an interesting read if you haven't already stumbled across it.

    Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy: The Bros Were Probably Right

    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
  13. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    Rep ranges for older lifters - from what I've read, what I've been doing all along, which is training for strength at low reps, is what many people recommend. Rickey Dale Crain and others have specifically advised against 8-12 rep ranges - I'll see if I can find the article in his old newsletters.

    Stefan Olsson likes this.
  14. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    I personally do not understand any resistance training philosophy for GPP that does not advocate a variety of rep/set counts and loading in the plan (or conversely that actively warn one away from such a strategy).

    For competitive lifters or task specific athletes it makes more sense to limit what you're doing as it is specific goal oriented, usually with timeline and bodyweight limitations as well, but...

    Every range elicits its own training adaptation. Individually, the literature and anecdotal evidence suggest there's something desirable about all of them, and some aspects that are potentially undesirable as well. The undesirable aspects come about only through exclusive or near exclusive use of a single strategy.

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  15. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    @North Coast Miller, the line between GPP and competitive lifting isn't always clear. I'd be a fine example - I compete, and I want to lift more than I already have, but I have my own list of things I'm willing and not willing to do to get there. I consider competitive lifting _as_ my GPP.

    My approach, which I've described before here, is to focus on competing for a few months at a time and then go more freestyle, which has included higher rep ranges in small doses, between periods of training specifically for a competition.

    One other point - there is something desirable, and something not desirable, about every rep range. It's all better than not lifting, but there are inherent risks with lower weights and higher reps, too.

    North Coast Miller likes this.
  16. KIWI5

    KIWI5 More than 300 posts

    I can't help but return to the book 'Barbell Prescription'- both authors Andy Baker and Dr. Jonathon Sullivan present not only robust arguments for lower rep ranges (for 'older' or 'master athletes''), but more importantly -they also have hands on experience with more than just a few casual older lifters-their premise is based on experience. There will obviously be exceptions to the rule- but it's hard to argue with actual experience and not theory.
    Volume and the Masters Lifter | Jonathon Sullivan and Andy Baker
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018
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  17. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    If I'm not mistaken in reading the link, the lower rep ranges go hand in hand with lower set numbers as well. When they discuss in the article limiting volume, it is with the assumption the rep range is already low and a higher volume of sets won't be well tolerated in the older lifter. It doesn't seem that higher rep/lower set counts are relevant, at least to this article?

    Either way, low rep/high % 1rm training is associated with decreases in mitochondrial density in pretty much everybody. Unless a supplemental aerobic component is assumed. Why not include variety to minimize this in the recreational/general fitness lifter?
  18. KIWI5

    KIWI5 More than 300 posts

    North Coast Miller- I absolutely agree- variety is important. However, it would appear that the lower rep intensity training is best for the majority of the 'masters athletes'. I am carrying out my own experiment by undertaking the 'Dry Fighting Weight' program. The rep range is still sub 6- but the rest intervals are less than the traditional five minutes for strength. Plus, the kettlebell press has a greater range of motion than the barbell press so this makes the 'test' somewhat similar, but different to traditional barbell movement. From my perspective-the volume of this program is requiring me to add additional rest days so as to avoid over training/injury...
  19. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    I guess I'm not convinced there is a consensus re any particular rep range for older lifters. If you are an older lifter who wants to stay in shape numbers-wise you need to train the way you got those numbers.

    For most other folk IDK. For every respected person advocating one strategy you can find others who say different, Charles Staley, Dave Draper, Steve Maxwell etc.

    With high 1RM % and lower rest periods you should be hitting all fiber types pretty good. Depending on total volume more rest is definitely a good idea, interested to hear how this program works for you.
    jca17 likes this.
  20. KIWI5

    KIWI5 More than 300 posts

    I've put up my training diary/log on the members viewing, today is DFW 'doubles' day......

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