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 Post subject: Reps don't matter
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:59 am 
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This article is important as it refers to a new meta-study that concludes that reps don't matter for strength gains. There are also links to articles from other bloggers like Clarance Bass that are well worth reading.

http://theorytopractice.wordpress.com/2 ... for-speed/

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Many resistance training experts claim that a very heavy resistance is required to produce optimal strength gains. However, the size principle, motor unit activation studies, and the overwhelming majority of resistance training studies refute that claim. In fact, these studies support the premise that a moderate amount of resistance will produce similar strength gains.



What matters is the effort you put in.

I think this article is important as many get wrapped around the axle over lifting heavy for strength vs volume. I know I do myself sometimes. The bottom line I take from this is to do what works for you and don't be afraid to experiment.


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 Post subject: Re: Reps don't matter
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:39 am 
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Quote:
stuward wrote:
This article is important as it refers to a new meta-study that concludes that reps don't matter for strength gains.


Stu,

There is some interesting inforamtion in the article.

The statement "that reps don't matter for strength gain" is right and wrong at the same time.

It's true in regard to beginners and some intermediates. Anything works for this group.

Obviously, reps do matter for strength athletes for a multitude of reasons. One of the biggest reasons is the Central Nervous System (Keith Norris' article touched on it). Sandee Jungblut research article did not.

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What matters is the effort you put in.


Intensity is what matters. Nothing new there.

Quote:
I think this article is important as many get wrapped around the axle over lifting heavy for strength vs volume.


As Vince Gorinda stated, "You can train hard or long but not both."

Intenstiy and Volume are on opposite sides of the See-Saw. When your volume goes up, your intensity is going to drop.

While some do better with a little more volume, too much volume leads to overtraining. You end up making no progress and even going backwards.

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The bottom line I take from this is to do what works for you and don't be afraid to experiment.


Great advice. As Einstein said, "Research is what I am doing when I don't know what I am doing".

Evaluate training methods and then imput them as best you can and see what happens.

Kenny Croxdale


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:41 am 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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Thanks for posting that.

More reasons to lift explosively...

KPj


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:02 pm 
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If you dive into the detail of the study in the PDF, then "reps don't matter" is not a fair summary. In their first study, the subjects did the same number of sets and reps, only the cadence differed. In the later studies it's not clear whether the sets/reps differed - they don't document things precisely.

Also the only key conclusion of the study is that training should typically occur at a level at or below 6RM intensity, which most people do most of the time anyway, I would think.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:24 pm 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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There's various studies outlined and even more (loads) referenced in the PDF. It's was more like a study of studies.

The one that caught my eye was the one done on subjects with between 2-12 years experience and a minimum squat of 1.5x b/w. You can still pick holes in that one, too, though. However, that's the nature of 'studies' - you pick them apart yourself and draw your own conclusion.

One problem I have is how you quantify this. It's not a criticism of the researchers but an idea of what they're up against. For example the study I mentioned above - they first squat for 4 weeks, twice per week, 3 x 10 then 3 x 5. THEN that's followed by twice per week squating, 2 x 1 and 3 x 1.

If someone posted a program here which including squating template liek that - week 1 - 4 is 3x5 and 3x10 squatting, week 5-7 is 3 x 1 and 2 x 1. Well, I would say "expect to feel like crap when you get to the heavier weeks".

In my view you'll impose burn out in the first 4 weeks. It might not be that obvious, but there will be a high amount of fatigue hanging around. Not to mention, maxing out on squats twice per week following this. The most well known guys for maxing out EVERY week are Westside. Advanced, gifted (and drugged) lifters. Even they change exercise every week to keep fresh and claim you can't get stronger in the same movement for more than 3 weeks at a time.

In other words, the fact that the subjects didn't gain in the higher intensity phase is no surprise. Would of been interesting if they just deloaded for a week after it and re tested....

In my view, if you're not managing fatigue, then you're not managing progress. Everyone manages fatigue to some extent, but you need a strategy for it. More relevant to trying to study this is - what you have done the last few weeks is just as important as what you're doing the next few weeks. From what I could see this wasn't taken into account but, it was really just a snippet of the study so we can't really say too much about the details.

This is the nature of studies though, you interpret them as best as you see fit. Personally i'm not sold on the rep range thing. It's just not practical - you also adapt to rep ranges so in real life, in terms of rep ranges, you come back to what Stuward said "don't be affraid to experiment".

However to me the bigges thing to take was 'lift fast' i.e you can put maximum effort into minimum weights.

KPj


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