Hyperplasis vs. Hypertrophy in Skeletal Muscle
Perhaps more importantly, the impact of hyperplasia on overall muscle size is still fairly small. Most of the growth we get from training occurs through hypertrophy no matter how you cut it.
Which is a very, very long way of saying that, yes, hyperplasia probably occurs in humans but don’t worry about it. If it happens it happens and you’re still getting most growth through increases in muscle cell size.
Science and Development of Muscle Hypertrophy-Brad Schoenfeld
Brad Schoenfeld is one of a new crop of exercise scientists who come from a background of strength training and/or bodybuilding. I’ve reviewed a number of his studies (and he’s done others including a number of excellent meta-analyses of topics such as rest intervals, repetition speed, the mechanism of growth, and others) and have mentioned that it’s nice to see someone finally at least attempting to do training studies that have some relevance to real-world training.
It’s Time to Forget About Bulgarian Training
Bulgarian training broke most of it’s athletes, it breaks the athletes who try to use it now. It was mainly used to keep the athletes exhausted and it’s clear that similar if not SUPERIOR results can be had by NOT training that way. Even if the results were superior and the average lifter could survive it, you can’t change the fact that the small increase in gains from training that much still won’t make them not suck at the end of the day.
The 20 Rep Squat
For no particularly good reason I want to write about something that has already had endless words written about it and that is the 20 rep squat (sometimes called more specifically the 20 rep breathing squat. This is kind of the original rest-pause training, an entire book has been written about it although if you gain 30 lbs in 6 weeks, it’s not gonna be mostly muscle and I imagine most have at least heard of it.
The Hypertrophy Zone
The second point, that is actually relevant was that Wes Barnett (then one of the US’s top lifters and hopefuls) was there to demonstrate. He was a big dude and I asked the coaches what he did for muscle growth. They told me that he would just do a high volume of sets of 5. This, of course, blew my all-knowing mind, I knew that the hypertrophy repetition range was higher than that. How could sets of 5 get it done? Clearly there was more to the topic than I then understood but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Split Routine Sequencing Part 2
I want to emphasize, since some people seemed to miss this, that I can’t possibly cover every possible approach to splitting a routine (someone asked me about some specific split but my goal was never to cover every possibility) or frequency or days of the week. By the time you get to three-way splits the possibilities become increasingly endless and allowing for more days per week or whatever makes the number of possible variations insane. Rather, try to focus on the principles of what I’m talking about, issues you may not have considered in terms of the order that you work a given muscle group within a week’s time.
Split Routine Sequencing Part 1
But I’m not just going to write another generic article about split routines; there are plenty of those around. Rather, I want to talk about an issue regarding split routines that I think is often overlooked which has to do with the sequencing of the actual workouts within a week and some issues that can crop up if people don’t take certain things into account.
DOMS and Muscle Growth
This has been one of those ideas floating around for years and I still see posts about people feeling as if they didn’t have a good workout if they don’t get DOMS or actually chasing DOMS. That is, based on the belief that DOMS equals growth, DOMS becomes the end-goal. When growth and progress should be the end goal.
Bulgarian Powerlifting Training
Ever since coach Ivan Abadjaev (you will see this spelled about 12 different ways) reinvented training for Olympic lifting in the 70’s or thereabouts, it’s common for his ideas to propagate through other non Olympic lifting sports especially powerlifting.
Heavy Light Medium Training
Rather I want to talk about one of the earlier concepts/approaches/popularizations of the idea which was more commonly called the Heavy/Light/Medium system. While I’m sure someone did it back in the early days of training, I’d still chalk up the major popularization to Bill Starr of 5X5 fame.