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S&C UnderGround >> Question for Vermonter re hypertrophy


3/6/13 12:18 PM
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MbA7601
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Sub Phone Post
3/6/13 2:30 PM
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NeoSpartan
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*clinking bottles*

Vermonter come out to plaaayyy

Doug, come out to PLAAAYYY-AYYY
3/6/13 3:38 PM
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Gokudamus stole my name
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I bet he would have showed up if this was about Hulk vs Doomsday
3/7/13 9:33 AM
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JamesDean57
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Well I hope he is all right!
3/7/13 11:58 AM
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GARRA
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Man the anticipation is killing me Phone Post
3/8/13 9:27 AM
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vermonter
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Just now seeing this. Will post in a couple hours about this after I get some work done.

And PS. we all know doomsday wins that.
3/8/13 9:40 AM
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jeremy hamilton
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Look who decided to show up...
3/8/13 2:41 PM
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vermonter
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Edited: 03/08/13 4:53 PM
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Leigh - 

You have said previously that fighters only really need to lift weights to build muscle as any non-muscular strength has very little carry over.

Is training for hypertrophy different to training for strength? How do you do it?

Thanks in advance. Phone Post



Ok, so sorry for the late response. Been working two jobs, so online time has been limited. Also, I've been begining some preliminary conceptual work on consolodating some of my thoughts on training so, although i've been busy, the timing here is apt.

Now, I haven't read the responses yet, although I think some may be addressed to me also, so let me answer the original question and proceed from there.

First, I want to be precise in my theory here, so as not to cause any confusion. Here is the general conclusion to a long string of premeses:

C1: In absense of hypertrophic or myofibrillar density increases in muscle, strength acclimations are identical to technical development in elite athletes.

I specifically refer to elite athletes because GPP, in theory and definition, could invalidate this conclusion in untrained or detrained athletes.

We can add the following premise also:

P1: Technical development is specific, by definition.

Thus we can ad C1 and P1 to get:

C2: In absense of hyperytophic or myofribrillar density increases in muscle, strength acclimations are specific in elite athletes.

(note: since p1 eliminates GPP from the subsequent conclusion the "elite athletes" portion of C2 is merely vestigial.)

This would hold true, logically and semantically for anyone. But because the question is in regards to combat sports, we can consider the following premise as well to create an appropriate reply:

P2: Elite athletes at the top of their weight class in weight-classed sports cannot increase body weight through hypertrophic or myofibrillar density acclimations.

As you can see, we are assuming here for the sake of discussion that such an athlete is not intending to go up a weight class. We are also assuming that the "top" of a weight class the athlete is as lean as he or she will be, and would not be trading any fat mass for muscle mass. Both of these assumptions are made to maintain the spirit of the original question.

And so we have:

C3: In elite athletes at the top of their weight class in weight-classed sports, strength acclimations are specific.

With this, we now have a framework for a reply ->

Is training for hypertrophy different to training for strength? Not per se, but I believe you are asking something stronger... Both the cross-sectional diameter and myofibrillar density of a muscle are correlated positively to strength, but in weight-classed sports the concomitant increase in mass is contraindicated for athletes at the top of their class (using the above definition). As such any acclimation to strength must therefor exclude hypertrophy for such athletes.

As for how to do this? Well now... that would be telling.

Just kidding. But seriously, not only do I think you can see the answer in there, it would be the subject of an entire book to formulate properly. The research on increasing strength and power solely through technical acclimations is broad, deep and convoluted. Not only that, but the representation of combat sports in that research is starkly absent. The reason is twofold: 1. combat sports have perhaps the greatest technical requirement of all sports (note the success of relatively older athletes despite the physical demands of combat sports because of this) and, 2. Strength tests are typically done with simple traditional lifts, which essentially cripple the validity of the any results derived thereof.
3/8/13 2:51 PM
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vermonter
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Chocolate Shatner - Leigh, I'm no Vermonter, but let me give you my answer.

There is plenty of evidence that muscles can grow independent of strength gains. Bodybuilders are a prime example. Let's face it, pound for pound bodybuilders are actually much weaker than a lot of other athletes. You see many guys who are 250, 270, 300 pounds who can't lift what a powerlifter or strongman who is 30 to even 100 pounds lighter can do.

Dougie can explain the mechanisms behind it more, but it has something to do with the different types of hypertrophy. Basically, one type makes your muscles bigger but doesn't really make them stronger, while the other doesn't have the muscle fibers divide and grow until they are maxed out eneergy sytems wise.

Obviously, for a fighter who is trying to go up in weight class, a balance of both is best, but for a fighter trying to either go down or stay within a weight class, getting stronger while keeping hypertrophy to a minimum is ideal.

You are referring to the difference between sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar hypertrophy. They essentially represent an increase in intrafiber fluid or contractile protein respectively.

While this is fairly well documented, I think the difference in real world situations is not a huge one. In general, cross-sectional diameter of muscle correlates to - at minimum - an increase in the potential for strength, which runs at least partially contrary to a major practical differentiation in how one should train for hypertrophy-for-the-sake-of-hypertrophy when strength is also a consideration.
3/8/13 3:10 PM
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vermonter
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Edited: 03/08/13 3:45 PM
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neospartan- We know that miniscule changes in technique can effect your expression of strength. 1-2 inch changes of hand position on the bench press can cause fairly substantial changes in poundage used. Adding a larger grip on the bar re-wires it into nearly a whole new exercise.


In the rigorous application of science, you'd have to be careful with this one. E.G. differences in grip width could be explained by non-neural factors like less advantageous mechanics.

I don't disagree, mind you, but strength expression on the scale of an actual lift but not over time might be too complex to single out neural components. Now if we took the same grip in the same person over time with no changes to muscle volume or mass, then you might be on to something...

Therefore is the above statement ("fighters only really need to lift weights to build muscle as any non-muscular strength has very little carry over") because most programs oriented towards strength are based on neural improvements, which being specific as they are, have very little carryover to performance in combat sports.


In elite athletes, I completely agree.

IE, improving your bench 1rm is mostly neural improvements. Meanwhile your 5rm, 10rm, or repeated effort spread through a set/rep scheme (10x3, 5x5, etc) is mostly tissue based.


You mean "E.G."

I think you're a bit off here. It is certainly possible to improve your bench 1RM without neural acclimations through hypertrophy derived strength alone. I think you might have just meant it the other way around though... training at or near a 1RM intensity is less beneficial for hypertrophy than something less intense (although as an aside, outside of exercise volume, i'd dispute this point).

Thus having larger/more/improved mitochondria will allow you to express your improved strength in whatever you have practiced the most neurally (your sport)


Mitochondria will help mostly with endurance... although I'm curious now that you bring it up, what percentage of the mass of a muscle the mitochondria make up.

Here's a fun fact: Mitochondria actually have their own DNA that is independent of your other DNA. This is because mitochondria used to be symbiotic, but completely non-human organisms living in our cells. Over time the symbiosis became so strong that we actually pass down this previously alien DNA to our children. Well... women do anyway, not men.
3/8/13 3:12 PM
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vermonter
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gusto - good to dsee things come full circle. i think geoff langdale(not sure) used to post about this in 1999

now all we need is scrapper to start up the puke club again

IIRC I posted a thread titled "transfer" in which i posted evidence that these kinds of acclimations can occur, and Langdale changed my mind.

That was many many years ago.
3/8/13 3:14 PM
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vermonter
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Leigh -  Agreed but if you're upper part of a weight class, may help to put a little on rather than have a big cut Phone Post

I agree with this. Being at the top of a weight class is generally a good idea (the exception sometimes being at heavyweight). For many athletes this means going to a lower weight class.
3/8/13 3:28 PM
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vermonter
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Taku - 

I know I was not aksed but...Personally I think the strength Vs size thing is much more about ones genes then ones training methodology. I have said it before...Put 100 people on the same program, and you will get 100 varied results.

An easy example of this is that most professional football teams use the exact same strength training programs for all players and all positions. And although they all train basically the same, you get a broad range of bodies...Huge heavy guys, smaller leaner guys, etc etc.

This is also true with Olympic weightlifitng. They all train in a very similar fashion...however look at the broad range of outcomes based on Weight category etc.

Even among elite gymnasts (although the variations are less) you get a lot of differnt looking bodies despite essentially identical training methodology.

The genes control the ultimate expression. The whole Myofibrillar vs. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy thing is a bit over hyped IMHO. It's more Pavel babble.

TAKU


Well there is daily a massive behavioral alteration of gene expression, to the tune of thousands of different transcripts e.g. just from eating one meal versus another or doing one workout versus another.

If your point is stronger than that (which i think it is) it might be trivial but i'd certainly love to discuss it. Genetic differences between people like base hormones, body size, etc. etc. don't seem to me to be relevant to the original question. I think Leigh is more interested in how an individual athlete, with all the same genes, ought to train to develop strength when hypertrophy is not an option.

I also think that there are too many variables to gleen much from looking at football body types. However, I don't think that ends the discussion right there.

And yup, i totally agree about the different hyperyrophies in case you missed that on my earlier post.
3/8/13 3:29 PM
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vermonter
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HERTSWENIP - 
Chocolate Shatner - Leigh, I'm no Vermonter, but let me give you my answer.

There is plenty of evidence that muscles can grow independent of strength gains. Bodybuilders are a prime example. Let's face it, pound for pound bodybuilders are actually much weaker than a lot of other athletes. You see many guys who are 250, 270, 300 pounds who can't lift what a powerlifter or strongman who is 30 to even 100 pounds lighter can do.

Dougie can explain the mechanisms behind it more, but it has something to do with the different types of hypertrophy. Basically, one type makes your muscles bigger but doesn't really make them stronger, while the other doesn't have the muscle fibers divide and grow until they are maxed out eneergy sytems wise.

Obviously, for a fighter who is trying to go up in weight class, a balance of both is best, but for a fighter trying to either go down or stay within a weight class, getting stronger while keeping hypertrophy to a minimum is ideal.

I'm of the opinion the whole sarcoplasmic vs myofibrillar hypertrophy point is moot when it comes to natural athletes. Ie; on a cellular level, the type of hypertrophy a natural trainee is going to elicit from ligher loads and fatigue oriented training (not too light!), won't be dramatically different from the type of hypertrophy than one would get from heavier loads.

Why do I believe this?

AAS dramatically augment intramuscular energy substrate storage. The massive but weak body builders didn't exist until the advent of certain types of AAS.

In the days prior to the advent of anabolic-androgenic steroids, the men with the most impressive levels of hypertrophy, were also the strongest.

I probably should have read the responses. Looks like people agree about the different kinds of hypertrophy haha.
3/8/13 3:37 PM
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vermonter
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Edited: 03/08/13 3:48 PM
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NeoSpartan - Just to throw this into the mix-

Glenn Pendlay. I assume everyone here knows just who he is (pendlay rows ring a bell?), but if you don't, he's awesome do some googling.

http://www.pendlay.com/MMA-Strength-Training-and-Conditioning_df_91.html


I am also not sure why an MMA guy would do the same exercises if variations are possible. If you really want a big bench, sure, bench 2 or 3 days a week. If you just want to be overall strong, then pick 3 or 4 different exercises that work the same muscle group and rotate them. This would be more useful for MMA.



Add to this about 10 minutes of a fairly heavy conditioning exercise. These should also be rotated. Remember, the goal is overall strength and condition, not to get good at any one particular thing.



Rotating exercises as such will probably be seen as more bodybuilder oriented. You'll have slower progression on your exercises and it will probably be harder to track progress because there will be more exercises rotated.

I think in this mode of thinking its about just going heavy, with consistent exercises. So lets say rotating dips, bench, and incline presses for sets of 5.

Like in starting strength you rotate bench and overhead press 3x5 (sets across) but and just add 5lbs. I think the alternative is to keep the exercises the same and rotate intensity, ala 5/3/1.

These quotes from Pendlay are perhaps inappropriate for my replies. Is he considering volume or mass changes to a muscle?

Im not sure the quotes have the required precision to fit into the context of the discussion.
3/8/13 5:10 PM
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Leigh
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Thanks for the very detailed reply. My question was in fact based on me wanting to lift for size rather than strength. From what you're saying, improving gym strength without hypertrophy is pointless for a fighter, so I only need to lift to maintain (or maybe increase) my muscle mass. Therefore, I was wondering what changes to make to my training.

Also, can you explain C1 in a bit more depth? Seems more of an assumption than a conclusion at the moment. Cheers. Phone Post
3/8/13 5:29 PM
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vermonter
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Edited: 03/08/13 5:34 PM
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Leigh - 

Thanks for the very detailed reply. My question was in fact based on me wanting to lift for size rather than strength. From what you're saying, improving gym strength without hypertrophy is pointless for a fighter, so I only need to lift to maintain (or maybe increase) my muscle mass. Therefore, I was wondering what changes to make to my training.

Also, can you explain C1 in a bit more depth? Seems more of an assumption than a conclusion at the moment. Cheers. Phone Post



I think hypertrophy is a general acclimation to the extent that a fiber or muscle is actually used. Any technique using that fiber will (or at least probably will, depending on unrelated factors like leverage) benefit from it's acclimations.

As for C1 I think we've had some detailed threads about how I got there. Essentially, non-hypertrophic strength acclimations are purely neurological in nature, and can be completely reduced to technical acclimations. There is no important or describable difference between the two insofar as I am aware. Or, more accurately, due to the strength of years put in developing this theory, I simply define neurologically derived strength acclimations as technical acclimations for lack of any other definition and this fits into a complete framework of science quite nicely. Ergo, the expression of strength is the derivative of factors both physical and technical that culminate in a resulting mechanical force.

I can wholly stand behind a position in which the above is true, but i suspect something even stronger is true. Not only are neurological strength acclimations a kind of technical acclimation, but it's possible that they are actually equivalent, the difference between the positions being that all improvements in technique are exactly identical in every important way to getting stronger using only neurological factors. This theory i've developed has many important ramifications, such as models for the best way to develop strength for technique heavy sports like combat sports, and provides a link between non-specific gym training and actual sport practice that i've never heard a good explanation of.

But anyway... if you're just looking to get buffer then go lift. You know how to do that already. If you want my advice then see the high volume concentrics thread.
3/8/13 5:34 PM
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John Clarke
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. Phone Post
3/8/13 5:53 PM
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Leigh
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" I think hypertrophy is a general acclimation to the extent that a fiber or muscle is actually used. Any technique using that fiber will (or at least probably will, depending on unrelated factors like leverage) benefit from it's acclimations."

Maybe I misunderstand you but this reads to me that playing a sport will cause hypertrophy in the muscles relevant to that sport. This was not true for me and I definitely got weaker when I stopped lifting and just did MMA. We discussed this here before. Phone Post
3/9/13 2:24 AM
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NeoSpartan
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well...I can jack to this.



Printing it to read & respond later.
3/9/13 5:50 AM
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Crw
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. Phone Post
3/9/13 10:41 AM
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vermonter
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Leigh - " I think hypertrophy is a general acclimation to the extent that a fiber or muscle is actually used. Any technique using that fiber will (or at least probably will, depending on unrelated factors like leverage) benefit from it's acclimations."

Maybe I misunderstand you but this reads to me that playing a sport will cause hypertrophy in the muscles relevant to that sport. This was not true for me and I definitely got weaker when I stopped lifting and just did MMA. We discussed this here before. Phone Post

No, but I can see how the first sentence could be read that way.

I was saying that hypertrophy to a fiber/muscle, regardless of how it occured, is an acclimation that can benefit any movement that uses that fiber/muscle, and is therefor general by definition.

I was NOT saying, that any time a muscle is used, hypertrophy occurs. That is certianly not true. After general neurological acclimations have set in, not even skill will improve every time an action is performed. Many elite athletes rely mostly on tactical improvements once their basic skills have been learned.
3/9/13 1:46 PM
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Leigh
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OK cool

So when I lift, I should focus on hypertrophy instead of strength, we've got that far, right? I read your post on the other thread but it was a bit ambiguous, stuff about pushing wheel barrows and swinging chsins etc.

Any idea what I should be doing with a barbell? I normally do singles and doubles - should I carry on? Phone Post
3/9/13 2:44 PM
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vermonter
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Leigh - 

OK cool

So when I lift, I should focus on hypertrophy instead of strength, we've got that far, right? I read your post on the other thread but it was a bit ambiguous, stuff about pushing wheel barrows and swinging chsins etc.

Any idea what I should be doing with a barbell? I normally do singles and doubles - should I carry on? Phone Post



You should focus on whatever you want to focus on. Are you trying to go up a class or something?

Singles and doubles, especially done for one set every other week like you do, is probably not enough volume for size. The rep range in a set matters less than your total weekly volume and average intensity. Avoid fatigue, and shoot for, say, the most weight you can do for 50-100 reps total per week for each of two or three core exercises and that should do the trick. Generally with only a rep or two, the weekly total for working sets would be 20 or 30 tops with fatigue avoidance.

That's just off the top of my head for stuff that's been efficacious for me in the past. You're experienced enough to listen to your body and work roughly in those guidlines and see good results.
3/9/13 3:52 PM
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Leigh
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OK cheers. My goal, as I posted, is to find a workout for maintaining my strength. 1 single a week does that for me but was wondering if a hypertrophy workout would be easier on me. By the sounds of it, I don't think so. Phone Post

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