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    Rj*
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    Thumbs up the best training thread you'll ever need
    seriously read this. at the bottom is a link to an article written by the author ( Animalmass) that describes Dual Factor Hypertrophy training. It is a longass read, but well worth it. More bodybuilders need to start periodizing, just like EVERY other sport does.


    Training Theory by AnimalMass, AngelFace, And JohnSmith (post #1)

    ...Right then I've basically decided to create this thread pretty much as a resource on training theory...What I intend to do is make this thread kinda like a text book so that anyone can refer to it if they need to know something...this will take me a while to complete so I am gonna do it in installments like small chapters...If the thread looks like its gonna disappear cuz I havent posted can you please bump it to keep the sucka active?... ...Why am I doing this? well for 2 reasons really...the first is so that everyone out there has access to theories that they may not neccessarily be familiar with...therefore I hope everyone will learn something from this thread or at least it will jog their memories and make you think a little... Plus I am getting complacent so this will hopefully serve as a refresher for myself and get me thinking again!... ...I will try to make it as readable as I can so its not gonna be mega scientific or complex because I dont have the resources...all information that I will post...I will backup with literature when the thread is completed....Its not gonna be realy long just enough to present you with some good basic information and hopefully introduce you all to training theory so that you can apply it to yourself... If anyone has got anything to add please feel free to do so...


    BASIC CONCEPTS:
    ...This first few parts will deal with a few basic theories and will be somewhat introductory. ...ADAPTATION.. Adaptation is both the primary target of training in general and one of the most important laws that governs the way we train. A simple definition of adaptation would be adjustment to environment. Consequently when the environment is subject to change so too would be the object. The primary objective in training is to incite explicit adaptations to increase performance. Consequenlty it can be seen that the application of a carefully contrived training program is imperitive. For adaptation to occur then the stimulus for the adaptation has to be at a greater level than the current standing. To increase the magnitude manipulating the intensity, volume and modality is often employed. Consequnetly if the same stimulus is being presented over a long period of time then once intial adaptations have occured there will be no more changes thus a plateau forms. Training loads are often categorized into three areas according to the 'magnitude' that they correspond to ... ...The first would be a stimulating magnitude...here the training load is above the habitual level... ...The second is retaining...this is where the level is neutral and thus maintained... ...The third is thus detraining...here the magnitude is beneath the habitual level and thus a decline in performance is observed. Essentially for any positive adaptation to occur then OVERLOAD must be created. In the absence of overload typically performance will either be maintined for a period of time or decrease. This is governed by accomodation. ACCOMODATION is in essence a decrease in response observed to a continual stimulus. Thus interms of training continual stimulus results in a loss of reponse. Resulting in a plateau, training thus becomes redundant. This concept neccessitates the need to present yourslef with variety. It is unwise to present yourself with the same stimulus for a long period of time. Avoidance of the accomodation effect can be achievd by the simple application of variety achieved via quantitaive (load, volume intensity etc)and qualitative (types of exercises performed) measures. Adaptation to training stimulus is specific. For a particular training goal to be observed the stimulus (training) has to be specific to the goal. Consequently it would be unwise for an olympic weightlifter to train like an endurance athlete and vice versa. SPECIFICITY is the application of the training stimulus to the nature of the intended goal. Therefore if an individual wanted to increase his benchpressing ability it woudl be wise to train the muscles resposibles for the movement.... ...


    Adaptations as response to training part1:...
    ...Adaptations as a response to the training stimulus can be classified as either Central (CNS)and peripheral (pertaining to the muscle). The importance of the central nervous system cannot be underestimated. to appreciate the adaptations that occur centrally we must first be aware of how these central factors work. Typically central factors fall into two distinct categories. The first is intramuscular coordination..this relates to which the muscle fibres can be activated voluntarily. Intermuscular coordination is the coordinated innervation of appropriate muscell groups and is thus skill related. Motor units are the essential foundations of the motor system. Typically they consist of motoneurons, axons, motor endplates, and muscle fibres activated by a motor neuron. Motor units are generally classified into to groups based on their contractile characteristics. Slow motor units are typically used for prolonged use at low intensities, they consist of small low threshold motor neurons axos with low conduction frequencies and slow twitch muscle fibres. Consequently fast motor units are the antithesis of slow motor units. They will consist of a large high threshold motor neuron, an axon with a high conduction velocity and fast twitch muscle fibres. the activation of a motor unit is solicited by an all or nothing law. basically this dictates that a motor unit either fires or it doesnt. Consequently there is no alteration in the inetnisty of firing, they either fire or they dont. the Central nervous system governs muscle force via three methods...RECRUITMENT, RATE CODING and SYNCHRONIZATION. The recruitment pattern of the motor units during a voluntary contraction is dependant on the size of the motor neurons (Size principle). the motorneurons with the lowest firing threshold (smaller)are recruited first, conseqnelty the more the intensity increases the larger forces neccessary to generate are done so via increasing the recruitment of the larger motorneurons. Consequently no matter what the intensity of exercise slow twich fibres will be recruited to some extent. The achieving of full motor unit activation is deemed particularly difficult thus untrained individuals cannot recruit all their motor units. one of the primary adaptations that occurs as aresponse to weight training is an increase in the ability to recruit Motor units. thus trained individual have an increased propensity for motor unit activation. RATE CODING is the discharge frequency of the motorneurons. With an increase in force needed, firing rate will increase to accomodate. Synchronisation...motor units work in harmony to achieve a fluid movemnt pattern. Within the muscle there are specific inhibitory mechanisms that inhibit the amount of force that can be generated. These are known as Golgi tendon organs and Renshaw cells. It is common in life or death situation for a completely untrained individual to be able to produce massive amounts of force...this is most likely due to an inactivation of these inhibitory mechanisms. It has been shown that with strength training a reuction in neural inhibition can occur increasing the amount of strength that can be generated due to an increase in the recruitable 'motorneron pool'. Exercise is a highly skillful sequence that requires the complex coordination of several muscel groups (intermuscular coordination). Consequently motor learning or the acquisition of skillshould be a primary training objective. Dramatic strength increases in beginners is oftem the result of skill acquisition, consequently this type of adaptaion has little cross over benefit. Next time I will concntrate on the peripheral adaptations and consequently the theories of muscular growth.


    Adaptations part 2 – peripheral:
    O.K in the last post I presented a few of the central adaptations that can occur. These adaptations are repsonsible for the observation of strength increases without hypertophy. Consequently for the first few weeks of training when initial increases in strength are observed, the strength increases are deemed to be the result of neuromuscular efficiency.
    ...Peripheral adaptations, this is the area that we as bodybuilders will be most concerned with. Again I will introduce a few concepts. I will briefly discuss hypertrophy and hyperplasia. For those that dont have an understanding of physiology I will briefly explain a few basic concepts. Again I will keep it pretty simple as I dont want to blind everyone with science.

    Skeletal muscles consist of many many fibres. these are long and cylindrical in shape they are the cells. Each of the fibres is made up of myofibrils, which are made up of sarcomeres. These sarcomeres are made up of both thick (myosin)and thin filaments(actin). The myosinf filaments have small crossbridges projecting outwards on the end of these protrusions is the myosin head.
    Muscle contraction (known as the sliding filament theory) is the result of the myosin and actin filaments sliding across each other. This is because the myosin heads attach the actin and basically pull the filamnts over each other. This results in a shortening of the sarcomere. So everytime you contract a muscle this is what happens, it shortens because the filaments slide. Hence a muscle can only pull, it cannot push. Muscles with longer sarcomeres (filaments) generally can exert a greater force because they have more room to overlap. All sarcomeres of the myofibrils exert the same amount of force, they act in a linear fashion.

    The force produced by a muscle fibre is dependant on the number of actin and myosin filaments and thus the number of myofibrils. One of the main adaptations of training is an increased number of myofibrils per muscle fibre, and an increase in the density and size of the filaments. This will result in an increase in the cross sectional area (size) of a muscle. Consequently from this assertion it can be seen why a bigger muscle is potentially a stronger muscle.

    muscle force is dependant on the number of muscle fibres, cross sectional area of the fibres and thus size.
    Increase in muscle size is called muscle hypertophy and is caused by either an increased number of motor fibre (fibre hyperplasia) or an increase in the cross sectional area of a muscle fibre(fibre hypertophy).

    Here we will deal with two types of fibre hypertophy, myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic. Sarcoplasmic hypertophy is the increase in size of the sarcoplasm, typically filament density will decrease with sarcoplasmic hypertophy, so that it is possible for a fibre CSA to increase without increases in strength. Myopfibrillar hypertophy is an enlargement of the muscle fibre because more myofibrils are formed, consequently it is usually followed by an increase in filament density and thus strength increases.

    Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is associated with an increase in noncontractile tissues, which is why filamnt density decreases. Myofibrillar hypertophy typically results in an increase in contractile tissues hence the increase in density and strength.
    There are many theories as to how weight training results in hpertophy, the most widely accpeted theory is that of the breakdown and build up theory.

    This theory in its most basic form speculates that all energy during exhaustive weigh training is spent on the training itself resulting in the creation of a catabolic state. Consequently a deficit forms during training where more amino acids are being broken down than synthesized. After training protein synthesis is increased massively both post workout and up till the next session. Protein synthesis will then drop again during training. The purported increase in muscle size is due to the fluctuation of protein synthesis which is alleged to result in SUPERCOMPENSATION of protein and thus hypertophy. This alone neccesitates the need for more protein in the diet (so fuck off RDAs etc!).

    I wont cover the hormonal affects of training unless you want me to as some of you will probably want to commit suicide due to boredom!

    Phewwwwww, got that (I hope so) I am sure that what I probably just typed (very badly I am sure as per usual!) will make no sense whatsoever so I apologise for how this thread will read...not exactly enthralling stuff i know but it will get much better I promise!
    next time we shall cover SUPERCOMPENSATION amoungst a few other things...

    Basic Training theories:

    ...After a couple of suggestions I have had I will try my best to keep things easy reading...today's topic is really straightforward...regarding what I have spoke about previously I will edit it and make it more readable...plus I may have to add quite a bit more physiological stuff and biochemistry depending on how the thread evolves...

    ...Anyway SUPERCOMPENSATION...this is a really basic and somewhat obvious concept that for a while was accepted quite widely...however nowadays it is deemed a bit too simplistic. This theory is based on the assumption that training will deplete certain substances, obvious examples would be glycogen...One theory about hypertophy is that training acts catabolically. The training serves as a stimulus, after the training there is the neccessary rest period. After the rest period it is puported that the appropriate substance concentration will increase to a level beyond the initial point. Simple really! Now to ensure that this would happen rest periods would have to be optimal. optimal is an expression used alot in science, which basically means desirable. If the rest period was too short then the individual would not be completely recovered and as such the training would deplete the substance even more which over a period of time would result in overtraining and a loss of performance ie: training 4 times a day!. If the rest interval was too long then the training would lose its stimulus property, the individual would recover completely and lose the window of oppurtinutity to provide the stimulus again. So ultimately the individual would never improve...ie if yu trained once every 2-3 weeks, you simply would not improve. If the interval is optimal then improvemnts surely follow.

    This theory is then dependant on two factors really: Optimal rest interval, Optimal load selection. With regards to loads, the load has to be such so that it stimulates optimally, it cannot be too high or low. Typically this theory is represented on a wave like diagram (I will link these asap.). An obvious example of the supercompensation theory is carb loading. With carb loading for a period of time you deplete the muscle stores, which would results in a massive drop in CHO levels, after this occurs an individual would overfeed with an abundance of carbs, the body is alleged then to store more carbs than the pre depletion level within the muscle tissue resulting in a greater concentration of carbs. This is often applied to more than gylcogen, training is alleged to cause a similar repsonse to protein synthesis, hence the 'break down and build up' theory. I will post later on with regards to a more complex approach!.

    Basic Training theories:

    I tried linking this but it wouldnt work properly...maybe something to do with my lack of html skills...
    http://www.sportislife.com/effects.htm
    Ignore the text on this if you want..the first diagram is the overload diagram...note the starting point...and the window of opputinity aka the period of supercompensation... ...the second diagram is the effects of repeated bouts of supercompenation which results in an increased starting threshold an each successive session (does that make sense?)....anyway the diagrams will show it better

    Two Factor Theory:

    For this I will be refering to 'the science and practise of strength training' by Vladimir Zatsiorky as mentioned by John earlier...I forgot how good this book is and I recommend that anyone interested in this area to buy it...be warned though if you think that what I say is confucing just wait.... ...Two factor theory, also called Fitness fatigue theory is somewhat more complex than supercompensation theory. This theory is entirely dependant on one thing Zatsiorsky referes to it as preparedness...I prefer base conditioning. This preparedness or condition is comprised of two componants: slow changing and fast changing. Zatsiorsky uses the example of fitness as a slow changing componant of preparedness. This is because over the short term fitness does not fluctuate often, however external factors can affect it ie: illness. Zatsiorsky describes prepardness as a set of 'latent charcteristics' (he means that they exist but are dependantly intangible)...these charcteristics can only be measured or quantified at certain times. Sounds quite complex but you will grasp it soon!... ...This theory works similar to an equillibrium, training will have an immediate affect (similar to supercompensation) that is the combination of fatigue and gain. So after a workout, because of the stimulus that it provides preparedness or conditioning increases (gain) but at the same time will decrease due to fatigue from the training. Hopefully things now will start to make sense.

    So, the outcome of the training session is the result of both the positive and negative consequences of the training session. These two outcomes depend on time as does the one factor theory (supercompensation). By striking the correct balance, fatigue should be large in extent but short in how long it lasts. Gain on the other hand should be moderate however is longer in duration. Typically the relationship is 1:3, if fatigue lasts x amount of time then gain lasts 3x amount of time.

    ...From these two theories that have been introduced you should all now be able to see that the most importnat factor that they introduce is timing! with the supercompensation theory it is preferable for the next workout to fall in the supercompensation period. With the fitness-fatigue theory timing is best if the proceeding workout takes place when all the negative consequneces (fatigue) of training are diminsihed but the positive (gain) is still apparent. When I find a site with the neccessary diagram I will try to link it!

    Johnsmith’s comments:

    RE: Two Factor Theory

    hate to butt in here, but let me explain what i think are the important things about these theories...
    given the one factor theory, which looks at physical ability as, or course, one factor, you are left with the problem of timing workouts to correspond to the supercompensation wave... anything sooner or later will lead to a useless workout.
    given the two factor theory, which seperates physical fitness or prepardness and fatigue, you see that the timing of individual workouts it is unimportant to long term gains... in other words regardless of whether or not fatigue is or is not present, fitness can still be increased...

    what is important to note is that there is almost universal agreement amoung scientists and athletes and coaches in all sports EXCEPT bodybuilding that the two factor theory is correct and the single factor theory is not correct and is in fact suitable only for beginners to follow when planning training.
    it is also important to note that most athletes in most sports are experiencing some level of constant fatigue ALWAYS, except for maybe a couple of weekends a year, when they are peaking. training takes place daily against a backdrop of fatigue.

    Angel Face’s Response:

    RE: RE: Two Factor Theory

    I am glad you brought this up John, thanks...
    ...with regards to fatigue yes it is always there only it rises and falls depending on rest...the accumulation of stresses induced by training and other variables contribut to fatigue...fatigue has a mounting effect wherein it can slowly build up and build up until OTS (over training syndrome) is achieved...this is one of the many major fundamental reasonings for the peaking phase of periodisation. And most probably Mike Mentzer's arguments for HIT...so eventially training can become counterproductive.

    ...as to why the 2 factor theory is not accepted in BBing I dont know why...do you John? or anyone else for that matter?...
    Intensity:

    ...This is a bigee and therefore I wil dedicate a few posts to this...cheers for the positive response fellas I really appreciate it...John, anytime you've got soemthing to add go right ahead mate...I was hoping that you would contribute to this thread...I kinda feel like training methods are undervalued hence one of the reasons for me starting this thread.

    ...Intensity is a term that is used interchangeably with several concepts...by this I mean that there are several different ways of interpreting what constitutes intensity...Often these can be conflicting but in essence it relates to how hard one is performing...Right then intensity can be quantified via 4 (usually) criterion assessments: intensity as a percntage of 1 RM...in Sports sci circles this is the most common measurement of intensity with regards to strength training (for aerobic type work intensity is usually measured via %age of max heart rate)...consequently the closer you are to you 1 Rm in a particular exercise the higher intensiy that you are working at...the number of sets performed per hour, this obviuosley correlated to rest intervals, the shorter the rest interval the more sets that can be performed and thus the higher intensity...repetitions (this is conditional really as are all the measures of intensity!)...this general rule of thumb dictates that the closer you work to failure the higher intensity (I will address failure several times later on!) you are working at example: if you can perform 10 reps with x amount of weight performing 8 reps is more intense than performing 5...the final measurement is not often employed in the western world and really is only applicable to competetive athletes in strength sports not BBers...this is similar to the 1 rm intensity measure...this measure of intensity is expressed as a %age of highest attained weight or PB...this differentiates between training weight and competition weights...external variables such as crowd reaction, motivating factors etc etc can significantly (I dont use the word significantly lightly..I am currently using it in the scientific sense of the term!)affect the amount of weight lifted...anyone familar with the sports psychology term 'flow' or the 'zone' will understand that during competition there are unexplainable periods wherein an athltes performs their best above any training measure (whether it be weight lifted or time ran etc etc, everything comes together effortlessly) hence this intensity measure quantifies intensity as a %age of competiton weight...this is usually done via heart rate...if an individual elicits a particularly elevated HR prior to a lift then that lift is beyond what can be lifted during training...This was originally a soviet technique (I think, dont quote me on that)...so what I am trying to say is there are 2 intensities one is with the presence of stress (eustress is a positive stress that is beneficial) and without stress...I wont cover this method (thank god i will be explaining it forever! unless some of the powerlifters would want me too, let me know if your interested!)...With regards to the %age of 1 Rm it is important to note that every idividual is different depending on many factors such as neural efficiency, fibre ratio and so on...basically if two atrhletes can bench 300lbs for 1 RM...they wont neccesarilt be able to perform 10 reps with same amount of weight.

    ...I will cover intensity a lot more very soon!...I will adress training to failure, optimal rep ranges for goals, TUT (time under tension!)submaximal training and HIT (whats the betting that this causes controversey)...also I am gonna apologise in advance as i will be editing the physio. stuff and including more scientifc terms and jargon...however its essential that you understand it before we continue!.

    Intensity cont.:

    Intensity again, as mentioned this is a V. large area so I will be dealing with it several more times...this pretty much goes hand in hand with training to failure and as this area has sparked some recent discussions I will be covering this area several times, from a couple of different view points...so what is said is not always gospel or an exact...

    ...First off training with maximal weights...O>k before I delve into this I want you to remember rate coding - smallest MUs first etc..well unless a maximal load is lifted then only a portion of Motor Units are utilised...Your body will only innervate the amount of Motor units that are neccessary to perform the task!

    ...Back to Max weights, essentially gains elicited from max weight are the result of the two previuos theories of neural adaptation: intermuscular coordination and intramuscular coordination. Therefore the majority of gains are not related to muscle growth but neural efficiency...again I ask you to remeber what was mentioned previuosly about hypertrophy in paticular the breakdown build up theory of protein catabolism (training induces catabolism rest and recovery plus adaquate protein intake induces supercompensation of protein and thus muscle growth takes place) well because not enough WORK is performed when using max weights (work = Force x Time, force = mass x acceleration)to potentiate the neccessary muscle catabolism so that the anabolism can take place...

    ...Training to failure via repeated subamaximal reps...this process of training poetentiates differnet effects. Essentially as more work is peformed in conjunction with rate coding, more motor units are recruited to perform the set, again due to the fact that more work is performed catabolism is markedly higher than training with maximal weights....however strength gain is not the same as the most allegidle important reps are performed at the end of set approaching failure...this is because the higher threshold fatigueing motor units are recruited and fatigued...thus causing the neccessary training effect however as they are recruited while 'semi fatigued' the training effect is not as significant on these motor units in comparison with max weights.

    ...training submaximally from what has been mentioned above it would seem fair to assume that this type of training would be pretty useless unless it is performed to failure...however the difference between taking a set to failure or to 1 or even 2 reps before failure will occur seems negligible..plus by ,manipulating rest intervals shortening the amount of rest inbetween consecutibe sets intensity is increased or by increaseing the amount of time it takes to perform the repetition...training to the exact moment of failure is not neccessarily imperative...
    So then it would appear that a big muscle isnt a strong muscle well this is inaccurate, again nerual factors offer the reasoning...again I will use rate coding it is extremely difficult to increase the strength of slow motor units, hypertophy mainly occurs in the type 2a muscle fibres (fast/intermediary fibres), consequently there is a correlation between the size of a fast twitch muscle fibre and strength because the main training adaptations occur in that muscle fibre type(s)...refering back to what was said previoulsy about hypertophy due to increased contrcatile proteins increases strength and muscle size....again this will be discussed later.

    ...Next time I will present a different view on training to failure.
    Intensity and Failure:
    Now this is where we start to get to the nitty gritty, but first I will have to cover some background stuff on fatigue...for this I am assuming that you have knoweldge of how energy is formed...if not let me know and I will post some info...
    ATP/Pc factors: Intramuscular levels of ATP fall rapidly during exercise...this is thought to be one of the major factors in fatigue...

    Creatine Phosphate levels fall rapidly at the onset of exercise, after a period of roughly 30 secs levels may be as low as 5% of the prexercise concentration. Consequenlty there wont be optimal levels of CP to replenish ATP stores.
    Creatine Phosphate fuels the ADP/ ATP conversion, as levels of CP decline levels of ATP get depleted.
    The ATP/PC system fuels the first few seconds of exercise...after which anaerobic glycolysis takes place... a buy product of glycolysis is Lactic acid, which casues a build-up in the muscle cells of Hydrogen ions (H+) raising the p.H.... Which affects the process that exposes actin cross-bridging sites (troponin) and permit muscle contraction. ATP formation is also affected.
    calcium ions (Ca++) are released from the sarcoplasmic reticulum by the T tubules during muscle contraction and returned by the Ca-Pump.

    Reduced sarcoplasmic Ca++ concentrations has been linked to fatigue. Declines in force that can be produced have been linked to declined levels of CA++ (Calcium ions). This is because decreased Ca++ released reduces the number of actin/myosin cross-bridges that can be formed. This is most likely to be due to impairement of the T-tubule. While exercising potassium ions (K+)build up in the T-tubules, this is due to the inability of the Na+K+ ATPase (breaks down ATP) Pump (sodium, potassium atpase pump) to maintain the proper Na+/K+ balance at the T-tubules. This affects the conduction of the action potential (these cause movement to occur...like an electrical impulse) to the sarcoplasmic reticulum, consequently Ca++ release is inhibited affecting one's capacity to contract a muscle. lactic acid again builds yup here and once again intracellular H+ concentrations increase, this then slows the uptake of Ca++ by the sarcoplasmic reticulum, because the H+ affects the pump. Therefore there is a marked reduction in levels of Ca++

    As should be obviuos ATP is broken and provides the energy for contraction (into ADP and Pi)this inorganic phosphate (Pi) builds up. Increased Pi levels are thought to inhibit further cross-bridges being formed between the filaments. As ATP is used to fuel the muscle contraction, Pi is released from the myosin head. Increased concentrations of Pi affects this from happening.
    Intensity and Failure

    That being said I can now continue...HIT popularized by Mike mentzer (hope this doesnt open up the proverbial can of worms!)is based on the premise that If you don't take your sets to failure, then you are not presenting your body with the stimulus to adapt because you can perform the appropriate amount of reps. Therefore as you take your reps to failure, you are presenting the stimulus by forcing your body to cope with something that it cannot do (remeber the original post!). Consequently you adapt because you have forced yourself to do something that it simply cannot do...seems logical and simple right! But you have to ask yourself, why are so many powerlifters muscular if they dont train to failure? as with olympic lifters!

    ...I take you back to the theory of rate coding..essentially you fail in an exercise because there are not sufficiently rested muscle fibres to perform the task...at the end of the set the only fibres that arent fatigued are the low threshold high endurance motor units..which dont have the neccessary force producing capabilities to perform the work.

    I take you back now to the theory of supercompensation and the subesequent breakdown and buildup theory that dictates that muscle damage (catabolism) has to occur for the increase in proetin synthesis to occur!...

    ...Research has shown that the most muscle damage occurs during the negative paotion of the exercise (sarcomere popping!)...this is because less muscle fibres are recruited to perform the eccentric movemnt resulting in a greater stress on those fibres...consequently by increasing the time that the muscle fibres are under tension (most tension is generated during -ve portion) there in theory is a better stimulus for muscle growth! ... from this it seems that more tension can be generated by taking a set to failure than stopping short because it would take longer to perform! keep this in mind!

    ...Back to rate coding (seems pretty important doesnt it?) as the moment of failure draws closer the CNS will innervate all the motor units it can to perform the reps and fire them as often as it can...however as fatigue sets in there is a reduction in firing frequency (up to around 70-80% I think!), consequently the rate of twitching is not high enough to continue the exercise...thus failure occurs.

    ...back to neural factors...as a nueron fires it has to release the neurotransmitter Acetyl Choline so that the message can be carried...as mentioned previoulsy the electrical current is passed down the axon due to the na+ and K+ (when people refer to electrolites in sports drinks like gatorad, lucozade, these is what they are refering to), and the K+ Na+ atp ase pump... as failure approaches (lack of firing) the electrolites become taxed...as failure occurs these are virtually depleted...it is speculated that another of the major factors in fatigue is the inability of the motor neurons to create and release acetylcholine (ACh) fast enough so that transmission of the action potential can be maintained from the neron to the muscle...

    It can be said that ability to produce force is dependant on power speed and frequency of the 'electrical impulse elicited by the CNS to contract a muscle...as fatigue develops there is a mared decrease in the speed of these signals, as this occurs inhibitory mechanisms (mentioned previuos) stop further contrcations occuring....

    ...However due to emotional factors lke psyching oneself up it is possible to extend the time until these inhibitory mechanisms take effect(fight or flight syndrome)...there is a ditinct relationship between this and catecholamine levels...

    ...Therfore I hope that you can see that failure may not occur due to the peripheral (muscle) factors but the Central ones...failure may not be due to muscular fatigue but neural inhibition...the CNS does this for one simple reason: SO THAT IT CAN REST AND RECOVER!

    ...If we are to believe the supercompensation theory muscle fibers need to produce appropriate tension for a long enough period of time to cause damage breakdown...this has the effect of growth factors to be released in the cells Calcium levels within the cell must increase toperpetuate both Catabolism and the required anabolic effect. Growth stimuli may also be provided by the fatigue metabolites building up (phosphate and hydrogen ions) due to elevated levels of lactic acid . Please not that any of these reactions occurs because of muscular failure!
    It may become evident that failure is actaully detrimental (note to John this would neccessiate the two factor theory, that has always been rejected by bodybuilders) because too much stress occurs (especially if inadequate rest intervals are used)...this would facilitate the increasing levels of fatigue resulting in a faster establishment of the Overtraining syndrome!
    Probably the main point to take away from this is intensity and rest should be monitored so to prevent the build up of fatigue and OTS

    ...Hope that wasnt too heavy I am drawing to a close soon on this thread...It could keep going on forever...but I hope that at least its made at least one person sit up and think about how they train and that its not as simple as going into the gym and picking up a few pieces of iron a few times....I hope you can bump this thread to keep it active so that other people get to read it!

    I'll restart then...
    O.k Here I go again..I never realised that I was in demand LOL!!!
    Some more info to chew over....I'll start with some basic scientifically accpeted (I dont say proven becuase in science nothing is ever reall solid fact!!!)...I'll update as often as possible so I wont force a load of info down your throat on each post!!
    This will all relate to hypertophy...yeah the nitty gritty!!!
    factors affecting hypertophy!!!

    ...It seems pretty much solid that hypertophy is a form of supercompensation as a result of the stimulus thats placed on the musculature...theres like a million refernces for this...
    I'll start with a few interesting facts that may make you sit up and think a bit: during the average day the body turnsover (synthesis etc) 3-4 grmas of protein per KG of BW (Check out work by Balolgopal - sp??? and El-Khoury). Also, in the 'average' person muscle weighs 40-45% of BW, (skeletal muscle = 50% of total protein)...Muslce is made up of water and proteins in a ratio of around 4:1, 10kg of muscle = around 2kg of protein!!!!!!!
    Right then, if hypertophy is the response to stimuli, well this is based on supercompensation as I maentioned a while back. If thats the case then the growth is response to muscle breakdown/damage...when a muscle fibe is overloaded it gets damaged particulalry during eccentric contrcations...Muscle damage is massively mis understood, so I will cover it in a bit of detail...

    ...the major molecular chnages that occur are purported to be due to eccentric contractions (Protein syntheses etc)...
    MUSCLE DAMAGE high tensile stress (as in eccentrcics) causes the weak sarcomeres to pop, also leads to the adjacent sarcomeres to pop...however this also affects the fibres metabolically: 1)Damages Sarcoplasmic Reticulum, which may result in a loss of Calcium Iron homestasis (Calcium helps fuel contrcations) and may result in a loss of muscle fibres-yikes

    2) Streaming, broadening and total disruption of the z bands

    3) increase in temoperature of the muscle disrupting protein structures
    Delayed onset muscle soreness... Causes: 1) connective tissue damage, 2) muscle fibre shortening 3)Oedema Lasts - 24-48 hrs post exercise, fully disappears by day 7
    FORCE LOSS (of interest to the power guys!!!) for 3 days after intense ex. there is an immediate devrease in max muscle force, why??? well then: contractile element damage, altertaion in the sarcomere lengths (results in less x bridges that can be formed) 3) Psychological effect of pain and soreness...
    This may not seem relevant to you at first but this pretty much substantiates that intensity has to be monitored, you cant just go in an train intense...plus it also makes me suspect that muscle growth isnt just a result of increaased protein synthesis etc...
    Ill leave this post here and continue on a new one...it gets more physiological!!!

    I'll restart then 2...

    The responses from training are specific to the type of training performed hence the specificity principle...
    The adaptation of muscle dictates that specific proteins are degraded and synthesised...myofibrillar proteins increase qite largely, mitochondrial proteins increase with endurance training!!! consequently the increase in intracellular aminos, particularly myofibrillar with protein degredation helps to replace the high turnover...

    ....Also, there maybe a possible migration of the ribosomes to the areas that are most affected by the tyoe or training performed (to utilse the degared proteins)...
    applications...
    Well then if we are to use the info posted we can see that hypertophy is the result of poetine synthesis increases as a result of protein degredation...which is caused by muscle damage...the most muscle is damaged during eccentric exercise (more tension generated - because less motor unites are used so there is greater stress ion the individual fibres)...stretching has indeed been shown to help increae hypertophy... consequently, for short term succes then there must be sufficiebt stretch in the contrcatile elements (for facilitation of muscle damamge), and tension...consequenlty, there should be an emphasis on range of motion (to ensure stretch) and eccentric contrcation (for tension)for protein sunthesis ....

    Higher volumes of work appear to elicuit the best results (rep ranges of 5-8 and 10-12), for multiple sets....refer to the intensity posts for a review on optimal intenisty...
    I will be covering the practical side to a geater extent, this is just a taster!!! any questions...feel free to ask.

    JohnSmith’s response:

    "concerning the single and dual factor training theories you asked about earlier... i dont think the bodybuilding community has altogether ignored the latter... in fact i think that the HST that millard has talked about seems to be taking advantage of this principle.

    basically the most real-world and practical advice i can give you concerning the dual factor theory is this.

    instead of thinking of each workout as one seperate "fatigueing" session, followed by a seperate "recovery" session of a day or two of rest... begin thinking in terms of weeks. in other words, you have one, or two or even three weeks which are "fatigueing" in other words you think of this time period just the same way as some people think of one workout. you accumulate fatigue the whole time, you never completely recover. then you have another time period of recovery. this is another one, two or three weeks in which you train with reduced frequency, volume, or intensity and allow recovery to take place. personally i favor keeping intensity high, drastically lowering volume, and slightly lowering frequency. in any event the overall training stress is lower.
    so you have say two 3 week periods which you approach like you would have approached two days, one a workout day and one a rest day.

    now, of course in programming for elite athletes it gets much more complicated than thsi. you may also have a 6 month "overload" period, during which you have a series of 5 week periods each consisting of 3 weeks of hard work and 2 weeks of lower stress training. then you may have another 3 or 4 month period of "recovery" consisting of 1 week of "loading" or hard work, then 1 or 2 weeks of reduced training.
    all this may be superimposed upon 3 years of slightly harder overall work, in other words slightly higher volume overall... then 1 year of slightly lower volume. this fits into the fact that the olympics are every 4 years and athletes want to hit their highest performance at the olympics.

    the greeks do 3 loading weeks followed by 1 unloading week (approx 12 workouts a week during loading, and 9 workouts a week during unloading, also all weights are lowered by about 10kilos during the unloading week)... these are "loading" months, then every 4th month is an "unloading" month consisting of only 1 loading week and 3 unloading weeks. close to a big competition like the olympics... they switch to alternating weeks, 1 loading week followed by 1 unloading week.

    however, to actually program sets and reps... this is very individual. what is unloading to me may be highly stressfull to you. but this is how training is programmed for the majority of athlets in sports other than BB and powerlifting. fatigue is gradually accumulated and then gradually disipated...
    i would encourage you or anyone else to take a look at the HST training protocol... as it is the first BB specific program i have ever seen that seems to be set up on these principles. people doing it seem to be making gains, so i assume it is the correct volume for a majority of bbers... of course individual adjustment is usually required with programs like this.

    personally... when adjusting volume for individuals i am lucky in that i can use testosterone/cortisol ratios from weekly blood draws and also glutamine/glutamate ratios to assist in determining the stress level of the training for an individual athlete. this allows me to be pretty precise in loading an athlete to his limit without crossing the line into real overtraining... then determining the correct volume of training for the unloading period so that recovry takes place without any detraining. unfortunately i doubt any of you have the rescources to do this or the expertise to interpret the data correctly if you did have access to it.

    HOWEVER... i do have some "rule of thumb" guidlines... during loading, if you are capable of setting personal records... your not loading hard enough. on the other hand, if performance falls below 85% for more than one or two workouts in a row... then you need to lighten the load. the length of the loading period is also individual. start with one week to 10 days... after youve gone through a couple of cycles experiment with 2 and 3 week loading periods. very few people can handle a 3 week loading period. i know i cant. howeer the bulgarians and greeks do, so i know some great athletes can do it, and maybe some of you can. as far as unloading... you should be approaching peak performance after 7-10 days of unloading... you should have peak performance somewhere between 14 and 21 days of unloading. you dont always want to allow peak performance. you may want to follow 2 or 3 consecutive loading cycles without every allowing complete recover during unloading, if you are really advanced... however i dont recomend this for beginners to this type of training... load then unload long enough to set new personal records... allow another week or two to get good and rested then load again.

    hope this helps explain how this is used in the real world... sorry but its just impossible to get into sets and reps on a specific basis... but if you copied the 8 week squat program i posted several times a while back this is an example of this type of training, and its a proven and result producing program."

    Angel Face’s Response:

    RE: RE: I'll restart then...

    Interesting...I wasnt aware of HST before
    ...Its good that the dual factor theory is being integreated into thinking...a Large proportion of research pertaining to training is based on the one factor theory, hence a lot of the fundamentals being based on supercomp...and overload...I have always though there was much more to it personally,

    ...I will bump JS's advice simply put because he is correct...

    ...HST may work for you, try it..rember the individualisation principle, tailor it to yourself as you know your body best...

    ...The majority of research speculates that within the rep ranges of 5-8 and 10-12 the most hypertrophy occurs, dont take this as gospel, chances are this is more related to TUT, and extraneous variables than a specific no. of reps...I will cover TUT next along with a few other things...
    I will post back later...busy at the mo.
    Time Under Tension:

    Sorry mate, been well busy as of late....
    Time under tension specifically towards hyertrophy...well this theory, popularised by charles Poliquin and Ian King mainly, is surprisingly simple to implement and understand...yet will help produce good results..

    ...easy, if we rember that there is an inverse relationship between a mucle fibres power producing capacities and endurance capabilities then its pretty obvious that there is a relationship between time and optimal training... sets and reps take place over time (well duhhh!!!) hopefully you will see that it is more precise to relate load and time together as opposed to load and reps/sets....

    ...counting reps may not actually be the indicator of the amount of work that you have performed...if anything reps are simply a marker or reference point, if we look at the equation work = force x distance...well a rep tells you that you've performed work...but not how much...

    ...for instance, on the bench you've got an indicidual who benches 300lbs for 5 reps, the eccentric takes 2 seconds and the conecntric takes 1, there is no pause...conversley take another exmaple of an indivdual who performs 300lbs for 5 reps however, his eccentric takes 5 seconds with a one second pause at the bottom...concentric takes 3 seconds....who do you think has performed more work? however they are both moving the same amount of weight for the same amount of reps...also who will have the better 1 rm and chest development (hypothetically!!!)
    ...its pretty simple...also, think of kinetic energy and momentum, during a fast eccentric you are building up kinetic energy (Kinetic energy is energy due to motion) which have a rebounbd effect meaning that the momentum created by the fast eccentric translates into an easier concentric....meaning that more weight will be moved.....I refere you to the concept of kinetic energy again, kinetic energy increases due to an increase in accleration ie a faster eccentric (momentum is the product of mass and velocity, force mathematically can be represented as a rate of change of momentum...as momentum decreases so does velocity)...basically what this means is that due to the decreases in accelertion and momentum kinetic energy decreases which means that it is harder to move an object...(I hate kinematics!!!!!!)

    in the previous example if individual no 2 were to perform a set of 5 reps with a 2 second eccentric and 1 second concentric then the amount of weight that the individual will shift will be a lot more than 300lbs.

    ...say someone performs a set of 10 with a speed of 3 secs per rep then the total TUT would be 30 seconds for that set...if an individual performed a set of 5 with a 6 second speed, the TUT would be the same....if strength improvements are to have occured then the amount of time is a very important factor... an increase in strength can only be accurate if either the weight has increased with TUT and reps the same... or if the load remains constant and reps and TUT increased. But, if in a set TUT (total not per rep) was the same, as does load...however the reps increased then it may be that an individual has actually regressed slightly because per rep the amount of work performed hs decreased to perform the rep....remeber the accomodation principle mentioned a while ago....it states that if a stimulus was to remain contant, after initial adaptations accor then the amount of gain declines over time....this is an example of such....
    ...so then what is the optimal TUT... generally for optimal muscle growth, a muscle should be under tension for between 40 and 70 (approx)seconds....however this does not have to be on a single set....

    ...absolute TUT is also a factor, so then 3 x 10 with a total TUT for the each set of 40 seconds equals 120 seconds of total TUT, however 6 x 5 with a TUT of 20 seconds for each set equals the same absolute TUT of 120 seconds.

    ...Basically, monitor time, it can be extremeley beneficial, by implementing a few of the ideas I have mentioned here you add to the arsenal of variety....periodise TUT like anything else!!!

    AnimalMass

    PS - these are highlights from a thread that a couple friends of mine and I went through on a board a while back ago.

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    Rj*
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    here is a link to his training split. kinda a mixed wsb, 5x5, sorta

    http://boards.*****************/forum...hreadid=227835

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