PDA

View Full Version : High Reps or Low Reps for Muscle Growth?


Anoop Balachandran
05-22-2010, 06:37 AM
The recent study finally sheds some light on this long lasting debate of high reps versus low reps for muscle growth.Though I will post this here and it will be ok.

http://www.exercisebiology.com/index.php/site/articles/are_low_reps_1-6_better_than_high_reps_8-12_for_muscle_growth/

Donald Lee
05-22-2010, 10:23 AM
Anoop,

Have you read "The Influence of Frequency, Intensity, Volume and Mode of Strength Training on Whole Muscle Cross-Sectional Area in Humans" by Mathias Wernbom, Jesper Augustsson, and Roland Thome?

If you have, what do you think of the recommendation for the 40-60 rep range for hypertrophy?

Dave Van Skike
05-22-2010, 12:51 PM
i think it's a universal truth that if a debate is long standing, neither side is right and in many cases, the debate is not important.

Anoop Balachandran
05-23-2010, 03:01 PM
Have you read "The Influence of Frequency, Intensity, Volume and Mode of Strength Training on Whole Muscle Cross-Sectional Area in Humans" by Mathias Wernbom, Jesper Augustsson, and Roland Thome?

Hi Donald,

Yes. I have read the article. I had mentioned about the article in the comment section of my article.

I think those are pretty reasonable.

We need more quality RCT like these to figure out what's happening. They did a pilot study which showed similar result and same trend was seen with older adults which add credence to their results.

The study basically shows that there is a ceiling effect to protein synthesis and you hit that ceiling by around 10-15 reps. Increasing load further will not increase protein synthesis and may increase protein breakdown.

The authors think that volume might affect the duration of protein synthesis and intensity the peak.

Steve Shafley
05-23-2010, 06:49 PM
Ironically, the anecdotal experiences of lifters and bodybuilders the whole world over have come up with pretty solid places to start.

Anoop Balachandran
05-24-2010, 04:23 PM
Ironically, the anecdotal experiences of lifters and bodybuilders the whole world over have come up with pretty solid places to start.

We can only do better if we have an evidence-based approach.

There is a good reason why anecdotal evidences are considered to be the lowest form of evidences. And I don't think bodybuilding/fitness is any different.

Steven Low
05-24-2010, 04:50 PM
What works best tends to be the routine you're not doing.

So if you work extensively with higher rep (8-12) for months/years then the lower reps (4-8) will tend to work better for at least a while.

It's not really rocket science though..

Anoop Balachandran
05-24-2010, 05:09 PM
So if you work extensively with higher rep (8-12) for months/years then the lower reps (4-8) will tend to work better for at least a while.

Works for what? And why do you think it works? And why are you so sure?

And this is the problem with anecdotes. Everyone seems to have their own set of observations which they believe is true no matter what.

And I agree it's not rocket science.

All I am saying is that we can do much much better with an evidence based approach. There are so many pitfalls with anecdotal evidences and that's the major reason why the evidence based approach evolved. I hope you would agree here considering you are pursuing your ph.D

Nice site of yours!

Dave Van Skike
05-24-2010, 07:37 PM
We can only do better if we have an evidence-based approach.

There is a good reason why anecdotal evidences are considered to be the lowest form of evidences. And I don't think bodybuilding/fitness is any different.

Everything works. nothing works forever.

reps ranges, rest periods, and all the studies in the world don't amount to shit compared to a motivated trainee who's willing to observe, experiment and try for himself. my evidence on that is purely anecdotal of course.

Garrett Smith
05-24-2010, 08:16 PM
I'm sure evidence-based BBing will work out just as well as the supposed evidence-based medicine. I doubt that equipment manufacturers would ever interfere with research in any way like Big Pharma....

Anoop Balachandran
05-25-2010, 03:43 PM
reps ranges, rest periods, and all the studies in the world don't amount to shit compared to a motivated trainee who's willing to observe, experiment and try for himself. my evidence on that is purely anecdotal of course.

You can be motivated, willing to observe, experiment and also be science-based. You don't have to always take the extreme stance.

And do you do the same for supplements too?

Dave Van Skike
05-25-2010, 04:04 PM
You can be motivated, willing to observe, experiment and also be science-based. You don't have to always take the extreme stance.

And do you do the same for supplements too?

my stance is not extreme. it's reality. a narrow study doesn't give me anywhere near as much information as talking to soemone I trust who's already been there.

my advice goes double for supplements. If I haven't talked to someone who's tried it, I won't go near it with a ten foot pole regardless of what the "study" shows.

The only exception I think I can recall is creatine, which I tried when I was a bike racer. Nobody I knew had used it for cycling. I gave it a try and it worked fantastic...for a while. In retrospect probably had something to do with my crappy diet but whatever, I did expirement N=1 and got well prepped for a series of races and did quite well with it.

Donald Lee
05-25-2010, 04:14 PM
my stance is not extreme. it's reality. a narrow study doesn't give me anywhere near as much information as talking to soemone I trust who's already been there.

my advice goes double for supplements. If I haven't talked to someone who's tried it, I won't go near it with a ten foot pole regardless of what the "study" shows.

The only exception I think I can recall is creatine, which I tried when I was a bike racer. Nobody I knew had used it for cycling. I gave it a try and it worked fantastic...for a while. In retrospect probably had something to do with my crappy diet but whatever, I did expirement N=1 and got well prepped for a series of races and did quite well with it.

I think what Anoop is trying to say is that you can have the best of both worlds. Basing something on one study is not what good researchers do. Anoop just wrote that article about one study, but he wasn't basing his conclusions just on that study alone.

There are quite a few researchers who are also great coaches, although there could always be more. There are also many great coaches who aren't researchers but have pursued science/exercise science/nutrition backgrounds.

You can always have both, although it takes a lot of time, money, and effort.

Anoop Balachandran
05-25-2010, 04:48 PM
my stance is not extreme. it's reality. a narrow study doesn't give me anywhere near as much information as talking to soemone I trust who's already been there.

You will find 100's of people who are "already there" and who all have different opinions. Who are you going to trust and on what basis?

If I haven't talked to someone who's tried it, I won't go near it with a ten foot pole regardless of what the "study" shows.

Do you really think people who buy and eat all those crazy supplements think it is not working? They all think it is working!

this is something I wrote specifically about the problems with anecdotes: http://www.exercisebiology.com/index.php/site/articles/why_anecdotes_testimonials_are_unreliable/

And in our field, there is not enough funding and qualities studies to sometimes bring out practical applications. But that doesn't automatically mean anecdotes are better. We use the best available evidence and judgment based on our experiences.

And the site header is "Advancing the Science of athletic performance" if you missed it.

Dave Van Skike
05-25-2010, 04:51 PM
I think what Anoop is trying to say is that you can have the best of both worlds. Basing something on one study is not what good researchers do. Anoop just wrote that article about one study, but he wasn't basing his conclusions just on that study alone.

There are quite a few researchers who are also great coaches, although there could always be more. There are also many great coaches who aren't researchers but have pursued science/exercise science/nutrition backgrounds.

You can always have both, although it takes a lot of time, money, and effort.

what i'm saying is that it quite simply does not matter. in this arena it matters less that nothing. Health/fitness/conditioning sciences are to the point where nearly every piece of research either confirms conventional wisdom in some unremarkable way (case in point) or seeks to be inflammatory by presenting findings without context or nuance.

i must be getting old. all these "studies" sounds like crap. you kids need to turn down that awful emo music and get a job.

Dave Van Skike
05-25-2010, 04:57 PM
You will find 100's of people who are "already there" and who all have different opinions. Who are you going to trust and on what basis?


i use a function called judgement. it is the unique human ability to discern shit from shinola. it comes from experience. it's really quite a useful thing.

the plural of anecdote is data.

Garrett Smith
05-25-2010, 05:17 PM
Placebos Are Getting More Effective. Drugmakers Are Desperate to Know Why. (http://www.wired.com/medtech/drugs/magazine/17-09/ff_placebo_effect)
The roots of the placebo problem can be traced to a lie told by an Army nurse during World War II as Allied forces stormed the beaches of southern Italy. The nurse was assisting an anesthetist named Henry Beecher, who was tending to US troops under heavy German bombardment. When the morphine supply ran low, the nurse assured a wounded soldier that he was getting a shot of potent painkiller, though her syringe contained only salt water. Amazingly, the bogus injection relieved the soldier's agony and prevented the onset of shock.

Feel free to substitute in appropriate weight training / swole words.

Whatever people want to believe is what will work the best.

Steven Low
05-25-2010, 05:55 PM
Works for what? And why do you think it works? And why are you so sure?

And this is the problem with anecdotes. Everyone seems to have their own set of observations which they believe is true no matter what.

And I agree it's not rocket science.

All I am saying is that we can do much much better with an evidence based approach. There are so many pitfalls with anecdotal evidences and that's the major reason why the evidence based approach evolved. I hope you would agree here considering you are pursuing your ph.D

Nice site of yours!
What works is what works.

Honestly, I like the evidenced base approach (as you know from my site).

But the evidence based approach is limited in two areas:

1. Not all people respond the same to similar protocol. What is optimal for someone may not be optimal for someone else. Obviously, genetics play a big factor here.

Hence, why experience and anecdotal evidence etc. is a huge factor. You want someone who has a huge variety of population based experience who can say to you... "hey this protocol works for most people but it's not working for you. Let's try this instead."

2. For the people that aren't willing to put in the time, money, and effort, the expereriences of multiple people tend to work extremely well. Especially in line with what Dave has stated earlier in this thread.

-------------------

This is a good community. We have a lot of people here who do their own research. But we also have a lot of people who experiment to see if things work.

You can't have one without the other. Experience is as benficial or even more beneficial sometimes than research especially if research is very poorly done.

If a patient has an injury and I tell to them do something out of my experience because it WORKS even though I have no way to give any evidence should they ignore what I say? Similarly, for coaches with elite athletes who get results?

What works is what works. Regardless of it is anecdotal evidence or scientific evidence backing it up. Even if it is both of those or even NOTHING backing it up.

Do we care why whole milk is better post workout than skim milk? Maybe. Do we know it works? Yes. Could I try to come up with an answer for that based on scientific reasoning? Yeah, I could.. and I tried to. But you can't dispute the fact that it works.

Anoop Balachandran
05-25-2010, 06:43 PM
Whatever people want to believe is what will work the best.

There is a good reason why research insist on double blinded designs and random sampling to avoid the placebo effects and similar psychological biases.

Your argument only supports the use of a systematic approach like research.

Dave Van Skike
05-25-2010, 06:56 PM
There is a good reason why research insist on double blinded designs and random sampling to avoid the placebo effects and similar psychological biases.

Your argument only supports the use of a systematic approach like research.

There's also good reason why scientists contribute so little to the art and practice of athlete development.

Thank you Steven. Well said.

I was trying to bend the spoon. Forgot for a moment there is no spoon. I'm out.

Donald Lee
05-25-2010, 07:18 PM
[QUOTE=Dave Van Skike;76378]There's also good reason why scientists contribute so little to the art and practice of athlete development. QUOTE]

Hmmm...

Louie Simmons was influenced by scientists.

Mel Siff was a scientist.

Many people have taken ideas from Verkhoshansky who's a scientist. For example, shock training (depth jumps) came from Verkhoshansky.

Block periodization, which many if not most athletes of endurance and mixed modal sports utilize, came from scientists.

Rehab work was developed through science.

Charlie Francis relied heavily on science.

Mike Tuscherer of Reactive Training Systems loves science, and he's trying to get Powerlifters to become more knowledable about science.

Joel Jaimeson has read a ton of science to obtain his methods for training MMA fighters.

Much of the way we train nowadays came from scientists, whether we are aware of that or not. It works the other way around as well. Scientists test theories that many coaches/trainees have.

Many of us are just lucky that we have so many folks who have broken down the science in a practical way for the masses.

Dave Van Skike
05-25-2010, 07:22 PM
[QUOTE=Dave Van Skike;76378]There's also good reason why scientists contribute so little to the art and practice of athlete development. QUOTE]

Hmmm...

Louie Simmons was influenced by scientists.

Mel Siff was a scientist.

Many people have taken ideas from Verkhoshansky who's a scientist. For example, shock training (depth jumps) came from Verkhoshansky.

Block periodization, which many if not most athletes of endurance and mixed modal sports utilize, came from scientists.

Rehab work was developed through science.

Charlie Francis relied heavily on science.

Mike Tuscherer of Reactive Training Systems loves science, and he's trying to get Powerlifters to become more knowledable about science.

Joel Jaimeson has read a ton of science to obtain his methods for training MMA fighters.

Much of the way we train nowadays came from scientists, whether we are aware of that or not. It works the other way around as well. Scientists test theories that many coaches/trainees have.

Many of us are just lucky that we have so many folks who have broken down the science in a practical way for the masses.

nice try don.

Anoop Balachandran
05-25-2010, 07:43 PM
I know you know these since you are in ur Ph.d. I am writing for other people who are reading.

But the evidence based approach is limited in two areas:

1. Not all people respond the same to similar protocol. What is optimal for someone may not be optimal for someone else. Obviously, genetics play a big factor here.


That applies to every health field. Hence research is highly specific (like population, gender, and so on) and uses concepts like internal and external validity. In recent studies, subjects a within subjects design is employed to minimize effects of genetic variations (some of the protein studies).


Hence, why experience and anecdotal evidence etc. is a huge factor. You want someone who has a huge variety of population based experience who can say to you... "hey this protocol works for most people but it's not working for you. Let's try this instead."


Evidence based approach do not ignore judgment/experience. This is one of the misconceptions about evidence- based approach.

For example, if a patients comes with CNS lymphoma brain tumor and has diabetes, has heart problems and is older than 70. The clinically proven treatment might be a specific drug. But the dose based on the study may not be the optimum considering the diabetes and cardiac problems. So the clinicians experience and judgment will come here to determine the drug dosage and frequency and additional drugs that the person needs. This is called clinical intuition/judgment.

So there is art to even the most well researched field like cancer research. It is not just the hallmark of coaches/fitness guru’s as most of them arrogantly talk about.


2. For the people that aren't willing to put in the time, money, and effort, the expereriences of multiple people tend to work extremely well. Especially in line with what Dave has stated earlier in this thread.

I am not sure about that. We have so many cases in the past where millions of people believed in something which was later proven to be completely wrong.

For example, the humoral theory was the core theory of the western medicine from the 16th until the the 19th century. The most prominent doctors in that era cut your jugular veins if you were sick because that was the standard treatment based on it for almost 4 centuries. How did millions of people have it wrong for so many years?

Even overwhelming anecdotal evidences needs to stand the rigors of science. That’s not me. That’s from the entire scientific community.

Evidence based approach is limited. But it is 10 times better than anecdotal evidence.

Donald Lee
05-25-2010, 07:49 PM
[QUOTE=Donald Lee;76380]

nice try don.

I can't help it. I've flown across the country to take undergraduate science courses for an unfathomable cost in order to pursue a career I was actively avoiding. Plus, I'm studying right now for a Chem test tomorrow. Political science, the pseudo-science, was so much easier. :D

Anoop Balachandran
05-25-2010, 07:54 PM
There's also good reason why scientists contribute so little to the art and practice of athlete development.

You are just confusing causes.

I agree that there are not many studies on strength/athletics. That's because nobody wants to study to make people faster/stronger when there are people dying.

An example, an RO1 grant for a NIH researcher studying disease is 300,000 dollars every year for 5 years. This do not include over head costs.

An NSCA or ACSM grant is 5000 dollars. That's peanuts compared to an NIH grant.

So quality researchers and research and journals are obviously not in our field. Hence there is a lack of studies and application research.

So it is not the fault of science per se. And that doesn't make science inferior and anecdotal evidence superior.

Steve Shafley
05-25-2010, 08:08 PM
The Soviets already did all this shit.

Garrett Smith
05-25-2010, 09:07 PM
Well, the placebo or "power of suggestion" hasn't been addressed, as even in drug studies it seems to be getting stronger.

It isn't like reps can be "blinded", so subjects' prior biases/education could easily influence the study.

Anyway, this does all seem pointless. Why not interview the old drug-free bodybuilders and see what worked best for them, then go from there?

Dave Van Skike
05-25-2010, 09:24 PM
You are just confusing causes.

I agree that there are not many studies on strength/athletics. That's because nobody wants to study to make people faster/stronger when there are people dying.

An example, an RO1 grant for a NIH researcher studying disease is 300,000 dollars every year for 5 years. This do not include over head costs.

An NSCA or ACSM grant is 5000 dollars. That's peanuts compared to an NIH grant.

So quality researchers and research and journals are obviously not in our field. Hence there is a lack of studies and application research.

So it is not the fault of science per se. And that doesn't make science inferior and anecdotal evidence superior.

in the interest of intellectual rigor, i read most of the articles on your website.

you really should consider recreational drugs. you too, don.

Donald Lee
05-26-2010, 04:42 AM
you really should consider recreational drugs. you too, don.

No thanks. I have other outlets, but it looks like marijuana will soon be legalized in CA. I will probably try a grass brownie some day.

Steven Low
05-26-2010, 09:22 AM
Re: hypertrophy

If some novice is coming to me I'm gonna put them on Starting Strength + GOMAD for hypertrophy. Then if they wanna do some high rep work after they stall out on linear progression thats great.

I'm pretty sure I don't need studies to tell me that this works. And if I did then what Shaf is saying seems more or less about right.

The Soviets already did all this shit.

Fact of the matter is I used to have time to do read, debate, and write super long posts.. but it's just too time consuming and boring to do that now. Now I tend to write one liners for most everything if possible.

This does not mean I don't keep reading studies and researching stuff, but if someone is going to be questioning ME why something works they can go do that research for themselves. I will point them in the right direction. I'm not a beck and call Q&A machine (unless you're paying me for it in which case I'll answer all the questions you want).



If someone wants to go DO research then by all means go for it. Just make sure your studies are well made because at least 90% of the crap coming out now in pubmed is sample size <15. It's terrible.

I can ask 15 coaches/experts on the subject and get a MUCH better opinion than in most of these studies that are coming out now.

(As you can tell by reading all of the junk that is coming out now is jading my opinion on the matter).

What work is what works period. I'd LOVE to know the mechanisms behind why it works, but I don't NEED them.

Dave Van Skike
05-26-2010, 10:04 AM
legit question, steven. do you only let them do the hi rep back off sets after they have stalled?

high reps do a couple things in my mind that are very positive (again, mostly me, sample size N=1).

thing one:
reinforce technique and cues under fatigue. it's real easy to figure out your own particular weak points and efficient ways to move through them when you're doing light weight for reps while fatigued. it's ver easy, in these cases to indentify and correct your own "20%" slop.

thing two: confidence.
very often after working up to a significant number, let's say the goal was a triple at a set weight, even if the tripel was a brutal struggle, taking a chunk of weight off the bar and then cranking out a set of ten can be confidence inspiring. for some folks, they'll quickly be hitting for sets of ten weights they had been struggling for 5's not many weeks before.

does this make sense?

Steven Low
05-26-2010, 12:42 PM
Depends.

If they have good technique from the get go then go with the program as rx'd.

If they have mobility issues then you may have to spend more time working with them on technique. Higher amounts of repetitions are definitely good in this case, and safer as you don't have to load up the heavy weights.

Add in the stuff you said and you have legit need for higher reps.

Also, if someone is developing sore joints (from overuse) then backing off to lighter high reps is also a good idea. Lighter work (8-15 reps) is very good for connective tissue rehab. Sometimes even more reps than that.


It all depends. If they can handle the lower reps right away and carry on for months I like that base first. You get a nice combo of strength + hypertrophy and then you can go from there whether you want to go whether more hypertrophy, athletics, strength, plifting, etc.

Anoop Balachandran
05-26-2010, 06:51 PM
If some novice is coming to me I'm gonna put them on Starting Strength + GOMAD for hypertrophy. Then if they wanna do some high rep work after they stall out on linear progression thats great.

I'm pretty sure I don't need studies to tell me that this works. And if I did then what Shaf is saying seems more or less about right.

I am pretty sure that’s not how evidence based approach works.

Evidence based studies combine the “best” available evidence and the individual expertise. So if you don’t have studies, you look for biological plausibility.


Studies ( Reviews, RCT’s, )
Basic science or plausibility
Individual expertise.


For a beginner routine for muscle growth, we know from reviews and taking a plausibility approach:

1. One or two sets is enough
2. 2-3 times full body workouts( higher frequency is better)
3. 1-2 exercises per body part
4. A periodized routine is superior
5. Multi-joint exercises are better

And take this workout to a body building site, they will clearly say since the reps are below 8 it is more of strength than a hypertrophy workout and no isolation exercises. Just like you have your anecdotes, they will have them too. What will be your reply?

Fact of the matter is I used to have time to do read, debate, and write super long posts.. but it's just too time consuming and boring to do that now. Now I tend to write one liners for most everything if possible.
I like to keep it to the point too if you read my articles.


This does not mean I don't keep reading studies and researching stuff, but if someone is going to be questioning ME why something works they can go do that research for themselves. I will point them in the right direction. I'm not a beck and call Q&A machine (unless you're paying me for it in which case I'll answer all the questions you want).

Yes, that’s understandable. And I don’t think that matters in this discussion.


If someone wants to go DO research then by all means go for it. Just make sure your studies are well made because at least 90% of the crap coming out now in pubmed is sample size <15. It's terrible.

There is no standard for sample size and a large sample size is not always good. It usually depend on the number of dependent variables and they usually get it from a a power analysis. Good researchers know all that stuff. Most of the studies I pick from prominent labs. And you usually don’t go by just one study anyways.

When it comes to elite athletes or studies on rare diseases, lower sample size is generally accepted.

What work is what works period. I'd LOVE to know the mechanisms behind why it works, but I don't NEED them.

Nobody said you need them. It only helps to have some critical thinking abilities, especially when there are 100's progarms & diets out there. And they all claim to WORK.

Here is something from Alan Aragon about the “why in one his articles:

"Question fitness advice given to you by others. “Why” is one of the most powerful words you can put in your vocabulary. Investigating the reasoning behind the advice will often reveal that the answer is “just because”, rendering the advice anywhere from helpful, to dangerous, to just a plain waste of time and resources. I encourage my clients, students, and colleagues to question everyone’s advice, including mine. I firmly believe that the better you can sharpen your thinking, the better you can continue to sharpen your physique."

Dave Van Skike
05-26-2010, 11:31 PM
you really don't get it. At All.

Steve Shafley
05-27-2010, 10:16 AM
When you are talking "evidence based training" to a forum full of novices and newbies, then maybe you are telling them something they didn't know. When you are talking about "evidence based training" to a group of people, 99% of whom either:

a. know more than you
b. are bigger and stronger than you
c. a + b
d. just don't want to read your rambling prose

Maybe it's like you're a snake-handling, homeschooling, ditchwater pentacostal who's speaking in tongues to a group of dignified Catholic scholars.

It doesn't matter what you say. We're just not buying your particular brand.

Geoffrey Thompson
05-27-2010, 12:16 PM
Also, as an FYI, there are very few people on this board who care about muscle growth per se. Most people here are performance-oriented. High reps or low reps for muscle growth? The people here grow our muscles by getting strong because most of us care most about getting strong (or improving performance in some sport, often by getting strong). So we would probably, at the end of the day, say low reps, damn the science, unless you somehow prove that I should be doing 8 rep sets of snatches.

Anoop Balachandran
05-27-2010, 04:59 PM
Also, as an FYI, there are very few people on this board who care about muscle growth per se. Most people here are performance-oriented. High reps or low reps for muscle growth?

I guess you are right.

I should have read carefully the forum subsection which says: Mass Gain: “Discussions of training for functional muscle mass and other weight gain topics”.


The people here grow our muscles by getting strong because most of us care most about getting strong (or improving performance in some sport, often by getting strong) So we would probably, at the end of the day, say low reps, damn the science.

And the study shows exactly that. There is no difference between 1-5 or 8-12 reps for muscle growth because protein synthesis for both rep ranges is the same. Though everyone says 8-12 reps is the best range.

I only posted that link because someone some posted a link to another article here and there was some discussions on it and I came across it. And accidentally read the title” Advancing the Science of Athletic Performance” and Mass Gain subsection and felt the scientific study would be interesting thread.

Honestly, not sure why there is so much hostility against me. I am not trying to sell anything . I don’t even have a freaking ad on my website. And I am here on a site littered with products and ads.

All I said was science is better than anecdotes and evidence-based approach does include individual judgment and experience. And you can have the best of both worlds.

I remember in Dante's forum( Diggcrap) argued I against their no carbs after 6 pm rule. I instantly got pummeled with "we are bigger and stronger and we have results". Sounds a lot similar here too.

And what really does that mean on your header "Advancing the science of athletic performance".

Mark Fenner
05-27-2010, 05:07 PM
Is this really a 4, going on 5, page thread discussing (1) whether the scientific method is a particularly good method with which to investigate the world and (2) whether or not it is particularly hard to apply the scientific method to athletic performance?

I just want to keep things clear in my head.

Best,
Mark

Anoop Balachandran
05-27-2010, 05:28 PM
Is this really a 4, going on 5, page thread discussing (1) whether the scientific method is a particularly good method with which to investigate the world

It wasn't until people in this forum started going off a tangent and questioning science.


and (2) whether or not it is particularly hard to apply the scientific method to athletic performance?

There are certain studies which will not do shit worth for application.

And there are studies which has an application in the field, like the one I posted in the thread. And these are not the norm.

So it is not an either/ or debate as most people make out of it.

Geoffrey Thompson
05-27-2010, 06:34 PM
I guess you are right.

I should have read carefully the forum subsection which says: Mass Gain: “Discussions of training for functional muscle mass and other weight gain topics”.


Well, fair enough.

Donald Lee
05-28-2010, 11:57 AM
Not that I think anybody will be convinced this way or that, Matt Perryman wrote an article about science vs. experience:

http://www.ampedtraining.com/knowledge/science-experience-why-pick-one/

Dave Van Skike
05-28-2010, 12:48 PM
Not that I think anybody will be convinced this way or that, Matt Perryman wrote an article about science vs. experience:

http://www.ampedtraining.com/knowledge/science-experience-why-pick-one/

his heart's in the right place but he didn't say anything. he presented a false dilemma and answered with a cliche'.

Anoop Balachandran
05-28-2010, 05:42 PM
his heart's in the right place but he didn't say anything. he presented a false dilemma and answered with a cliche'.

And this a honest question.

Do you think science atleasT helps in certain areas in this field or do you think that no matter what science doesn't do zilch in the bodybuilding/fitness/athletic field?

Dave Van Skike
05-28-2010, 06:18 PM
this is an honest answer.

don't be obtuse. of course it does.

the original topic: the false debate between low reps /hi reps whatever for getting bigger..is retarded. the answer is, "it depends". this is almost always the answer. in fact, any other answer just tend to illuminate how little experience the respondent has.


you have suggested hostility. wrong. most people here have some goals, have some experience have trained others have had a few injuries have won things in sport, have had their asses kicked...they have baseline experience. it is from this experience that they react to what looks like a trolling attempt from another MS in exercise science with website to pimp. maybe i'm wrong about that.

speaking for me, i object to the the regurgitation of platitudes and the prescription of "protocols", studies and programs without an accompanying first person narrative. Articles like the one above (and most of yours frankly) toss out training concepts like menu selections. this is not useful. it's a game. most of the studies you cite are about as useful as a sudoku puzzle, an interesting way to spend ones' time but not a foundation for reality based training. For that, 99 trainees out of a 100, would be better served ditching the books, the internet crap, new england journal of whatever the fuck and just go squat press and pull. do this consistently, with good form and focus and you will make progress. Period. better still, find someone who squats presses and pulls more than you and learn from their mistakes. then you will know something even more useful.

Bottom line. in this field, until you have a had barbell in your hand for a long time, you probably don't have anything useful for me. that said, i'll try to learn from anyone, whether they be a total noob, a journeyman hack such as myself, or an accomplished national coach in oly lifting if they can tell me what they did, what they observed and what they think about it. i'll rely on my judgment to absorb what i need and reject what i don't.


edit: having re-read this, i sound like a bit of an ass, sadly..this is true. i am an ass so don't take the diatribe personally. you opened the door by asking an honest question. if you feel i've misread you, feel free to PM me.

Ken Rich
05-28-2010, 08:39 PM
Dave,

You've done yeoman's work in this thread and exhibited great patience. Well done.

I always appreciate your contributions.

Ken

Anoop Balachandran
05-29-2010, 06:12 AM
the original topic: the false debate between low reps /hi reps whatever for getting bigger..is retarded. the answer is, "it depends". this is almost always the answer. in fact, any other answer just tend to illuminate how little experience the respondent has.

The article basically says there is no debate. You will get bigger whether you do high reps or low reps. Though everyone says 8-12 is the optimal for muscle growth.

And you are right about it depends. If the article was about explaining when is low reps or high reps better, I would have talked about it. So it depends on what the article is all about.

Bottom line. in this field, until you have a had barbell in your hand for a long time, you probably don't have anything useful for me. that said, i'll try to learn from anyone, whether they be a total noob, a journeyman hack such as myself, or an accomplished national coach in oly lifting if they can tell me what they did, what they observed and what they think about it. i'll rely on my judgment to absorb what i need and reject what i don't.

Can you point me anything I wrote in this thread which says experience is isn’t important ir evidence based approach do not take judgement/experience?


edit: having re-read this, i sound like a bit of an ass, sadly..this is true. i am an ass so don't take the diatribe personally. you opened the door by asking an honest question. if you feel i've misread you, feel free to PM me.

You can always disagree and still be respectful and polite. A few people like Steve, Donald, Garett are good examples. I read your posts which you edited and deleted and it was full of personal attacks. You going after me in other threads and making those comments...I purposefully try not to reply to those posts though I don't feel good reading those.

And I do think I am not the person you are making out of me.

I know there are a lot of people and sites which quote scientific studies to sell cutting edge programs, diet and products. All my articles are pretty reasonable and most of the time it is usually common wisdom supported by science. I don’t have any cutting edge program or diet that I promote. The article which I posted just says what we know for a long time. Do whatever rep range and you will get bigger too. The other recent article talks about even if you train like a powerlifter, you will put some serious muscle mass. The other recent one says you don’t have to waste money on 60 gms of protein where taking 20-30 gms will be sufficient.

The first article I wrote 7 years back had almost 66 references to conclude it doesn’t matter what rep range or how many sets or how many days. If you are getting stronger, you are doing something right. And if you read my forum and articles, you will sense the same recommendations . And my site talks about weight loss, organic food, cancer, body fat and so on. I like anything health related and have passion for learning which is sometimes I write a lot about why of things. I even called up and talked to the guy who coined the term evidence based approach to learn more about it.

And I do workout, I have pic up on my forum if people think I am an arm chair expert. Before I hurt my low back, I only used to dips, deadlifts, squats, and bench, shoulder press. The only isolation i do now is for arms. I am more into muscle growth so I focus a lot on squeezing and pausing and such.

And i know you are a good guy who means well and is frustrated by all the scientific jumbu mumbo they come up with to sell programs & prodcuts. And I do understand that.

Dave Van Skike
05-29-2010, 09:30 AM
chk your PM.s
good luck with all of that.

Gant Grimes
06-01-2010, 08:56 AM
It's always fun to compare the training and competitive pedigrees of the science crowd vs. the "anecdotal" crowd. I'm marginally interested in the science behind this stuff, but much more so if you've ever blacked out or thrown up after a heavy set of 20. That's where you're going to get pushback from some of the older guys. You accuse Dave of being hostile, but you are basically saying anything other than evidence-based training is stupid. You wear a coat in your lab; others wear a uniform.