View Full Version : Hyper reppin'
01-16-2001, 06:42 PM
A load of plfters in my gym use hyper reps on a vaguely regular basis (basically whenever they feel they need the extra shove but it seems to be every 6 weeks) but was just wondering how many of you use them.
01-16-2001, 07:53 PM
Please explain what a hyper-rep is.
01-17-2001, 07:32 AM
Yeah I would also be interested to know what a hyper rep is
01-19-2001, 05:14 PM
Oh, er, ok, you might have other names for it remember but hyper reps is what I know them as.
(my god thats terrible grammer, nevermind...)
Um, a hyper rep is basically take a big compound movement, I'll use bench for this example. Have two spotters and load up your max one rep lift onto the bar (warm up first obviously) do the down, up and down portions of the lift and then have spotters lift it up for you whilst you rest for a few seconds (still holding onto the bar) your spotters remove enough so that you can do another rep (usually 10% ish) and you do the down, up, down parts of the lift again.
Each sequence of lowering pressing, and lowering again (controlled and on your own) is one rep and should be the most weight you can handle.
Most people try for about 8 reps, though by the end their struggling to not let the empty bar drop to their chests whilst lowering it.
Do it with squats and I guarentee you wont walk for a week :D
01-19-2001, 07:48 PM
Those are breakdown sets (a variation of). I think they are a great intensity builder and will do wonders for developement. The problem, as you stated, is that you need 2 spotters. If you can do them I would highly recommend them. Make sure you really limit your sets (1-2 max) if you train in this fashion. You will also need plenty of recuperation time.
The Old Man
01-19-2001, 08:35 PM
We call these tear downs. You start out at near max and pump out as many reps as possible. Spotters remove a plate and you go till failure, remove a plate, repeat until you get to one 45 on each side and push to failure.
These tear my chest up and I do not do them very often ( probably 3-4 times a year) for that reason. They take a lot out of you.
01-20-2001, 06:20 AM
I figured peeps might have other names for them, so how is a breakdown set different?
Anyone else use them?
01-20-2001, 07:28 AM
It's not, just a different name. You can certainly do them more than 3-4 times per year. That one always gets me. If a style of or particular exercise really tears down the muscle why would you only do it a couple times per year. I know the muscle mags always tell you to do particularly intense exercises etc. only occasionally. Why do they do that. Should you only train the best way on occassion? Your goal as a trainee trying to build muscle should be to inflict the maximum amount of damage (highest intensity) with the least amount of work. This will cause greater adaptation (growth) by the muscle. You must then give the muscle sufficient time to recover of course. Maybe that is why the mags say to only train hard occasionally, they already promote overtraining. Progression should always be your main goal. The key to highly intense training is to allow for recovery.
The Old Man
01-20-2001, 09:21 AM
I prefer to do them only when bench has stuck at a certain level for a period of time. I am in no way saying you can not do them more often. It is just that I prefer not to. Do what works for you as it will not work for everybody.
[Edited by The Old Man on 01-20-2001 at 11:23 AM]
01-20-2001, 10:12 AM
Old Man--- I'm not trying to argue with you, but I want you to see what you are saying. You are saying that you use this method to get out of a sticking point. If it is effective enough to get you out of a sticking point it must be really good, no? So, if it is that effective, why not do it all of the time to maximize your gains? You cannot overtrain if you limit your total sets and allow enough time off to recuperate. So, if you don't overtrain and the method is highly effective, why not do it all the time if possible (partners on hand).
01-21-2001, 06:29 AM
i agree with chris, althouth i would not do them every week. because i do dips on tricep day and they hit my pecs pretty hard, i would still do them every other week. do you think i should drop the dips to allow my pecs to recouperate for chest day?
I did Max-OT for a while and their philosophy was that super sets or breakdown sets are actually counter productive because in order to build muscle you need to "overload" your muscles not "fatigue" them. Also something was mentioned about muslce memory on this subject. Saying that because you end your set with a lighter weight your muscles will be less inclined to lift a heavier weight on your next workout. I did supersets quite often when I first started training but haven't used them much since I've been training more seriously. Just wondering what you guys thought about the validity of these Max-OT theories.
I disagree with these theories. "Muscle memory" has no scientific/anecdotal evidence proving it to be true or false. Breakdown sets can't "overload" the muscle? Why not? Regular heavy sets can't "fatigue" the muscle? Why not? Breakdown sets are not always high rep sets with light weight.
01-22-2001, 01:54 PM
I'm not sure what Gino said, but here is my response. You must subject your muscles to a workload of 75% or greater of its current capacity in order to stimulate growth. The higher the percentage the greater the stimulus. Once you have stimulated the muscle you have to allow it to rest to repair and then overcompensate. Breakdown sets absolutely can "overload" the muscles because they allow you to push your muscle past failure if they are done correctly. For example, you can bench 225 x 10 reps. You perform a set and fail on the 10th rep. Two partners immediately remove 30lbs from the bar, and then you continue with the new weight for 2 reps. Your partners remove 30 more lbs and you do 2 more reps. Now, is it not obvious that this type of set is more taxing on the musculature. The final rep with the initial 225lbs took 100% of your momemtary muscular capacity, the 2nd rep of 195lbs took 100%, and the 2nd rep with 165lbs took 100%. So, in that set you performed 3 reps at 100% intensity (maximal effort). You basically got three sets worth of intensity in one. When you perform 10 reps it is only the 8th-10th reps that stimulate growth. The first 7 took less than 75% of your maximal ability to complete. So this type of set is a more efficient way to train. It is also a very taxing way to train and will require that you do very limited total sets and allow extra time for recovery. Standard sets can also stimulate growth and fatigue the muscle. Your muscle is momentarily fatigued any time you perform a set to failure. You fail due to the muscle's inability to contract forcefully enough to move the weight. Therefore, using the 10 x 225lbs in the bench analogy, by the 10th rep you have fatigued the muscle to the point that its maximal contraction is only enough to lift 225lbs. When you started the set your muscles could lift more than 225lbs.
The muscle memory thing about your muscles being weakened by ending a set with a lighter weight is ridiculous. I don't think I need to elaborate on that any further. If you want further info. let me know.
Read slowly and you'll understand. Also, try to avoid generalizations and oversimplifying things. Saying that only the 8-10th rep of a 10 rep set stimulates growth is not true. Taking a weight you can do 10 times and only doing it 7 times won't stimulate the muscle? I disagree.
01-22-2001, 07:46 PM
Scientists haven't exactly found out what causes such a quick response(hypertrophy) after a layoff,it may be due to the satilite cells which are involved in the repair and growth processes,it also could be the amount of myonuclei the muscle fibres retain,there also could be a neural component involved as well.But as for the muscle actually remebering what weight you lifted last.......I don't know about that one?
Chris,What do you define as muscular failure?
What you are defining seems to be concentric failure.
I understand what you are talking about when you are saying that after the 7th rep is when the you are past the 75% mark if your looking at a 10 rep range sceneario.But you are basing that on percentages that are based on what?
01-22-2001, 07:58 PM
Gino, I have now read your post slowly and understand it. Now, about your disagreement, lets see if I can convince you. Numerous studies have shown that you need to train with a 75% (of your maximum capability) or greater load to stimulate growth. I think you will agree to that. Now, let's go back to my 225lbs x 10 reps to failure example. As you perform the set each subsequent rep brings you closer to the 10th rep which is where failure occurs (we will assume you barely get 10 and then fail on the attempt for the 11th). In this example, at the 10th rep you are training at 100% of your momentary maximal ability. If 201lbs were on the bar you would not get the rep. So, the first rep used 10% of your 10 repetition set strength. Each rep adds 10% to the total 10%, 20%, 30%.....and so on. The 7th rep is at 70%, which is below the 75% threshold. The 8th rep is at 80% and exceeds the threshold and therefore is beginning to stimulate the muscle to growth. You can switch the variables (a 5 rep set for example), but the principal holds. The only exception is for a max attempt, because you are presumably attempting 100% of your maximum and only performing 1 rep.
Does that mean that on your weak days, when you can only lift say 90% of your normal weight, you are getting just as good of a workout (given you're using 100% of your maximal ability on that day)?
01-22-2001, 08:50 PM
Depends on how you define intensity.
Ok...I still disagree. MANY people do not go to failure on their sets when working out, saving themselves for the next set by stopping a couple reps short of failure. I prefer going beyond failure, but there was a time when I didn't want to go to failure. I would stop a couple reps short of failure on each set and did I grow? You bet. I'm not flaming here, nor am I saying that there is NO validity to your info, but I would rather people explain things less black and white. Also, if there have been numerous studies done that prove this, you wouldn't mind directing me towards one, would you? I'd like to read more about this theory.
01-23-2001, 06:57 AM
Don't forget about neurological adaptation, which occurs without training to failure.
It is certainly not the biggest determinant of growth, but it is one of the factors.
Personally, I don't think you can go wrong with Chris' approach, as long as you are recovering well enough to progress (which is a given no matter how you train).
However, I have also used periods of sub-failure training, and I did get both bigger and stronger.
From my experience, I tend to get bigger and stronger faster by training to failure, but I also stall sooner.
I definitely agree that going to failure is MUCH more effective. Having theories explained in TOTAL black and white(the 8th rep stimulates growth and not the 7th rep) just makes me squirm for some reason. Most theories, including this one I would believe, have some "gray area" that isn't so absolute.
I don't have a spotter, so on things such as squats and presses I cant always go to failure. I do when I can, and I have grown....not huge and not fast, but if you are suggesting ANY growth then I am with gino.
01-23-2001, 08:44 AM
I train alone, and I won't bother asking 2 people to help me do breakdowns. But if I do a set of seated press, I'll start with 85s db.. do as much as I can (5-6), grab the 50s and do 2 or 3 more. The first 5 reps fatigue my muscle, and I recrute some more with the extra reps. Recovery should not be a problem since I have 5 days rest before having the same bodypart worked out again.
01-23-2001, 02:10 PM
Gino, it took me about 2 hours of searching on the net this morning to find a site which would back my claim, but I got one. I had read that (75% intensity threshold) many times in different books, articles etc. but couldn't remember exactly where. The particular page is http://www.sns-magazine.com/sns/Articles/xOlder/9806tran/. I will find a better reference for you soon, but this should do for now.
I fully realize that there are exceptions to any rule, but for the masses the rule will apply. Now, what you are saying is that 7 or less reps of a weight you can perform 10 reps with will cause progression. I disagree, in essence what you are saying is that warmup sets will cause muscular growth. If that is so, why do anything else? If you only do 5 reps where you could perform 10, you provide no stimulus for your body to overcompensate. Increased muscle mass is very biochemically expensive for the body and without a very powerful stimulus it will not add muscle. Doing only half of what you are capable of is not a very potent reason for you body to try to overcompensate in anticipation of future stress. Please remember, I did not say that absolute failure is a requirement for growth, I said that you can stop a couple of reps short (in the 10 rep example). I do feel, however, that going to failure is the best method of progress and that periodization is not necessary if you train with sufficiently low volume and enough rest. There are those who will disagree and I accept that.
01-23-2001, 02:20 PM
By the way, I have trained solo for years and do train to failure. I always use a power rack and set the catches just below my range of motion for any dangerous exercises.
Ahhh, but I never said that warmup sets would provide the necessary stimulation. Warmup sets are, well, warmup sets. I would not call doing 7 reps with my 10 rep max a warm up. That's a lot of weight! My warmup sets are with a weight I can do 20-30 times.
Q - "...in essence what you are saying is that warmup sets will cause muscular growth. If that is so, why do anything else?"
A - Because it is not the best/quickest way to stimulate muscle growth.
As I said in the previous post, I am a strong believer in going to failure on every working set, so don't think that I would recommend training this way. I just don't think you can draw a line saying at which rep the muscles are stimulated.
Thanks for the link Chris, I'll check it out soon.
01-23-2001, 02:48 PM
Good to see a disagreement without any name calling.....or did I speak too soon?:D This is a MUCH BETTER board!
01-23-2001, 03:09 PM
The 75% figure was only used for illustrative purposes and is a general guideline which will hold true for most people. The problem with that rule and the reason I promote failure is that even if the rule held true for everyone, how can you determine what 100% of your ability will be before each workout. If training is going well you should be getting a little stronger each workout. You, of course, don't know how much stronger, and therefore cannot pick the proper number of reps to quit at. The only way you know for sure what percentage you are at is when you fail (100%). Yes, Paul, I am discussing concentric strength. You can also go to failure on eccentric (negative) reps if you wish (the point at which you can no longer control the descent). I will discuss negatives in my next article for this site.
01-16-2003, 04:15 PM
another classic :D
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