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Thread: New Take on Leg Training - "High Reps for Growth"

  1. #51
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Songsangnim View Post
    Well I'm not issuing a blanket condemnation of high reps. Like I said, the 20 rep squat can promote gains (assuming as always the other factors are in place). But the law of diminishing returns sets in. I don't see much point in doing 50, or 75 or 100 reps per set if your goals are size and strength (which is a reasonable assumption on a bodybuilding board). I suppose if one believes in "shocking" the muscles or wants to try something new, or is an extremely advanced trainee...then have at it.

    The main problem that I see most trainees having a problem with this type of training is with form, provided they are training with any intensity. Particularly toward the end of such an extended set as fatigue sets in both form and intensity are likely to suffer, unless they are both quite advanced and well disciplined and even then it could be a problem. And if the trainee does more than one set then the chances of form and intensity degrading increase exponentially. And leads to injury and stagnation respectively.

    As for gains, I see that type of training promoting endurance more so than size and definitely more so than strength.

    Also legs are already used for high reps. We walk around on them all day. Why not hit them with something they are unaccustomed to?

    And finally the simplest and easiest way to measure progression is by being able to increase the weight on the bar. Broadly speaking to get more reps one has to decrease the weight on the bar...in other words go backwards.

    Once again certain points I've made do not necessarily apply to highly advanced lifters like yourself or Mr. Acress or several other people here. But many if not most people are not that advanced and therefore it remains a reasonable assumption that they should practise and benefit from simpler training techniques before trying slightly more esoteric routines.
    I think the problem is you are basing your thoughts on erroneous ideas you have learned and your opinions.

    For example, the stress on the muscles of your hips and legs from walking is TOTALLY different than training with loads that allow for 20 reps. There is no comparison, and yet you made one stating the somehow walking made your legs accustomed to high reps?

    In terms of hypertrophy, there is a definite correlation between pumping types of exercises (those which give you a pump and result in a heavy buildup of lactic acid) and growth. A solid 20 rep set of squats will definitely pump your thighs. In a nutshell, 20 rep sets for legs are good for growth both in beginner and advanced trainees.


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  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    I think the problem is you are basing your thoughts on erroneous ideas you have learned and your opinions.

    For example, the stress on the muscles of your hips and legs from walking is TOTALLY different than training with loads that allow for 20 reps. There is no comparison, and yet you made one stating the somehow walking made your legs accustomed to high reps?

    In terms of hypertrophy, there is a definite correlation between pumping types of exercises (those which give you a pump and result in a heavy buildup of lactic acid) and growth. A solid 20 rep set of squats will definitely pump your thighs. In a nutshell, 20 rep sets for legs are good for growth both in beginner and advanced trainees.
    You state "the stress on the muscle of your hips and legs from walking is TOTALLY different than training with loads that allow for 20 reps. There is no comparison.."

    And I agree with you.

    You also say "In a nutshell, 20 rep sets for legs are good for growth both in beginner and advanced trainees"

    And I agree again. Like I said in my above post that you quoted they are good for growth.

    . When I am talking about "high reps" I am talking about 50-100 reps and done with bodyweight to boot (see post #14). I do not feel THAT has any advantages in terms of gaining size and strength over say a set of 20 reps.

  3. #53
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Songsangnim View Post
    Yo
    . When I am talking about "high reps" I am talking about 50-100 reps and done with bodyweight to boot (see post #14). I do not feel THAT has any advantages in terms of gaining size and strength over say a set of 20 reps.
    If it is placed properly within a protocol it definitley has its advatages. You are thinking in to much black and white when there are an array of things that can be used. Understanding program design is much harder than people realize. No one said 50-100 reps was good for limit strength, this thread is geared toward hypertrophy and hence why it can be used and I have I have used it personally and with many clients with great results, as far as increasing work capacity and growth.

    There are many applications out there and the context of the program is more important than the content. A collection of exercises doesn't make a program.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acress View Post
    If it is placed properly within a protocol it definitley has its advatages. You are thinking in to much black and white when there are an array of things that can be used. Understanding program design is much harder than people realize. No one said 50-100 reps was good for limit strength, this thread is geared toward hypertrophy and hence why it can be used and I have I have used it personally and with many clients with great results, as far as increasing work capacity and growth.

    There are many applications out there and the context of the program is more important than the content. A collection of exercises doesn't make a program.

    Well this will be my last post in this thread because it seems that we are just going around in circles. I agree with much of what you posted, however just to clarify one point:

    I didn't say a 100 rep squat set of bodyweight didn't have advantages. I do however fail to see it having any advantages over a properly performed 20 set squat routine (assuming of course that the subject in question is healthy and able to perform either.) For rehabilitation or extremely weak people it may indeed have advantages but that's kind of outside the scope of this thread.

    In conclusion. Both high and low reps can work. I just find it doubtful (and counter to all my experience and that of others) that ultra-high reps done with a very low weight, stimulate the legs more than a lower volume of reps done with a higher weight. If however someone can point me to a solid scientific study that definitely says otherwise, I will be more than willing to concede the point.
    Last edited by Songsangnim; 12-28-2009 at 07:10 PM.

  5. #55
    Wannabebig New Member
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    Elbows bent

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Cress View Post
    Just because the poundage may not be high doesn't mean its light, thats whay I don't like numbers. Whatever rep range you are training in the weight should be very challenging. To get the muscle to grow you have to make sure its doing the work. Back is a trouble area for a lot because they just row the weight from point A to B and don't focus on the back to do the work.

    Also you have to make sure you get a proper strech in the eccentric part. A muscle stretched with resisitance recieves the most overload. This means that leaning into back movements is a good thing, and leaning away is a bad thing.

    Also proper technique is crucial for development and most don't perform the row properly. Proper bent row technique means being bent in a parallel position to the floor, knees slightly bent to remove low back strain, and an elevated position standing on a block, box, or platform. This reduces trunk support and puts the body in a more favorable plane of motion to overload the muscles of the back. The reason you row off a block or a platform is that the bar should actually come close to touching the toes at the bottom of the movement. This is what stretching the fibers with resistance is all about.

    So stand on a block, and get that weight down to the bar touching the toes. You'll also need to shift weight to over the chest instead of back on your haunches. Again, the solution is to create less base support, which is joint stress transfer.

    Keep your elbows slightly bent at all times. If you unlock the arms at the elbow, then your initial pull on the weights will be with the brachioradialis and biceps muscles, negating the all-important pre-stretch of the targeted latissimus.

    Using a reverse grip for rows just exacerbates this problem, and indeed, this is exactly how Dorian tore his biceps. The plane and range of motion of the 45-degree row, combined with unlocking the elbows with a reverse grip, was too much for the biceps in that plane and range of motion with that load.

    We see this in the seated row as well. The starting position of your torso should not be perpendicular to the ground. You need a much more exaggerated forward lean than that. If the foot plates of your seated row machine don't allow for leaning, then throw a box or a set of DB's in front of the foot plates to insure, more effective pre-stretch. You must lean into this movement. Remember, if you unlock the arms at the elbows, then the initial pull of the row will be centered in the arms, negating your targeted back work.
    There are other factors as well that go into how your program should be structured to get the best effect. That takes a proper assesment and why individualized programs are soo important.

    Allen, that my friend was a word of wisdom regarding the pre stretch with bent elbows. I'm going to do that with my very next workout. I'd love to hear more tips.

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