The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    A Forum Designed To Discuss Maximum Hypertrophy..

    I just stumbled upon this link over at the HST forums and it seemed very interesting. There is a MSN Community Forum that has just been created and created to discuss all aspects of maximum hypertrophy. It seems like a good idea and I am hoping guys like PowerManDL, chris mason, Paul Stagg, and you all will check it out.

    Vince Basille discusses the many aspects of hypertrophy etc.

    http://communities.msn.com/MaximumHy..._whatsnew.msnw

    Here is the link. Just click message board to see the discussions. Remember is brand new!

    MS

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  3. #2
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    *bump*

    MS

  4. #3
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    I've 'known' Vince for a couple of years. He used to post fairly regularly on another forum I was on.

    He's a wealth of information, and he has a great perspective.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
    "You're wrong, and I have a completely irrelevant pubmed abstract that may or may not say so." - Belial
    I has a blog.
    I has a facebook.

  5. #4
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    Paul Stagg-
    Yeah I just started reading some of his posts and damn that guy knows a lot of sh!t. He seems to seriously argue every single aspect of hypertrophy in a few posts. I mean he is not immature about it at all either which is really interesting to me. Most guys are know it alls and just ramble on and on thinking they know everything. Vince is very mature backing up every word he says with specific reasoning.

    ... I asked him to check out WBB - I think he would be a great contribution.

    MS

  6. #5
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    Are you joking Paul? The guy is out in left field. He's contributed nothing positive at the HST board, and almost got himself banned. You can see his similar results at T-Mag. He is pretty funny though, because he contradicts himself every 2 seconds, and everyone over there keeps calling him on it.

  7. #6
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    Monstar - You want to give me an example of where Vince "know's his sh*t"? He doesn't even think that steroids are necessary for getting to be Coleman size.

  8. #7
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    MarshallPenn-
    I think that he knows his sh!t personally. Thats just my opinion. I mean I might be wrong but from everything that I have gathered from his posts he seems to know a LOT. I am curious what kind of training protocol he recommends since he seems to think that every program has flaws.

    MS

  9. #8
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    MarshallPenn-
    I think that Vince thinks that a truly remarkable size is possible without the use of steroids. I think that truly manipulating your natural hormone levels and abilities anything is possible. I dont think loading massive amount of drugs into your body is the only way to go.

    MS

  10. #9
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    Dude - If you don't even know what protocol he recommends, I can't understand you saying that he knows his stuff. You obviously haven't read his posts very carefully. He basically recommends training 2 excersises (for him that is pull-ups and squats - if I remember correctly) every 5 days or so, very high-volume.

  11. #10
    fat and small Blood&Iron's Avatar
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    From what little I've read of his posts, I have to say I've not been impressed.

    We tend to think of Sisyphus as a tragic hero, condemned by the gods to shoulder his rock sweatily up the mountain, and again up the mountain, forever. The truth is that Sisyphus is in love with the rock. He cherishes every roughness and every ounce of it. He talks to it, sings to it. It has become the mysterious Other. He even dreams of it as he sleepwalks upward. Life is unimaginable without it, looming always above him like a huge gray moon. He doesnít realize that at any moment he is permitted to step aside, let the rock hurtle to the bottom, and go home.

    Parables and Portraits, Stephen Mitchell

  12. #11
    . Delphi's Avatar
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    He has a DOMS theory for hypertrophy. He's stated that any routine that causes DOMS will lead to hypertrophy. He's said that the majority of trainees in the world are not getting bigger, and that's because they're not achieving DOMS. I never could glean a routine from his posts at the HST forum- partly because it was very tiring to read all his posts that cut down HST but never gave any evidence to support his rantings. He didn't seem willing/able to respond directly to the questions that readers had after reading his posts. Nobody ever could nail him down on anything.

  13. #12
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    I would concur with Hoff in HST forums who stated the following:
    "HST is in reality a set of principles; what Bryan laid out in my mind can be looked at as a starting point.
    I seriously doubt that you'll find ANY type of training that hasn't been tried in one form or another in the past. But as Bryan explained, HST isn't another random guess. It is based on the physiology behind muscle growth."

    Bryan has himself stated that this is just a template to get started and has made it simple enough that people without enough knowledge on the subject/ time to do their own research could follow. He has provided all the references, he has used to interpret his results and one can design their own routine based on this research. Its my inability to do so, and hence I go with Bryan's interpretation. Vince might have a different opinion too and I have no problems with that.
    Last edited by thalapathi; 05-20-2002 at 02:54 PM.

  14. #13
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    Vince's initial assertion was that if anyone (even 1 person out of a thousand) was not growing using HST (irregardless of nutritional factors, etc.) then the method was a waste of time, and that we we're all fools for continuing to use it, regardless of the results we were getting. There's more, but it's all pretty moronic.

  15. #14
    . Delphi's Avatar
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    I'd like to see "The DOMS Theory" written down somewhere. Even the article (at T-Mag?) that he wrote doesn't describe it. He spent several weeks ripping up HST on the forum, but I can't find his theory, or anything else concrete for that matter, from him.

  16. #15
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    I should have been clearer.

    Vince has been around for a long time... he is a contemporary of Arnolds - he competed against some greats, and was a very successful bodybuilder.

    So, he has a lot if neat information about the history of the iron Game.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
    "You're wrong, and I have a completely irrelevant pubmed abstract that may or may not say so." - Belial
    I has a blog.
    I has a facebook.

  17. #16
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    I am really curious to see what kind program he recommends. Like details of the program I mean.

    MS

  18. #17
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    His DOMS theory was in an article in ironman a couple of years ago.

    He had discussed it on a bulletin board prior to publication.

    Essentially, Vince's theory is that DOMS is a necessary factor in hypertrophy. He presented it as a theory, not as fact.

    I went round and round with him on the other board (as did some others) about that subject.

    Seemed to me (and I could be wrong), Vince would bring stuff up just to get people talking about it... to make them think for themselves... and not necessarily be presenting something as a fact.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
    "You're wrong, and I have a completely irrelevant pubmed abstract that may or may not say so." - Belial
    I has a blog.
    I has a facebook.

  19. #18
    Geordie The_Chicken_Daddy's Avatar
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    Monstar, i just saw your post. I'm very disappointed....



    You missed out the "what's up bro?"





    Delphi, i got this off that site:

    Is Bodybuilding a Science? By Vince Basile, MEd, Mr Canada 1970

    Mike Mentzer is one of the few exponents of applying theory to the sport of bodybuilding. Arthur Jones wrote of certain practices that Mike has refined and markets as "Heavy Duty" training. Are the theories and claims of Mentzer scientific? That is something I will examine.

    Growing up in our modern society and attending high school does instill a respect for science and technology. Surely advances made in these areas are responsible for the high standard of living enjoyed by many of us? Yet, what exactly is science? Is there a process that is deemed scientific? The answer seems obvious and hardly worth asking. Of course there is. Would you be surprised to learn that there is topic in philosophy called the philosophy of science? This subject can be exciting. An analysis of the history of astronomy has revealed interesting things to philosophers. One conclusion is that most theories are false! Even Newtonís theory of gravity is false! It took an Einstein to improve upon what was believed. It is now accepted that most concepts are theory-laden. It makes no sense at all to state "observe". There must be a theory investigated and something to look for. The philosophy of science provides powerful tools for examining the validity of various theories. It is common that men believe certain theories until a paradigm shift is required by new evidence resulting from experiments and observations. I believe the current state of bodybuilding beliefs in about to be updated. There is no proper account that explains why muscles grow. Thus, bodybuilders are groping around believing all sorts of different things. The reality is there is much confusion and ignorance concerning training theories. The end result is that few obtain sufficient results and many give up the sport in frustration.

    Everyone knows what science is. Yet, it is one of those things that we really know little about. It isnít doing experiments in a laboratory, although it includes that process. Science is the systematic study of nature and behavior of the physical universe, based on observation, experiment and measurement. It includes theorizing about phenomena and finding better explanations for such. In bodybuilding we could ask what large muscles are composed of and what the processes that lead to great size are. We could suggest that certain methods result in large muscles. If we examine the theories that explain muscular development we find that there are few theories that explain growth. There are theories in exercise science and different theories in the gyms.

    Is nothing simpler to understand than the concept of strength? Even this simple term is difficult to demonstrate and measure in the laboratory. How do we define strength? It makes a difference. In the past some scientists tried to compare the various machines that manufacturers produced. How could different machines be compared? What was discovered was that those who trained with free weights were superior in those disciplines. People who trained on Nautilus machines excelled when measured by Nautilus machines. Strength ultimately is the level of mechanical tension that a muscle can generate. Doing a single rep is not necessarily testing strength because skill and learning affect the performance. Who would be satisfied by a machine that determined the stronger by the level of mechanical tension generated in the muscle? Not very many people. I mention this subject because it is not controversial. The question about what strength is for practical testing in the laboratory has not been answered technically. Instead exercise scientists usually define strength as the amount of force that can be generated against a measuring device. A one-rep maximum in a good practical means to demonstrate oneís strength. Fred Hatfield suggests there are many different kinds of strength.

    Another subject most people are confused about is anabolic steroids. This topic is something everyone has an opinion about but few have any real knowledge about the steroids. What are anabolic steroids and how do they work in the body? If you go to medical and physiology libraries and search the terms you will not be enlightened. Most of the research is not conclusive. It has not been established that such chemicals do enhance muscular growth! Lots of anecdotal information emanating from bodybuilders, power-lifters, and weightlifters, but not much in the way of proof. There is a problem now in experiments called ethics committees. Universities will not allow experiments that might result in permanent damage to the experimental subjects. This is because people who are harmed by experiments might sue the universities for damages. Thus, experiments involving anabolic steroids are often not optimal and dosages are far less than are reported by some users. There is just no way that large dosages would be tried on experimental subjects! That should be a consideration by bodybuilders considering chemical protocols.

    The truth is that most of us know absolutely nothing about anabolic steroids. Maybe we know less because we believe all sorts of things that have not been established. The public and media are even worse! The Olympic Committee bans the use of substances that enhance performances. There is no conclusive proof that anabolic steroids enhance athletic performance and yet their use is banned. Is this being scientific? I donít think so. The medical professions are against the use of anabolic steroids to enhance athletic performance and warn against their use. Are the medical experts in possession of information that is unavailable to students of exercise science? I pose these questions to make you think. Do not be so sure that you know anything about even basic beliefs we all share.

    I hope I have set the stage to suggest that bodybuilding is far from a science. What we see is the following of beliefs like you would find in religious communities. We have a special language and vocabulary and have special beliefs and practices. Who out there believes that free weights are better than machines? Who thinks it is possible to train for shape? Who thinks we should hit the muscles from different angles? Who believes the muscles grow when rested? Who thinks all muscles should be directly trained once or twice a week?

    Let me ask a few questions. Can anyone tell me the composition of any bodybuilderís upper arm as they went from untrained arms to over 20 inches? Is there any difference in composition and what is this difference? Can anyone tell me for certain if it is hypertrophy, or hyperplasia , or both that are found in bodybuilders? Are fibers getting larger or more numerous or both? What is intensity and how is it measured?

    There are many unanswered questions in bodybuilding. I attended an IHRSA, (International Health, Racquet & Sportclub Association) convention in 1991. I debated a few issues with a fellow who had a PhD in Exercise Science and he suggested no one was interested in questions about large muscles. I pointed out he was wrong because there was at least one person who was interested and he was talking to him. I have attended many universities and taken courses in PE and exercise science. I believe there is, indeed, an academic prejudice against bodybuilders and the sport of building muscles. Why this is so is lamentable, but the sport is taboo to education centers. Perhaps this is changing, but the last time I looked there was no individual who had obtained PhD degree in maximising muscular growth. You will find several theses yearly on subjects such as anorexia nervosa. It seems students study areas that are considered important. I wonder if there are any experts in bodybuilding who would be able to supervise such PhD students! Most fitness clubs do not cater to bodybuilders. Many clubs limit the size of dumbbells so that bodybuilders will not frequent their premises.

    What is this thing called science and is bodybuilding a science? A quick examination of the sport of bodybuilding reveals that there is no agreement about methods, theories, and protocols. There has been much progress in the sport since 1940 when the first Mr America contests were held. John Grimek died in 1999 without seeing his beloved sport accepted in the Olympic games. There were disagreements about training theories throughout Johnís bodybuilding career and later as a journalist. I do salute John Grimek as a rare champion as he is the only man to remain undefeated against the top contenders of his time. He had a famous victory over Steve Reeves in 1949 when he won Mr USA. He also lifted 11.5 pounds on the Weaver stick! That is a broomstick a metre long with a string attached at one end. The stick rests on a table and it is lifted from the other end 4 inches from the end. If you can elevate just 5 pounds you are very strong!

    John Grimek wrote about his theories in Muscular Development. I, for one, never embraced his articles as scientific knowledge but anecdotal experience gained from many years in the field. John did report doing one experiment back in the "good old days". He once did 100 sets in the military press for shoulders. He concluded that such regimens were unnecessary and he stated that there is a threshold beyond which exercise is unproductive. He suggested this point could be ascertained by measuring the muscles and stopping when the maximum pump was obtained. I tried this procedure out on myself in 1970 training for the Mr Canada contest. I concluded my maximum pump in my arms occurred after about 7 sets of heavy curls and triceps extensions. This experiment and theory remained with me afterwards and guided my training. I was unable to reach the giant size that Arnold, Sergio, Larry Scott or Ray Mentzer achieved. Was I doing something wrong, or was the theory false? Or was it a matter of lack of chemical supplements? Or perhaps it was lack of the right genetics? Or all of these things! We all have to explain our lack of success as well as our achievements.

    One of the techniques used by scientists to test the validity of theories is to take a theory to an extreme and see what the consequences are. I have seen many theories expounded by writers advocating their methods to build large muscles bigger and faster. Remember the Matrix system by Dr Laura in Australia? Where are the champions using that method? What about being able to build huge muscles in a quarter of the time by using Nautilus machines and doing what Arthur Jones advocated? I donít see any disciples. What about power-factor training? Where are the successes? And so we go from system to system and observe lack of results.

    Power-factor training advocates doing more work in a period of time. It matters not that the weights are lifted in complete movements. Any movement is good as long as movement occurs and more total weight is moved in successive work-outs, or doing the same amount of work but in a shorter period of time. Anyone can easily see that absolutely impossible weights will have to be attempted in months down the track. Since it is not possible to continue moving increasing amounts of resistances there must be something wrong with the theory.

    I will demonstrate this fact with the false notion that bigger muscles must be stronger ones. It is obvious to power-lifters that there is not a necessary relationship between size and strength in lifting. Mike McDonald bench-pressed over 600 pounds while having only 16 Ĺ inch arms. Why werenít his arms growing if he could bench that much? Seems the relationship between size and strength is not well understood. Okay, suppose strength will increase muscle size. Let us start with a maximum of 200 pounds in the bench press for 1 repetition. 5 pounds increase per week are added and sustained each week over the year. At the end of the year our lifter would be able to lift 460 pounds! While this may be achievable by a few, it is common knowledge that such gains border on unachievable. It is almost a certainty that the 5-pound gain can not be sustained indefinitely. In two years time the maximum would be 720 pounds and shortly thereafter the world record would be eclipsed. Thus, the gaining of even small amounts of strength cannot be sustained for long periods and cannot be what is responsible for gains in size. There is a relationship between size and strength but it is not a linear one. There are other factors in strength gains in bench pressing besides larger muscles. I take it Fred Hatfield is proof that extremely large muscles are not required to lift over 1000 pounds in the full squat? Neither does lifting such a large weight necessarily result in large muscles.

    I should think that applying this method to the intensity school of bodybuilding might result in a similar exposure of the theory being flawed. However, there is a saving principle in high intensity training. It is advocated that "To stimulate optimal size and strength increases, itís imperative that you regularly attempt the momentarily impossible. Itís only by regularly attempting to go beyond your existing capacity that you make inroads into your bodyís reserves." (Mike Mentzer, Ironman) Intensity is defined as relating to percentage of capacity. Therefore it is always possible to train to 100% intensity.

    Is the high intensity theory correct? Mike Mentzer argues that there is only one true theory that explains muscular growth. I agree. Discovering this theory is not easy. Such a theory has to explain all muscular growth and the lack of growing. Why do so many bodybuilders fail to grow? Why do most guys training in most gyms stagnate and stay about the same? Why do the champions look the same contest after contest? Is it that most bodybuilders are not growing larger? This seems to be what has to be concluded. Mike might suggest this lack of growth is due to the failure of conventional training systems employed by Arnold and Sergio and others. He would accuse them of grossly over-training their muscles. How, then, did these champions build their large muscles in the first place? Are "Heavy Duty" and "volume training" valid theories? Or is Heavy Duty merely a more efficient method than the volume one? I donít think Mike has properly explained why other bodybuilders gain huge size. The fact is that few of the top champs train employing Heavy Duty methods. The last Mr Olympia to do so was Dorian Yates, and he retired with multiple injuries caused by extreme methods and very heavy resistances used. We wouldnít want to conclude that high intensity methods are dangerous, but perhaps the best method might not be the most effective because of the possibility of injury? It is clear that bodybuilding is a sport taking many years to reach the top. Any method that results in permanent injuries cannot be the right way to train, no matter how effective. The best method had better be safe.

    I have had personal contact with Ray Mentzer. He lived with our family for several months with his family and he assisted at my gym in Sydney. In many ways he had superior shape and size to his more renowned brother, Mike. Both are intelligent, serious, and studious men. Ray related how, in 1979, he would have done anything to win the Mr America contest, even if it meant lifting weights 24 hours a day! That is motivation. I remember that Sergio Oliva trained under Arthur Jonesí personal guidance, and photos taken during that time reveal that Sergio was at his largest and perhaps best. Ray is one of the largest, muscle-for-muscle, men I have seen. He is also incredibly strong. And he does train briefly and infrequently. He does most body-parts once a week. Those who attended his seminars and training camps became believers. His methods do work. And there is plenty of variety within his system to make training interesting. I never did witness the one-set-to-maximum that is advocated. Instead there were a few sets done to warm up. All my 41 years of experience suggests that it is foolish to lift heavy weights without properly warming up. Ray and I did differ regarding training the calves and I donít believe infrequent work-outs will work for these muscles.

    It all comes down to discussions about training based on anecdotal experience and observation. There have been few studies done on huge bodybuilders. Almost nothing is known about them or how they train. I suppose this is partly because the champs donít like giving their secrets away. There can be no science based purely on speculation and opinion. What we need are experiments. We need proper procedures with control and experimental subjects. We need long-term studies to discover the growing process and methods employed. At the moment all we have is conjecture. That is why so many competing theories exist and everyone is an expert! Ray Mentzer did remark in 1991, when I visited LA, that everyone is an expert in training. He was scoffing at the phenomenon of the personal trainer and self-proclaimed expertise. Many were students of Mike and Ray and then became personal trainers afterwards! Reminds me of all those guys who opened karate studios after obtaining a black belt from real masters.

    Mike Mentzer and others can claim anything they like about the superiority of their respective training systems. Why? Because they all could be right! They have not presented scientific proof that their system is in fact the best available. Arguments are not proof. What we require is experiments done by exercise scientists. I canít see this happening in the near future. Perhaps if we knew more about how muscles grew we could use that knowledge to facilitate the process. At the moment bodybuilders rely on dangerous chemicals, and such use poisons the sport. Who out there would encourage his son or daughter to become Mr or Ms Olympia? Not at all, because we all assume such winners need to employ all sorts of dangerous drugs to succeed. Wouldnít it be better if bodybuilding didnít depend on such ingredients to succeed? That is possible with more knowledge. We need to know how muscles grow. We need to know the processes and pathways and systems involved. There will come a time when all will be known and perhaps science will assist instead of crippling individuals aspiring for transcendence by winning bodybuilding titles.

    It cannot be true that high intensity training and volume training can both be stimuli to make muscles grow. Well, not according to advocates of Heavy Duty training. If both systems result in larger muscles then the stimulus can not be the method of training! Isnít that obvious? It is my belief that the stimulus to make muscles grow in not the training method, per se, but the resultant state in the muscles caused by the training. I think the DOMS is the stimulus that causes muscle growth. The delayed onset muscle soreness is what makes muscles grow. That is, provided you get enough nutrition. If it is the degree of DOMS that stimulates muscular growth then we have an explanation why so many people who lift weights, busting their guts in gyms, do not grow. If their training fails to trigger DOMS they will not grow. It might be possible to grow without DOMS, but for practical purposes it can be assumed no DOMS pain, no gain.

    If this theory is correct we can see that much of the debate about training systems and protocols has been misguided. It matters not to the muscles how they get sore. That is also why different methods work for different champions. New protocols can lead to soreness and this is the explanation why variety works. Perhaps for the first time bodybuilders can control their growth and do not have to employ or rely on anabolic steroids? These substances should not be necessary if you can continually get your muscles sore. Perhaps such steroid use was necessary to recover from long, heavy training sessions?

    It is obvious that few guys in any gym are growing. Not visibly, from day to day. Therefore, it is a hit and miss procedure in the gym. Maybe this, and maybe that method. Lots of confusion and plenty of theories. The bottom line is that getting big muscles seems to be impossible for most of us. Most guys do not do anything that results in their muscles getting sore from training. The result is? The bodybuilders stay the same. Their bodies have adapted to the stresses they endure and no further adaptation is required. The trick is to do something that leads to DOMS. If a method works then it is good. I rather doubt that Heavy Duty will be able to sustain DOMS. If it is possible, then growth can be progressive. I am not saying this is not possible. There is also the problem of muscle composition. It may be that fibers are not the only constituent growing in a muscle. We might find that there is an increase in blood vessels and other tissues that arenít muscle fibers per se, but contribute to overall size. It might require various methods to enhance these components. One thing is clear, bodybuilders are strong, but not as strong as they look. The methods most bodybuilders employ lead to an increased pump in muscles. It surely is a disappointment to observe that no champion bodybuilder has excelled at shot put or other strength events. Bodybuilders are not weak, they just are not the strongest athletes around. There is also the problem of different muscle fibers and perhaps different protocols are required to build them? What seems like simple things might turn out to be quite complex.

    I throw down the gauntlet to Mike Mentzer and others to debate this issue about DOMS being the stimulus for muscular growth. How come champion swimmers train daily? How can they possibly get better? Donít we all believe that we need rest in order to grow? How then do these champions get better training intensely daily and often twice daily? This surely contradicts what is common bodybuilding knowledge. We donít even question that the three ingredients to growth are exercise, nutrition and recovery. How can swimmers grow, and when do they recover? I realize swimmers and other athletes do taper off training before competitions. How then did any improvement accumulate over the long training months if no recovery was allowed? I believe this is a topic that should be investigated by exercise science. One of the advances in bodybuilding over the last half century is in recovery protocols. Few bodybuilders train their muscles as often as was advocated decades ago. The practice now is to train muscles every 4 to 7 days. In the old days we alternated upper body and lower body with abdominal muscles done daily. Monday, Wednesday and Friday we trained upper body. On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday we trained legs. Is it any wonder that few of us achieved great size?

    If it is the DOMS that is the trigger to muscular growth should the body parts be kept sore all the time? I think this would be a dangerous practice. The muscles would continue to grow, but the connective tissue would soon be damaged. It would be a better practice to get a muscle quite sore then train it again before total recovery. This is a topic that should be decided by exercise scientists in laboratories and not by intellectual conjectures by philosophers! I do believe that most bodybuilders are training way too many body parts and therefore cannot grow. I donít believe it is desirable to get the whole body sore all the time! That would be crazy. By the time most bodybuilders get through all the body parts they have done too much in certain muscles. The arms and shoulders do get way too much exercise in most programs. I think most routines can be halved or even less! For example doing close-grip lat pull-downs to the top of the chest might suffice for torso training. I would add triceps for a complete upper body program. Is this theory controversial? You bet! Will it work? Try it and see. The trick is to get the back muscles very sore, then train them again before total recovery, perhaps in 4 days time. You can train back and triceps for a couple of weeks and then do chest and biceps.

    All at once controversies evaporate if you embrace the DOMS theory of training. The debate about which programs are superior do not matter, because any methods that result in soreness are quite satisfactory. Most bodybuilders are not capable of discerning the principles behind such advice and will cling to tried protocols and systems. That is what is predicted, and thus few will achieve their goals of maximum muscular development.

    I caution everyone to proceed with intelligence and care if experimenting with DOMS. This is not a sissy system and much damage can result if too much soreness is sustained. The body will heal and adapt from most stresses it encounters, but there has to be proper care taken when employing unusual and new techniques. If X degree of soreness is good it does not follow that 2 times X is even better! It is possible to get too much soreness, and the wrong kind, and permanently damage the muscles. I am warning everyone to be cautious and moderate in employing theories outlined in this article.

    I used these methods to put an inch on my arms in a month at age 56. I also put an inch on my calves doing the same techniques. They went from 17 ľ inches to 18 ľ. A great result for a month or two of training. I have had sore elbows since 1965 when I did heavy (250 pounds) pull-overs on a bench. There are many effective but dangerous triceps exercises used in gyms. Many may result in some damage to connective tissue. A rest is then needed. You really have to be careful with exercises. It just is too dangerous on the connective tissues when heavy resistances are employed. The danger from many exercises arises from heavy weights that are employed because of gains in strength.

    It makes all the difference in the world to aim at muscle soreness in your training. There is no shortcut in actual protocols and various methods require high effort, sweating, shaking, and pumping to cause growth. You can imagine various methods like a funnel. It matters not the wide variety of methods used. Everyone goes through the same narrow, "intense" thing in the end to get the training stimulus. The reward is the training effects we all desire, namely larger and stronger muscles.



    Here is the unedited article on the mechanical tension theory of hypertrophy.

    The Mechanical Tension Theory of muscle growth.

    Most of us acquire anecdotal information about bodybuilding from books, magazines, and personal contacts. You can filter all information through your own experiences and keep the information that you approve of. Anyone who has trained his body will be applying various theories that he hopes will result in growth. Bodybuilders do acquire much information and most do this the hard way through years of sweating in various gyms all over the world. Over the last 50 years we have seen a proliferation of theories all professing to be the right way to train. Progressive resistance is now quite a complex theory having many forms. Occasionally some individuals will come along and propose something new. The last time a major paradigm shift occurred was when Arthur Jones wrote about his ideas and theories in Ironman Magazine about 1970. Over several years he proposed quite amazing theories that promised to reduce training times and increase results. He built Nautilus machines to do what his theories promised. He also conducted many experiments.

    It is now some 30 years later. Arthur Jones felt that bodybuilders could increase growth rates by a factor of some 2 to 4 times. All they had to do was follow his advice and the results were guaranteed. He promised that instead of taking 10 years to build a Mr Universe physique, it could be achieved through Nautilus machines and theories in a half to a quarter of the time. We all scoffed at that idea. There were a few men who did make amazing results using the Nautilus principles. Ray and Mike Mentzer claim to have succeeded using high-intensity programs originated by Arthur Jones. Sergio Oliva and Casey Viator achieved enlarged physiques under Arthurís supervision. Yet, for all of these successes, where were the legions of champions using brief training schedules? The vast multitudes train "conventionally". That is, they do multiple sets of different exercises for each body part. No two bodybuilders probably train the same, but most follow the training that has been handed down through the gyms in California and elsewhere. John Grimek, Steve Reeves, Reg Park, Leroy Colbert, Clarence Ross, Bill Pearl, Larry Scott, and many other champions all followed the same routines and theories. Vince Gironda was the advocate of now "conventional" methods used in many gyms in the 60ís and later. Arnold trained conventionally, too. He even compiled an ĎEncyclopaedia of Bodybuildingí, outlining his theories and methods. It seems that perhaps over 90 percent of bodybuilders follow the conventional systems.

    We can ask why the high-intensity system did not come to be the dominant training method today. Surely there is an evolution of theories occurring over the years? The best result-getting methods get passed on to others. Anyone can visit the Mecca at Venice and watch how the champs train. There are few secrets, just hard work. Most observers might not be able to discriminate among the various systems and theories. Watching bodybuilders train might not educate us at all about what they are trying to achieve. We can make judgments about effort and count the reps and sets. In the end, we can document the programs and compare them to see if there are any common elements. But we cannot enter the minds of trainees to examine the thoughts, concentration and feelings occurring.

    In my opinion there must be a correlation between what most bodybuilders do and results otherwise the whole sport is chaotic. No matter what else we want to say about the programs that various bodybuilders follow, it is obvious that they all worked! How is this possible? Surely Mike Mentzer would feel that only his methods should be able to achieve great results? Or would he state that the other theories are merely inefficient? I should think high-intensity believers have the duty to explain how their system is superior and not the other way around. If we accept that both conventional and high-intensity systems build Mr Olympia physiques then they are both valid methods of training. Can we put Dorian Yates in the camp of the high-intensity believers? If so, then we have one such believer and the rest of the Mr Olympia winners followed conventional training.

    There is a belief that Mike Mentzer and others do not follow their own principles. Many feel that they Ďcheatedí by doing several warm-up sets, and, in reality, did conventional training. My own opinion is that high-intensity training can be dangerous. Most of us know what happens when we attempt heavy lifts without warming up properly. Yes, we can injure ourselves. We have to be extra careful the stronger we get. I remember my years as a weight lifter. No matter how strong anyone got they always started with 135 pounds in the lifts. We can wonder why Dorianís career was shortened through injuries. Were the injuries accidents or a result of following high-intensity methods? You will remember that high-intensity is defined as training near 100% of capacity. It doesnít take a genius to predict that anyone using really heavy resistances will eventually get injured. Train close to 100% intensity and see what happens. The truth is that the percentage needed to grow might be as low as 75%. There is no need to attempt 90%or higher intensities. Bodybuilders know and respect their bodies. In fact, only the ones who avoided serious injuries make it to the top. What do we find? The vast majority of bodybuilders employ multiple sets in their protocols. Most do 6 to 20 sets per body part. It may well be that muscles respond to set after set of heavy but sub-maximum lifts. If this is true then perhaps muscular endurance is more important than strength in bodybuilding? It then becomes a problem to explain how brief workouts can make muscles grow.

    We have suggested the stimulus to make muscles grow does not matter. As long as the muscle gets sore the next day with DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) we can conclude the workout stimulated

    growth. We can argue about the most efficient and effective methods, but it really doesnít matter to the body. I will now discuss various ways of achieving a training stimulus.

    The gym is a vast storehouse of bodybuilding information. Exercise scientists would be wise to consult with bodybuilders and understand their theories. On the other hand, scientists try to find answers to questions about muscular growth in laboratories. They seldom use humans as experimental subjects because you cannot do invasive dissections to examine the muscle samples under a microscope. Thus, cats, rats, and even chickens have been used in experiments. The results can then be used to extrapolate to human tissues.

    There was a study done on chickens where a weight was suspended from one wing and the chickens were allowed to move about the yard. Every couple of days the weights were increased. Finally, after a sufficient amount of time, perhaps a month, the chickens were sacrificed and the right and left pectoral muscles compared. They found the stretched wings had larger pectoral muscles. It can be concluded that stretching is one way to increase muscular size.

    Another scientist used cats to reach for food. A resistance was placed against the paw and thus the cat had to lift progressively heavier weights in order to get food. They found that some cats got much larger Ďarmí muscles and perhaps even caused hyperplasia, or increased growth of fibres. The conclusions were not definite, but there was no doubt about muscular growth following progressive resistance.

    Long ago a couple of German scientists proposed that exerting force against static objects could result in larger muscles. They called these forces isometric contractions. "Iso" meaning equal, and "metric" meaning measure or metre. Thus, there is no movement. Various people experimented with such contractions and it was clear that growth could be induced using this system. Bill March and others at York back in 1965 did a modified system where weights were held against pins for three sets of 10 seconds each. The method was used three times a week and each time the angle was different. On one day you started near the bottom, another day near the top, and the third day in the centre. You have to try this to see how you sweat and your muscles ache. I did the method for a week and my arms put on half an inch. I weighed 165 pounds and I managed to curl 175 pounds in a strict standing curl at the end of the week. The reason I didnít continue with this method was because I didnít have a training rack with moveable pins. The other reason might have been because I just didnít believe it!

    You can find advertisements claiming that putting electrodes on the muscles and passing currents through them to cause contractions. The more you increase the current the harder the contractions. I have no doubt this will work. I also have no doubt that this method will be excruciatingly painful as you turn up the current. But the fact is that electrical current can make muscles grow.

    Some experiments have been done with isokinetic devices. In other words the subjects trained with fast movements. Yes, mild but definite growth occurred here, too. Athletes were hopeful of using this method to increase their performance. Hardly any bodybuilders use isokinetics.

    Last, but definitely not least, is weight training and bodybuilding in the gym. All the free weights and machines definitely build muscle. The thousands of successful bodybuilders might individually be anecdotal subjects but they have the results to prove success.

    There are two main types of contractions used in isotonic training. Yes, concentric and eccentric. Arthur Jones did research that made him conclude that eccentric contractions were more important for growth. He reasoned that you could contract with more force while lowering a resistance than lifting it. As most of you know muscle fibres slide between each other(the sliding filament theory). It is believed that contractions while stretching the muscle might cause micro-trauma in the fibres. In other words, the muscles tear. Maybe those theorists got it partly right in the 50's when they said that training "tore a muscle down" and this caused the muscle to grow.

    I did have an experience with concentric only training in 1969. Doug Hepburn, of Vancouver, invented a home training device. He was a former World Weight-lifting champion (1953), and one of the strongest men of all time. He had a special heavy-duty personal training device and he invited me to train on it. Essentially the resistance is caused by wooden blocks pressing down on oiled leather which had a polished steel bar rotating between. Works very well and can create plenty of resistance, but only in one direction. Concentric. A spring mechanism returns the cable to the starting position, much like mechanisms in window blinds. Well, I elected to train arms. These muscles have always been hard to build. He gave me a "crazy" routine. 20 sets of 5 reps with as much resistance I could handle! I did standing barbell curls for biceps and standing over-head extensions for triceps. I can tell you my arms almost fell off after each workout. Up until then I had never done more than 7 sets for a body part. The low reps and high resistances made huge demands on my system. I can't remember exactly but I think I trained twice a week. I kept this up for two weeks and put half an inch on my arms. That was excellent progress for someone who had been training for about 10 years. Most of you guys know how difficult it is to hit those 17 inch biceps. The experiment lapsed because Doug had to take the machine somewhere else to demonstrate it.

    I always regret that I wasn't able to use Doug's mind to assist me get bigger. He is highly intelligent and very innovative. So I can conclude that concentric contractions do build muscle.

    Eccentric contractions cause most of the soreness after training. I think there is research on this topic and that the only trouble with doing only eccentric contractions is getting the resistance back to the starting position. Either you have to have training partners or special apparatus that allows you to do such training. Life Fitness have a wonderful line of Electric resistance machines that allow you to select up to 125% eccentric/concentric resistances. Bill Pearl recommends the machines. Must be okay! I liked them, too. A gym owner's dream, but, unfortunately, a bit too expensive for most of us.

    Bodybuilders seem to favour free weights. Totally isotonic training with equal concentric and eccentric resistances. The point of this discussion is that bodybuilders have to read the research and apply the findings in the gym. Sometimes research cannot easily be employed. At the moment it has not been established that eccentric training is superior to concentric movements. The bottom line is that we all do both in most movements.

    The student of bodybuilding will see a big question looming. How can all these different methods cause muscles to grow? If so, then there must be a common factor that all have? Is this conclusion right? Seems so. The factor is mechanical tension. That is what all the methods have in common. They all cause the muscles to contract under tension. You can actually measure the amount of tension in the muscles.

    If mechanical tension is the common factor in a stimulus why not employ it directly instead of inefficiently and ineffectively as so often happens in the many gyms around the world? Why not simply calculate the degree of tension and length of time required under contraction? That would simplify things. Can all training methods be reduced to X amount of tension for Y seconds? I think it can! In my experience the bottom line is something like this: you need about 1 to 2 minutes of severe mechanical tension to achieve a training stimulus. That is about all it takes. That is the easy part.

    The bad news is that getting the 2 minutes of severe tension requires maybe 20 minutes to 40 minutes to achieve. Oh yes, Mike Mentzer will claim that he can do this in less than 5 minutes. No doubt he can. But it will be gained at the expense of risking injury. You just cannot lift heavy resistances with safety unless you warm up for about 15 minutes. In other words do about 3 to 5 sets working up to the training stimulus resistance. In all comes down to the funnel concept again. No matter where you are coming from regarding training you must pass through the narrow part of the funnel. What are the symptoms that you have succeeded in passing through the funnel? Well, you will be sweating profusely, shaking a bit, be pumped to the maximum, and be totally exhausted. Sound familiar?

    Every workout you have the same goal. To put severe mechanical tension on your target muscle for about 2 minutes. It makes no difference what methods you use to achieve this tension. It is possible to use many methods. There is the consideration that perhaps the size increases are partly due to increased blood capillaries and other components of flesh. It is my belief that much of the huge mass of champion bodybuilders is composed of non-contracting tissue. Otherwise, bodybuilders would be the strongest men alive. We all know that power-lifters and weight lifters out lift bodybuilders in those disciplines. Bodybuilders are not weak, but they simply are not the strongest. Reg Park had to choose between strength and size when he was training early in the 1950ís. He soon realized you cannot be both the biggest and strongest around. Perhaps Greg Kovaks is an exception? The Barbarian Brothers were going to set the world on fire but faded into relative obscurity. Not that they didnít reach great size.

    In my opinion, the stimulus to grow can be achieved with one exercise per body part. No need to attempt multiple exercises. If the muscle is under severe tension for the required length of time it will grow. Have no doubt about it. All you need to do is wait for the next day and see if DOMS occurs. If not, then little or no growth will take place and you had better go back to the drawing board and do something different the next time around. Otherwise you will stagnate on a plateau and eventually give up and conclude you do not have the genetics to grow larger. You can grow larger muscles. Most of us fall far short of achieving huge size. We now have the formula and a way to measure the effectiveness of each workout. What more do you need?

    Please be aware that I do not advocate trying to get all your muscle sore every week! That would be painful indeed. You might even put too many demands on your compensation system. What I suggest is that you target back and triceps on one workout and perhaps chest and biceps several days later. Then you can do legs on the day in between. You can workout on a 5, 6 or 7 day cycle, depending what is effective. It is probably best to allow the muscle to heal before attempting to make it sore again. Why? Well, the muscles can heal in a short time but not the connective tissue. Ligaments and tendons need perhaps a week to recover from stimulus-inducing workouts.

    For all of the radical ideas suggested the training protocols donít differ much from what everyone is already doing. I do believe that most trainees do too many body parts per week. They end up over stressing their arms, shoulders, abdominals and lower back. When you do parallel close-grip lat pulldowns to the front you do not need to do additional exercises for your back. I recommend working up to your target resistance and doing about 5 sets at that weight. No need to decrease resistances, just take more time between sets. Your shoulders will get a workout as will your arms, pectorals and abdominals. It makes no sense to train back one day and those other muscles used in conjunction the next day. I recommend training the legs next.

    There are literally millions of ways to train. All of them will produce results if the stimulus is achieved. I think the application of theories is just as important as the theories themselves. You will find countless wannabes training in gyms. Why do so few succeed? Well, we will have to conclude they are doing something wrong. Either they do not possess the correct theory, or they did not apply it correctly. If the body receives a stimulus to grow it will do so as long as sufficient rest and nutriments are provided. We assume that nothing is done during the growth time to interfere with results. I am afraid most trainees do too many exercises and way too often. They simply cannot grow! Is it any wonder that so many look for shortcuts?
    "Geordie/'d3c:di/n. & adj. Brit colloq. n. 1 a native of Tyneside. 2 the dialect spoken on Tyneside. adj. of or relating to Tyneside, its people, or its dialect. [the name George + -IE]

  20. #19
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    Monstar - I just gave the details of the program. He's not specific as to the number of sets - just keep adding weight each set until you can't do anymore. I think he uses 5 rep sets. He tries to create DOMS at every workout, but finds that to be difficult. I think you can set him straight on how easy it is to do.

  21. #20
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    I checked the site out a few weeks back and I don't like the lay out. Other than that, I have no comment on his theories. He would be an interesting debate though.
    Maki Fit Blog

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    My articles on Wannabebig

    "Soli Deo Gloria"
    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Romans 7:14-25

    "Judo is not about strength. Yet in the learning curve, all Judokas get strong. Only with time do you learn where to apply that strength."
    The Art of Judo

  22. #21
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    I too visit the hypertrophy specific boards, and I would be more open to Vince's ideas if he got to the point a little bit faster. It was said that "brevity is the soul of whit", and I personally just get tired of reading paragraph upon paragraph, where he really isn't saying much. I applaude Vince for his accomplishments, but I wish that he would not try to answer a question with a conversation. It kinda reminds me of Yoda. Perhaps he does have the 'answer' we're all searching for, I just wish he would give a SPECIFIC recomendation for some people to try. Perhaps he is reluctant to have someone critisize his theory if he were to give us something concrete to work with?

  23. #22
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    If you read Vince's essays of verbal vomit, you will see that it is full of contradictions. He doesnt understand the basic concepts of physiology, even though he says he has a masters degree in it. The basic concept of muscle growth is that progressive overload is needed for the muscle to adapt by hypertrophying. He preaches some DOMS principle. DOMS is a inflammation, but he also says alot of bodybuilders grow without it. I think DOMS should be used as a guide, but not as a rule as Vince suggests.

    Vince Basile posts from the HST forum:

    " Edziu is correct about DOMS not being necessary for growth. The vast majority of bodybuilders trained without continuous delayed onset muscle soreness."

    "The question is not whether we can grow without DOMS, because there is overwhelming evidence that we can"

    This is just one of his contradictions. He preaches his DOMS theory, than he says it is not needed for muscle growth.

    When you debate him in the forum, he ignores your valid points and writes essays about something irrelevant.

    Justyn
    Last edited by Justyn; 05-20-2002 at 07:49 PM.

  24. #23
    . Delphi's Avatar
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    Other than all that, he's a pretty cool guy.

  25. #24
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    I dont know what I think, its obviously ridiculous that he contradicts himself but I am not really sure what my opinion is of his DOMS theory. He obviously believes that DOMS is necessary for muscle growth. How much truth is there to this? Because some of my musclegroups like my biceps for example RARELY get sore, if ever.

    MS

  26. #25
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    I just noticed that WBB's newest member is in fact, Vince Basile.

    ... Hopefully hell contribute greatly to WBB.

    MS

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