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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    Variety of Exercises or Same Exercises for Hypertrophy?

    I wanted to create a serious topic about this. So please no flames, or immaturity, or sarcasm.

    To cause hypertrophy do you guys feel that a variety of exercises is best, or performing the same exercises is best? For example if I wanted to cause hypertrophy in my biceps, would it be best for me to stick to a basic exercise like barbell curls---or change it up between barbell curls, alt. DB curls, incline curls, cable curls, etc.

    What do you guys think and why?

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  3. #2
    WBB OG Silverback's Avatar
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    Well for the 9 months of training experience i have had so far, i have stuck to the same exercises, why?

    Because i wanted to measure my strength gains week by week thus keep adding intensity in the way of load increments.

    But recently while injured, i have done alot of reading and came accross some lit from Charles Glass (Gunter's trainer) he suggests that changing the exercises every 3-4 weeks is the best bet for hypertrophy, why? because after the 3-4 week period your body adapts to the exercise, therefore you change the exercise and stimulate the muscle fibres in a different way to the last cycles set of exercises.

    Thats his theory on it anyway, i think i may apply it for a few bodyparts and see how i progress.

    B-R
    The only limits are the one's you place on yourself...

  4. #3
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    Yeah Ron, I agree, trying it yourself is definitely the best way to go. Thats why I am wondering if anyone here at WBB has tried both ways, and what they have found.

    Personally I am not quite sure where I stand on this. Because I have done both ways a lot. But never payed much attention to which was producing more favorable results.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Gavan's Avatar
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    Every curl exercise are the same, except maybe MED-X curl machine which allow greater range of motion and greater resistance in the full contraction position.

    I realy don't think doing barbell curl or dumbells will change something. Incline dumbells curls will force you to lift in good form. It's very easy to cheat on standing barbell curl.

    I don't think a new exercise can "shock" muscle, for example if you did standing press with barbell and then did it on a machine... it's the same thing... there is nothing magic. All you need to grow is add weight to the bar. It would too easy if changing exercises could add muscles... it doesn't work like that, EXCEPT if you add a new exercise which hits a part of your muscles that you didn't train before. For example maybe adding bent over row is a good idea if you are doing chins only (it seems they don't exactly hit the same parts of back).

    The stronger the bigger, and it's easier to progress doing the same exercise because of CNS adaptation and skills.
    Last edited by Gavan; 03-23-2003 at 12:45 PM.
    Gain Muscles ? Overload !
    Lose Fat ? Input < Output
    Genetic determines your potential
    Chins : 10x106kg Dips 10x109kg

  6. #5
    Gen_chat worst nightmare
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    There's no need to change exercises for hypertrophy, all you need is progression. Muscles fibers can't be stimulated in a "different way" they either contract or stretch and that's it. Tthey don't get shocked, scared, upset or whatever.

  7. #6
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    I think I remember Chris Mason talking about this. If I get his ideas all wrong, I'm sure he can correct me. But the first few weeks or workouts with a new exercise produce superficial gains, because it is merely your nervous system adapting to the new movement. After that time, the nervous system is adapted, so the gains slow, and the real muscle growth occurs to allow you to add the weight on. So sticking with the same exercise may be better.

  8. #7
    WBB OG Silverback's Avatar
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    thats not true in certain repsects Gavan,

    you see doing different curls for example hammer, spider, preacher, incline produce different movement patterns therefore stimulating the muscle in a different way. Even changing the grip on a barbell curl can greatly influence the stress on a muscle.

    Below i have produced a list of Biceps exercises and the IEMG max motor-unit Stimulation;

    Biceps brachii (long head)
    IEMG % MAX
    Biceps preacher curl: 90

    Incline Seated DB curls 88

    Standing Biceps curl 86
    (olympic bar narrow grip)

    Standing DB curls 84

    Concentration DB curls 80

    Standing biceps curls 63
    (olympic bar wide grip)

    Standing E-Z biceps curls 61
    (wide grip)

    there you have it, it goes to show that little changes can create large differences in the results you will see.

    B-R
    The only limits are the one's you place on yourself...

  9. #8
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    Some good points guys. I dont think that changing the exercises matters much in terms of shocking the muscles---I am strictly talking about how it affects hypertrophy.

    Ron, how accurate are EMG studies? I have found them to be flawed in a few different cases.

    At this point I am favoring restless's view on the entire thing.

    The only reason I can think of to change the exercises at this point is just to prevent boredom.
    Last edited by MonStar; 03-23-2003 at 01:24 PM.

  10. #9
    WBB OG Silverback's Avatar
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    They are pretty accurate, your right in some cases they are flawed as it can depend on the individual used.

    The reason being that different muscle composition, bone size, shape can effect how a lift is performed and make various lifts more optimal for some than others.
    The only limits are the one's you place on yourself...

  11. #10
    Gen_chat worst nightmare
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    Originally posted by MonStar
    Some good points guys. I dont think that changing the exercises matters much in terms of shocking the muscles---I am strictly talking about how it affects hypertrophy.

    Ron, how accurate are EMG studies? I have found them to be flawed in a few different cases.
    They can be afected by a number of things. Just the fact that the lifter in question may be more used to a certain lift rather than another will change the results. If you never do squats but do a lot of leg press then obviously your CNS will be able to elicit a better fiber recruitment during the leg press as opposed to the squat. EMG studies generally speaking aren't reliable.

  12. #11
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    EMG studies generally speaking aren't reliable.
    Agreed. From every EMG study that I have read it always seemed a bit flawed to me actually. I mean for example a biceps preacher curl being a score of 90 on the EMG. And then a DB concentration curl being a score of what, 80? Anyone that has performed both exercises I think would know that this is flawed. Preacher curls entire top 1/3rd of each rep takes the stress off the biceps. With concentration curls the stress is continued from the start of each rep to the finish of each rep.

    Just my opinion---I never see eye to eye with EMG studies.

  13. #12
    Senior Member Gavan's Avatar
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    Arthur Jones said EMG studies are nothing but XXXX
    Gain Muscles ? Overload !
    Lose Fat ? Input < Output
    Genetic determines your potential
    Chins : 10x106kg Dips 10x109kg

  14. #13
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    And Arthur Jones knew his sh*t.

    Other opinions of this topic?

  15. #14
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    ditto to above. keeping the same exercsie is fine for hypertrophy.

    well loose hypertrophy at the expense of nureal inefficiencies by keep chaning the exercise?
    my exprience - joined gym 10 years ago, 6 1/2 years hard weight training exprience.

  16. #15
    new and improved runt's Avatar
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    For me at least, changing my exercsises is essential. I become bored very quickly and if I can't keep this stuff fun I won't do it. With that said my favorite programs consist of a workout A and a workout B. A contains certain exercises and B has different ones. Sometimes I alternate A and B from week to week sometimes I do A for two weeks then B for two weeks. I do that for 8 weeks and then I design a new A and B. Do what's fun, as long as you lift and eat you're gonna grow.
    sometimes slowly

    My stats:
    Age - 43
    ht - 5' - 7"
    wt - 152 lbs
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    pipe dream goal 175 lbs @ 10% bf
    making the switch to power lifting

  17. #16
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    Some good points guys.

    I think for the most part the entire debate is leaning towards the same exercises for hypertrophy. Changing things up really has no benefit at all.

  18. #17
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    For a while I would change excersises almost workout by workout. Now at the time my diet left a lot to be desired, but I did not experience the greatest of gains.

  19. #18
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    I dont think that changes the exercises all the time is the best idea. Youre not allowing yourself time to progress on the exercises.

  20. #19
    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    Same exercises, if you ask me. Problem is, finding the best exercise. That takes trial and error. Difference in individual mechanics mean that the "ideal" lift for a given body part may differ. Grip width, hand position (pronated, supinated....), or even seemingly insignificant differences (behind the neck or in front) can make all the difference in the world. If progress is stagnating on an "ideal" exercise, then simply work harder at it. If it's stagnating due to a weak link (and further work exacerbates the problem), or due to discomfort, then find a new lift.
    "Except Belial. He knows everything. This isn't a sarcastic attack, either. He really knows everything." -----Organichu
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  21. #20
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    Yeah I agree completely Alex.

    I think that the same exercises is really really important, but like you said, its tough to find out which exercises those exercises should be, and it seems you have found a lot of exercises that are good for you. Like your DB rows and chins, and concentration curls, just exercises that you seem to do again and again and again. I am still kind of throwing exercises around as to which are best for me. Supported rows and behind-neck chins are definitely good for my back, and BB curls and hammers for my biceps, flyes without a doubt for pecs, etc.

  22. #21
    Senior Member mmckinley's Avatar
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    Originally posted by restless
    There's no need to change exercises for hypertrophy, all you need is progression. Muscles fibers can't be stimulated in a "different way" they either contract or stretch and that's it. Tthey don't get shocked, scared, upset or whatever.
    According to my physiology prof restless is right

  23. #22
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    No physiological benefit to change unless progression has stalled or there is a need to improve a performance variance.

    IMO, changing too often is counter productive.
    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
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  24. #23
    Simplistic
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    I agree with Paul and Belial. Find the moves that suit your physique and biomechanics best and concentrate on progression.

  25. #24
    Senior Member Meat_Head's Avatar
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    Now I think as long as I work the muscle till I feel its well worked, I'll get bigger and stronger

    However, there are specific lifts that I want to improve, and I always do those at the beginning of the workout with increasing weight every week. For example, for chest I always do bottom position rack bench press, or occasionally regular bench presses, and keep adding weight. After that, its whatever I want to do. Sometimes incline presses, or flies, or cable stuff, whatever....

    For legs its squats, obviously!

    Shoulders, standing OH press.

    Back, either some kind of barbell row or weighted pullups.

    Biceps, thick straight bar curls.

    Triceps, close grip bench.

  26. #25
    Senior Member Manveet's Avatar
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    Keep the same excercises, imo.

    However, what about the other variables such as, volume, intensity and rest. Do you guys think varying those opposed to just excercises will have a better effect on hypertrophy? I haven't varied them enough to know for myself, any thoughts?
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