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Podcast episode 24 - Programming (part 3)

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  • Podcast episode 24 - Programming (part 3)

    Jordan & Austin,

    Thanks for another fascinating discussion of programming.

    As I understand, you're saying that, holding fixed genetics, anthropometry, and neuromuscular efficiency, strength is a function only of hypertrophy, and hypertrophy is a function only of volume at or above a certain threshold of relative intensity, say 70% x 1RM. So, for any given lifter at any given time, a given volume at any point above that threshold will generate no more hypertrophy or, therefore, strength than the same volume at any lower point at or above that threshold. Eg, 5 reps at 80% x 1RM will generate no more hypertrophy or, therefore, strength than 5 reps at 70% x 1RM. Is that right?

  • #2
    Hi AJW,

    So, not necessarily. We're saying that dynamic variables with respect to strength development are both hypertrophy and neuromuscular improvements, which change proportionally during the course of training, i.e. ~60-80% neural and 20-40% hypertrophy for a novice and the inverse for post-novice.

    Hypertrophy is relatively intensity independent once enough volume is being done, but if you decrease the volume being done to a point- intensity matters more. If you decrease the volume significantly however, no amount of intensity will drive hypertrophy in a post novice lifter, e.g. doing a 1RM probably doesn't help hypertrophic outcomes.

    5 reps @ 80% would likely produce the same hypertrophy response as 5 reps @ 70% if these were done for multiple sets, e.g. a 5x5. If only done for 1x5 then neither would achieve a really good hypertrophy response, with a non-significant hat tip to the set at 80%. The neural development from the 80% is better than 70% for a single set, but because you can do 5x5 with 70% and still train productively the next day without major performance drop off, whereas you can't do that with say 85% of a 1RM, the higher volume at a bit lighter intensity ends up being better than less volume at higher intensity.

    Of course, transferring strength development to strength display is as much an art as it is a science. After accumulating strength potential during higher volume periods, volume goes down and intensity goes up to help drive the neural side more specifically.
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