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  • Intermediate programming Qs

    For a programming model similar to that described in your blog post “ General Strength Training Template for the Intermediate/Advanced” (i.e. something like 1x1 @ RPE 8 followed by 3x5 @ RPE 8),

    1. Is there any benefit to multiple singles, e.g. 2-3x1 @ RPE 8, or is one enough to get the desired neuromuscular stimulus?

    2. Given that hypertrophy response is essentially constant for intensities in the range of 70-85% of 1RM (at least that is my understanding from your podcasts), what reason is there to ever use more than the low end of that range (say 70-75%) for volume accumulation?

    thx, and I strongly appreciate the quality and rigor of what you guys are putting out

  • #2
    1. There would be the benefit of additional practice with singles, which would need to be balanced with the cost of additional intra-workout fatigue.

    2. That's not quite right. You can get equivalent hypertrophy outcomes across the range from around 30-40% 1RM all the way up, IF you're willing to do enough volume that results in sufficient motor unit recruitment. If we were training exclusively for hypertrophy, there's often no need to go up to 85%+ (which is what you see with most bodybuilders). But we aren't training exclusively for hypertrophy ... we care about strength, which requires exposure to heavier loading as well.
    IG / YT

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    • #3
      OK so maybe I'm misunderstanding something.

      Here's my train of thought: two of the points I recall from your programming podcasts series are 1) as a lifter becomes more advanced, muscular cross-sectional area becomes increasingly more important for force production than neuromuscular factors, and 2) given sufficient volume, hypertrophy response is essentially constant provided intensity is in the range of roughly 70-85%. If I then put these two together, I would conclude that programming for continued long-term strength development should focus on volume accumulation at intensities of 70-85% 1RM plus heavy singles as skill practice. And furthermore, sicne the hypertrophy response at intensities of 70-75% will be effectively the same when compared to intensities at 80-85% (given equal volume), I might as well do my volume work in the 70-75% range so as to generate less fatigue.

      What am I missing?

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      • #4
        In general, when we use / program higher volume accumulation phases, we often don't go much over 75% for the majority of training. But when it comes time to approach a peak and "realize" developed strength, most people benefit from exposure to loads in the higher end of that range (with a commensurate reduction in training volume). This is a typical approach to post-novice periodization.

        However, there's substantial inter-individual variation here such that there are some interesting people whose performance worsens as you ramp the intensity up (so they benefit from keeping things more submaximal for longer heading into a meet, for example), OR some folks (or even particular lifts) benefit from spending more time in the higher end of that range in routine training. This latter scenario is a bit more common for the upper body lifts, for example. This is where assessing the trainee's response and adjusting accordingly is important.
        IG / YT

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        • #5
          That makes sense. Thanks

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