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  • Fatigue topic

    Hello,
    You advocate the idea that it's beneficial to do exercises which permit a lot of volume with low fatigue, in order to build muscle mass.
    I will take the knee extension VS squat comparison. I agree that the squat would be more fatiguing, and that more volume can be done with the knee extension exercise.
    Question is, why is the knee extension less fatiguing, but not less effective?
    If 3 sets if 8 reps @ 7 in the squat would be as fatiguing as 6 sets of 8 @ 7 at the knee extension, why would the knee extension be better in terms of hypertrophy?

    Of course the question is not specifically about these two exercises, but in general - why would it be better to get the same amount of fatigue through more sets than less sets, considering the same rep range and same RPE.



    Thanks

  • #2
    You advocate the idea that it's beneficial to do exercises which permit a lot of volume with low fatigue, in order to build muscle mass.
    Not exactly:

    1) There is a clear relationship between training volume and hypertrophy outcomes.
    2) There is NOT a clear relationship between proximity to failure and hypertrophy outcomes (e.g., difference between a set at 75% 1RM taken to 2-3 RIR vs. 0 RIR).
    3) Fatigue rises significantly (and likely disproportionately) as you approach failure (e.g., from 4 RIR to 3 to 2 to 1 to 0).
    4) There is an obvious trade-off between fatigue and the amount of training volume someone can feasibly complete and recover/adapt to while avoiding overuse syndromes or other issues.
    5) Therefore, it makes sense to set up training in order to maximize the stimulus per "unit" fatigue. We could do something extremely hard, once ... or we could do something moderately hard, many times, and get a bigger net adaptation from training the thing many times.

    I will take the knee extension VS squat comparison. I agree that the squat would be more fatiguing, and that more volume can be done with the knee extension exercise.
    Question is, why is the knee extension less fatiguing, but not less effective? If 3 sets if 8 reps @ 7 in the squat would be as fatiguing as 6 sets of 8 @ 7 at the knee extension, why would the knee extension be better in terms of hypertrophy? in general - why would it be better to get the same amount of fatigue through more sets than less sets, considering the same rep range and same RPE.
    Because fatigue does not equal hypertrophy, and because fatigue is not itself the desired outcome of our training.

    Assuming your outcome of interest here is quadriceps hypertrophy (and given your assumption about equivalent overall fatigue between those two ... which may not be true), the answer would be because you have done more total training volume with the leg extension.

    If the outcome of interest is squat strength performance, then squatting would be the superior choice, particularly in the short-term (although there may be a role for leg extensions as a supplemental movement that training as well).
    Last edited by Austin Baraki; 11-29-2020, 11:50 PM.
    IG / YT

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    • #3
      Thank you very much for the answer,

      I wonder, what is the mechanism behind an activity which create higher / lower fatigue per "unit" of volume?
      I mean, why is a 3RM squat more fatiguing than a 3RM knee extension, but doesen't provide more stimulus?


      Really appreciate your insite :-)

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      • #4
        why is a 3RM squat more fatiguing than a 3RM knee extension
        I suspect you can figure this out.

        but doesen't provide more stimulus?
        Assuming we're limiting the discussion to quadriceps hypertrophy as the outcome here, both are using the target musculature for one set of 3 reps.

        You could certainly argue that the squat is providing a greater whole-body stimulus since a much larger amount of musculature is involved, but again - this is coming with a significant fatigue cost, since you cannot do repeat sets of 3RM squats in order to amplify that stimulus in terms of training volume.
        IG / YT

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