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Bodybuilding ideology and proof

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  • Bodybuilding ideology and proof

    Wanted to see if their was and evidence on the typical bodybuilding theory’s.

    1) Can we activate specific muscles? Like targeting more of your “inner quad” or “outer quad” by changing foot positioning? Or again targeting your mid trap vs upper trap just my simply changing your elbow angle.( I think you know where I’m going with this). And does it even matter?

    2) Does “squeezing” your muscle harder during contraction actually correlate to more mechanical tension? Or help?

    3) And are the typical “bro” splits more beneficial for muscle hypertrophy( like completely training that specific muscle that day till failure for multiple exercises across) ?

    Thanks for your time.

  • #2

    1) Muscle activation is the recruitment of motor units, which is difficult to measure directly. Instead, researchers use a surrogate marker- muscle excitation- using EMG. Depending on the differences between exercises, there may or may not be different EMG values for a give muscle or muscle group. Some of these findings are surprising, e.g. similar excitation in leg muscles in the HBBS and FS despite different loads, similar excitation in the pec major using different grip widths on the bench press, etc. As far as whether or not this matters, the connection between EMG and outcomes like hypertrophy and strength isn't that strong. I know I didn't really address your question with this part of the answer, but I thought it may be useful information.

    As far as a specific technique using a muscle in a particular way through a specific ROM, yes, that can be manipulated by using a different technique.

    2) More mechanical tension doesn't really appear to be needed to drive muscle hypertrophy. Rather, a threshold needs to be reached for mechanical tension (via muscle excitation) to drive hypertrophy. I don't think a conscious squeeze makes a difference.

    3) There are many ways to program in a manner that increases strength and/or hypertrophy. Training frequency for a muscle group starts to matter when going > 10-15 sets in a training session for a muscle or muscle group. Additionally, going to failure doesn't really seem to benefit hypertrophy gainzZz outside of beginners training isolation movements. So, I think if a "bro split" is having someone train > 10-15 sets for a given muscle group in a single session and/or taking multiple non-isolation movements to failure, there would be room for improvement.
    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
    ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///


    • #3
      That’s for the response!
      Reason I ask is because their is a famous bodybuilding coach named Charles Glass who is known for having these crazy super technical exercises.
      Like for example doing a lateral raise the “normal way” vs doing it with your thumb pointing down(guess somehow that makes it better for delt “development”) Wonder if that even makes a difference?
      Or another one is slowing down the tempo on the concentric portion of a bicep curl.
      Guess I’m maybe being a bit of an a$$ but some of the bodybuilding stuff seems to be over complicated. And a lot of them seem to over complicate stuff to sell themselves.


      • #4
        Yea I don't think any of that matters much and, additionally, slowing down the concentric part of an exercise would not be great from a hypertrophy standpoint.
        Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
        ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///


        • #5
          Thanks Jordan.