December 15, 2018, 10:39:53 PM

Author Topic: Does Effort Per Set matter when volume is same? Can it be Too Low to make gains?  (Read 582 times)

bennyboi

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I couldn't find a study that only tested one variable at a time.

Every study I found put a ceiling on rest time between sets.

My question is: does "effort per set" matter when volume is equated?

For example, would there be a difference in strength and hypertrophy if two athletes had the following workout (rest times 3-5 minutes):

% x REPS x SETS
70 x 10 x 3

Vs.

% x REPS x SETS
70 x 3 x 10

Same number of lifts. Same volume. Different effort (and technical proficiency/rep quality).

How about this third example:

% x REPS x SETS
70 x 1 x 10
70 x 2 x 10

Does it make a difference?

Some more theoretical examples below:

% x REPS x SETS
50 x 6 x 1
60 x 4 x 1
70 x 4 x 4
80 x 2 x 4
34 lifts @67.6%

% x REPS x SETS
50 x 3 x 2
60 x 2 x 2
70 x 2 x 8
80 x 1 x 8
34 lifts @67.6%

Another example...

% x REPS x SETS
50 x 6 x 1
60 x 4 x 1
70 x 4 x 1
70 x 8 x 1
70 x 6 x 1
70 x 8 x 1
70 x 4 x 1
65 x 6 x 1
55 x 8 x 1
54 lifts @64.3%

% x REPS x SETS
50 x 6 x 1
60 x 4 x 1
70 x 4 x 3
70 x 3 x 2
70 x 2 x 6
65 x 3 x 2
55 x 4 x 2
54 lifts @64.3%

I guess what I'm trying to ask is: Can "effort per set" be "too low" to make strength/hypertrophy adaptations?

All of these workouts look identical on paper, but they would all feel different for trainees.

Robert Frederick

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Sounds like you want to read about my Exertion Load metric

http://www.strongur.io/monitoring-training-stress-with-exertion-load/

In most of the studies I've read, researchers know that effort is a major variable and so they control for that by taking all sets to failure.

bennyboi

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Sounds like you want to read about my Exertion Load metric

http://www.strongur.io/monitoring-training-stress-with-exertion-load/

In most of the studies I've read, researchers know that effort is a major variable and so they control for that by taking all sets to failure.


Haha, it is your article that brought me here (great article btw).

I guess I'm getting intrigued because of your rep quality comment from here: http://sheiko-program.ru/forum/index.php?topic=6.msg1597#msg1597

"If you stay below half the number of a certain rep max, i.e. 3 reps at 8RM, then there is no significant increase in ammonia. That means you can come back and do it again fairly soon."

On an RPE scale, 8 reps @8RM = RPE 10.

But 3 reps @8RM = RPE 5, or 5 RIR (however you wanna look at it).

Yet nobody programs RPE @5 in training (except for maybe Dietmar).

It would be interesting to see what has the most impact on training. Volume... intensity... effort... or something completely different?

Until a study comes out that looks like this ... we won't get an answer:

  • Group A: 8rx3s @70% - 8rx3s @85% over a period of X-weeks.
  • Group B: 3rx8s @70% - 3rx8s @85% over a period of X-weeks.
  • Group C: 2rx12s @70% - 2rx12s @85% over a period of X-weeks.

Rest times: 3-5min

Robert Frederick

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I think studies have suggested in so many different ways that a high level of muscular effort is a fundamental requirement for gains in stength, speed, and hypertrophy that it really isn't a seperate question being asked on it's own.

So why does 3 reps over and over @8RM work? It's not maximal effort but certainly not low effort either. It's also not optimal for strength nor hypertrophy, at least in the short term, but probably a pragmatic compromise between the two that also has recovery and longevity advantages, which may become more important factors over the longer term.

bennyboi

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So why does 3 reps over and over @8RM work? It's not maximal effort but certainly not low effort either. It's also not optimal for strength nor hypertrophy, at least in the short term, but probably a pragmatic compromise between the two that also has recovery and longevity advantages, which may become more important factors over the longer term.

Are you suggesting that this amount of effort (3r@80%) is superior in the long run, even though it may fail to deliver short-term gains?

Going back to your article... have you ever found an "optimal" INOL/lift for each intensity?

I've seen calculations done on several forums (regarding Sheiko cycles) where the "sweet spot" seems to be 0.15 INOL/lift. This was probably coincidental, but interesting nonetheless.

Here's what that "sweet spot" looks like:

8 reps @50%
7 reps @55%
6 reps @60%
5 reps @65%
5 reps @70%
4 reps @75%
3 reps @80%
2 reps @85%
2 reps @90%
1 reps @95%

Very similar to Sheiko. Almost identical, in fact, for intensities 60% and above.

Robert Frederick

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Yeah, that's my suggestion. If I only had 10 weeks to either get the largest increase in strength or muscle mass, like you'd do in a research study, that would not be my first choice. I'd go nuts and push 'em to the breaking point. Why not, right? You've only got to worry about 10 weeks. Yeah, maybe a few people drop out but they can be excluded from the results anyway.

But if there was a critical competition exactly 1 year from now and I had 10 guys I didn't want to lose, I'd say that's a good place to start. There will be individual variation of course. Percentages and reps may go up or down from person to person and even from lift to lift.

Check back on that article. I updated it with a few more things last week. That new stuff is still a work in progress though. I'll eventually put up a new article when I sort it all out. Is there some optimum? Right now it seems like right on the edge of the ammonia breaking 60 umol/L is the place to be, which seems to be in line with Sheiko's recommendation to aim for 1-4 RIR.



bennyboi

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Fascinating stuff, Robert!

It would be interesting to see how you could apply these principles to a simplified routine. Something that wouldn't require a meticulous approach to programming (less time spent on Excel sheets etc. haha).

Think of it like, the Pareto Principle of training (80:20 rule).

But that question alone, only brings up more questions.

If you were to take a modest, long-term approach to training... how would you progress? How would you program such progression?

I guess the only way you'd know is by trial and error...

Thank you for the back-and-forth conversation. The methodology behind your style of training is fascinating.

I'm looking forward to seeing your "work in progress" once it's completed.

Robert Frederick

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