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Muscle Fiber Adaptations Following RT Using Rep Max or Relative Intensity – Research Review

So there’s a war brewin’.  Or rather a war going on.  The war over volume versus intensity/tension.  So over the past three weeks I wrote a series of articles examining the issue of muscular tension, it’s importance in initiating growth (it is the primary factor in growth no matter how anybody wants to cut it) and, among other topics discussed the idea of effective reps.

The idea here is that the repetitions that actually turn on the FAK/PA/mTOR pathway are the repetitions done under maximum recruitment (said recruitment being reachable in multiple ways).  With some currently unknown number of “effective reps” being optimal for turning on growth (nobody including me has EVER said there isn’t a volume component to growth.  Only that it isn’t the primary driver.)

I’d mention that  I am by no means the first to write about or conceptualize this idea, I might add.  I believe Blade (Borge Fagerli) calls them “hypertrophic reps” and Chris Beardsley has probably written about them the most extensively.  Mind you, I don’t agree with all his conclusions (hell, I don’t always agree with all of my own conclusions on any given day) but I agree with far more than not.  And … Read More

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Evidence of a Ceiling Effect for Training Volume in Trained Men – Research Review

So two or three weeks ago I did an unbearably tedious and ranty review of the Barbalho paper on women trainees, the one that I was challenged to examine because “DOES IT ALSO NOT CONTRADICT YOU?”.  And as much as I wanted to look at it on fundamental grounds, let’s face it: I was mainly doing it that way to be petty.  But I do my best work out of spite and anger.

In any case, I think the paper made a couple of points not the least of which being that, when you’re competent, you can do good science.   And when you do good science, you often come up with contradictory results to when you’re not doing good science (i.e. having the lead researcher do the measurements unblinded as a random example).  This isn’t to say that the paper didn’t have it’s limitations, all of them do.  But methodologically, it crushed a more recent study on the topic which did not do these things.  I digress.

Following up on that comes a spanking new paper from the same group that I also want to look at.  Thankfully it won’t take nearly as long or be nearly as ranty … Read More

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A Challenge to Brad Schoenfeld and Others

So I had originally said I would leave this be, that this wasn’t a rap battle, after writing my last detailed criticism of the recent Brad Schoenfeld study.  Well clearly that’s not the case.

More on the Statistics

First let me point readers to a thorough analysis of the statistics used in Brad’s paper by Brian Bucher.  Basically he takes them apart and shows that none of the THREE metrics supports their strongly worded conclusions.

None of them.

In this vein, here’s something interesting.

Brad and his group have NEVER used Bayesian statistics until this paper.  I searched on my folder of his papers and the term Bayesian shows up 4 times.  Three are papers that Menno Henselmans was on and it’s his email address.  The fourth is one of James Krieger’s meta analyses.  At best James has used them before.

Now I find this interesting because there is no way to know if Brad and James had planned to use this approach ahead of time.  James has asserted that they did but this cannot be proven.  Here’s why: in research it is common to register trials before doing them.  This is required in medical research by the … Read More

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A Response to James Krieger

So there’s a war brewing in online fitness land.  About three weeks ago, Brad Schoenfeld et. al. released a paper purporting to show that more volume meant more growth with 30 sets per week for upper body and 45 sets for lower body outperforming lower and more moderate volumes.  To say there has been a shitstorm, much of which is driven by myself, is a bit of an understatement.

I wrote a fairly critical piece about that paper (that had issues, see below) and brought up several other problems with it (including one I will finish this piece with).  My questions at Brad or James went completely unanswered with any number of deflections and obfuscations occurring throughout. Even when others, not me, asked similar questions, they went unanswered or were deflected with the kind of behaviors only the best gurus use.

Then, a few days ago, James Krieger wrote an article explaining why different studies find different results to “address criticisms being leveled at the study by certain people (like Lyle McDonald)”.  Let me note that I’m far from the only person critical of this paper.  But as so typically the case, I’m the only one mentioned by name.  And … Read More

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Protein Amount and Post Workout Protein Synthesis – Research Review

MacNaughton et. al. The response of muscle protein synthesis following whole-body resistance exercise is greater following 40 g than 20 g of ingested whey protein.  hysiol Rep, 4 (15), 2016, e12893

The currently accepted amount of protein required to achieve maximal stimulation of myofibrillar protein synthesis (MPS) following resistance exercise is 20–25 g. However, the influence of lean body mass (LBM) on the response of MPS to protein ingestion is unclear. Our aim was to assess the influence of LBM, both total and the amount activated during exercise, on the maximal response of MPS to ingestion of 20 or 40 g of whey protein following a bout of whole-body resistance exercise. Resistance-trained males were assigned to a group with lower LBM (≤65 kg; LLBM n = 15) or higher LBM (≥70 kg; HLBM n = 15) and participated in two trials in random order. MPS was measured with the infusion of 13C6-phenylalanine tracer and collection of muscle biopsies following ingestion of either 20 or 40 g protein during recovery from a single bout of whole-body resistance exercise. A similar response of MPS during exercise recovery was observed between LBM groups following protein ingestion (20 g – LLBM: … Read More