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Muscular Tension and Muscle Growth: Part 2

Ok, so in Muscular Tension Part 1 I looked at the topic of muscular tension in overview.  What it is, what it represents and why it is important (i.e. as the primary initiator) in terms of muscle growth.  This had to do with high-tension skeletal muscle contractions activating mechanosensors which turned on the protein synthesis pathway via mTOR .

This requires two factors which are recruiting the fibers and then exposing them to some (currently uknown) number of contractions to activate the mTOR pathway via mechanosensors.

This can occur in a number of ways including lifting heavy weights (80-85% of max or higher) which recruit all fibers from repetition 1 or by lifting lighter weights near or to failure.  Both may end up achieving the same or a similar number of high tension repetitions.

All roads lead to tension.  It’s just a matter of how you get there.

I ended up by addressing the idea of “effective reps” the number of reps of a set or workout that occur under full recruitment and activate mTOR. … Keep Reading

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Muscular Tension and Muscle Growth

Focal Adhesion Kinase CascadeWhile I’m waiting until I get the energy to get aggro again, and I will, I wanted to write about a topic I’ve been meaning to address for a while,  a detailed look at the idea of muscular tension.  What it is, why it’s important, how we can or cannot measure it and what confusion comes out of the concept in a practical sense.

I’ve sure as hell typed up most of this in my Facebook group enough times to make this easier for me: I can type it up once and just link to it in the future.  Honestly, that’s why I write most of what I write.  Write it once, link to it forever after.  Eventually, maybe put it in a book.  This series will certainly be long enough.

As well, this article is going to act as a background piece for some stuff I intend to write about going forwards regarding training, muscle growth and what the actual PRIMARY driver on growth is (hint: it’s still not volume). … Keep Reading

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Is There an Upper Threshold of Volume in Trained Women

This post previously contained an analysis of a paper by Barbalho et al. examining varying training volumes in women.     I have taken that analysis down for the time being.

Roughly a week ago, a paper was released pointing out inconsistencies (or rather extreme similarity) of the data in a number of Barbalho’s papers, raising the question of their validity.  Their study on training volume in men was already retracted  and it’s entirely possible that more of their studies will be as well.  Until such time as the situation has been resolved, it seems most prudent to remove the analysis of their paper.

However, I have chosen not to fully depublish this post since I feel that is more honest to leave it up with an explanation of why the analysis is no longer here.  If the Barbalho et al. data turns out to be valid and the papers are not retracted, I will republish the text.… Keep Reading

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Another Look at Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy

So the concept of sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is currently back in the limelight of the fitness industry.  This is due to an additional analysis of the Huan et. al. study that Mike Israetel was involved with.  I discussed the original study in detail in my series on Training Volume and Hypertrophy and will briefly re-examine it below for background context of the newer paper.

In fact, I was originally going to do a research review on the new paper but, honestly, it was going to be boring and overly detail oriented and it seemed more useful to look at the topic in a more general sense (while still being my own boring, neurotic detail oriented self).

Edit on June 6th, 2015: When I originally wrote this, the paper had not passed peer review but it has just been published officially.  As I knew it would.

Now, I have written about the concept of sarcoplasmic hypertrophy in the past, probably in my Ultimate Diet 2.0Keep Reading

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The Ultimate Training Secret

Illuminatti SymbolOk, here’s the thing.  For years I’ve said that there are no training secrets that it’s just hard work plus genetics plus time plus a few other things.  But it’s time to come clean: I’ve been lying.  There are training secrets.  I mean true training secrets, guarded closely by the Illuminatty, and only shared with those who have achieved the 32nd degree of Clean Eating.

This is where you become so morally pure through your superior life choices (and self-righteously judging all those that don’t follow them) that you can survive on light and air (NOTHING is less processed).  You develop the ability to synthesize ATP from sunlight and fix nitrogen from the air like a plant; simply standing outside equals growth at this point.  Few achieve it but for those that do, there is no limit.

But having concluded that the Illuminatty is really a false Illuminatty, and that I and only I carry the true word of Arnold, I will now share with you the two most truly powerful training approaches ever yet devised to generate all of the mass, strength, symmetry, leanness that you could ever want: the ultimate training secret.  … Keep Reading