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  1. #1
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    On progressive overload



    Go to 1:13:13

    Useful discussion about progressive overload, what it actually means and Greg's framework for thinking about the training stimulus.
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    Humble Megalomaniac ElrondHubbard's Avatar
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    I listen to that podcast every episode. I really like their temporary guest host. Hope he stays for a while!
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    Registered User Heisman2's Avatar
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    I don't have time to listen to the whole thing; I did listen to the beginning where they highlight the chicken/egg aspect. Do they or anyone else who discusses this get into the notion of supercompensation or periodization? Point being maybe hypertrophy does indeed drive strength, however, if you deload/periodize/supercompensate etc to get a "neural boost" and hence can lift more weight, that would occur without any hypertrophy (or no increased amount of hypertrophy), and then you can use this increased strength to lift more weight and thus develop more hypertrophy. At least that's how I have always viewed it and why I am more on the progressive overload -> hypertrophy camp than the other way around.
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  4. #4
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    They didn't go into that kind of detail but I can't say I've experienced a significant strength boost after a deload. In fact peak strength usually suffers a little but I find that I feel fresher - probably having dissipated accumulated fatigue - so my performance in terms of number of reps and sets is boosted.

    I think of a deload as a chance for tissue remodelling to make some headway vs. the catabolic effect of training. I think it unlikely that neural factors will improve in that time given that you aren't practicing the movements as much or with as much weight.
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    Registered User Heisman2's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    They didn't go into that kind of detail but I can't say I've experienced a significant strength boost after a deload. In fact peak strength usually suffers a little but I find that I feel fresher - probably having dissipated accumulated fatigue - so my performance in terms of number of reps and sets is boosted.

    I think of a deload as a chance for tissue remodelling to make some headway vs. the catabolic effect of training. I think it unlikely that neural factors will improve in that time given that you aren't practicing the movements as much or with as much weight.
    Agreed, sorry, I should have worded my point better. I will try again. There are several components of strength that differ from hypertrophy (motor unit and muscle fiber recruitment, ability to use the stretch reflex, etc). Asditoonoall, strength can be boosted when peaking properly (should have stated this instead of "deload"). I am curious if perhaps working on all of those aspects, which allow greater weight to be lifted, then allows for an increase in hypertrophy. I suppose as you get more advanced and gains slow when you are close to maximizing those factors that is when you get more of a correlation between hypertrophy and strength and the distinction of hypertrophy -> strength vs strength -> hypertrophy is less relevant.
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  6. #6
    Weak and foolish OldFartTom's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Heisman2 View Post
    I don't have time to listen to the whole thing; I did listen to the beginning where they highlight the chicken/egg aspect. Do they or anyone else who discusses this get into the notion of supercompensation or periodization? Point being maybe hypertrophy does indeed drive strength, however, if you deload/periodize/supercompensate etc to get a "neural boost" and hence can lift more weight, that would occur without any hypertrophy (or no increased amount of hypertrophy), and then you can use this increased strength to lift more weight and thus develop more hypertrophy. At least that's how I have always viewed it and why I am more on the progressive overload -> hypertrophy camp than the other way around.
    AFAIK this remains squarely in the arena of opinion rather than proven optimal route.
    Personally I agree with you and favor the approach of novice build strength first then train hypertrophy

    But the counter argument is also very logical and persuasive - that hypertrophy first will develop bone/ligament/etc/etc strength, and conditioning that the strength-first approach can leave behind - so a safer and more sustainable approach, therefore a better approach when viewed from a longer term perspective.

    This might all turn out to be a debate whether 6 is bigger than half a dozen. Maybe the "right" answer of which of the 2 approaches is dependent on the temperament of the trainee and/or coach because consistency and compliance are giant success factors.
    Faith in Jesus first and faith in squats second.
    Then other details will start to slot themselves into place.
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    HeMB's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    They didn't go into that kind of detail but I can't say I've experienced a significant strength boost after a deload. In fact peak strength usually suffers a little
    Me too - after a deload I feel like a newbie and weak as hell; strength diminishes drastically. Although I believe deloads are necessary to prevent injuries.
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    Emotional inTelligence etet1919's Avatar
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    I hate to sound so simplistic, but this is just common sense, and a case of just letting nature unfold. All you have to do is go into training with the right mindset (positive attitude; strong work ethic; self-awareness/analysis of strengths and weaknesses), and with some semblance of a structured program, you'll achieve the results you were meant to achieve. It may take a relatively shorter time to do this or it may take "longer," depending on where you start from; did you begin at a good weight for your height, maintain highly consistent exertion levels and discipline throughout the process, maintain perseverance through the plateaus (I never deloaded- not as a technique), acquire more strength, power and stamina through any number of naturally occurring factors... maybe not smoothly after a while, but continually (I hate the term "progressive overload, as well). You just have to be know what you're capable of and go for it, within reason (understanding genetic limitations and strengths).
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  9. #9
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Heisman2 View Post
    Agreed, sorry, I should have worded my point better. I will try again. There are several components of strength that differ from hypertrophy (motor unit and muscle fiber recruitment, ability to use the stretch reflex, etc). Asditoonoall, strength can be boosted when peaking properly (should have stated this instead of "deload"). I am curious if perhaps working on all of those aspects, which allow greater weight to be lifted, then allows for an increase in hypertrophy. I suppose as you get more advanced and gains slow when you are close to maximizing those factors that is when you get more of a correlation between hypertrophy and strength and the distinction of hypertrophy -> strength vs strength -> hypertrophy is less relevant.
    I must admit that peaking / tapering seem like a black art to me and I don't generally pursue peak strength goals so I haven't tried to wrestle with that particular problem.

    The idea that the whole process is feedback loop is appealing. That way, there is no way to say that strength precedes hypertrophy or vica versa.

    Perhaps this would be a better model:

    stimulus
    -> adaptation / recovery
    -> increased muscle size AND exercise specific neural adaptations
    -> back to stimulus - only this time, larger/stronger muscles need a larger stimulus in absolute terms to avoid plateauing
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  10. #10
    Weak and foolish OldFartTom's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HeMB View Post
    Me too - after a deload I feel like a newbie and weak as hell; strength diminishes drastically. Although I believe deloads are necessary to prevent injuries.
    Agree - so many times I hear/read people saying that if you take a couple of weeks of zero training you think you're weak but actually you might find you are slightly stronger as a result. Well it's never worked like that for me!
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  11. #11
    Emotional inTelligence etet1919's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    I must admit that peaking / tapering seem like a black art to me and I don't generally pursue peak strength goals so I haven't tried to wrestle with that particular problem.

    The idea that the whole process is feedback loop is appealing. That way, there is no way to say that strength precedes hypertrophy or vica versa.

    Perhaps this would be a better model:

    stimulus
    -> adaptation / recovery
    -> increased muscle size AND exercise specific neural adaptations
    -> back to stimulus - only this time, larger/stronger muscles need a larger stimulus in absolute terms to avoid plateauing

    You're probably big enough already, SP. I guess, as part of your analytical (and a good perfectionistic) nature, you are always looking for that extra edge...or just always striving to improve on something?
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