Johnston Rep Method

Discussion in 'Basic Training Principles and Methods' started by shakeel, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. To put it in a nutshell.

    It SEEMS to me that Johnston is using the signalling network involved with FAC via interaction of Integrins with a muscle pump. It's been shown many times that the cytoplasm of the cell can withstand minor cell volume/osmoality changes without effecting FAC signalling or cell survival(See Rennie's early work osmoality changes and their influence on Glycogen and Glutamine transport, Also see WU, Cheng, Ingber). If the human body was not able to withstand minor shifts in cell volume accompanied by minor osmoality change then apoptosis would occur much more frequently from these shifts. Now being that minor shifts in Oedema, Glycogen and Lactate occur with a pump I would like to know HOW Johnston is tying this together, and please don't quote Rennie's work again as I already have it and have read it many many times.

    The reasoning given for line of pull (decrement of strength to increased size) isn't entirely accurate. It's seems that Johnston is negating the entire aspect of PCSA and only concentrating on whole muscle volume, this is misleading and inaccurate. It also appears he his negating the adapative response to chronic hypertrophy via changes in pennation and chronic neural efficiency increases that come with chronic training. So I would like for Johnston to explain to me how he came about to this conclusion. Please present scientific evidence of such.

    Lastly, in the copy I have of J-Reps (be it an earlier release or not) he does say that fiber activation can be independant of MU activation and that this activation can be manipulated via varying the degree of the SSC. Now this could have simply been a misuse of terminology to try and make his point but still it isn't correct. Now if it is something that IART adheres to in a fundamantal belief then please present scientific evidence of such.

    Now please do not insult my intelligence by simply regurgitating Johnston's comments from another source but please give me scientific rationale and preferably scientific evidence to support these positions.

    Thank You

  2. AShortt

    AShortt New Member

    Dan (DKM1987),

    You are reading far too much “into” what Johnston wrote about pump, muscle size increase vs. force output and MU activation. The micro physiology going on here is a big maybe or unknown at this time. Just as it is a big guess as far as muscle (eccentric) lengthening goes, especially under high loads. Just as there is no clear evidence to support single vs. multiple sets or appropriate TUT, slow rep speeds vs. fast etc.

    The trees examined individually will only tell you so much about the forest. Certain ones will "overshadow others" just by happenstance, the important thing is to note the effects on the whole - get bigger and stronger, stay lean etc.

    Pump – What is noted is that the pump is significantly increased via this method “without using light, multiple/long volume sets”. Take it for what it means to you, Johnston is only offering superficial speculation as to its cause and importance. It is simply that many long time bodybuilders have noted (anecdotally) a direct correlation between type and quality of muscular pump and growth. In the end, it offers better muscular feel (mind/muscle connection), which is always a good thing.

    As a muscle grows in size and away at right angles to the bone, it loses SOME of its efficiency (relative to a smaller muscle on the same bone). Johnston was not saying “all” or how much in fact re-read why he brought it up in the book. He was explaining how a muscle works based on shape to discuss possibilities of why the method is so effective. That is, that a muscle can use more or less fibers depending on how much it is or isn’t contracted.

    This leads to the other point about muscles being “activated” without MU activation. You are reading excessively far into this. The point wasn’t about muscle fibers contracting without MU stimulus but that different fibers are under varying degrees of tension during varies points in an exercises possible ROM.

    At the very - VERY least the method is an effective manner to work with and around the basic shortcomings of most exercise equipment.

    Why do you think I would insult your intelligence and why would it be insulting to read more of Johnston’s writings? Saying that, is insulting but I may be reading too much into it (if you can pardon the set up and the pun ;^).

  3. Thanks for the detailed reply.

  4. mikeynov

    mikeynov Super Moderator Staff Member

    I'm beginning to think that nobody in IART has any background in muscle physiology at all.

    It's all "philosophy of bodybuilding" ala Vince Basile or Arthur Jones. Common sense, analogies, anecdote etc.
  5. AShortt

    AShortt New Member

    Dan and Mike, you are both listed as HS friends and HST experts. Your last 2 posts read (IMO) as mild sarcasm and politically correct denigration.

    Anyone can sit around with the latest physiology texts and cherry pick sections. Regardless of how pure your intent it is all simply "interpretation” of the work that has been done thus far.

    Fred Hahn of Slow Burn fame, is well read and educated in muscle/exercise physiology and says (explicitly on his board, right now) “HST” is nonsense, does not agree with known science and is a marketing scam. His method does work (to some extent), is supported by plenty of science and his book is co-authored by a couple of doctors. If it is all about reading, knowing and sighting mainstream scientific findings then who’s right, you fellows or him and his “fellows”?

    Look to the science of electricity, what do we really know – fundamentally speaking? Yet we utilize it to a very great extent. When it comes to practical application, there is a time when interpretations, theories etc. have to be back-burnered and the greater picture considered, tracked and noted.

    The effects of cross influences, and interdependence must be taken into full account. Details are fine when viewed as a snapshot but most often when you come back to the full context (a dynamic, ever changing complex human body) it is not that clean. One aspect of physiology influences and is dependant on another. All are effected by outside influences and dependencies.

    I challenge both of you to show me where in any physiology literature it shows us what to do in the gym and proof that it works. Not your interpretation of scientific findings but direct and explicit connections of how to exercise to get big strong and fit.

    I know what a large part of the texts report (and stay relatively current), I have seen few good, many mediocre and far too much poorly conducted “science”.

  6. mikeynov

    mikeynov Super Moderator Staff Member

    Tell Fred Hahn to post here and explain exactly why it's nonsense. Dollars to donuts says he'll come off looking totally ignorant about the subject (mostly because he's a know-nothing).

    I'm still reminded of the latter comment I just made - very "philosophy of bodybuilding" stuff. That's fine and all, I'm just suggesting that nobody in IART seems to have the capacity for anything more than a "philosophy of bodybuilding" discussion.

    Dan brings up a few technical points, and you sort of didn't even acknowledge their existence. Johnston totally did suggest that MU's are recruited progressively towards the center of a muscle (more than once, in fact, he did this in a prior publication too), and you can't defend that from an empirical standpoint.

    To be honest, if you were capable of interpreting, understanding and dissecting peer reviewed research on this topic, you'd do it. As opposed to vaguely suggesting that you could if you wanted to while "poisoning the well."
  7. AShortt

    AShortt New Member

    Mike, I am not playing games here, get off that kick please.

    I have no love for Hahn but you are now just being childish and insulting.

    This medium (an internet message board) isn't well suited for playing dueling studies. I am interested in useful everyday applications that work and can be utilized by all. Posting links to interesting new work, equipment design etc. is great but when debating discussing actually training it tends to water things down and get discussion off track.

  8. dkm1987

    dkm1987 New Member

    See this is my whole issue with J-Reps or any other "my program is better than your program E-Book". The books cite and refer to physiological findings to build a sense of credibility. Therefore, in my mind, the interpretations by the author should be open to discussion but so far all I have gotten from Johnston and now you is how irrelevant the physiological texts are. If this were the case then why cite them in the first place, why not just make the book a whole lot smaller and say "J-Reps are the cats pajama's (sorry showing my age there), try it and see."

    Now the second statement you make in the quote above is exactly the same thing Johnston is doing, cherry picking and simply providing his own interpretation.

    Now was I personally being sarcastic and denigrating, yes absolutley. But perhaps if Johnston himself would have simply addressed my points to begin with then perhaps I wouldn't have felt so compelled to allow my contempt to show through. At this point all I can say further is J-Reps will either thrive or fall by the wayside in the heap of past gimmicks trying to increase muscle mass. But thank you Andrew for at least being willing to try.

    Sorry my log in has changed and my status and posts have not been updated yet.
  9. mikeynov

    mikeynov Super Moderator Staff Member

    Seriously though, invite Hahn here, it'd be funny [​IMG]
  10. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    wouldnt duelling with studies actually require studies on your behalf?

    other wise its a one legged man in an @$$ kicking contest.
  11. AShortt

    AShortt New Member

    See this is my whole issue with J-Reps or any other "my program is better than your program E-Book". The books cite and refer to physiological findings to build a sense of credibility. Therefore, in my mind, the interpretations by the author should be open to discussion but so far all I have gotten from Johnston and now you is how irrelevant the physiological texts are. If this were the case then why cite them in the first place, why not just make the book a whole lot smaller and say "J-Reps are the cats pajama's (sorry showing my age there), try it and see."


    I am not claiming “irrelevancy”, I am saying on a message board and to a lesser degree in general – study quoting/interpreting all or parts of, is far from the MOST relevant of proof. That is you need to do more than nit pick and dissect to take real issue with a methodology. You are talking about the origin of the thread used to sew the buttons on a shirt when discussing if it looks good and fits well, relevant but only in a minor way. It says something important about the shirt but does make or break if you will wear it.

    By the way the book is available in hardcover and CD only, from what I know ;^)


    Now the second statement you make in the quote above is exactly the same thing Johnston is doing, cherry picking and simply providing his own interpretation.


    The difference is, Johnston is not representing it as more than what it is. That is he is not offering it as the mainstay of his argument for or against anything. He may have come off curt but he did not start the thread and was only popping in to clarify that much of what was being described about the method was wrong.

  12. AShortt

    AShortt New Member


    Seriously though, invite Hahn here, it'd be funny



    - Aaron_F
    wouldnt duelling with studies actually require studies on your behalf?

    other wise its a one legged man in an @$$ kicking contest.


    Yes and dueling Banjo's would require my plunking away on one of those as well. Point is, I see little need to become a loud-mouthed, redneck, backwoods inbred about it all.

  13. xahrx

    xahrx New Member

    Bottom line is some of the claims Johnston seems to have made are apparently impossible and definitely not justifiable currently. He's not brought to bear anything that would prove his point, nor have you. I'm all for practicality in approach; what works, works. However if you let the reasoning of why something may work stray too far from known reality it doesn't really offer anything except and interesting This Might Work For You approach. Johnsto doesn't just seem to be saying the shirt looks good, he's saying it's made of magic thread that is infinitely more comfortable to wear and looks better than any known fabric. Maybe it is more comfortable and does look better, that doesn't mean the magic thread claim is true.

    I would love to have Hahn (never heard of him) come here and explain why he thinks HST is BS. I'd also like to know how it's a part of a marketing scheme seeing as it's: one, free to anyone; and two, no one needs to buy anything to do it successfully. Haycock even argues against his own protein powders in a way when he admits that you can make up for lack of quality protein with quantity. As for it being BS generally, plenty of people here claiming it's worked well enough for them, and often better than other workouts they've tried. No one in this thread has presented proof beyond that level for JReps' effectiveness.

    But I do like the newspeak way a freely available, freely debatable and abundantly scientifically backed set of principles like HST is a marketing scheme, and a cryptic, aggressively but poorly marketed workout system with little to no proof or explanation beyond subjective blurbs, like JReps is apparently the best thing since someone manufactured the first olympic plates.

    Is there a little derrision in these posts? Yup. I'm not as well read in this stuff as Dan and Mike, and even I can tell the explanations we've gotten so far are hot air without even a balloon to make it useful. It's usually people who can't justify themselves with known science, or who flat out don't understand it, are the ones who claim it needs to be ignored so you can see 'the larger picture,' or 'kept in context' or some other similar nonsense.

    Dan: I paid that late fee from the 90s in my library, access to PubMed is back up for me. If you need something, feel free to let me know and I'll see if I can track it down.
  14. wwewrestlingguy

    wwewrestlingguy New Member

    Great post xahrx!!

    And I was gonna say the same thing about HST being a marketing scheme as well... in order for it to be a marketing scheme, there has to be some form of marketing involved. [​IMG]
  15. dkm1987

    dkm1987 New Member

    So what is the most relevant proof that can be determined in a large population?

    See here's the issue with not being willing to discuss scientifically relevant quetions. Without it it is simply a matter of "he said, she said". This is the whole reason for indentifying a significant correlation. The sample size and power of the variables play such a huge part and pretty much anyone can say I did this and it did this but without an adequate sampling this proves what?

    I never said he was or it was, I was merely inquiring as to how he personally saw a realtionship. Even still he is using it make a case for his method and therefore, whether it's integral or not is irrelevant, he should be willing to discuss it and not just say "come to my place if you want to discuss it and who gave permission to repost that".

    No he came off as a total @$$, arrogant, and pompous, his followup emails to me only deepened my total disrespect for this man. His claims of J-Reps being revolutionary are drastically overstated and yes this is what he said in the emails to me, REVOLUTIONARY. This I find not only incredibly self righteous but also incredibly theivish as the use of partials have been around for ages and what he is espousing is no different.
  16. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    So why does BJ offer physiological principles on why his ideas work, only to refute all physiological work available? Or is he a little redneck in his own backwards way?
  17. AShortt

    AShortt New Member

    To coin the popular phrase around here – It SEEMS as though you made up your minds before this discussion ever got started.

    Forget blaming Johnston, he clearly came by to clarify misrepresentation – not to promote of sell anything. The rest is just a pissing contest for what that may be worth.

  18. mikeynov

    mikeynov Super Moderator Staff Member

    And he also "clearly" dodged direct questions re: muscle physiology (as are you), generally acted like an @$$ and was rude without warrant to dan in e-mails.

    Nice guru you have there, Andrew. Maybe it's time to throw the torch in the water, like at the end of Conan.
  19. jstrick2

    jstrick2 New Member

    Hell yes!!! A Conan referrence!!

    Just what this thread needed :D [​IMG]
  20. AShortt

    AShortt New Member

    I have answered as directly as possible without going way out on a limb. The POINT was that physiology doesn’t say anything definitive with regards to this method. Moreover, it many ways physiology falls short thus far. The references in the book were just speculation of possible connections. They were by no means offered as proof. Johnston performs much experimentation and research himself and fully understands its limits.

    Example: Why are we so much stronger during the elongating/negative phase of a movement? I have read what the studies show, they say NOTHING definitive and do not suggest or explain how use of the negative can help hinder progress.

    Not surprisingly a long time experienced fellow Charlie Haire has performed some negative only studies and made some headway with regards to actual – practical application. And hey low and behold a gentleman that actual brings it to the real world and has plenty of experience also supports JReps fully. His first comments on his negative only JRep work were: best workout in 25 years.

    Now that’s just the negative portion of an exercise, where as The Johnston Rep Method is even more complex.

    Whether or not you or Dan found Johnston insulting is well beyond the point. I find you fellows to be quite “typical” yourselves. As in, it is a HST site and everyone else must be a no nothing jerk (like Fred Hahn or Slow Burn).
    Hope you enjoy impressing yourselves.


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