1. couple questions on RBE.

    1. How fast does it occur. In other words, how long could we repeat a weight before it became ineffective.

    2. Can using heavier weights keep farther ahead of the RBE curve? For example, instead of a 100-110-120-130-140-150 block, would a 120-120-120-150-150-150 block give you better results? This would also be useful to the HSTers interested in strength development, as it would keep them from lifting so much under their performance capabilities.

    Well, there ya go. I'll just wait and see what I get back.
  2. micmic

    micmic New Member

    If we believe Nosaka (who has done a lot of research on RBE), then a single bout of heavy eccentrics can produce results that last up to 6 months. Not many reps are required to induce RBE. Heavier loads produce more secondary damage. Repeating the bout after a few days doesn't seem to increase damage.

    We have to notice however that what Nosaka usually measures and considers to be "RBE" (Maximal isometric force, Joint angle, Soreness, CK) are not the only markers of what RBE could be and secondary damages may be more or less prominent than what these markers lead us to believe.
  3. interesting. ill maybe browse the links later. didnt really answer my questions tho...
  4. micmic

    micmic New Member

    For the first question, what I've tried to tell is that although research shows that a single heavy set can induce significant RBE, this is far from proving that subsequent workouts will be ineffective, because "protection" is somewhat arbitrarily defined and only selectively measured.

    As for the second question, we can't have definite answers right now. You obviously have to use bigger increments for the muscle to sustain more damage. But since we can only increment so many times, bigger increments may mean repeating a few workouts. And this means no increments at all for these workouts, and one of the studies shows that repeating the same load after a few days does not incur more damage...

    So, as far as I can tell, there are no simple answers yet.
  5. fair enough. Now you used the term "more damage." Do we really need to sustain more damage, or just induce enough damage to grow? Really keep RBE from reducing the damage to where it's not beneficial. If we just wanted max muscle damage we'd do our 1RM or superheavy negs all the time then SD. But we dont. We go through the rep cycle.
    It's a personal hunch that maybe we undervalue repeating weights. How much less effective is a weight going to be 5 days from the first time you use it, really? Especially if you're using large increments.

    I just think instead of making a tiny little jump each workout it would be better to make bigger jumps and stay at that weight a few times. Of course my opinion is a little shaded cause I'm interested in strength gains, and when in HST you're only perfoming at your max ability once every 2 weeks, you aren't gaining strength very efficiently.
  6. micmic

    micmic New Member

    Maybe we need to differentiate between immediate and secondary CK response. When they measure creatine kinase after a 2nd bout, they will conclude that there is prominent adaptation if:

    1) CK immediate response is decreased compared to 1st bout, or
    2) CK response a few days after the 2nd bout is not greater than what it was the same number of days after the 1st bout

    This of course does not mean that there is no CK response. And yes, we don't need more damage to grow. People will grow when they lift, period. Actually, the fact that secondary CK does not increase after every workout is exactly what allows us to hit each muscle every other day or even daily: the recovery process is not hindered. And CK has been used as an overtraining marker, showing that overtraining starts when recovery cannot continue at the usual rhythms.

    Anyway, after each workout cells die and CK is released from muscle, RBE or no RBE. There is also the possibility (corroborated by some studies) that we actually have increased CK turnover after a 2nd bout even if CK levels remain the same, because increased CK clearance is one of the adaptations after the 1st bout.

    And we also have to ponder how important actually is the role of rhabdomyolysis (= muscle cell death) for hypertrophy...
  7. k its coming together. do we understand the factors that relate to hypertrophy in this case. take 2 individuals that have not for an extended time weight trained or done heavy manual labor. in other words, RBE none to minimal. They both have identical strength.

    If one starts at 70% of his max and keeps doing it until hypertrophy becomes negligable, and one starts at 85% and stays there until hypertrophy becomes negligable, what are the results?

    Does the lower intensity experience adaptation and have his hypertrophy plateau first b/c the intensity is lower, or do they both reach adaptation at about the same rate b/c the higher intensity increases the rate of RBE?

    A related question. Is rate of RBE connected to intensity (a percentage of max) or to the actual load, or neither?
  8. micmic

    micmic New Member

    Here's how I understand it, I'll use some arbitrary "units" and numbers:

    The lower weight will induce 10u of primary damage and 8u of secondary damage. It will also induce 5u of RBE for subsequent workouts. "Net" damage for subsequent workouts = 13u

    The higher weight will induce 15u of primary damage and 22u of secondary damage. It will also induce 13u of RBE for subsequent workouts. "Net" damage for subsequent workouts = 24u.

    If we go from the higher weight to the lower one without SD, the damage will be 18u but the RBE will remain 13u so the "net" damage will be 5u.

    If we go from the lower weight to the higher weight, for the first workout(s) we will have 15+22-5=32u of "net" damage". After the first workout(s) "net" damage will gradually fall to 24u.

    If from the lower weight we go straight to SD, it may take 5 days for the RBE to disappear completely and bring the damage of the first workout back to 18u.

    If we go from the higher weight straight to SD, in the same 5 days RBE will fall maybe by 5u (13-5=8u), which means that the both weights will become more effective again, but we need more SD to elicit somewhat more significant damage from the lower weight.

    Very crude, I know, and I could have used better analogies between the numbers. Anyway, my point is that heavier weights will be producing more damage in almost every case. And RBE is correlated to relative intensity, not absolute load.
  9. ok, that was very helpful. so i guess as long as the workout is progressive, it doesnt make that much difference if you increment a little each time or more every 2-3 times. it's gonna be roughly the same. the best thing to do is just make sure you start light and finish heavy and then take enough time to rest.
  10. micmic

    micmic New Member

    Yes, I don't know however whether a longer SD in order to make light weights effective is worth your while. If you factor into the equation the lower damage from the lighter weights as compared to the heavier ones, plus the inevitable inactivity of SD (and maybe slight losses ?), it may be better to decondition for fewer days and start again from heavier weights, like from 5s. This is what I do now. Another thing that could dictate the length of your SD (and thus your starting weights for next cycle) could be the condition of your nervous system. If you finish with 2 weeks of 5RM you probably need less days of SD than if you finish with 4 weeks of 5RM and 2 weeks of negatives.
  11. Manic

    Manic New Member

    Hi micmic.


    Are you suggesting that you do not follow a weight progression which starts as low as your, lets say, 20RM? You SD and then jump straight into you 5s + negs? Or maybe 1 week of 15s for "safety" + 5s + negs?

    (The reason why I'm interested : in my last cycle, during the negs, to be able to do more WO -- in total -- , I've been taking extra days off here and there, with great success : my arms finaly started to grow.)


  12. micmic

    micmic New Member

    I currently start with 2 weeks of 5s and repeat 5RM for as long as I feel like. Current cycle is already 12 weeks and going on. But every 2 weeks I completely rest for 4-5 days several muscle groups. For example I will be doing shoulders, chest and triceps but no back or biceps for 4-5 days. After this mini-SD I'll jump again into my 5RM and the next mini-SD will be for shoulders, chest and triceps. I also implement some kind of gradually increasing volume after the mini-SDs, it's rather complicated. This way I'm able to increase my 5RM every now and then. When I'll feel I've started stalling, I'll finish with 1-2 weeks of negatives in whatever exercises I can and then take a longer and proper SD. The total cycle length depends on the volume, on whether I focus on compound or isolation exercises and whether I'm bulking or cutting. I do dropsets all the time. I like this approach, but this is just me of course.
  13. Manic

    Manic New Member

    Thanks for the quick reply.

    In this "protocol", load progression is pretty much minimized... I guess we could call it "super load increase" since the load involved in SD and the load involved in 5s are pretty far apart.

    And how are your gains, compared to the more "conventional" way? Have you found it's worth the stress on you joints? Didn't you make gains throughout the "conventional cycle"?

    Anybody else has tried such an approach with success("the micmic approach")? What are your experience (if any) with such an approach (Bryan? formula1? Blade?)?

    Thanks in advance.


    P.S. : I went through the faqs again... Great work. And the forum in general... Let's just say : for "muscle talk", the HST forum is the greatest. Nice, intelligent people...!! Thanks everybody.
  14. micmic

    micmic New Member

    I've not been doing it long enought to compare gains and most of the time I've been dieting down. What I have definitely noticed is that spending more time with heavier weights is helping my strength, even when hypocaloric. It's not that different from the classic approach, it's just that the way I see it you need less SD to reset the benefits of heavier weights. Joints feel much better than the classic program, maybe because rest is more frequent and because I do dropsets all the time. But joint condition also greatly depends on how many heavy compounds you do. Low reps of deadlifts and squats will be hard for the joints anyway.

    And no, I don't think that anybody else has tried this [​IMG]
  15. Manic

    Manic New Member

    Thanks micmic. So, it seems that, so far, you enjoy that way of training : greater strenght gains (although this is not the aim of HST...), and your joints don't seem to suffer.
    Do you like it because you're able to keep (or even increase) you LBM while dieting?
    I still wonder:
    - How much are the heavier weights making up for "decreased" frequency (since your taking short breaks every two weeks)?
    - What would be more efficient (in terms of LBM gains): 1- shorter cycles, "heavier from the beginning" (5s), with small SDs every week or 2 weeks, and eventually a "long SD" (ie: 14 days) , or 2- a typical HST cycle with an emphasis on 5s and negatives (as suggested by some others like formula1)?
    Of course, I realize these questions somewhat repeat some of my previous preoccupations ; some lifters might just say : it's just an other interpretation of HST principles. True. But we all know that some interpretations/applications might be more efficient/valuable than others...
    (I do not expect some definitive answers... )
    Any other comments from other experienced lifters?
    Thanks a lot
  16. micmic

    micmic New Member

    I'm not interested in strength training either, otherwise I'd just use a more specialized strength routine. But yes, I see strength as a way of checking how much muscle I preserve while dieting.

    I don't think I have less frequent workouts than what the classic program suggests. I train every weekday. Including the mini-SD, this averages at 4 workouts per muscle group per week.

    I don't know what would be more productive between your two choices. Personally I choose to go as heavy as I can for as long as my nervous system can take it. You'll have to find your own balance between load, volume and overtraining, because your mileage will vary. You'll have to see for yourself by trying a lot of things. Some degree of customization inevitably comes with experience. You will find your own tweaks, no doubt. :)
  17. Manic

    Manic New Member

    Thanks micmic.
  18. Manic

    Manic New Member

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