23

Muscle growth physiology is not a pseudoscience as researchers are using scientific methods to collect and analyze data and make logical deductions. It is true that our knowledge of muscle growth is limited and the statistical studies do not explain and prove the results, but this does not make the field non-scientific. It would be called pseudoscience, if ...


18

I do not agree with your insistence on a mechanism. In 1964 the U.S. Surgeon General published a report where he concluded that smoking causes cancer. At that time the mechanisms behind this was not understood. However there was statistical evidence in the form of a study with over 1 million subjects that showed that smoking and cancer were highly correlated....


13

If you look at the basics you'll see that you don't need weight, you need resistance. The most common way of finding resistance is by using weight because you can increase it in steps, making progressive overload easily achievable. But you can also work without weights and find increasingly harder exercises rather than making the same exercise harder. I ...


10

Question 1: Does hypertrophy training assist for a greater eventual neural output? Hypertrophy training probably does not help to increase neural drive. That is because of the anatomical properties of the muscles. Muscle fibers are innervated in groups, called motor units, by a single motor neuron (above figure shows a single motor unit). By doing ...


7

My experience seems to show that you can't significantly change anything regarding your physique with solely your body weight, even if you work out regularly for years. You can absolutely change your physique and put on muscle mass using only bodyweight. This area of working out is called callisthenics. One of my favourite callisthenics YouTubers is Chris ...


7

Yes, the academic literature supports the notion that greater protein intake facilitates more rapid recovery, and can therefore sustain a greater training workload. And guidelines from all of the major sporting and dietary authorities around the world, which are remarkably consistent, reflect that fact. Evidence supports an intake of 0.5 to 0.8 grams of ...


6

Hypertrophy is the sole phenomenon of muscles getting bigger. (This can be considered a distinct physiological process, but is difficult if not impossible to trigger separate from increases in strength, endurance, and so on.) Hypertrophy in and of itself slightly increases strength due to leverage advantages that come with greater cross-sectional area ...


6

When it comes to powerlifting, a large portion of lifters will use a low bar squat which places the bar lower on the back to sit on a muscular shelf made by the rear deltoids. This also allows the lifter to have more forward torso lean throughout the squat and shifts some of the tension to the posterior chain. This together tends to allow a lifter to lift ...


6

I did a little digging around, and I found a review article that was published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research in 2010 (So relatively recent), with a full link to the PDF here. The author went through 200+ articles to try and determine the best mechanisms for muscular hypertrophy as noted by the abstract (Emphasis mine): Schoenfeld, ...


6

When I do the feet elevated push ups, I did about 25 to get close to failure. If the scale says I'm pushing around 100-105 pounds, that seems to conflict with bench press 75% 1RM @ 110 lbs. for 10 reps. The push up and benching weights are pretty close, but the reps are very different. I don't think I could bench 100 lbs. 25 times. What accounts for the ...


5

It is a misconception that strength and hypertrophy are somehow mutually exclusive things. Keep in mind that the strongest powerlifters train like bodybuilders most of the time, where the main difference appears when peaking for a competition, where the powerlifters peak towards maximal strength rather than maximal leanness. The strength of a lifter depends ...


5

This is a terrible idea. Being sleep-deprived makes that workout suffer, particularly for high-intensity workouts. More importantly, sleep debt is not "paid back" with a single night of copious sleep. Not getting enough sleep can take a few days to fix.


5

No. Starting Strength is developed with a purpose, and it's written the way it is for a reason. You can morph it however you'd like, but then it's no longer SS3x5, and for better or worse, you can't expect the same results.


5

The first routine is low on overall weekly volume in terms of sessions in the gym and I would recommend if you chose this route to achieve hypertrophy what you understand that as you develop into a intermediate/advanced lifter that the time you spend in the gym during these 3 session will increase to a significant amount. Whole-body programs are designed to ...


5

In general you're not going to be to outsmart a proven program with whatever you put together yourself. If you could develop a training program that worked better than Starting Strength or Strong Lifts then everyone would adopt it. You're making the (probably incorrect) assumption that the program you've outlined above will get you more results in less ...


4

Cellular oedema would reverse rather quickly after exercise. As far as pump goes, there is one simple explanation, and one complicated one. Cellular oedema due to an influx of Na and H2O probably contribute, but not as much. The simple one is that while exercising, there is local hypoxia and hypertension. This causes the vascular resistance to decrease, ...


4

Myosatellite cells are basically inactive structures that are found in mature muscle cells. Depending on the stimulus, they can develop into different things in the muscle. As I understand it, they have a couple of functions. They can increase the number of nuclei, create new muscle fiber or spawn off daughter cells. The increase in muscle fiber content is ...


4

Changing Starting Strength to Sets of 12 The heart of Starting Strength is an interdependent synthesis of the following factors: Progressive overload every workout Squatting every workout Focus on few compound lifts Sets of 5 There are other contributing elements, but I'd argue those are the core of the program. The key is that each element depends on the ...


4

Psychological issues aside (as requested), there is the big, BIG issue of physiological restitution. You've probably heard of the muscle group rest period of 48-hours since both your layouts seem to follow it. But your central nervous system (CNS) is going to be taking a hit 6 days in a row if you follow the second routine. While your muscles may be ...


4

Bodyweight training can be referred to as calisthenics, which is a widely popular training methodology that can result in decent muscle mass. It may be a slower progression than traditional weight lifting, but you can certainly build a sizable lean physique. Your example of Brad Pitt from Fight Club is actually a pretty good example of what can be ...


4

The difference is in motor unit recruitment and hence motor unit development. Motor units are recruited according to the size principle. Smaller motor units consisting of Type I (slow oxidative) muscle fibres initiate force production, with progressively larger and more powerful motor units consisting of Type IIa and IIb (fast oxidative and fast glycolytic, ...


4

This is not much of a fitness question, but a question about what constitutes science and whether a specific body of research is scientific. One of the most common distinctions between science and pseudoscience comes from Karl Popper, who is perhaps familiar to you from your physics background. For Popper, what makes science different from pseudoscience is ...


3

I wrote a full blown blog post on this exact issue. You can check it out here: http://www.primalbulletproof.blogspot.co.nz/2015/01/my-favourite-sleeping-well-techniques.html To summarize, sleep is critical for immunity repair and to be at your cognitive peak. I can especially feel the lack of sleep the morning after when I do my gym training session. ...


3

YES, both muscle size and strength need to be maintained. However, you need to provide much less stimulus to maintain said size/strength gains than you needed to grow them initially. E.g. going from a 5x5 protocol to a 3x10 or vice-versa shouldn't see any kind of strength or size loss, so long as you're keeping the same intensity and eating properly. That ...


3

I find the ACSM Position Stand is a very credible source of precisely what you want to know. Evidence category A is backed by significant Random Control Trials (RCT) with significant participants Evidence category B is based on limited RCT studies, or a subgroup analysis, or is a meta-analysis. Evidence category C is Non-randomized trials or ...


3

In the gym I'd recommend cleans and jump rope. Cleans require you to jump and drive through your calves. I think folks who are doing cleans are putting a lot more load on their calves than the rather always-seems-goofy calf raise. Plus cleans are just awesome in their own right, although they're hard for some to learn (it took me a while). The other I'd ...


3

If you want to get stronger you need to get muscle and you need to make sure to use all the potential the muscle has. A bigger muscle has more potential, a smaller muscle can however still be stronger. Muscle growth is achieved by hypertrophy, Strenght is achieved by training the lift you want to be stronger at and train them in the couple of reps you want ...


3

Not gaining muscle size/definition can be a result of a great many factors, including: Bad routine / form. If you are doing bad exercises, or doing exercises badly, then your progress will suffer as a result. Most popular recommendation for this is a beginner barbell routine with progressive overloading, such as Starting Strength or Stronglifts. Not lifting ...


3

Being deprived of sleep can significantly affect your testosterone levels. "I can drop your testosterone level to zero by depriving you of sleep for one night." - Dr. Kirk Parsley I would recommend against your approach. For more information about the importance of sleep, listen to this episode of Barbell Shrugged.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible