Gaining strength with Minimal Muscle Hypertrophy Gaining strength with Minimal Muscle Hypertrophy

starting strength gym
Page 1 of 8 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 75

Thread: Gaining strength with Minimal Muscle Hypertrophy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    75

    Default Gaining strength with Minimal Muscle Hypertrophy

    • phoenix arizona seminar date
    • texas seminar date
    Mr Rippetoe,

    What I have is essentially a 2 part question. The first part is how would you program to gain the most strength with the least muscle hypertrophy? Why would this matter you ask? That brings me to my 2nd question which would be the meat and potatoes of why the first question came about.

    Do people with bigger muscles, (aka strong muscle heads who don't run marathons and 5k's and do insane amounts of cardio), use more oxygen (air) than those with leaner muscles, (aka kenyan types who don't ever want to touch a barbell and all they do is run and do situps and eat like rabbits), during strenuous activity?

    Why am I asking this seemingly asinine question? Well Mr Rippetoe I will answer that for you. I am a Probationary Firefighter, and as such have been bombarded during this first year of entering my profession with multiple different theories of the way to exercise. There is a video that has been widespread in our department that talks about air consumption and out of air fireground emergencies. The video is on firesmoke.org and is called "out of air". It is a long video about the effects of smoke on the firefighter's body. There is a part of the video that states in essence that a "leaner, more physically fit" firefighter is more effective than a firefighter who is more muscular due to the aforementioned increased use of oxygen by the muscles. I am very interested to hear your take on this issue. I have an opinion on it but I would love to hear from someone more "educated" in training and physiology.

    Thank you for your time and knowledge that you give to those of us on the board that are seeking to improve ourselves.

    Matt Phillips
    Taylorville, IL
    IAFF Local 3144

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    39,328

    Default

    If you want to get strong the hard way -- without growing -- just train without eating enough to grow, and the process will limit itself. The more interesting question about VO2 efficiency is probably out of my bailiwick, but I'll take a stab at it. Oxygen utilization is probably more dependent on biomechanical efficiency than it is muscle size. Learning to efficiently haul the hose up the stairs will reduce the effort required, and thus drop the O2 consumed. Submaximal efforts do not utilize as much muscle mass as more maximal efforts, since submaximal efforts utilize lower numbers of motor units. Therefore, a strong, efficient firefighter will be more effective under the mask at whatever bodyweight his strength is developed most efficiently. This probably argues for strength development at the expense of the added bodyweight.

    But here's a better question, derived from our military interests: what is the worst-case scenario in the field, and what physical attribute mitigates it best?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Atlanta area
    Posts
    4,912

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    But here's a better question, derived from our military interests: what is the worst-case scenario in the field, and what physical attribute mitigates it best?
    What Mark is asking here is "How much does your friend in all his bunker gear weigh, and can you carry him out if you need to?"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Cedar Point, NC
    Posts
    4,769

    Default

    The question that comes to mind is, "how much more oxygen is a 220lb strong guy using than a 185lb not as strong but still somewhat strong guy using?" Further, is this difference enough to give the 185lb firefighter a another 30 seconds? A full minute? Two minutes? How much more time is it worth? Which in your job is more important - strong enough to do whatever task is thrown at you, or the extra amount of time (which may be relatively miniscule) to do it? Tough questions, and I imagine that it is largely dependent on the individual and not universally the same.

    I imagine that a firefighter's oxygen consumption is up regardless of BW as he runs into a burning building, wearing a shitload of gear, sweating his ass off, trying not to get killed. Mine just jumped a little thinking about it.

    Certainly - if you can't breath, you can't do much else, but if you're standing there breathing and looking at the task you are incapable of performing...

    Tough question.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    37

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Oxygen utilization is probably more dependent on biomechanical efficiency than it is muscle size. Learning to efficiently haul the hose up the stairs will reduce the effort required, and thus drop the O2 consumed.

    Submaximal efforts do not utilize as much muscle mass as more maximal efforts, since submaximal efforts utilize lower numbers of motor units.
    Rip, you've written about this elsewhere, the idea that increasing maximal strength will make sub maximal efforts easier. That's pretty clear. What I don't get is how that sub maximal effort will take less energy.

    For example, lifting a 100 kg bar off the ground will be much easier with a 200 kg max instead of a 120 kg max. You'd obviously be able to lift it more times with the 200 kg max as well. I can't see how that applies to really light weights (or sub maximal efforts) though. I'm talking about when it starts getting into 'cardio' range. Lifting a 20 kg bar off the ground requires x joules of energy to lift, regardless of whether your max is 150 kg or 250 kg. Your body has to provide the oxygen to keep doing it over and over.

    At some low percentage of max, diminishing returns must apply to the carryover, where VO2 max would take over as being more important in the ability to keep doing a task over and over (at the same speed).

    To relate it to the current thread, the body will use the same amount of energy (and require the same amount of oxygen) to perform a task irrelevant of it's percentage of max. Or stated another way, improving maximal strength wouldn't reduce the amount of oxygen the body needs to do a task.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    404

    Default

    Train like you normally would with SS and don't leave out the prowler (or other hard anaerobic interval conditioning). You might make some slower gains because of reduced recovery but this way you can keep your v02 at a consistent level while getting stronger/bigger.

    I've played/player-coached college rugby the last 4 years and we regularly have guys put on 15-20 lbs in the short 2-3 month off seasons, sometimes in-season. When we run interval sprints, hills, tire flip circuits or anything ON A TIMER they measure up pretty much exactly where they left off. Had they lifted without conditioning would they have gained more strength and size? Probably. I can think of one for sure that would've ballooned another 20 lbs no problem...kid can fuckin eat.

    For reference most of these people are going 160/170 to 180/190 for backs (shorter faster guys), 190/200-220/230 for forwards (add another 20/30 for well into 6 foot crowd). You might run into some issues if we're talking about a 50 lb gain but I don't think those results are common unless you have a pure novice making zero mistakes (sleep, diet, rest, extra work) or someone freakishly tall and skinny (lot of room to grow).

    The kids that do slow down are the ones that get fat...whether from being lazy and too much beer or getting "too big". Obvious fat gain slows em down. However I'd argue it's more because they simply cut out the prowler-type training than from the fat itself. Though that's hard to say as they might not have the extra weight had they kept the anaerobic endurance training in...chicken vs egg, etc.

    But even then the ones that do get "too big" from strength training, we just move them to different positions where their raw strength/power increases can be better utilized. I'm sure this last statement is applicable to firefighter/military where you will typically have some "team" element.

    I think Steve put it more succinctly, though. There's probably some sweet spot where you're "big enough" to have the necessary strength for your job and can spend the rest of your energy on your anaerobic endurance (ATP utilization and recovery).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    98

    Default

    TMPHBITEU: A firefighters conditioning and ability to stay calm will probably have much more of an impact on your O2 consuption than a 10-20% change in body mass. I have trained with several firefighters and one in particular (~190 lbs) has talked to me about lasting TWICE AS LONG on an air canister as the out of shape guys (who I don't think outweigh him by too much if any). He does brutal conditioning workouts so while they are in the fire gasping to stay with it, he's thinking how much easier it is than his workouts. So unless you are already strong or big it would probably be more productive to just gain some weight and strength and then get to a high level of conditioning.

    Coach: PPST talks about how the number of repetitions per set is a strong determinant as to the type of muscle hypertrophy achieved. Fig 4-4 on page 60 of PPST Ed2 shows that Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy is lowest at 1 repetition, highest at about 12. With this in mind, would it be an acceptable idea for trainees very worried about excess body mass (the OP, or perhaps girls who abhor the idea of needing new jeans) to go to 5 sets of 3 rather than sets of 5? The chart shows that there should be less sarcoplasmic hypertrophy with 3 reps than at 5 reps, but 3 repetitions is enough that you could still accumulate some volume.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    39,328

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by knoted View Post
    Rip, you've written about this elsewhere, the idea that increasing maximal strength will make sub maximal efforts easier. That's pretty clear. What I don't get is how that sub maximal effort will take less energy.
    That's the biomechanical efficiency-part. When you are good at doing the task, it takes less energy because you don't waste motion performing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpbellavia View Post
    Train like you normally would with SS and don't leave out the prowler (or other hard anaerobic interval conditioning). You might make some slower gains because of reduced recovery but this way you can keep your v02 at a consistent level while getting stronger/bigger.
    Why do you think that VO2 max decreases during strength training?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave M View Post
    Coach: PPST talks about how the number of repetitions per set is a strong determinant as to the type of muscle hypertrophy achieved. Fig 4-4 on page 60 of PPST Ed2 shows that Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy is lowest at 1 repetition, highest at about 12. With this in mind, would it be an acceptable idea for trainees very worried about excess body mass (the OP, or perhaps girls who abhor the idea of needing new jeans) to go to 5 sets of 3 rather than sets of 5? The chart shows that there should be less sarcoplasmic hypertrophy with 3 reps than at 5 reps, but 3 repetitions is enough that you could still accumulate some volume.
    Three's would be fine, after you've finished you novice phase and gotten the most out of 5s. But I think this is splitting hairs in the context of this thread.
    Last edited by Mark Rippetoe; 08-29-2011 at 12:36 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    75

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    But here's a better question, derived from our military interests: what is the worst-case scenario in the field, and what physical attribute mitigates it best?
    I see 2 scenarios that would be the worst-case situation. #1 would be getting lost in an involved structure where there would be no survival "off air" There are 2 ways to survive that situation. Effectively communicate that you are in trouble and wait for your brothers to come help you, or try to bull it out yourself. The one with the better survival rate is calming down, conserving air, and letting your brothers come get you.

    #2 would be the flip side of that scenario. Where I would be the one coming in to help my brother in a crappy situation. In that situation the adrenaline is spiked, and in turn your respiratory rate and heart rate will spike due to the influx of the fight or flight hormones. The main function I see in this situation would be strength/endurance. The gear that a R.I.T. (Rapid Intervention Team) takes in on a downed firefighter call is more than during normal suppression activities. Also when you finally do get to the downed firefighter you have to have the strength/endurance to be able to remove the person from the situation, and then, worst case, drag them out of the structure. A correctly functioning R.I.T. team has not been involved in supression activities during the whole incident and is made up of a minimum of 4 firefighters. But in our department we are very small. We are a combination (career and volunteer) department with only 5 members assigned to a shift. On a fire that a big city would have 40-60 guys, we have 9-18. Plus outlying volunteer departments. So if a bad situation were to happen, you will have already been engaged in the incident.

    So I'm not the best at needs analysis. But in #1 it would be mostly mental if you are still conscious. #2 in my opinion is strength dominant, but with a heavy leaning on endurance/conditioning.
    Last edited by Mark Rippetoe; 08-29-2011 at 07:30 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    39,328

    Default

    So the question becomes: what about #2 prohibits the increase in LBM? What about being bigger and stronger makes you think that it can't be done at a high level of conditioning?

Page 1 of 8 123 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •