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Mahoney
06-27-2013, 09:11 PM
Is it possible to gain muscle while doing high frequency like Mike? He's obviously got a good amount of muscle i'm just not sure if he got it doing what he's doing now. I want to increase my frequency but i'm in the middle of moving up a weight class. I'm currently benching and squatting twice a week. One max day and one 5 rep max day with a lot of extra bodybuilding work. Something like Layne Nortons PHAT routine for the bodybuilding work. At 173 raw I sq: 485, bench: 305 and deadlift 610 just so you know where i'm at. Also, if someone is moving up a weight class do you recommend throwing out all bodybuilding type movements and gaining from high volume powerlifing specific exercises? Or do you think things like dumbbell flies, leg curls, leg press have their place?

Shafley
06-28-2013, 11:33 AM
Heavy lifting and adequate calorie intake generally means you'll accrue muscle mass at least slowly over time. There is plenty of evidence that points to the addition of isolation work for specific bodyparts accelerates the process, i.e. the power bodybuilding stuff you'll see bandied about.

It does seem to me that broader variety of exercises, higher volumes, shorter rest times, and a combination of isolation and compound movements are best practices for putting on muscle.

Shafley
06-28-2013, 11:36 AM
You also seem to be running into the whole "functional muscle" debate.

If you put on, say, 2 lbs of muscle on your hamstrings with leg curls, do you think that muscle will be useless for being stronger if you suddenly drop the hypertrophy work and start working RDLs, SLDLs, etc? So called "sarcoplasmic" hypertrophy can easily turn into "myofibrillar" hypertrophy with a follow up of heavy multijoint work that utilizes that muscle.

Brody Laybolt
06-28-2013, 08:54 PM
I recently made the switch to RTS style training (6weeks), I've been Benching 4x, squatting at DLing 2-3x a week, whereas before I was basically doing half that and hammering bodybuilding movements. Since dropping all that and upping the frequency on the big 3 I feel like my chest and legs are noticeably larger and my little muscles like biceps don't really seem to have gotten any smaller and i barely touch them. I'd say if strength is your number 1 than you have to try this style, I'm loving it. Who cares what you look like when you're on the platform? I'd rather win and look like shit than have abs.. It's all about PRs for me so that might not pertain to you.

Mahoney
06-28-2013, 09:09 PM
I agree and was pretty much thinking exactly what you said. But i'm wondering if that extra bodybuilding work is most optimal for a powerlifter who's number 1 goal is to be as strong as possible. From Mike's training logs he doesn't do any type of leg curls or anything else along those lines but then again he might just be maintaining weight. My main question is what does Mike think is most optimal for a powerlifter trying to get as strong as possible while moving up a weight class.

Mahoney
06-28-2013, 09:16 PM
I recently made the switch to RTS style training (6weeks), I've been Benching 4x, squatting at DLing 2-3x a week, whereas before I was basically doing half that and hammering bodybuilding movements. Since dropping all that and upping the frequency on the big 3 I feel like my chest and legs are noticeably larger and my little muscles like biceps don't really seem to have gotten any smaller and i barely touch them. I'd say if strength is your number 1 than you have to try this style, I'm loving it. Who cares what you look like when you're on the platform? I'd rather win and look like shit than have abs.. It's all about PRs for me so that might not pertain to you.

Nice, that's good to hear. The thing is if I want to be the best 181 lb i could possibly be that weight needs to be all muscle. I feel like a lot of my questions will get answered once I get his book. Have you been making PR's?

BobW
06-28-2013, 09:58 PM
My take: if you want hypertrophy, you're going to have to put together a block (or part of a block) which emphasizes hypertrophy. One general guideline: that's going to mean higher rep ranges. As far as exercise selection: there's plenty of work which can be done for most bodyparts without resorting to machines. Hamstrings: Romanian deadlifts, Stiff-leg deadlifts, good mornings are some examples.

With that said, you can certainly toss in some more hypertrophy-oriented work here and there as needed, as long as you're not close to your comp. For example, I regularly add in some tricep work, geared to growth, as that's a definite weak point we've identified. I'll rarely do some curls: that's not so much a weakness. But if I feel like I've gone a long time without directly exercising the tendons and muscles in the forearms, I'll toss in a couple sets of hammer curls as accessory work.

If you read Mike's blog closely, you'll see that when he's not in contest prep mode, he'll make use of some hypertrophy-oriented work: for example, he recently did some MyoReps for bench, which are designed to elicit muscular change and growth.

In general, I'm not a big fan of most bodybuilding type machines which have a predetermined movement path. I think that can be unhealthy, and that it's better to learn to move your body in its natural ROM.

Also, keep in mind specificity: while leg curls might work to add some mass, so will RDLs. Which movement is closer to what you're going to be doing on the platform?

Mike Tuchscherer
07-02-2013, 01:40 PM
As for how I got this way...
When I upped the frequency, I got quite a bit more muscular. And now I'm not really trying to add lots of muscle, but I am trying to get leaner and still fill my weight class.

Volume seems to be the single biggest influence on hypertrophy. Of course there are others too and I'd echo the remarks of others to a great extent. Even for the bodybuilders I coach, I still like to use a relatively high frequency because it helps maximize the workload without over-taxing them.

To put it as simply as possible, when trying to build strength train the movements you care about. When trying to build hypertrophy, use a wider variety. Other times use a mix. Bob touched on some annual planning pieces (what you do in contest prep mode vs other times). This can be a big player as well. You don't have to do the same thing all year.

Good posts.

Millul
07-03-2013, 05:42 AM
Mike,
you still use the comp lifts as the main driver for hypertrophy, even with BB, right?

I remember an old Sheyko interview (2005?), where for hypertrophy he advised high-ish frequency of the competition lifts (3 times a week), with a lot of volume at around 70% in the 5-8 rep ranges.

Mike Tuchscherer
07-11-2013, 03:17 PM
I still like the main powerlifts for bodybuilders for the most part. I do use less deadlifting because I feel there are better options available for training the back (lats). I do use a much wider variety of exercises, party because it can lead to a more well-rounded physique, and partly because why not?

Mahoney
07-26-2013, 04:58 PM
What do you think about trying gain muscle during an intensity block? For example is it a bad idea to after a couple sets of singles in the squat do something like 4x7 stiff legged deadlifts?

I don't plan on competing until some time next year so i'm in a long offseason, and I seen in another recent post Mike said in the offseason you should have longer volume blocks and shorter intensity blocks. So is it a better idea to keep everything in the intensity block 1-3 reps and just focus on hypertrophy during the volume block?

If so, i'm thinking about doing a 4 week volume block followed by a 3 week intensity block. Is that ok? I don't know how long you can stretch a volume block without hurting your gains and avoiding stagnation. Or maybe 4 week volume block followed by 2 week intensity block?

Right now I weigh 170 and need to get to 182 so hypertrophy is my main priority along with continuing to get as strong as possible.

r1smith
07-27-2013, 06:24 AM
Considering ur 170, as long as the calories are there, you should be able to gain muscle with most kinds of training.

If we are not considering ur force curve, and you just want to get strong with gaining muscle as the priority, I think programing 5's (instead of 1-3's) would be a good idea.

As for the right mix of volume and intensity, you gotta find out what works for you. For me, it's 2 weeks volume, two weeks intensity, then deload. I learned that through trial and error.

dallasreilly
08-07-2013, 11:49 AM
Good thread! I think this can be fairly individual so take what I say with a grain of salt.

Lately I've been doing more hypertrophy work. For a long time I believed "if you powerlift and eat you will get bigger, period", which for me once I got to a certain level just added enough fat that I would lose the small amount of muscle I gained if I tried to cut back to lower bf%. So what has worked for me is 1) higher reps on comp lifts and 2) more reps/volume on accessory work. Personally I have not found a huge benefit from increased frequency, but I haven't experimented much and there are a lot of variables. Volume and stress of each day have a big impact. If you are working on leg development, your 2nd lower day could be low volume work for recovery, allowing you to hit a higher volume the 3rd lower day. If all 3 lower days are medium-high volume with hypertrophy, at some point there are diminishing returns.

I think overall if you are looking for some even ratio of strength gained:muscle gained, hit your main lifts just like you normally would, and hit the accessories like a bodybuilder. As stated by others in this thread, it's easy to find accessories that benefit main movements.


I still like the main powerlifts for bodybuilders for the most part. I do use less deadlifting because I feel there are better options available for training the back (lats). I do use a much wider variety of exercises, party because it can lead to a more well-rounded physique, and partly because why not?

Deadlifting is a mixed bag for bodybuilders. It can set them apart from others with respect to back development in the middle/upper/traps, but powerlifters turned bodybuilder usually have crappy lats compared to other guys on stage.

Mike Tuchscherer
08-15-2013, 04:00 AM
What do you think about trying gain muscle during an intensity block? For example is it a bad idea to after a couple sets of singles in the squat do something like 4x7 stiff legged deadlifts?

There's no general principle to guide what you're asking. This will depend on a lot of specifics -- mostly having to do with how this stage of your training fits in to the "big picture". Saying it's a "good idea" or "bad idea" is waaay too binary for the level of information we deal with on the forum though. Suffice to say you CAN do it so that it's overall good. You can also do it so that it's overall bad. It depends on your specific situation.