Weightlifting Questions-


i have been working out for close to two years now…it is the only way i can gain weight-i have an unstoppable metabolism. i am almost 23 years old and it is just as fast as ever. when i was in highschool you could see all my ribs!

overall i am happy with the results, but i have a few questions.

1.When and how the does the body heal itself after muscle damage? If i work out on a monday, often my body is still sore a bit on wednesday. when does the body heal the most-monday night while i was sleeping, or the next day or night? if i work out monday but not tuesday or wednesday, should i still take the powder if the muscles are still hurting from monday?

2.Is there really such a thing as a natural plateau for muscle size and growth? Some people have told me about eight or nine months of constant gains will be about all the body can handle for a time. if one is consistently damaging the muscle, it should always grow, right?

thx in advance

Can I pile on a question of my own?

What are the effects of doing extremely fast reps with lower weights vs “normal” reps with bigger weights? I saw a guy doing pectoral presses (don’t know the technical name, sorry) on a machine from a seated position very quickly (at least 1 rep per second) at my gym the other night, and it got me to wondering.

Lifting weights is a battle between anabolism an catabolism. When you lift, you are actually breaking down your muscles, (catabolism), then, in the next 2-3 days, you experience anabolism, the building of your muscles.

  1. The body heals that muscle for days, even weeks, depending on many things such as intensity of the training, test. levels and calorie consumption. Yes, you should always eat protein, especially two and three days after the training bout. Lot’s of muscle recoop and growth occurs days after the session.

  2. There is a perceived plateau that happens from anywhere between 3-8 months after first working out, as a guesstimate. This plateau is when you can’t visually see a big difference from month to month. This initial growth is mostly your muscles learning to store more water and glycogen. This adaptation reaches it’s peak pretty quickly. As for the overall plateau, yes, the Myostatin gene inhibits muscle growth after a certain point. I’m not sure when this gene kicks in though, it’s different for everyone i’m sure. I also guess that not many people reach the point of enacting their Myostatin gene.

You should always continue to grow, as long as you give your muscles plenty of time to rest. If you take a week off training every 2 months or so, you should never have to worry about stifling your gains.

By the way, be very happy you have a fast metabolism. The more protein and calories you can process, the more you can assimilate, assuming all other things constant. (Some people have perceived fast metabolisms because their body simply forgoes absorbing some of their food, not because they burn it.)

There is no reason to do this. Maybe you would hold a small dumbell and shadow box for a while as a boxing training technique, but as far as muscle growth, there is no relevance in this technique. Slower is always better for growth. More damage happens on the eccentric (negative) portion of a given movement, than the concentric, (for most movements).

Back in my high school weight-lifting days, the common wisdom was that you trained for strength by using more weight and fewer reps, and you trained for “definition” (i.e. looking cool by the pool) by reversing it – more reps with lighter weights.

Any truth there, or is it just BS?

That’s still the way I lift in high school, and it works…

I gain a lot of strength on 6-4-2 or 5-5-5 moreso then on 10-10-10…

10-10-10 though builds your muscles really fast… so if you want mass, go with higher reps, and i fyou want strenght go with lower reps.

Most people agree that high weight with low reps is better for strength and size, while low weights with high reps is better for definition and weight loss. I worked out for months doing nothing but upper weights. For example, I would work on benchpressing 140 pounds doing 8-9 reps for 3 sets every other day. When I eventually got to the point where I could lift 12 reps a set every time, I moved up in weight. I eventually got rather big, which is nice but not the effect I really wanted (I’m a tall long distance runner). I wanted more definition so I started doing less maching training and more free weights. Now I do mostly pushups in place of benchpress, and lots of curls with 15 and 25 pounds in place of most of my old arm workouts. I get pretty good results with definition now. Just giving an example for how the different styles of workouts can help you achieve a desired goal.

Faster movements recruit more muscle fibers. Many strength traning routines have a regularly planned “speed” day. Usually the speed day (or dynamic effort day in WSB methods) uses 50-65% of your 1 rep max.
It helps to teach your muscles how to utilize the muscle for an explosive thrust. Getting the weight up is the most important thing to a powerlifter. So it is not necessarily useful for bodybuilding and muscle gain (of the sarcoplasmic kind anyhow), but it isn’t useless as you suggest.

This tired old saw- Definition comes mostly from diet. Muscle is or it isn’t. You either make it grow or you make it smaller. You can’t define a muscle. It is impossible to change the shape of a muscle and there is no such thing as toning a muscle. You can tone up, which would be losing weight and gaining a bit of muscle size. (generally the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy type) The key being weight loss.

Yes, different workouts can give a different result, but you can’t define a muscle by lifting weights.

Any time your body adapts to one method/exercise you will more likely plateau. To assure continued muscle growth, bodybuilders attack their muscles in different ways - changing the exercises in their routine every 6-8 weeks is one way, using more/less weight and less/more reps is another. Higher speed with lower weight could work as well, since it would stimulate muscle differently than the other methods would.

You have to be cautious with speed, since it’s harder to keep good form and thus you can more likely become injured.

Using faster speed/lower weight is probably similar to plyometrics, a method athletes us to develop speed and explosiveness. Plyometrics, to my knowledge, doesn’t involve freeweights or weight machines at all, but I’m guessing the theory is the same.

Either that or it just looks really manly to quickly lift weights. :slight_smile:

As a general rule, most of the recovery from a weightlifting session happens in the next 2-3 days. That’s why it’s not recommended to lift every day, and some people have trouble with every other day.

I think you’re referring to butterfly presses. Do the arms start spread out flush with the body and then pushed forward and closer together?

Or train so that long recovery periods aren’t necessary. :wink:

Most pros train every day, Oly lifters train several times a day. Of course these guys are not training for muscle mass and instead are training for synaptic facilitation and intramuscular cooridnation rather than hypertrophy.

Olympic lifter Galabin Boevski weighs 152lbs can squat over 400lbs and Cleans 432lbs. He trains 3 times a day with maximum weight. Olympic lifters of course being a weight class sport, he does not want to gain much weight at all.

Olympic lifting emphasises speed and form, and may olympic lifters are some of the highest jumpers and fastest sprinters in the world. Not to mention the strongest people per pound of bodyweight in the world.

Now of course bodybuilders looking for optimal muscle mass gains need those 2-3 days of rest. :smiley:
And plyometric training is awesome! (great post Jberto)

Do you know any WSB’ers that lift with 1 second per full down-and-up rep for many reps?

Also, you didn’t catch on to the fact that i was saying that there could be functional strength gained such as boxing and such. But my whole post was specifically about muscle growth, which I specifically stated.

Not for many reps no. 5 reps. However I figured the 1 second per full ROM rep was an exxageration, as I don’t know very many people that can move more than 30% of their 1rm faster than a 3 second ROM. (1down, 1up, 1rest). Anything lower than 30% is not recommended by WSB and is in fact setting yourself up for an injury.

I caught on about what you were saying, and I wasn’t disagreeing, think of it as an addendum. Though I suppose I was wrong in assuming your “It was not necessary” meant “useless”.

Do you mean to say that doing 60% of 1RM as fast as you can for 20 reps recruits more fast-twitch fibers than lifting for 5 reps to failure?

Keep in mind, when you say “faster movements” that means that you cannot go anywhere near failure or else the reps will slow down which would not be fast anymore. SO you are implying a 300lb maxer doing 165 for many reps and you are saying that this activity will cause more, yes you said more, strength gains than one who trains low reps exclusively?

I’m gonna need a cite for this, maybe i am wrong, but i gotta say this sounds like an old school fallacy or something like that. I am figuring i did not interpret your post correctly though, because i know you are knowledgeable in this field.

ok, i saw your last post. you mean for only several reps at a slow pace down and pausing. But my question still stands.

Thanks for your answers.

No, they weren’t butterfly presses. The handles are parallel to the ground and you push them away from your chest (arms don’t really get pushed together.)

Epimetheus, this guy was really doing (machine) reps in about one second. He wasn’t resting between reps though.

Why do you require a cite? Look up any plyometric training program, look at Jberto’s post and read the article he linked to, it goes into this.
However, keep in mind that recruiting a muscle fiber does not mean that it will be stimulated for hypertrophy. Only that synaptic facilitation will occur, thus allow the body adapt to using more muscle fibers. (I.E CNS adaptation) It is speculated that the average person only utilizes 60% of his or her muscle fibers. It is the highest among powerlifters, the article I read said that many of the elite powerlifters may utilize up to 85% of his/her muscle fibers.

This is a common mistake among bodybuilders. They think that lifting weights always induces hypertrophy.