Gaintrust Weekly Recap
Topics: Failure Training, Soreness, and Deloads
Topic 1: Failure Training
“If your first rep looks like your last, you’re wasting your time”
“If your first rep looks like your last, you’re wasting your time” has been making the rounds around social media. We broke down relative effort and it’s relation to growth stimulus of the muscle and concluded that, based on the scientific literature, a set could stop within 5 reps short of failure and still produce the stimulus to produce growth.
A video of me performing a pendulum squat at 0 RIR (reps in reserve) basically shows that 1 RIR was not too dissimilar to the first rep in the set — debunking the claim.
We concluded that while not true, I spiritually align with the attitude behind the statement. Whatever gets a newbie/intermediate lifter to push a little harder is a useful tool.
Topic 2: Science Behind Soreness
“Soreness is not growth”
The topic of soreness has had some significant revelations over the many years. The idea that not getting sore, does not preclude growth, being understood has prevented a lot of spinning wheels in people’s training and coaching.
Not needing to be sore and still growing takes a lot of pressure off of someone who only relates soreness to a job well done in the gym. By allowing for a more steady routine, across longer stretches, means more time spent improving each lift and driving overload and less time chasing novel stimulus.
Recently however, the claim has been made that soreness does not mean you are growing. In other words, just because you are sore, it doesn’t mean anything.
While soreness is certainly not growth, it is deceiving to people who use soreness as a proximity to the kind of stimulus that produces growth. Soreness can absolutely be used as a proxy for growth stimulus for the reasons we went over this week.
If you looked at a list of the things that produce soreness, and paired them with the things that produce growth, they would nearly be 1:1. So while soreness and growth are two entirely different biological events with their own localized implications, using this kind of logic to decouple them from one another only misses the forrest through the trees.
Here is a list of growth and soreness producing practices in our training:
Control of slowing of the eccentric portion of the lift
Loaded Stretches (typically from a pause at the bottom of the range of motion)
Higher Volume (more work)
Low RIR (training closer to failure)
The Pump (correlative)
Greater Range of Motion
Reminder before we get to Deloading
Join the Gaintrust Server and start training with us today. Our latest program Hyperion is a major hit and out now, so don’t wait! These programs are best run with the rest of the group, it’s not too late to join!
Background on the program:
Hyperion is the second part of a multi-series of programs designed to take you through a range of training modalities.
High Intensity being the first in the series of programs, took the volume down near our minimum effective volume — the least amount of volume needed to grow. The idea is that by this point, our bodies have adapted to low volume and are ready to receive more stimulus.
With Hyperion, we will be starting at our minimum effective volume and making volumetric adjustments along the way. The idea is to reach our maximum adaptive volume for each muscle group — the most volume we can effectively grow and recover from.
It is important to remember, that not all muscle groups respond to the same volume. Larger muscle groups, such as the glutes, will require far less volume to stimulate growth than the calves, for example.
Progression Throughout The Program
Every week, we will evaluate how we are responding to the volume and decide whether it increases or decrease the number of working sets - but don’t worry, we will do this intelligently. In other words, you won’t be doing 7 consecutive working sets of bicep curls (but maybe? — no, that’s crazy… or is it?)
Topic 3: Deloading
“You shouldn’t need to deload if you train the right way”