The Science of Muscle Growth: Part 3

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how to make weak bodyparts grow, part 3, infinite_labs

How to Make Weak Bodyparts Grow! Part 3

by: Robbie Durand

Tom Platz used to recommend regular sets of 100 reps to stimulate muscle growth.   Researchers reported that when subject’s trained at 30% of a 1-RM and 90% of a 1-RM that both training protocols stimulated muscle protein synthesis but shockingly, the researchers reported that training with the lighter weight and more reps and volume led to greater increases in protein synthesis than training heavier.  Specifically, the 30% of a 1-RM to failure protocol induced similar increases in muscle protein synthesis to that induced by the 90% of a 1-RM to failure protocol at 4 h post-exercise but this response was sustained at 24 h only in 30% of a 1-RM. This means that the high volume had sustained increases in protein synthesis above and beyond the high intensity protocol.  In the past, most researchers speculated that muscle protein synthesis was entirely weight or load dependent.  Another interesting finding was genes for muscle hypertrophy (i.e. the expression of MyoD mRNA, which is associated with satellite cell activation) trended to be greater than the value at rest at 24 h post-exercise in the 30% of a 1-RM. condition.   In conclusion, the researchers demonstrated that low-load high volume resistance exercise has a potent stimulatory effect on anabolic signaling molecules, MyoD and myogenin mRNA expression and muscle protein synthesis. 

 
Burd NA, West DW, Staples AW, Atherton PJ, Baker JM, Moore DR, Holwerda AM, Parise G, Rennie MJ, Baker SK, Phillips SM. Low-load high volume resistance exercise stimulates muscle protein synthesis more than high-load low volume resistance exercise in young men. PLoS One. 2010 Aug 9;5(8):e12033.
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