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Guest ExperimentB76z

How To Build Muscle And Burn Fat At The Same Time

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Paul Carter's is not the only way to train, Berin :P

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@Kaktus, And that's my point. I honestly think that hypertrophy (i.e. Big-15) training would suck for trying to lose weight. So in a couple weeks when I switch gears, I'm not doing any of Paul Carter's programs. For the record, it'll be based off of Adam's Just F'n Lift approach. Wendler, Carter, etc. have their strengths. The main difference I see between Wendler's appraoch and Carter's approach is that Carter separates the emphasis of his programs (i.e. hypertrophy or strength) while Wendler combines them. Doesn't mean either is right, but they are different.

There's nothing wrong with a general program, but expect from it what it is designed for.

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Guest ExperimentB76z

Yeah, fair enough. Criticising a program because it is, in my view, painfully slow, is not a valid critique in the context of the discussion. I'm not a fan of rushing things either. My issue is more to do with intensity and volume. I think 5/3/1 lacks sufficient volume at the correct intensity in the work sets to provide adequate stimulus for optimal performance. What I tend to see is people do well on it over a period of time, and then stalling. What gets them moving again is a shake up in volume and intensity which goes beyond 5/3/1. *Obviously my experience is limited.

I think we should separate hypertrophy training from training for strength, certainly within the context of this discussion, (where the aim is to maximise hypertrophy). The best hypertrophy rep range is around 30 (comprising 3 to 4 sets of 6 to 8 reps). Less that that is more geared towards strength, though 5x5 is not bad at hypertroph (which is why bill starr chose it, but he still let his lifters do beach sets). 5/3/1 thereafter is 15 (3x5), 9 (3x3), and 9 (5/3/1). There just is not enough going on there. In the context of this discussion, it's not going to be great for building muscle at all, let alone while losing fat.

What seems to be best for hypertrophy are four day split routines, where you hit the same body part twice a week. I've seen a couple of programs - JC Deen does one - where there is a full body strength emphasis for 6 weeks and then a split routine for 6 weeks.

Anyway, there is definitely a distinction between strength training (which may include all the disciplines) and training for strength, or training for hypertrophy, and of course, training to throw big weight above your head (oly lifts). I don't think Oly lifting is good for general hypertrophy unless you are a super responder (especially in the arms).

I think it is worth just touching on super responders / non responders too. Something like 20% of the population are super responders, and these people will get great gains from training. These guys and gals tend to be the people we see on TV in sport and the BIG DUDES who write - out their own - programs that sell very well. At the other end of the scale, 15% of the population are non responders. These poor fuckers do not respond well to some forms of exercise (there are some tragic bastards who do not respond to any exercise at all). The rest of us, myself included, sit somewhere in between doing our thang, trying to be like the top 20%. The problem with that only arises when we look at what they do and try to emulate it, thinking we'll get the same great result too. Sure we can all achieve brilliant levels of athletic ability or aesthetics compared to our regular couch dwelling selves, but we may need to be a little more focused on the specifics of our goals if we are going to achieve them.

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Guest ExperimentB76z

Wut?! Hypertrophy training is different to training for strenght? But Mark Rippetoe says...

Hip Drave!

I think you'll enjoy Dr. Andro's musings on the circadian rhythm subject (at least one of the articles looks at macro nutrient timing).

Cheers, dude.

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I think it is worth just touching on super responders / non responders too. Something like 20% of the population are super responders, and these people will get great gains from training. These guys and gals tend to be the people we see on TV in sport and the BIG DUDES who write - out their own - programs that sell very well. At the other end of the scale, 15% of the population are non responders. These poor fuckers do not respond well to some forms of exercise (there are some tragic bastards who do not respond to any exercise at all). The rest of us, myself included, sit somewhere in between doing our thang, trying to be like the top 20%. The problem with that only arises when we look at what they do and try to emulate it, thinking we'll get the same great result too. Sure we can all achieve brilliant levels of athletic ability or aesthetics compared to our regular couch dwelling selves, but we may need to be a little more focused on the specifics of our goals if we are going to achieve them.

What exactly would define someone as a super responder or a non responder?

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5/3/1 thereafter is 15 (3x5), 9 (3x3), and 9 (5/3/1). There just is not enough going on there. In the context of this discussion, it's not going to be great for building muscle at all, let alone while losing fat.

True, however the flaw in that argument is that the third set is AMRAP so, if one takes that as 10 on the 5 week, 6-8 on the 3 week and 3-5 on the 1 week, then the rep count is 20, 12-14 and 11-14 which isn't a kick in the pants off Prilepin's optimal ranges for the intensities required, and even less so if a couple of heavy singles are thrown in for good measure.

Being an older lifter, 531 works well for me because it's simple, uncomplicated and allows adequate recovery. It does, however, have a couple of weaknesses:

  1. The training max fast becomes the effective 1RM as weight progression has a linear rate of increase which may not match the rate of the lifter's progression
  2. When this happens the rep range becomes sub optimal as you mention.

Of course, a deload is prescribed for this event which may help restore the rep ranges required for increasing strength.

531 is what it is: a good general program to take lifters from novice through the intermediate stage. Past that a more individual approach to goals is probably needed.

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Guest ExperimentB76z

Even taking AMRAP into account 5\3\1 is not gret for hypertrophy, assuming you hit the magic number of overal reps, because you have not been working at the correct intensity. From a physiological point of view you would not be recruiting the maximum amount of muscle fibres. The other way around and you get a decent set up, something akin to blades myo reps; start off with a rep range you can do 8 reps with, and multiple paused back off sets of approx 4 reps until you can't do more reps.

Let's not lose sight of the fact that within the context of this discussion we're talking about optimising for muscle gain and fat loss.

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Interesting you mention the multiple sets of 4 reps. When I switch gears in a couple weeks, I'm planning on implementing an AMSAP (As Many Sets As Possible) protocol. I'm planning on sticking with sets of 5 overall, and limiting rest in between. When the reps slow down considerably (before they become grinders), I plan on stopping the sets. That's not too different from what you are describe here.

That's based on the fact that I expect I won't have the glycogen stores to do really long sets--and I'm more trying to preserve muscle mass than to build it during this stage.

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I have thought about 5/3/1 a few times (including full body variations) and each time I have concluded it's sub-optimal for my level of strength (early intermediate with an interest in aesthetics). I think it could work pretty well for people moving a lot of weight (a good example is my gym body Teimur, who has 300 kg DL and 260 kg squat, belt only), but even then he doesn't deload until he needs too...

I have to say, if I had top pick one feature that I think is the worst, it woild be the enforced deloads, which people blindly do because 'they are doing the programme'.

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Guest ExperimentB76z

I think that's a good stratergy, FM. Pavel is a big proponent of that style too.

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Let's not lose sight of the fact that within the context of this discussion we're talking about optimising for muscle gain and fat loss.

Good point. However, what about changing the BBB element to, say, 4 sets of 6-8 reps at 60% of 1RM as opposed to 5 sets of 10 at 50% of training max? Or is this over egging the pudding not to mention the volume?

I must say that the whole 'burn fat whilst buidling muscle' thing is fascinating but there appear to be so many conflicting views in terms of what exercises to do for how many sets of how many reps and what/when to eat and how often that it may be a better option for most people to try and serve one master.

I have thought about 5/3/1 a few times (including full body variations) and each time I have concluded it's sub-optimal for my level of strength (early intermediate with an interest in aesthetics).

I kind of disagree. As someone in much the same place as you in terms of the stage I'm at in lifting I found 531 to give me the best results in terms of effort expended versus results compared to, say, Madcow or more traditional sets across programs. Of course, I'm no spring chicken, so this may be different for you.

As for the deload week, by the time you hit cycle 4 or 5 it becomes absolutely necessary. Again this may be an age thing.

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Guest ExperimentB76z

Good point. However, what about changing the BBB element to, say, 4 sets of 6-8 reps at 60% of 1RM as opposed to 5 sets of 10 at 50% of training max? Or is this over egging the pudding not to mention the volume?

I must say that the whole 'burn fat whilst buidling muscle' thing is fascinating but there appear to be so many conflicting views in terms of what exercises to do for how many sets of how many reps and what/when to eat and how often that it may be a better option for most people to try and serve one master.

I think if I was trying to optimise 5/3/1 for hypertrophy, I'd ditch AMRAP and follow up with 2/3 sets of 6/8.

Yep, I agree that it may be a better idea to pursue one goal rather than two, unless you really want to pursue both. For some people, looking good naked all year round is more important than optimising strength or size. And, you could make an argument that unless you need to put on weight, that a softer "culking" (cutting and bulking) approach would be better for your health, rather than fulking (fat bulking). There is, naturally, everything in between and the opposite. Suppose it just depends what floats your boat. You can make it as simple or as complicated as you like, or optimise it, or pursue other objectives. Really, all I'm trying to do here is set out other people's views (more educated / experienced people than I) so that people who might be interested can understand what levers to pull to get the desired result. There is a broad consensus on what should be done.

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Guest ExperimentB76z

What exactly would define someone as a super responder or a non responder?

It varies depending on what outcome you are looking at. We have a few people on this board who are close to being super responders or are super responders or are towards the top end of the curve; LSG, Leggiez, Adam, to name just a few (at least in terms of strength sports - may be entirely different for cardio, or insulin sensitivity, etc). Most of the rest of us have varying degrees of averageness.

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what about 531, no AMRAP, 350 assistance? so the weight on the assistance would sort of autoregulate.

Problem I have with 531 is changing the damned weights every set on the main exercise, sets across are simpler

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Guest Robernaut

I'm not familiar with 350 to be honest, Art. I'm not quite sure how you'd go about this kind of thing with your special dietary requirements either :)

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350 is simply trying for 50 reps over 3 sets, regardless how it comes (20-15-10 for example, or 21-17-8) when you get 350, you up the weight

I've also considered Hepburn singles. According to Boola, if you do your singles 'on the minute' you get a pump.

Actualy a lot of folks who go Keto find hepburn a good match

not sure I'm into 10 sets though lol

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For what it's worth I did BBB somewhere between 55-65% when I was on 5/3/1 (Wendler advocates starting easy and then finding your range) and that worked well, but I also did the heavier template as well 75/80/85, 80/85/90, 85/90/95 which made the deload week much more necessary.

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