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  1. #1
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    Random question about volume

    Hey folks

    Was just thinking and thought I'd ask people on here.
    It's often mentioned here that volume is a big driver for hypertrophy (outside the kitchen, inside the gym). I've also seen people refer to volume as a set done 1-4 rep in reserve..roughly.

    Based on that, simple question. Would x amounts of squats done at low intensity (6 rirs) elicit a better response for let's says quad hypertrophy then x amounts of sets of leg extensions done at high intensity (almost failure)?

    Intuitively I want to say yes...is that right? If so, why?


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    It makes it harder to compare if you don't standardise the exertion levels ( reps in reserve (RIR) ) of each set.

    If they were the same exertion levels, obviously a squat stimulates more total tissue so has the higher effect.

    At greater exertion levels, it's possible that a leg extension stimulates some quad fibers more than a low exertion squat... of course there must be some tipping point along that continuum.

    However, there are some fibers that the squat will always stimulate that are not stimulated by leg extension.
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    In that case
    One person does leg press for 5 sets of 5 at 1rir
    Another person does squat for 5 sets of 5 at 5 rirs
    All other things being equal
    Just trying to understand how much exercise selection plays a part in volume.
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    I'd say the barbell squat would elicit a better overall response, but the leg press would elicit a better quad response. In my view they're not exactly equal exercises.

    How about belt squat vs. leg press? About equal there.
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    For some context, I ask because I was hanging out on tnation where there is a lot of 531 advocates.
    Some big boys on there Including Jim Wendler keep saying that something like 531 5s pro with 5×5 FSL will do the majority of the work and assistance isn't important. But that 5s pro FSL work is all very submaximal.
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    Originally Posted by tommy4life View Post
    In that case
    One person does leg press for 5 sets of 5 at 1rir
    Another person does squat for 5 sets of 5 at 5 rirs
    All other things being equal
    Just trying to understand how much exercise selection plays a part in volume.
    I don't know. And it might be different for different people.

    The problem with exertion is that it doesn't have a neat linear effect on results.

    Which is why it's usually kept fixed if you try to compare two different setups
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    This will probably be an unpopular answer about volume and hypertrophy…

    As a lifetime natural…*all* of my size gains correspond to strength gains …I say that with 100 percent certainty as I have done MANY experiments with sets, reps, intensity, time under tension….to get bigger…I got stronger…size is the side effect of making progress in reps ranges trained in. Most of my sets are 5-8 reps. Sometimes as high as 12-15 and sometimes 1-3….

    I have played with six sets per body part and 8-10 sets…10-12 sets, 15-20 …I think the law of diminishing returns matters most here…8 sets per body part has been called “an honest workout “ and I would agree…for me, 8-12 sets per body part gives me the returns and allows for recovery and a lifetime of natural training.

    My best lifts put me in the area of 1500 pound club though a I have made it a rule to avoid maxing out.
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    I guess I'm struggling to understand how 531 5s pro is supposed to be good for size and strength since its 8 very sub maximal sets of squat, bench, press and deadlift.
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    Originally Posted by tommy4life View Post
    I guess I'm struggling to understand how 531 5s pro is supposed to be good for size and strength since its 8 very sub maximal sets of squat, bench, press and deadlift.
    531 is kinda trash in most cases as written.. For gen pop.

    10s*5r fsl is where its at when you want a workload that suits lower fatigue force production and explosive power. In the 531 world

    531 as a gpp lifting program for athletes tho?
    It has a few REALLY good templates for team or combat athletes ect who lift to improve sport, not to be gymrat lifter
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    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    10s*5r fsl is where its at
    Is that 10×5 FSL (boring but strong) you're refering to?
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    Originally Posted by tommy4life View Post
    Is that 10×5 FSL (boring but strong) you're refering to?
    Possibly?
    Its been a while since I looked at the terminology.

    What I will say is the only way I made any progress on 531 was.....

    Main lift
    531 sets with jokers
    5*5 FSL, 10*5 FSL 5*3 SSL 5*10 BBB for main and opposite lift.
    Accessories in the total rep protocols

    Later switched the second opposite lift to a close variation with its own tracking. (think dead-sldl or bench to cgbp)

    Example days..

    Squat 531+ to amrap @9
    Squat joker singles to 1@9
    Squat 5*5 FSL
    Deadlift 5*3 SSL
    Ham curl 100 reps

    bench 531 + amrap @9
    Bench joker to single @9
    Bench 10*5 FSL
    Press 5*10 BBB
    Rows 100 reps
    Facepulls 100 reps

    Deadlift 531 + amrap @9
    Deadlift joker single @7-8
    Deadlift 5*5 SDL
    Squat 5*3 SSL
    back ext 100 reps

    Press 5s Pro
    Press 5*5 FSL
    Bench 5*10 BBB
    pulldown 100 reps
    Bi & tri100 reps

    I'll wait for the puddings to tell me I wasn't trying hard enough on the amrap set and that no could do all that...
    The upper lower classic 531 setup is just too low volume for gym rat needs / great for athletes who need minimal recovery costs
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    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    Possibly?
    Its been a while since I looked at the terminology.

    What I will say is the only way I made any progress on 531 was.....

    Main lift
    531 sets with jokers
    5*5 FSL, 10*5 FSL 5*3 SSL 5*10 BBB for main and opposite lift.
    Accessories in the total rep protocols

    Later switched the second opposite lift to a close variation with its own tracking. (think dead-sldl or bench to cgbp)

    Example days..

    Squat 531+ to amrap @9
    Squat joker singles to 1@9
    Squat 5*5 FSL
    Deadlift 5*3 SSL
    Ham curl 100 reps

    bench 531 + amrap @9
    Bench joker to single @9
    Bench 10*5 FSL
    Press 5*10 BBB
    Rows 100 reps
    Facepulls 100 reps

    Deadlift 531 + amrap @9
    Deadlift joker single @7-8
    Deadlift 5*5 SDL
    Squat 5*3 SSL
    back ext 100 reps

    Press 5s Pro
    Press 5*5 FSL
    Bench 5*10 BBB
    pulldown 100 reps
    Bi & tri100 reps

    I'll wait for the puddings to tell me I wasn't trying hard enough on the amrap set and that no could do all that...
    The upper lower classic 531 setup is just too low volume for gym rat needs / great for athletes who need minimal recovery costs
    I had to literally do almost the exact same thing to make 531 work and then at that point I’d rather just do something completely auto regulated.

    When I first started 531 and BBB in like 2012 it worked for a solid 6 months, but I was also gaining weight and still an early Intermediate so of course it worked at first.

    But then it just becomes a slog and at the time without some proper assistance programmed in, physique goals get pretty muddy results.
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    Originally Posted by Filmbuff81 View Post
    I had to literally do almost the exact same thing to make 531 work and then at that point I’d rather just do something completely auto regulated.

    When I first started 531 and BBB in like 2012 it worked for a solid 6 months, but I was also gaining weight and still an early Intermediate so of course it worked at first.

    But then it just becomes a slog and at the time without some proper assistance programmed in, physique goals get pretty muddy results.
    Why am I not surprised you came to similar conclusions 😂
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    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    Why am I not surprised you came to similar conclusions 😂
    Lol you either live to learn the proper way to program or you slog away at the same **** year after year lol.

    Whole thing just became a headache to make every stupid slot work.

    If someone doesn’t ever want to think and can troubleshoot ever so slightly I’ll tell people “sure give it a go”

    But once you have helms, Nuckols, etc. Putting out so much programming knowledge it’s kinda like what’s the point?
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    Interesting

    So maybe Jim Wendlers advocates things like 5s pro just for the ease of coaching a large group of people. Still odd that a guy that expereinced would push something titled "simplest strength program", when it requires soo much modifications.
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    Originally Posted by tommy4life View Post
    Interesting

    So maybe Jim Wendlers advocates things like 5s pro just for the ease of coaching a large group of people. Still odd that a guy that expereinced would push something titled "simplest strength program", when it requires soo much modifications.
    Wendler is funny, charismatic and had great timing and decent marketing. Fuelled by his background of a 1000+ squat and being a westsider *this was huge back in the day *

    Doesnt mean his books and information is actually very good content wise. Infact I think 531 is a big step back in quality from conjugate that he used to run and teach.

    Its not bad, but it's certainly more in line with what he does now. Coaches high-school football kids in groups.

    Especially if you read his foreword and reasoning that is like.. I stopped westside cos its hard, I wanted easy and slow with longevity..

    What I will say. There are a few good templates in there.
    Especially krypteia redux. I'm only really talking about the typical Internet 531 stuff
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    OP, is there a specific reason you asked about squats vs leg extensions taken to do different RPE/RIR values? That's two completely distinct variables.
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    Originally Posted by Heisman2 View Post
    OP, is there a specific reason you asked about squats vs leg extensions taken to do different RPE/RIR values? That's two completely distinct variables.
    A few weeks ago a did I did 5 sets of lunges almost to failure. A few days later I did 5 sets of squats, very submaximal. Since volume is usually measured as hard sets (~4RIR), the volume was higher on lunges. Yet I felt like the squats worked my legs harder. So I've been trying to understand what role exercise selection plays in counting volume. Squat and leg ext seemed like 2 extremes.
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    Originally Posted by tommy4life View Post
    A few weeks ago a did I did 5 sets of lunges almost to failure. A few days later I did 5 sets of squats, very submaximal. Since volume is usually measured as hard sets (~4RIR), the volume was higher on lunges. Yet I felt like the squats worked my legs harder. So I've been trying to understand what role exercise selection plays in counting volume. Squat and leg ext seemed like 2 extremes.
    For hypertrophy most research would count (for quadriceps): 1 set of lunges = 1 set of squats = 1 set of leg extensions

    Regarding RIR, there has been a lot of research on velocity-based training (VBT) in the last 1-2 years and this shows that taking sets to 20% velocity-loss will yield most of the hypertrophy benefits. For a 12RM this may mean a RIR = 5-6. Going to 40% velocity-loss (close to or at failure) may yield slightly more benefits. One caveat is most of this VBT research is in beginners, or at least people who are not close to advanced from a hypertrophy standpoint. A separate caveat is that when going to 40% the neuromuscular gains for rate of force development are decreased relative to gong to a velocity loss of 10-20%.

    Thus, I think for combining hypertrophy and strength a solid approach would be to work up to a heavy single/double/triple (just 1 set) of squats for the neuromuscular training (plus a post-activation potentiation effect for the rest of the workout), then do several submaximal sets with RIR 3+ where you do the concentric of each rep as quickly as possible, and then switch over to lunges or leg extensions (or both) and do 1 set with myo-reps. This way you can do all the strength work with the squats and the more locally fatiguing hypertrophy work with the other exercises that will not stress you systemically nearly as much as squats would.
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    Originally Posted by tommy4life View Post
    A few weeks ago a did I did 5 sets of lunges almost to failure. A few days later I did 5 sets of squats, very submaximal. Since volume is usually measured as hard sets (~4RIR), the volume was higher on lunges. Yet I felt like the squats worked my legs harder. So I've been trying to understand what role exercise selection plays in counting volume. Squat and leg ext seemed like 2 extremes.
    How did the loading compare on the lunges vs. the squats? Bodyweight lunges vs. barbell squats would be pretty different loads on the body. Spinal loading increases fatigue, and thus the RIR/RPE. Even gripping a knurled barbell might generate a little fatigue because the hands have so many nerves (Nuckols), though that mostly applies to DL. Hence my suggestion above about belt squat vs. leg press or hip-loaded hack squat, where the spine isn't loaded for either exercise you're comparing.
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    Originally Posted by Heisman2 View Post
    For hypertrophy most research would count (for quadriceps): 1 set of lunges = 1 set of squats = 1 set of leg extensions

    Regarding RIR, there has been a lot of research on velocity-based training (VBT) in the last 1-2 years and this shows that taking sets to 20% velocity-loss will yield most of the hypertrophy benefits. For a 12RM this may mean a RIR = 5-6. Going to 40% velocity-loss (close to or at failure) may yield slightly more benefits. One caveat is most of this VBT research is in beginners, or at least people who are not close to advanced from a hypertrophy standpoint. A separate caveat is that when going to 40% the neuromuscular gains for rate of force development are decreased relative to gong to a velocity loss of 10-20%.

    Thus, I think for combining hypertrophy and strength a solid approach would be to work up to a heavy single/double/triple (just 1 set) of squats for the neuromuscular training (plus a post-activation potentiation effect for the rest of the workout), then do several submaximal sets with RIR 3+ where you do the concentric of each rep as quickly as possible, and then switch over to lunges or leg extensions (or both) and do 1 set with myo-reps. This way you can do all the strength work with the squats and the more locally fatiguing hypertrophy work with the other exercises that will not stress you systemically nearly as much as squats would.
    interesting


    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    How did the loading compare on the lunges vs. the squats? Bodyweight lunges vs. barbell squats would be pretty different loads on the body. Spinal loading increases fatigue, and thus the RIR/RPE. Even gripping a knurled barbell might generate a little fatigue because the hands have so many nerves (Nuckols), though that mostly applies to DL. Hence my suggestion above about belt squat vs. leg press or hip-loaded hack squat, where the spine isn't loaded for either exercise you're comparing.
    the lunges were 5x5 with 60kg, doubt i could of used much more weight. squats were 5x5 with maybe 100kg, very submaximal.
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