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"Theory" behind squats for mass gains

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by punkchip, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    I agree, but I also suspect that the squat normally has a bigger eccentric component than the dead.
     
  2. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    The study and trial that I'm referring to (it's going to take me awhile to dig this one up) was not specifically talking about weightlifting.

    ( in the sense that your arms are going to "pop" if you do squats..)

    What they found was that when the legs are trained for growth and growth was accomplished that there was a measurable increase in upper body development as well. They did not elaborate on the "measurable increase" so it might be as little as one millimetre.....but it definitely was there.

    Now if you're talking Coleman-type guns....well..I seriously,seriously doubt that's going to happen.....

    But if you're in the gym doing squats anyway, why not work out the other stuff too?
     
  3. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    Presumably it would be situations such as working around an injury.

    There is also a problem here with slightly different goals. "Mass gains" as in the title do not have to be the same as "size increase" if there is also a reduction in body fat percentage that also occurs. Strength gains are yet another issue.

    There are a lot of things that can happen when you exercise, and not all of it is particularly clearly understood as far as I can tell. Does endurance exercise transform muscle fibers from Type IIb to Type IIa? Does reduction in exercise volume reverse this? There is evidence for this, but I don't think there's any concensus on that.

    So I do endurance squats; then does that mean my arms will have fibers change from Type IIb to Type IIa even though I do not do much endurance exercise with my arms? I would guess so - but I don't really know. But if that did happen, then squats could conceivably SHRINK my arms! My arms do not appear to be shrinking though.
     
  4. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    Actually your fibers don't change...it's just that if you trained totally for endurance, many of your T2B fibers will take on the endurance characteristics of FTA fibers or vice versa. But there is no "actuaL' conversion of fibers. What you're born with is what you get, Zen.

    It was at least 15 years ago I heard about this study/trial.

    So I'm really vague on specifics. But I'll dig around the 'net this weekend.
     
  5. Caruthias

    Caruthias Well-Known Member

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    Argh! When people say Squats help overal growth, they don't mean you can do just squats and grow. They mean it will help.

    Think of it as a multiplication idea.

    If you workout your arms, your regular bodily hormones will account for factor, and the amount of work you do on your arms accounts for the other factor.

    So let's say, 1 (regular hormones) * 5 (arm workout). Your arms are going to grow by a factor of 5 Caruthias units, which are great units because you can't compare them to any other type of unit.

    Now, add in squats, and the hormones go up or whatever, and the formula changes to 2 (hormones with squats) * 5 (arm workout). Your arms are going to grow by a factor of 10 now. That's an exaggeration of course, as squats won't double your improvement.

    Now, let's take away the arm work. So the formula is 2 (hormones with squats) * 0 (no arm workout). Well you're doing squats, but since you're not working your arms, they aren't going to add mass.
     
  6. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    People did used to believe what you say, but the story is pretty clear.

    Muscle fiber can change from fast to slow and back again.

    Exercise does affect the myosin heavy chain form that is expressed in muscle fiber, and there is direct evidence of this in humans. Here is a pretty old study of that.


    Caloric balance also plays a role, via the thyroid hormone T3.


    If you google on "muscle plasticity" and myosin, you get a bunch of this.

    The more modern point of view is that muscle fibers express different kinds of myosin along their length: A good recent summary is here.

    The picture that emerges is that in an adult animal, a muscle fiber "starts out" with the "default" sort of myosin being expressed - Type IIb. This is the fast, wide kind that bodybuilders are looking for. But if you load, or do exercise with the muscle, you start to express other types of myosin - such as Type IIa and Type IIx (also caled IId). This slows down the rate of contraction of the muscle and changes the energetics of the muscle. Eventually, chronic loading can result in Type I. The reason that microgravity research enters this discussion is that the normal pattern of slow twitch and fast twitch fibers is determined by which muscles are acting against gravity (soleus) and which are assisted by gravity (triceps). So they have to do stuff in space to figure out what happens when there is no gravity. This guy in particular does this sort of work.
     
  7. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    we have too many people in academia that keep their plush jobs by publishing studies. There is a great deal of junk science out there, so much it is hard to tell the real from the junk. It will get worse before it gets better.

    I don't know what way to go on fibers. Right now I feel you don't need to know anything about them to get results. People have been building muscles for years without the first thought given to fibers. So I keep reading and listening but it seems like this is a fad like so many things, this too will pass.
     
  8. jwdiho

    jwdiho Well-Known Member

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    While I agree that you don't necessarily need to know about fast and slow twitch fibers, I disagree with your generalization on scientific study.

    If you have ever tried to publish an article in a REPUTABLE medical journal, you would realize that many, many well done articles don't even get publshed. The ones that are junk don't make it pass screening. While there are many so-called medical journals out there that ARE JUNK, if you stay with the mainstream ones (and there are many), the studies usually are valid.

    My point being would you rather believe some yahoo's opinion stated as fact on a message board (THIS IS NOT DIRECTED TO ANYONE!!!) or someone who does original scientific research with proper statistical analysis?
     
    #28 jwdiho, Apr 24, 2006
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2006
  9. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    I don't know that is a hard question I have a couple of masters degrees myself so I spent some time in class rooms and etc. From 80-90% of what I see in studies. I would rather apply to exercise what one person found working with a thousand or so people in the field/gyms than what someone who never left the college campus said about muscles and exercise.

    Sure there is some good stuff out there but the proliferation of degrees has caused a decline in quality in my opinion.
     
  10. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    That depends on the results. If you want to cure muscular dystrophy, you want to know a lot about myosin in muscle fibers.

    The trouble with looking at this from an exercise physiology point of view is that so much of the literature is aimed at medicine treating pathological conditions when the fitness athletic, or bodybuilding point of view is not as much about pathology. So we have to sort across a lot of work to see what might have a take home message for us. One tricky part is that so many of the studies use exercise protocols that are outside what our programs are like.

    But our anatomy is human anatomy. Our muscles are bundles of multinucleate fibers expressing varying portfolios of myosin, responding to load and thyroid hormones, with protein turnover regulated by the same transcription factors.

    What can we learn from people who chop up chickens and shoot rats into space? Depends on how closely we expect our bodies to act in ways that the studies predict.

    In this specific thread, I mentioned fiber transformation, and the question came up as to whether it can occur at all. I'm pretty comfortable that the research does show that it is possible. That's not saying whether it is useful in exercise planning.

    The larger question of this thread - how can one connect mass gains to specific resistance exercse? I think that's it's clear that although muscle growth in adults is way complicated, the connection between using a single big compound exercise to stimulate growth in all muscles is hormonal - it has to be part of the exercise response that is systemic, and circulates, as opposed to the part that stays in the "muscle of origin".

    Once the hormones are in the picture, can they affect fiber distribution? It appears so - the thyroid hormone T3 can do that. (Of course that drags nutrition back into the picture....)
     
  11. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    Here is the way I see it, I don't know how my fibers are distributed in my body, someone might try to "guess" putting me thru a lot of tests but they would have to cut me open to know if "guess" was right. if I believed the fibers could change, which I don't, you still don't know for sure without cutting me open.

    So I bless my daddy and mother for having me, and save my concern for things I want to and can change.:cool:
     
  12. jwdiho

    jwdiho Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, now with degrees that you can get online from universities with nothing more than a PO address, you really have to watch who you believe.
     
  13. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    That's why so many (all?) of the good studies use muscle biopsies. They actually are pulling muscle tissue out of the subjects. This is true in the human work to. They do biopsy before the exercise protocol as a control, and after.

    So they are not guessing. They are "cutting open" and looking. They are also using pretty serious methods of examining the biopsy; so they can measure mRNA and transcription factors as well as muscle types.

    This is sort of why you don't see thousands of people volunteering for these experiments.
     
  14. JoeSchmo

    JoeSchmo Well-Known Member

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    I see what your saying, but often what happens is that somebody is already doing a routine, and they say "my arms are lagging...any hints on bringing them up?" And inevitably there is at least one or two replies that are like this: "DO SQUATS BRO!" or "Deadlifts all they way bro!".... Which I agree are good lifts on their own, and they do help you add mass throughout your body, but you aren't going to bring up lagging arms by doing squats.
     
  15. JoeSchmo

    JoeSchmo Well-Known Member

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    Good points. It isn't necessarily that studies are bad or "junk" as rtestes says, but rather, people often interpret studies and draw much more general conclusions that what the outcome of the study warrants. Usually it isn't the researchers who do this, but rather those in the exercise "community" who try to apply some of the findings to their own routines (or make recommendations based on the findings). Scientific study has taught us quite a bit about the human body, and it has the potential to do that for exercise as well -- and extend us beyond the point of just randomly trying different things to see "what works". Right now, there are so many factors that affect the ultimate outcome of any program/routine, that looking at any one single factor and making adjustments accordingly doesn't make much sense. So, to address rtestes point, it isn't that understanding muscle fibers is worthless or unnecessary, but rather, that adjusting your program based on that factor alone is not likely to net you much in the way of benefits. It is a complex of things that make for a good routine and ultimate success, but that certainly doesn't negate or miminize what scientists in the field generally find....because over course of time, when all of this stuff becomes better integrated, it is going to prove very useful.
     
  16. Demon Knight

    Demon Knight Well-Known Member

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    I disagree. I think 99% of all people who say they have lagging arms simply don't have the necessary overall mass to support bigger arms. And the best way to add overall mass is squats and deadlifts primarily followed with bench, pulldown or row and shoulder press. I've seen, in my 1.5 years, 4 people do squats in the gym (only one of them doing it right but anyway....) and 1 person doing deadlifts. Nobody does these exercises regularly apart from me and my brother. Yet I've seen 50 maybe more having a go at bicep curls and tricep pushdowns with forced reps, drop sets etc. My brother and I have made good gains, accused by some of being on "gear". So guess what I tell them? "Do squats bro!" and "deadlifts all the way bro".

    Note that I do not say drop ALL the arm isolation exercises. But concentrate on increasing big, compound lifts and you'll likely find your arms are getting plenty big.
     
  17. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    They are guessing that what they found in a few apply to you, me and Arnold at his peak. That is a big jump. I am not anti-science at all.

    Remember a few months ago, a study using 1000s of women said low fats diets didn't deliver. When it came out there were scientists that said this was a "gold standard of studies". It can't be ignored then anti- meat lobby and company began to come out of the wood works saying it was a bad study. I think there was thread here with a bunch of posts saying it was a bad study. Was it? I don't know, the results sounds right to me. The point is you have studies saying it is black and others say it is white. Which one will you believe both were published with peer review. Maybe we should review the peer review process.

    Now mark my word within 3 months, there will be a study that will reverse the studies of the past in a major area. How can I predict that, it happens all the time, careers are made on them.

    Do Squats, do deads, do curls, do tricep push downs, Do the whole body!
     
  18. JoeSchmo

    JoeSchmo Well-Known Member

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    Well, I suppose if you have very little mass, then expecting 18 inch arms is a little unrealistic, in which case, squats/deads may help indirectly. However, if your arms are lagging relative to the rest of your body, I suspect that relying on squats will leave you disappointed. From my own experience, squats have been great for building my legs, but I haven't noticed any real changes to my arms as a result. I have however experienced substantial arm growth from putting together routines that specifically hit the arms in different ways.
     

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