#PTonICE Daily Show – Friday, July 28th, 2023 – The rep continuum

In today’s episode of the PT on ICE Daily Show, Fitness Athlete faculty member Guillermo Contreras discusses how manipulating reps within a set can alter the intended stimulus of the set to bias towards power, strength, hypertrophy, or endurance gains. Guillermo discusses new research highlighting that depending on population, some individuals may still experience strength gains at lower loads & higher rep counts and that most individuals will improve hypertrophy regardless of rep dosage.  

Take a listen to learn how to better serve this population of patients & athletes.

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00:00 INTRO
What’s up everybody? Before we get rolling, I’d love to share a bit about Jane, the practice management software that we love and use here at ICE who are also our show sponsor. Jane knows that collecting new patient info, their consent and signatures can be a time consuming process, but with their automated forms, it does not have to be. With Jane, you can assign intake forms to specific treatments or practitioners, and Jane takes care of sending the correct form out to your patients. Save even more time by requesting a credit card on file through your intake forms with the help of Jane Payments, their integrated PCI compliant payment solution. Conveniently, Jane will actually prompt your patients to fill out their intake form 24 hours before their appointment if they have not done so already. If you’re looking to streamline your intake form collection, head over to jane.app slash physical therapy, book a one on one demo with a member of the Jane team. They’ll be able to show you the features I just mentioned and answer any other questions you may have. Don’t forget, if you do sign up, use the code ICEPT1MO for a one month grace period applied to your new account. Thanks everybody. Enjoy the show.

Good morning, crew. Welcome to the PT on ICE Daily Show. Welcome to one of the best days of the week, if not the best day of the week, Fitness Athlete Friday. I am with you. My name is Guillermo Contreras, part of the teaching team with the fitness athlete crew of the Institute of Clinical Excellence, talking all things delightful and super interesting, such as the rep continuum. So I’m going to leave you a little bit guessing as to what that means and dive into some fun stuff as in where are we going to be over the next couple of months? Where can you catch us on the road before the year ends? For our live courses, we have more than a handful coming up here in the next several months, starting in September on the weekend of September 9th and 10th. We’ll be in Bismarck, North Dakota. In October, we will be technically September, October, September 30th and October 1st. We are going to head out to the West Coast to Newark, California. A couple weeks later, October, a week later, October 7th and 8th, we’re going to stay in the West Coast. We’ll be in Linwood, Washington. Moving into November, we’ll be double, double teaming for, I guess, I don’t know if that’s the right phrase, but two different locations on November 4th and 5th, San Antonio, Texas and Hoover, Alabama. So moving from the West Coast down to the South. November 18th and 19th, we will be in Holmes Beach, Holmes Beach, Florida. I’m not sure where that is, but Florida. And then lastly, in December, we are going to be in Metair, Louisiana, as well as Colorado Springs on the weekend of December 9th and 10th. So there you go. If you’ve been looking to take a live course with the Central Foundation, or with fitness athlete courses, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight opportunities for you between now and the end of the year to catch us on the road and be able to take that course and join us. And hopefully we get to meet you out there. If you are looking to do the online courses, Essential Foundations currently is going on their seventh week of this current cohort. So we’re finishing up in about a week and a half. That take about a month off. And then we’re going to kick off the next Essential Foundations cohort on September 11th. So if you’ve been looking to get started with the fitness athlete coursework, try to get an idea of what you would do when you work with fitness athletes, get more comfortable with the barbell movements, the squat, the deadlift, the press, what CrossFit is in general, some introduction to programming as well as the gymnastics movements, such as the pull-up. Would love to have you join us on September 11th as we kick off the new Essential Foundations cohort. These courses do tend to sell out online. So signing up sooner rather than later behooves you if you’re interested in it and you want to get it in before the end of the year. Advanced Concepts as well. I think that only has two cohorts a year. So only twice a year that you can actually sign up and take Advanced Concepts. That second time right now is going to be on September 17th. Advanced Concepts does always sell out. It’s a more high level course. You’re going to learn a much deeper dive into programming, into modifications, into the high level gymnastics movements, such as handstand push-ups, muscle ups, high level Olympic weightlifting, breakdown and progressions. A lot of really deep dive stuff. A lot of brain work and physical work you’ll be doing for this course. So that one starts up on September 17th. So please be sure to sign up again sooner rather than later for that one because that one does absolutely sell out early. Sometimes a couple months early. So sign up now if you’re looking to complete your coursework to get your fitness athlete certification or if it’s just something that’s been on your bucket list you’ve been dying to take but you have not and you want to get it in before the end of the year. Fantastic. So that’s what we have on the docket for fitness athlete. This morning the topic at hand is the rep continuum or the repetition continuum. For those who are not sure what that entirely means, what we’re looking at with the rep continuum is, I just realized my camera is really blurry over here but that’s okay. Is what we commonly know as the strength endurance continuum which for the majority of us or anyone who’s been in like the strength and conditioning realm what that means is okay what are the optimal rep ranges and loads that you want to use when you’re trying to train strength, when you’re trying to train hypertrophy and when you’re trying to train more like localized muscular endurance. And for the longest time we have had the accepted theory that it is one to five reps at 80 to 100 rep 100 percent run at max. Hypertrophy is going to be eight to 12 reps at 60 to 80 percent one rep max and endurance is going to be 15 or more reps at anything below 60 percent of your one rep max. That’s what’s been commonly known and so in 2021 Bradshon building company down at the NSCA right they decided to do a lit review look at everything they could out there and got a better understanding of is it truly that is that the only way or are those the only things we know or are there actually other ways to gain strength gain hypertrophy gain gain endurance in our muscles and is that truly the most optimal way that we can do these things or is there other ways that we can kind of build it up can we use lighter loads can we use moderate loads can we use heavy loads and play around and dive into these different realms. So again they did a very very significantly large lit review and their purpose of the paper was to critically scrutinize the research on the repetition continuum highlight gaps in literature and draw practical conclusions for exercise prescription. Based on the evidence they proposed a new paradigm whereby muscular rotation can be obtained and in some cases optimized across a wide spectrum of loading zones. So that is that kind of the basis for the paper and it’s a long one it’s probably like 11 pages and you have like a bunch of pages of exactly the the the protocols that they use in all these different studies that they reviewed and I’m just going to try and do my very best to summarize what they kind of found in each section and then at the end if you don’t want to like listen to this whole thing you’re listening later on just jump to the last maybe like minute or so and I’m going to try and kind of concisely conclude everything there. When it came to strength strength as we know it is supposed to be ideally that one to five rep range 80 to 100 percent one rep max heavy heavy loads is how we’re going to build strength and what they found in this here is that trained individuals people have been doing it for a while tended to show improvement in strength even with light loads so people who have been doing it for a while people who who already lift heavy and such when they use lighter loads in different variations there actually is an increase in overall strength albeit they they mentioned in a caveat that it is to a lesser extent than the use of heavy loads. Um they also mentioned that typically what they see is as you reach that genetic ceiling like where your where your strength is kind of at its highest or going to be pretty high the greatest benefit is going to be in heavy loads with specific movements that you’re trying to get stronger and again that should be something that all of us are probably saying like no duh right that’s that’s the set principle right you learn that in undergrad kinesiology right specific adaptations to impose demands when you get someone that’s a higher level at the very highest level and you’re trying to get them stronger the way to get them stronger is to apply specific stressors to elicit a specific progressive improvement in strength that’s what they saw there so what we see is with heavy loads or when we want to build strength you can do it with low loads there are ways you’re going to build low loads and that practical application the clinical application is that all the studies i guess the majority of studies that found that low loads improved strength their way of testing strength was using isometric dynamometry therefore the isokinetic or isotonic leg extension leg curl hip extension you name it they used single joint mechanisms to test that single joint single movement strength from a practical application that can very easily mean for us in the rehab realm if we are trying to get someone’s quad stronger if you’re trying to improve specifically quad strength hamstring strength whatever it may be there is a point where we can use lower loads to high intensities right all across the board effort was dependent on improvement maximal or hard efforts with low loads showed improvement when individuals cut off before maximal effort before fatigue before stress there was not the same amount of improvement whether it was strength hypertrophy or muscular endurance so low loads can be used on single joint movements however strength is most often applied in compound movements coordinated multi-joint efforts i.e. squats deadlifts presses lunges all those type of things and so we want to make sure that if we are trying to help someone improve their squat improve their deadlift strength improve their rowing strength we’re trying to create these compound movements that are are functional in nature to what they’re doing we have to be getting comfortable with the barbell movements we have to be comfortable loading them heavily right so if you’re going to be working with athletes who are doing functional movements you better be loading them with functional movements you better be loading them heavy with functional movements if the goal is to do actual strength improvement and that actually is nice because it it shows two things right one yes the one to five rep range eighty one hundred percent max of these movements is where we want to be for strength and two if we’re trying to do very specific rotator cuff bicep quad hamstring strengthening then it’s okay to use lower loads maximize that intensity range and we’re going to see strength improvements there if we’re very specific with what we’re doing there number two moving on to hypertrophy hypertrophy getting the gains bigger bigger arms shoulders back legs quads hamstrings you name it everything there well we typically see in the realm of like bodybuilding in the realm of anyone who’s trying to put on mass is we’re going to be doing somewhere around that eight to twelve rep range sixty to eighty percent so submaximal loads add an effort when you get to that mid-range you’re creating some sort of mechanical stress that causes that muscle to basically in essence break down a little then build back up and get stronger as long as you know all the fuel and everything is there for it and in the study the meta analysis showed comparing high loads which are greater than 60 percent of one rep max versus low loads which are less than 60 percent one rep max is that there was no real difference in hypertrophy which is kind of interesting right you can again offer an example of you can use low or high loads moderate loads kind of in that range to build hypertrophy the notable effort though again that they mentioned in here is that when individuals were using low loads the effort was much higher so it was a higher level of effort because it is critical for maximizing hypertrophic adaptations so again if our goal is to have someone who has a very very atrophied quad and we are not going to try and pursue something that allows for 60 to 80 percent of that one rep max relatively heavy loads right moderately heavy loads that are challenging and fatiguing and stressful then we’d better be using low loads but eliciting a maximal effort where they are working hard for 15 18 20 reps whatever it may be that kind of ties in a little bit with with anyone who kind of plays around with blood flow restriction training where you’re doing 30 15 15 and you’re maximizing that effort there it’s a very low load somewhere around 20 30 percent of one rep max for a lot of reps there too but that’s again there’s another topic there right effort is dependent on this are we are we using maximal or high level of effort to maximize hypertrophic gains strength gains etc the one thing this study did show the review did show was cool is that for from an age-related standpoint the light load training appears to be as effective as heavy training so when we’re looking at our older adults where we might see more of those joint related conditions when they can’t sometimes tolerate heavy loads on their knees on their hips whatever it may be using light loads at this this higher effort level might induce a similar hypertrophic change because it’s going to stimulate both type one and type two muscle fibers when we’re using lower loads we’re in essence what they mentioned in this review is those type one fibers might be stimulated stimulated more because you’re doing more of an endurance or long bout of exercise and effort which is going to stimulate those more when you’re having it’s more type two muscle fibers so either way we’re building them both up and we’re trying to build hypertrophy in that way so there we go and even in the really said that some researchers propose that you should train both like high level volume with high effort and lower volume with higher effort as well again working in those things there too so minimum threshold though if we have to like throw a number out there is where they’re in there it’s somewhere in the range of 30 one rep max right we should not be training anything below 30 of our one rep max or if you’re using rp like a three out of ten so hopefully that makes sense right low loads are fine high loads are fine they’re both good again as i mentioned with strength and now hypertrophy effort is dependent right we need to be working hard we need to be pushing individuals and lastly there’s the endurance response right less than uh greater than less than 60 percent of one rep max 15 or more repetitions right lots and lots and lots of reps trying to really fatigue those things out and um in the look review right this is probably the shortest section in there that kind of looked at and it kind of just demonstrated that like there’s a lack of dose response relationship right whether you were doing uh high loads or moderate loads light loads there wasn’t a significant change in overall muscular endurance and i believe uh the lighter loads for endurance were more beneficial for like lower extremities which would make sense right you’re running it’s a lot of like impact and going doing a lot of air squats uh things like that’s going to help build that muscular endurance uh versus doing like really heavy back squats and hoping that’s going to translate to doing a 5k or doing like a really long hike and stuff like that it can there’s aspects of it that will help but with resiliency and like injury prevention we’re talking like muscular endurance so it’s the ability to go longer in that way you can look at a powerlifter who just does powerlifting and know that they ain’t doing like a 5k anytime sooner a long cycle right so those those are the main kind of areas we looked at right so again a lot a lot of talk there a lot of like little details about this lit review and what i want to specify again this conclusion right what is what is the grand arching scheme or grand arching topic uh or takeaway from this it is that what we’re looking at trying to build strength strength related advantages of heavier load are dose dependent right so if we are going to have someone get stronger at the squat the deadlift or the press they better be doing heavy squats heavy deadlifts and heavy presses if we want someone to specifically improve quad strength we can do squats we can do step ups we can also do isometric leg extensions at lighter loads for higher volume and what matters here is the effort and also if you are trying to train for a specific thing you’re trying to help someone improve their squat or increase strength with squat they better be squatting right specific adaptations to impose demand for strength is the greatest area that we see that that has to be specified there strength is going to improve strength hypertrophy we can use high loads we can use low loads we can use moderate loads if you want to build muscle we can use them all the one thing they mentioned though is you have to remember with low loads it’s a lot more effort dependent there’s going to be a higher amount of metabolic stress which can lead to just general discomfort in the muscle and some people don’t like that so the the likelihood of them sticking around to doing for doing like three sets of 18 at maximal effort where they’re feeling like an eight or nine out of 10 difficulty is not there the compliance might not be there high loads you need more volumes more more volume right so you can you only do two or three sets two or three reps i’m sorry at 80 90 percent which means you’re probably doing seven eight nine sets to get the appropriate amount of volume to elicit the hypertrophy response and what we know is that’s not fun if you’ve ever done 10 sets of three something really really heavy that is a miserable session and it’s also hard on your on your joints on your tissues it’s a lot of stress so if anything is off in your training continuum whether it be your sleep your recovery your nutrition right you’re going to feel that much much more which is why we probably go with that middle moderate range where it’s hard enough difficult enough but it’s not going to elicit any type of ill feeling or pain discomfort etc and then lastly with endurance as i mentioned already the lighter loads are going to be more beneficial for the lower extremity musculature otherwise it’s pretty much equivocal like whether you use heavy loads or lighter loads for endurance you’re not going to see too significant of a difference as far as gains go in that area cool i will link the study in the comments for anyone who wants to check it out for themselves that’s all i got for you this morning on this fitness athlete friday if you’re doing some hypertrophy work today play with some heavy load play some moderate load play some light load if you’re doing some strength work get after that barbell get heavy with it and hopefully everyone enjoys their weekend thank you for tuning in and we’ll catch you next week on the pt on ice daily show take care again

19:04 OUTRO
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