The ROB approach.............

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  1. #1
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    The ROB approach.............

    "The ROB approach is nothing new, though I often explain it in a way that makes it sound different.

    In a nutshell, the ROB approach revolves around the concept of 'more work, less time'.

    If you ask a high school physics teacher what 'work' is, they'll probably say something like 'moving a force over a distance'.

    When you perform a squat or a bench press, you are lifting a weight over a distance (e.g., one full repetition of that exercise). Thus, you are performing work. The more weight you lift over that distance --provided you do it in the same amount of time!!-- the more work you are performing in that unit of time.

    Power = work divided by time. Thus, the more work you perform in a given unit of time, the higher your power output. However, I prefer to use the phrase "work rate" in preference to "power output."

    The higher the work rate you make your muscles sustain, the more metabolic and electrochemical 'disturbances' they encounter. Calcium (Ca2+), Hydrogen ions (H+; a.k.a. 'acid'), lactate, sodium (Na+) --these and other things accumulate within your muscle fibers as you make them pump iron. As your muscle fibers perform more work/time, these things accumulate progressively.

    The ROB approach dictates that in order to build bigger muscles, you MUST make your muscles sustain an uncomfortably high work rate. 'Uncomfortably high' because the muscles encounter so much electrochemical and metabolic disturbance that they basically say "Enough! You win! You're working us so hard that it's worth spending the energy to make ourselves bigger. That way, the next time you ask us to perform this high a work rate, it won't cause so much of a disturbance."

    How do you achieve as high a work rate as possible? You do this by lifting a heavy enough weight and Resting Only Briefly (hence "ROB") between sets. When you strike that magical combination of load and rest interval length, and you keep it up for enough sets, your muscles achieve that 'optimal' work rate that makes them grow like crazy.

    Of course, next time, you try to make your muscles sustain an even higher work rate by using heavier weights. This way they continue to increase in size.

    What's a 'heavy enough' weight? Who short a between-set rest interval is 'Resting Only Briefly'?

    I've found that lifting as heavy a weight as you can for 5-8 reps (sometimes as much as 10) and resting 20 seconds between sets, works fantastic for most muscle groups (though not necessarily all --see below).

    True, if you lift as much as you can for 5-8 reps and rest 2-3 minutes between sets, you will be able to generate a lot more force (i.e., lift heavier weights). But over the course of many sets, your average work rate will be less because of the slower pace. Your muscles will still grow, but not as quickly as they could.

    These are the basic elements of the ROB approach:

    (1) For all exercises, lift as heavy a weight as you can for 5-8 reps.
    (2) Rest only 20 seconds between sets. For some people, I suggest resting 50-60 seconds for quads (squats, leg presses). Why? Go to this link and scroll down until you see my post about slow-twitch fibers and my communications with Dr. Robert Fitts: http://forum.avantlabs.com/index.php?act=ST&f=9&t=5025

    (3) Do 8-20 sets per muscle group, depending on your goals, level of experience, and frequency of training (how many times you hit each muscle group per week).

    (4) Try to hit each muscle group at least 2 times per week.

    Go check out my threads on the "ROB approach" and my dieting threads at Avant Labs' forum. Also, you can read about my training approach in Planet Muscle. The latest issue has one of my articles "Heavy and Slow? Not to Grow!".

    Let me know how the ROB approach works for you.

    And thank you very much for your interest."

    Opinions?
    Quote Originally Posted by ForemanRules;


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  2. #2
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    I agree about 3 paragraphs into it... then it gets a little dicey. How are you going to use enough weight to stimulate muscle growth when your RI is a mere 20 seconds? As you shorten RI, intensity is forced to drop, not by choice, not by will, and not by some magical theory.

    And also, your volume is ridiciulously high and non-specific. 8-20 sets? Don't you think that is a bit broad?

    You can work on power, you can work on strength, and you can work on muscular endurance... BUT, you cannot work on them ALL at ONCE.

    Can you incorporate what you've just stated into a routine? Sure, but to work on power, you need less intensity and more speed. To work on strength you need a moderate rep range, and an intense weight, and a reasonable period of rest. Try deadlifting 90% of your 1RM with 20 second intervals, its impossible... the weight will be forced to drop because you have not recovered suffeciently and because of basic physics.

    if you lift as much as you can for 5-8 reps and rest 2-3 minutes between sets, you will be able to generate a lot more force (i.e., lift heavier weights). But over the course of many sets, your average work rate will be less because of the slower pace. Your muscles will still grow, but not as quickly as they could.
    That's bullshit. If you deadlift 300/5x5 with a RI of 60s (1RM around 365), there is NO way your body is physically capable of moving the same amount of weight quicker (IE: with a 20s RI). Something else has to change, and that something is the intensity. So sure, you can have 20s RI's but your not going to be moving as much weight, you'll be moving it faster, but you won't be able to move nearly as much weight.

    What your describing is density training... it has it's place, but you can't beat the laws of physics.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by god hand
    "The ROB approach is nothing new, though I often explain it in a way that makes it sound different.

    In a nutshell, the ROB approach revolves around the concept of 'more work, less time'.

    If you ask a high school physics teacher what 'work' is, they'll probably say something like 'moving a force over a distance'.

    When you perform a squat or a bench press, you are lifting a weight over a distance (e.g., one full repetition of that exercise). Thus, you are performing work. The more weight you lift over that distance --provided you do it in the same amount of time!!-- the more work you are performing in that unit of time.

    Power = work divided by time. Thus, the more work you perform in a given unit of time, the higher your power output. However, I prefer to use the phrase "work rate" in preference to "power output."

    The higher the work rate you make your muscles sustain, the more metabolic and electrochemical 'disturbances' they encounter. Calcium (Ca2+), Hydrogen ions (H+; a.k.a. 'acid'), lactate, sodium (Na+) --these and other things accumulate within your muscle fibers as you make them pump iron. As your muscle fibers perform more work/time, these things accumulate progressively.

    The ROB approach dictates that in order to build bigger muscles, you MUST make your muscles sustain an uncomfortably high work rate. 'Uncomfortably high' because the muscles encounter so much electrochemical and metabolic disturbance that they basically say "Enough! You win! You're working us so hard that it's worth spending the energy to make ourselves bigger. That way, the next time you ask us to perform this high a work rate, it won't cause so much of a disturbance."

    How do you achieve as high a work rate as possible? You do this by lifting a heavy enough weight and Resting Only Briefly (hence "ROB") between sets. When you strike that magical combination of load and rest interval length, and you keep it up for enough sets, your muscles achieve that 'optimal' work rate that makes them grow like crazy.

    Of course, next time, you try to make your muscles sustain an even higher work rate by using heavier weights. This way they continue to increase in size.

    What's a 'heavy enough' weight? Who short a between-set rest interval is 'Resting Only Briefly'?

    I've found that lifting as heavy a weight as you can for 5-8 reps (sometimes as much as 10) and resting 20 seconds between sets, works fantastic for most muscle groups (though not necessarily all --see below).

    True, if you lift as much as you can for 5-8 reps and rest 2-3 minutes between sets, you will be able to generate a lot more force (i.e., lift heavier weights). But over the course of many sets, your average work rate will be less because of the slower pace. Your muscles will still grow, but not as quickly as they could.

    These are the basic elements of the ROB approach:

    (1) For all exercises, lift as heavy a weight as you can for 5-8 reps.
    (2) Rest only 20 seconds between sets. For some people, I suggest resting 50-60 seconds for quads (squats, leg presses). Why? Go to this link and scroll down until you see my post about slow-twitch fibers and my communications with Dr. Robert Fitts: http://forum.avantlabs.com/index.php?act=ST&f=9&t=5025

    (3) Do 8-20 sets per muscle group, depending on your goals, level of experience, and frequency of training (how many times you hit each muscle group per week).

    (4) Try to hit each muscle group at least 2 times per week.

    Go check out my threads on the "ROB approach" and my dieting threads at Avant Labs' forum. Also, you can read about my training approach in Planet Muscle. The latest issue has one of my articles "Heavy and Slow? Not to Grow!".

    Let me know how the ROB approach works for you.

    And thank you very much for your interest."

    Opinions?
    My opinion is it sucks as a workout idea
    I highly recommend all IronMagLabs supplements!
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  4. #4
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    Density training is cool. It's a form of overload that many people don't delve into. I have yet to get into it much myself, though I might try it in the not too distant future if I start trying to put on muscle mass again.
    The only time it's bad to feel the burn is when you're peeing...

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  5. #5
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    "The PUMP, Resistance Training for Muscle Growth, and The ROB Concept

    A pump represents much more than a blood-engorged muscle.

    The 'pump', in bodybuilding terminology, refers to the congestion of muscle tissue with blood during exercise. This occurs when the contracting muscle is forced to sustain a high work rate (e.g., a high relative workload performed with little rest between sets).

    The vascular system reacts to the stimulus of exercise with increased blood flow; hence 'reactive hyperemia', as physiologists refer to it.

    The higher the work rate, and the longer it is sustained, the greater the 'pump. Even mild exercise enhances blood flow several-fold. Very intense exercise increases it even more so. The blood rushes into the muscle capillary bed faster than it leaves; the result is a swollen, or 'pumped' muscle.

    It's no coincidence that such conditions also create an intracellular 'pump', i.e., muscle fiber expansion ('swelling') due to the osomotic effects of H+, Na+, creatine, and other metabolites that accumulate faster at higher work rates.

    Indeed, it is the internal work rate --the actual rate at which ATP is being broken down, and the aforementioned metabolites are accumulating, per unit of time-- that is important for muscle growth.

    If the internal work rate is high enough and sustained long enough, not only will you get a 'pump' (i.e., visually swollen muscles), but the contracting muscle fibers will sustain enough electrochemical and metabolic disruption that they finally say "Enough! Let's make ourselves bigger so that we can handle the same workload with less disruption next time! It may cost us a lot of energy (e.g., the costs of protein and glycogen turnover, etc.), but it will be worth it."

    Contrast this to the external work rate ---the amount of weight actually being lifted over time.

    Thus, just because you happen to be stronger in a certain range of motion of a given exercise (e.g., the top few inches of the squat), this doesn't mean you are working the muscles harder. In fact, the opposite is true. The greater mechanical advantage enables the recruited muscle mass to work less, not more. Thus, external work can be a red herring if your goal is to build bigger muscles. Weight is important, but only insofar as it dictates the Relative Workload performed (more on this in a second).

    All workouts address the ROB Concept to some degree. That is, they all make the recruited muscle mass and its constituent fibers sustain work. To the extent that any given workout makes your muscles sustain a 'critically high' product of Work Rate X Duration, it will make them grow. That's the ROB Concept.

    Thus, even if you only do 1 set for each muscle group, the muscle fibers recruited during that one set will sustain some work. Thus, they will grow to some extent. The more muscle fibers you have in each muscle, and the further away they are from their geometrical size limit, and the fewer 'growth resistant' slow-twitch fibers you have, the more growth that one set will reward you with.

    But if these "three key genetic determinants of muscle-building success", as I call them (see articles on my Web site), are NOT in your favor (someone like me, for instance --an 'extreme' ectomorph if there is one), then one set won't reward you with very much growth. In fact, it just won't cut it, unless you are very patient (which I am not).

    Remember, too, not every single muscle fiber recruited during that 1 set will sustain the same workload. In fact, some fibers may come in 'late' (towards the end of the set as failure is approaching), thereby enduring less of that 'critical product' of Work Rate X Duration. Yet another reason for multiple sets.

    So you can see that all kinds of different workout approaches can build muscle, because all kinds of different approaches make your muscles sustain some degree of work at some rate for some period of time. Again, that's the ROB Concept.

    Thus, drop sets build muscle, as do multiple sets. I use them both.

    As far as reps and load (weight selection) go, the critical factor is RELATIVE WORK LOAD. A 5-repetition-maximum (RM) load requires that the recruited muscle mass generate more force relative to what it is capable of at that very moment (hence, 'Relative Workload') than does a load that enables you to lift 10 reps before reaching failure (i.e., a 10-RM). But the 10-RM load can be sustained longer.

    Which will build more muscle? That is, which will enable you to come closer to that 'critical product' of Relative Work rate X Duration?

    ONLY you can determine this through trial and error --experimentation. Again, depending on those "3 key genetic determinants of muscle-building success" I mentioned above, particularly fiber type composition, you may build more muscle with one approach than the other.

    That guy down the street may achieve that 'critical product' of work rate X duration (i.e., that which rewards him with a maximal rate of growth) by training with sets of 10 reps and 30-second rest intervals. You may achieve it with 8 reps.

    Even a 'small' difference in # of sets and/or reps performed can, over the course of many sets, and many workouts, amplify into tremendous differences in terms of muscle gained....or not gained.

    Contrary to popular opinion, the 'slow-twitch fibers' may not be best stimulated to grow with high reps/lighter weight (e.g., 12-15 rep). Why not? The slow-twitch fibers contract more slowly, which means they achieve their maximal work rate at a slower contraction velocity, i.e., a heavier load. The opposite is true for their fast-twitch counterparts.

    Does this mean that it's better to train to separate ways, i.e., for each muscle fiber type? Or will you get the same results by training with the same number of sets but using an 'averaged' approach that addresses each fiber type's unique force-velocity characteristics reasonably well? I have a feeling that the latter may well be true, i.e., it won't make much of a difference at all.

    Still, fiber type composition will make a difference as far as # of sets is concerned, i.e., how many sets you require to achieve a given level of muscle growth. It will also influence rep selection, i.e., how many reps you need to perform for each set in order to achieve a given level of growth.

    Experiment, experiment, experiment.


    Hope this provides some useful insights. Again, I really appreciate your interest, your comments, your criticisms, your support.

    Thanks so much for making this a worthwhile forum to be a part of."
    Quote Originally Posted by ForemanRules;


    Men respect people who deserve respect, simple as that.

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    I've tried a similar approach with this style of density training. You can knock it all you want, call it BS or whatever, but it's actually a pretty efficient way to work out, your done in the gym faster if time is and issue(like it is for many of us), for me it produced better gains in hypertrophy, and it is also pretty fucking demanding from a conditioning standpoint.

    When i did this, the program was pretty simple, I generally rested 30 seconds for core upper body movements (incline bb press, chins, militaries, rows, etc. etc.) 60 seconds for lower body core (squats, SLDL, hacks, leg curls, etc.) and for smaller groups like calves bi,s and tri's, about 20 seconds.

    I kept the weight the same for every set, and your muscles develope cumilative fatigue. So the last couple sets are brutal, but once you can reach the rep range, you bump the weight up.

    You fellas can shit on it all you want, but if you havn't tried it, don't knock it because it's harder than you think.

    If you have tried it and it didn't work for you, well than knock it all you want! what works for some, doesn't for others.

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    Hey i forgot to mention that this style of training that i was following, is very similar to the training protocols that Vince Gironda, Larry Scott, Mohammad Makkaway and many bodybuilders of the older era used. So for what it's worth, it isn't complete bullshit. They didn't call vince "The Guru" for nothing.

  8. #8
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    I just find it funny how people think getting a pump doesnt mean anything.
    Quote Originally Posted by ForemanRules;


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  9. #9
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    I agree with roughly half of what he says. The body reacts specifically to the imposition. It really looks like he's promoting a workout that works to achieve a maximal pump. Most of his theory is sound, but I think his workout is a 2 month type of thing, certainly not something to subscribe to permanently (which seems to be the suggestion).

    The ROB approach dictates that in order to build bigger muscles, you MUST make your muscles sustain an uncomfortably high work rate. 'Uncomfortably high' because the muscles encounter so much electrochemical and metabolic disturbance that they basically say "Enough! You win! You're working us so hard that it's worth spending the energy to make ourselves bigger. That way, the next time you ask us to perform this high a work rate, it won't cause so much of a disturbance."
    Unfortunately, work rate is only one of many factors that contribute to illiciting a reaction in the body. Your body will eventually adapt to this type of training, which is grounds to change it up after a few months of use.

    Also, the 20 second rest interval is not going to be optimal for anaerobic training. Way too narrow on defining that and way to broad on how many sets. The RI should be flexible in change - I.E. start at 20 and move up to a minute or vice versa.

    The higher the work rate you make your muscles sustain, the more metabolic and electrochemical 'disturbances' they encounter. Calcium (Ca2+), Hydrogen ions (H+; a.k.a. 'acid'), lactate, sodium (Na+) --these and other things accumulate within your muscle fibers as you make them pump iron. As your muscle fibers perform more work/time, these things accumulate progressively.
    The highest power output of any exercise (as was discovered by the people who invented another silly training protocol, Power Factor Training) is the push up. If you calculate the work rate (work divided by time) you will have generated more power doing push ups, but clearly this is not the best route for getting larger muscles..
    "in the howling bleeding nights, the dogs plunge into the Volga and swim desperately to gain the other bank. The nights of Stalingrad are a terror for them. Animals flee this hell; the hardest stones cannot bear it for long; only men endure."

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    Is This Rob Maraby We Are Talking About ? With His Fast Muscles Programm

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