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Do High Reps Cause Strength Loss ?
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John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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04-13-2018, 08:01 PM
Hello Everyone,.

I received an e-mail from a man that has been weight vest training for the past 17 weeks. He told me that he had followed Dr Morehouse's protocols that I have written on the forum many times and that he is at a loss for why he has lost so much strength now that he has entered his 8-week strength building phase.

He wrote. "Mr Peterson, I come from a weight training background. I'm 6'3' and currently weigh 215. My goal was to heal my shoulders and get back to having a six-pack. I accomplished both goals in the first 12 weeks.

I started with the weight vest after I read what you wrote about weight vest training. It made a lot of sense to me because I was getting to a point that I was doing 300 or more Push-Ups, Sit-Ups, and Squats every day and frankly, it was taking way too long and boring me to death. I also wasn't getting any leaner and my results had stagnated. So I read all of your posts relating to the weight vest and then ordered a 'V-Force 100 Pound Short Vest'.

When I got the vest it was actually 2--50 pound (52pounds-to be exact) vests with one vest fitting over the other. I had thought that doing Push-Ups and squats with a 100 pound vest would be easy for me because I could do multiple reps with more than 300 on the bench. I was mistaken. I started with just the 50 pound vest loaded to 32 pounds because I could not do multiple sets of 8 to 12 reps in each set with more than that to start. Eventually at the end of 8 weeks I was doing do 3 sets of 15> reps on each of the Atlas Push-Up variations with a 44.5 pound vest and I was using the two vests together that actually weighed104 pounds for 5 sets of 15> deep squats. At the end of 8 weeks on the Muscle Building phase I had lost more than 20 pounds on the scale while adding muscle size to my upper body. In fact, I look better and leaner than I ever have and my wife says I look leaner and harder now than I did when I was 19 even though I'm 38 now.

After the building phase I went to the Morehouse Stamina Building Phase for the next 8-weeks. I cut back to 22 pounds in the vest and started doing sets of 30 reps on each set and got to the end of 8 weeks doing 2 sets of 40> reps on each the Atlas Push-Up Variations w/27.5 pounds. I did 4 sets of 40> reps on the squats with 52 pounds in the vest and 4 sets of 12 alternating lunges at the end of 8-weeks on the Stamina Phase.

NOW I have a problem that I'm hoping you can help me with. I am now in the 8-Week Strength Building Phase. As you know I am supposed to be doing sets of 3 to 5 reps on each on my Push-Up Variations and the same on all of my Lower Body exercises. I was in for a shock because when I put on a 52 pound weight vest for the Push-Up exercises I couldn't make it to 3-5 reps on each set. That tells me that the Stamina Phase caused me to lose considerable Push-Up Strength. Is this normal? What should I do?

Answer: First off, congratulations Carleton you have made some great progress. Now as relates to strength loss caused by stamina training the answer is that I understand your concern but realize your strength will rapidly improve. Here's the deal. For the previous 8-weeks you have been training your muscles to exert at a moderate intensity for longer periods of time. Trust me on this, you made great progress. BUT as you taught your muscles to last longer you lost a certain amount of your ability to contract a far greater percentage of your muscle fibers simultaneously. My recommendation is to do 3 sets of 3 to 5 reps with only as much weight in the vest as you can handle in perfect form and to practice Isometrics each and every day realizing that Isometrics teach you how to contract the maximum number of muscle fibers simultaneously. This in fact is the 'secret' behind Isometric Contraction. Isometrics re-educate your muscles to simultaneously contract the maximum number of muscle fibers with each exertion. BUT REALIZE that Isometric Contraction is a LEARNED SKILL. In time you will be able to take your ability to simultaneously contract your muscles statically to the point that you can contract the maximum number of fibers with movement. In fact, John McSweeney told me that when you have MASTERED TIGER MOVES that you are in essence capable of performing a moving Isometric Contraction and that you need to be very careful at that point because can literally tear muscles or tendons due to the extreme increase in functional strength created through muscle control.

I hope my explanation is helpful to you Carleton. it all comes down to the fact that you are now re-educating your muscles from super stamina/endurance to super strength. It just take a little time to rep-educate your nervous system to be able to contract the muscle fibers( the synapse effect) simultaneously.

---John Peterson
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