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Does 100=10x10?


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Interesting question.  My thoughts are that:

  • 10 x 10 spread throughout the day may actually be better than 1x100.
     
  • Neither is superior to the other by enough to really matter.
     
  • 101 the next day, 102 the next, and so on, by any grouping necessary, may be better still - though you'd want to start with a lower daily target.  This is a favorite tactic of Chad Waterbury.
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Do you think doing 10 BW squats 10 times per day produces similar strength builiding results as doing 1 set of 100 squats/day? I realize the cardio element would be different, but what I'm really wondering about is the strengthening aspect.

No.

If you can do 100 squats in a single set, doing 500 wouldn't mean you were any stronger. That's long past the point of diminishing returns for strength gains.

For that matter, so is 10x10. Strength is gained at a level of intensity where you can't do nearly that much volume, around 10-40 reps total in a workout is more like it. (Think 3x3-10.)

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Three sets of somewhere between 3 and 10 reps. I think that is what Paulg meant.

Exactly.

Olivia, your question is a really good one. At its heart, it's about the difference between intensity (like the amount of weight on a barbell) and volume (# of times you lift the weight).

In essence, your question about squats seems to ask: can volume be substituted for intensity and still create a strength adaptation?

The answer is no, they're not equivalent. Strength adaptations occur at high intensity and low volume. Eventually, a lot of volume will no longer cause strength adaptations, which is why it's a good idea to raise intensity whenever possible.

Cowardly Assassin
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Exactly.

Olivia, your question is a really good one. At its heart, it's about the difference between intensity (like the amount of weight on a barbell) and volume (# of times you lift the weight).

In essence, your question about squats seems to ask: can volume be substituted for intensity and still create a strength adaptation?

The answer is no, they're not equivalent. Strength adaptations occur at high intensity and low volume. Eventually, a lot of volume will no longer cause strength adaptations, which is why it's a good idea to raise intensity whenever possible.

It does make sense to me that intensity strengthens the body more efficiently than volume. So, with BW squats, it sounds like what you're suggesting is that intensity increases with the number of reps within a single set, but only to a point. I suppose at that point, one would need to move on to a more intense style BW squats, like pilots.

Olivia Benson


Began 1/14/14

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I don't agree that the degree of strength adaptation from both 10x10 or 1x100 would be none.  If that were true then German Volume Training wouldn't have worked for anyone ever.  Regardless, even if neither 10x10 nor 1x100 produce any strength adaptation at all then they are similar ;)

 

I do agree that the degree of strength adaptation would be less than that elicited by lower overall volume but higher load or more disadvantageous leverages.  But that wasn't asked in the original question.

 

Considering both load and volume from the other extreme:  it also isn't ideal to attempt to increase a 1RM by lifting your 1RM for singles.  Training more volume with a lesser load will produce better results if the goal is absolute strength.  But there are certainly diminishing returns as load decreases and volume increases.  The exact perfect balance is a matter of considerable debate, research, and opinion - and will vary from person to person, and even over time for the same person.

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By strengthening do you mean endurance? or becoming stronger?

 

BW Squats are fine for building strength, but once you pass a certain level it would be better to add weight, or change to a more challenging exercise like, hindu squats, split squats, shrimp squats, and pistol squats.

 

If strength for endurance is what you are after, then challenging your self to complete a certain amount per week, or month, might be a good challenge. You could then complete 100 on certain days, 50 on others, 200 on extra long workouts etc 

 

Indian wrestlers used to do hundreds of hindu squats a day (baithak) to build leg strength. 

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I worked in a grocery store from age 16 to around 25.  As a grocery clerk, I did probably 200 squats to kneeling position at least 4 days/wk (not a perfect form squat, but had to lower a case of cans or boxes down to the bottom shelf, place them on the shelf, then stand again.  This doesn't include the partial squats to stock the middle height shelves.  To this day, my thighs are out of proportion w/ the rest of my muscles.  

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Diet is 80% of losing weight, exercise is 80% of motivation.

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Exactly.

Olivia, your question is a really good one. At its heart, it's about the difference between intensity (like the amount of weight on a barbell) and volume (# of times you lift the weight).

In essence, your question about squats seems to ask: can volume be substituted for intensity and still create a strength adaptation?

The answer is no, they're not equivalent. Strength adaptations occur at high intensity and low volume. Eventually, a lot of volume will no longer cause strength adaptations, which is why it's a good idea to raise intensity whenever possible.

 

I think this is partially correct, but a slight oversimplification.  Yes, higher weight/intensity at lower reps is the best way to build strength, particularly the neuromuscular component that lets one get stronger without getting bigger.  However depending on one's goals, hypertrophy is significantly aided by volume, and higher rep ranges with a bit less resistance can help with this.  Maxmizing one's overall capacity may involve both heavy/low rep and lighter/higher rep work.

 

 

Of course, this is within a finite window.  There's value in varying reps per set(and many periodization schemes do this, even over the short term), but we're talking over a range of maybe 4x3 on the low end, to 3x15 on the high end. I definitely agree that 1x100 or 10x10 is likely to be at too low an intensity for what the OP is likely looking to achieve, particularly if the goal is "strength".

"Restlessness is discontent - and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man-and I will show you a failure." -Thomas Edison

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