I would like to say a big thank you to Luke Johnson for organising the event.
Here are some of my top “takeaway” points from the day.
1- Squats don’t fully activate the hamstrings, neither does the stiff legged deadlift. The hamstring curl machine still has its place within any program.
2- “It depends.” My good friend Luke Johnson wrote an excellent piece yesterday regarding this point. I will quote an extract from the article.
“As Brad stated on numerous occasions when asked a question in the fitness field the answer 99.9% of the time always starts with ‘It Depends’
There is no one size that fits all, N = 1 is great for that person, the science reports the mean with a large variation between subjects.”
3- Some higher rep work does have its place, in moderation.
4- A program designed to properly maximise hypertrophy should take advantage of free weights, machines and cables. Don’t just reply on one tool, the positives of one are often the negatives of the other. Use all of them.
5- Calories do count….end if story!
6- Acute (short term) rises in cortisol is a normal response to training. Therefore, this will not impede recovery and growth.
7- Training programs designed to maximise certain natural hormones are based on zero science, or common sense.
8- An individual who has used anabolic steroids in the past may still make better gains than a drug free natural, this is due to better Satellite signalling.
9- Lagging body parts can be improved by placing more volume/frequency to these body parts.
10- A lot of the studies regarding weight training tend to be performed on sedentary individuals with small sample sizes, performing training programs not relevant to the real world. This obviously has a number of limitations.
11- Concurrent training can be a big issue for those seeking to maximise hypertrophy. Excessive cardio up regulates AMPk (catabolic signalling) and down regulates mTOR (anabolic signalling). Be cautious with excessive cardio, especially excessive running if your goals are hypertrophy.
12- As a general rule: Males and females should train in a very similar way in the context of hypertrophy.
13- Anabolic steroid users can withstand greater volumes and frequency of training.
14- How much volume an individual can tolerate is a very individual thing.
15- A de-load should be either scheduled in at some time point or an auto regulation approach to de-loads should be used. Bottom line…. Use de-loads.
16- Hitting muscle groups multiple times per week is superior for hypertrophy.
17- The anabolic window of opportunity is much wider than people realise. Hitting daily calorie and macro nutrient targets is still top priority in the hierarchy of importance.
18- An insulin spike is not needed post workout, with the caveat a pre exercise meal has been consumed containing at least protein relatively close to the training bout.
19- The type of carbohydrate and timing is less important if your next training session is at least 24+ hours away, glycogen re-synthesis will take care of itself, with the caveat you meet your daily carbohydrate targets. If you are training twice per day within an 8 hour window, type and timing of carbohydrates become much more important.
20- Brad seemed a thoroughly nice guy and I’m sure along with everyone else at the event, enjoyed the day immensely. One thing I found interesting; despite Brad’s huge number of work commitments as a Professor as well as being in charge of many upcoming new studies, he still manages to read 50 research journal articles per week.
There seems to be a correlation between the top individuals in the industry and their eagerness to constantly lean more and improve. This volume of reading is a common theme with other top practitioners I am fortunate to know personally. This is a habit I am constantly trying to improve upon.