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lemon_boy


Nov 7, 2011, 10:00 AM
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muscle strength versus muscle volume
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i read on the SCC website that to double the strength of a muscle you need to increase the volume by a factor of 4. i had always thought that muscle strength was (approximately/generally) directly proportional to muscle cross sectional area. wouldn't doubling the area generally double the strength? the muscle isn't really getting that much 'longer'...? therefore, wouldn't DOUBLING the volume basically result in doubling the strength?


rossross


Nov 7, 2011, 1:29 PM
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I have seen statements that a muscle needs 8 times the volume to double the strength i think (new Climbing, the article taking about if shorter climbers have it better or worse) maybe it was 4 times though, I cant remember for sure.

But i do remember that the point was that doubling the size of the muscle does not give double the strength.

And this is a double in the lean muscle mass, so unfortunately having cheeseburger picnics will not get you up a V13. :(


aerili


Nov 7, 2011, 3:08 PM
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In general, I think you are correct: strength is relatively proportional to size (although there is some controversy about this wrt age of groups measured, i.e. elderly vs young, and also I am not sure this principle is always true for every muscle group in the body).

I am not aware from which studies this statement by SCC comes from. Certainly it is quite easy to increase strength (especially in untrained individuals) with little to no increase in muscle volume due to neurological adaptions. Of course, after about 4 weeks of training, size usually starts to increase as well.

However, most research supports that lifting heavy loads with lower total reps/sets results in larger strength gains with less mass than a hypertrophy program, which usually entails moderate loads, higher sets/reps, and greater mass resulting (although not necessarily greater strength).

Perhaps the website statement was referencing volume the way we talk about training volume: frequency, duration, total # sets/reps, etc. -- NOT muscle volume. Although, again, I feel that strength gains and required training stimulus vary dramatically per individual.

Also, most research into this area refers primarily to muscle cross-sectional area (vs the term volume) since length of the muscle doesn't change.


aerili


Nov 7, 2011, 3:50 PM
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After thinking about this for a while and doing some math, I wonder if this is what they were thinking...

Model the muscle as a cylinder. If strength is proportional to cross-sectional area, and if strength doubles, then perhaps they erroneously assumed the radius doubles if cross-sectional area doubled at the same time (assuming there is a direct proportion between strength gain and cross-sectional area).

Thus, modeling the volume as a cylinder (pi*r^2*h, where h is constant), you would get the volume increasing by a factor of 4.

The problem is that radius does not double when cross-sectional area doubles.

I could be totally off base about their statement, but just a thought....


onceahardman


Nov 7, 2011, 4:05 PM
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aerili wrote:
After thinking about this for a while and doing some math, I wonder if this is what they were thinking...

Model the muscle as a cylinder. If strength is proportional to cross-sectional area, and if strength doubles, then perhaps they erroneously assumed the radius doubles if cross-sectional area doubled at the same time (assuming there is a direct proportion between strength gain and cross-sectional area).

Thus, modeling the volume as a cylinder (pi*r^2*h, where h is constant), you would get the volume increasing by a factor of 4.

The problem is that radius does not double when cross-sectional area doubles.

I could be totally off base about their statement, but just a thought....

This is what happens when exercise physiologists take engineering classes! Smile

Muscle modeled as cylinder...hmmm...

Nice to hear from you!


aerili


Nov 7, 2011, 6:48 PM
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Ha ha, I know, super simplified. So many muscle shapes out there, all operating differently in their force-producing capabilities when you take into account the direction of action wrt the fiber alignments! But, hey, it was the only thing I could think of, especially when imagining a "round" muscle belly and a cross-section of said muscle.... Blush

Thanks for the comment and the greeting.


lemon_boy


Nov 8, 2011, 7:19 AM
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aerili wrote:
After thinking about this for a while and doing some math, I wonder if this is what they were thinking...

Model the muscle as a cylinder. If strength is proportional to cross-sectional area, and if strength doubles, then perhaps they erroneously assumed the radius doubles if cross-sectional area doubled at the same time (assuming there is a direct proportion between strength gain and cross-sectional area).

Thus, modeling the volume as a cylinder (pi*r^2*h, where h is constant), you would get the volume increasing by a factor of 4.

The problem is that radius does not double when cross-sectional area doubles.

I could be totally off base about their statement, but just a thought....

that was my first guess also, that they errored in basically saying that doubliing the radius or diameter would quadruple the cross sectional area.


ceebo


Nov 9, 2011, 2:43 PM
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Is it of no benifit for climbers to take steroids?. Not that i ever have or know anybody that has for climbing. I just wondered.


lemon_boy


Nov 15, 2011, 7:54 AM
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kinda waiting for an SCC guy to respond to this question.....


ceebo


Nov 15, 2011, 8:15 AM
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lemon_boy wrote:
kinda waiting for an SCC guy to respond to this question.....

No need, i checked around and found a blog about it. Seems more common in high level climbers than i would ever have guessed. They are not the common type of steroids for body builders.. but steroids none the less.


rossross


Nov 15, 2011, 8:32 AM
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ceebo wrote:
lemon_boy wrote:
kinda waiting for an SCC guy to respond to this question.....

No need, i checked around and found a blog about it. Seems more common in high level climbers than i would ever have guessed. They are not the common type of steroids for body builders.. but steroids none the less.

What is the blog? just wondering... lol


maldaly


Nov 15, 2011, 9:05 AM
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Any formula you may have about muscle strength vs muscle volume will go right out the window when you take a look at Heidataka Suzuki. He stood about 5' 10" and weight about 100 lbs and, as anyone who has ever climbed with him would attest, he's one strong MoFo.



(This post was edited by maldaly on Nov 15, 2011, 9:06 AM)


lemon_boy


Nov 15, 2011, 9:56 AM
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ceebo wrote:
lemon_boy wrote:
kinda waiting for an SCC guy to respond to this question.....

No need, i checked around and found a blog about it. Seems more common in high level climbers than i would ever have guessed. They are not the common type of steroids for body builders.. but steroids none the less.

wasn't talking about steroids. was talking about where they got the info that to double strength you have to quadriple the volume of the muscle.


ceebo


Nov 15, 2011, 3:37 PM
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lemon_boy wrote:
ceebo wrote:
lemon_boy wrote:
kinda waiting for an SCC guy to respond to this question.....

No need, i checked around and found a blog about it. Seems more common in high level climbers than i would ever have guessed. They are not the common type of steroids for body builders.. but steroids none the less.

wasn't talking about steroids. was talking about where they got the info that to double strength you have to quadriple the volume of the muscle.

Oh sorry. Anyway, that claim is rediculess. To double my strength right now would mean 1 arm dead hanging a 1 or 2mm edge into a 1 arm pull up. Dont need 3x the mass for that, more like tendons of steel.


cchas


Nov 18, 2011, 10:23 AM
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Re: [maldaly] muscle strength versus muscle volume [In reply to]
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maldaly wrote:
Any formula you may have about muscle strength vs muscle volume will go right out the window when you take a look at Heidataka Suzuki. He stood about 5' 10" and weight about 100 lbs and, as anyone who has ever climbed with him would attest, he's one strong MoFo.
[image]www.climbing.com/photo-video/gallery/90s/index3.html[/image]

Not really,... if you consider the over-simplification of to double strength, you increase the volume by 4 times. And take a second oversimplification of volume=mass (which woukld assume equal density)... to double the strength you need to increase your mass by 4 times... a loosing proposition in climbing....maybe great for football but for gymnastics, running, climbing it doesn't do you much good.

Note for full disclosure: My PhD is in polymer chemistry and not physiology. Take the word of a human physiologist over mine.

Where it all goes wrong is that you are not taking into account nuero-muscluar adaptation, and fast versus slow twitch muscle contraction, and the fast twitch phenotype can further be broken down.

A friends PhD was on muscle phenotype adaptation to training. Her thesis made the proposal, (and is currently a subject among much debate among physiologists) that through training a phenotype can be switched. Who knows.

What I am saying is that someone can get significantly "stronger" then by purely mass gain. ie: why myself, a wimpy 148lbs/5'11" guy can do pullups with 140lb weights hanging off me (usually only 100lbs weights on a weekly basis) whereas I know weight trainers who look BIG, but have a hard time with their own weight.


(This post was edited by cchas on Nov 18, 2011, 10:30 AM)


lemon_boy


Nov 18, 2011, 12:27 PM
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so, as of yet nobody has really explained the rational of needing to quadruple the mass to double the strength.

still surprised nobody from the SCC camp has come out of the woodwork. (cough) "bueller, bueller?" (cough).


Partner cracklover


Nov 18, 2011, 3:11 PM
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rossross wrote:
ceebo wrote:
lemon_boy wrote:
kinda waiting for an SCC guy to respond to this question.....

No need, i checked around and found a blog about it. Seems more common in high level climbers than i would ever have guessed. They are not the common type of steroids for body builders.. but steroids none the less.

What is the blog? just wondering... lol

Sorry for the thread drift, and I'd be happy to start a new thread... but I'm also curious - where do you get this from?

I was always under the impression that climbing was one of the few sports in which anabolic steroid use pretty much did not exist. I figured this was due to the huge benefit to being light.

GO


Partner rgold


Nov 18, 2011, 6:00 PM
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Re: [cchas] muscle strength versus muscle volume [In reply to]
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cchas wrote:
maldaly wrote:
Any formula you may have about muscle strength vs muscle volume will go right out the window when you take a look at Heidataka Suzuki. He stood about 5' 10" and weight about 100 lbs and, as anyone who has ever climbed with him would attest, he's one strong MoFo.
[image]www.climbing.com/photo-video/gallery/90s/index3.html[/image]

Not really...

Yes, really not really. The volume method might in some limited circumstances be a valid way to gauge strength gains in a single individual, but it certainly cannot be used to compare different individuals.

There are at least three components to what people observe as "strength" in something like climbing: the anatomical set-up, i.e. where muscles are attached, which gives different people different amounts of leverage, the neurological set-up, which determines how much muscle-fiber activation can be achieved, and the biological set-up, in which the proportions of different types of muscle fibers determine maximal contraction speed and strength.

And then, on top of that, there is in climbing the fact that strength-to-weight is what counts, so that one person's small muscles can provide that person with a lot more body-weight capacity than another, much heavier, persons' big muscles.

Training can affect the neurological set-up for sure. I'm not sure if there is much in the way of conclusive evidence about whether the biological set-up can be affected by training, and of course the anatomical set-up is not trainable.

Training can affect muscle size; the cells themselves grow bigger. Although there is manifestly some relation between increased size and increased strength, I think it highly unlikely that they are proportional even for a single individual; it seems more likely that increases in size have less and less effect on strength.

If muscle strength was, in some hypothetical world, proportional to volume (and so also proportional to cross-sectional area since the muscle length does not change), then doubling strength would require doubling volume, not quadrupling it. If, say, volume was proportional to the square of strength, then that factor of 4 would show up.

And now, as did Chas, I have to confess that my PhD is in mathematics, and so I nothing I just said (except for the remarks about proportionality) can be trusted.


(This post was edited by rgold on Nov 19, 2011, 7:27 AM)


onceahardman


Nov 19, 2011, 7:09 AM
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Rich, I like a lot about what you said, but I disagree with some too.

Hidetaka Suzuki is super strong, for a 100 lb man. I don't think I'd call him to help get my car out of a ditch, though, and I doubt he could play left tackle in the NFL.

But the bulk of Ex. Phys. research really does support the concept of muscle strength being directly proportional to cross-sectional area. This has little to do with climbing, which (as has been stated here too many times) is much more technique-dependent, than pure strength-dependent.


Partner rgold


Nov 19, 2011, 7:55 AM
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onceahardman wrote:
Rich, I like a lot about what you said, but I disagree with some too.

Hidetaka Suzuki is super strong, for a 100 lb man. I don't think I'd call him to help get my car out of a ditch, though, and I doubt he could play left tackle in the NFL.

I was at least attempting to vigorously agree with this position!

onceahardman wrote:
But the bulk of Ex. Phys. research really does support the concept of muscle strength being directly proportional to cross-sectional area. This has little to do with climbing, which (as has been stated here too many times) is much more technique-dependent, than pure strength-dependent.

Right---note my disclaimer at the end of my post. But there are things out there such as this; perhaps at three years old already out of date:

Sports Med. 2008;38(12):987-94.
doi: 10.2165/00007256-200838120-00003.

Cross-sectional area and muscular strength: a brief review.
Jones EJ, Bishop PA, Woods AK, Green JM.
Source

Department of Kinesiology and Health Science, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas 75962-3015, USA. jonesej@sfasu.edu
Abstract

A brief review is provided on the relationship of strength to muscle cross-sectional area (CSA). It is commonly believed that maximal force and CSA are strongly related. Studies examining varying levels of training status display discordant data suggesting complex relationships between training status, CSA and peak force. It has been reported that trained participants had a significantly larger force to CSA ratio (F/CSA) than untrained males and females. Therefore, it is difficult to attribute all force changes due to training to CSA changes. In general, studies of CSA and strength suggest that sex differences may exist. For example, recreationally trained female weightlifters produced higher F/CSA than males at lower velocities of contraction. Definitive conclusions regarding sex differences, force production and CSA are difficult because of limited studies and equivocal results among these studies. Some studies have also examined the impact of aging on F/CSA. These studies seem to follow the same pattern as studies on sex differences and training status, with data suggesting that F/CSA varies unpredictably across ages and that differences may be attributed to factors other than age alone. In the papers reviewed, the relationship between force and CSA is neither consistent nor simple. Although some of the discrepancies between studies could be attributed to methodological variations, this does not seem likely to explain all differences. The F/CSA relationship seems complex, and future studies are required to elucidate the relationships among key factors in the expression of strength.



onceahardman


Nov 19, 2011, 11:07 AM
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Sorry for my lack of clarity.

The Suzuki example was intended to illustrate something we agree upon.

Upon more careful reading of your post, I think we agree more than I thought. There are other things which contribute to strength differences between individuals aside from cross-sectional area (fiber type, insertion points, neurological adaptations, etc.).

Within an individual, particularly within an individual muscle of a single individual, muscle strength is directly proportional to cross-sectional area. I think that statement is consistent with the abstract you posted, and I think we would both agree with that.


ceebo


Nov 19, 2011, 2:37 PM
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cracklover wrote:
rossross wrote:
ceebo wrote:
lemon_boy wrote:
kinda waiting for an SCC guy to respond to this question.....

No need, i checked around and found a blog about it. Seems more common in high level climbers than i would ever have guessed. They are not the common type of steroids for body builders.. but steroids none the less.

What is the blog? just wondering... lol

Sorry for the thread drift, and I'd be happy to start a new thread... but I'm also curious - where do you get this from?

I was always under the impression that climbing was one of the few sports in which anabolic steroid use pretty much did not exist. I figured this was due to the huge benefit to being light.

GO

I don't remember sorry. But i found it just browsing google so you should find it too.

If i remmeber right the roids taken were more aimed at decreasing recovery time rather than building mass. Something like that anyway.


ZeroContent


Nov 19, 2011, 6:21 PM
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You figure the goal of climbers would to be to gain strength while keeping mass down. You want to better weight to strength ratio. Similar to fighters or any other sport where divisions are broken up by weight. I would look at fight training techniques and any study done in the area. With MMA becoming very very popular there will probably be a lot more scientific studies and trials to give those types of athletes the edge. Then we can benefit from the findings.


jacques


Nov 20, 2011, 10:47 PM
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lemon_boy wrote:
i read on the SCC website that to double the strength of a muscle you need to increase the volume by a factor of 4. i had always thought that muscle strength was (approximately/generally) directly proportional to muscle cross sectional area. ?
the muscle is compose of muscle cell. In each cells, there is fiber of actine myosine. the number of those cell will gave you the maximal forces that you can have.

Many way to increase forces. If you increase the signal, 80 % of the fiber will contract at the same time. It is your maximal strenght. One shout, but very strong.

If you increase the glycogene, you will have more energy from the krebs cycle. Runners have those kind of energy and it is also what we need in climbing. To stay light, you have to transform linear glycogene to branch glycogene. this can be done by exercise. If your muscle stay linear, you will look like a weight lifting guy.

In sport climbing, as most the route are 25 meters or 30 meters (90 feets), with very hard moves... it is better to have a weight lifting approach.

In trad, as most route are of 200 and more meters (600 feet) it is more to have a good cardio and a good synchronisation of' the fiber.

Notice that when you begin a training, some inert fiber become active. the volume of themuscle will change, but not the number of fiber. It is possible to increase the number of the fiber too by division of the fiber. An other think to consider is the color of the fiber. Red one are more for aerobic activity and white one are more for weight training.

Look for glycogenesis and krebs cycle for energy information. If you want for fiber, look for actine myosine fiber and contraction. In grimper, Patrick Edlinger, they make the relation between the energy use by the fiber and what you climb.


guangzhou


Nov 20, 2011, 11:48 PM
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jacques wrote:
lemon_boy wrote:
i read on the SCC website that to double the strength of a muscle you need to increase the volume by a factor of 4. i had always thought that muscle strength was (approximately/generally) directly proportional to muscle cross sectional area. ?
the muscle is compose of muscle cell. In each cells, there is fiber of actine myosine. the number of those cell will gave you the maximal forces that you can have.

Many way to increase forces. If you increase the signal, 80 % of the fiber will contract at the same time. It is your maximal strenght. One shout, but very strong.

If you increase the glycogene, you will have more energy from the krebs cycle. Runners have those kind of energy and it is also what we need in climbing. To stay light, you have to transform linear glycogene to branch glycogene. this can be done by exercise. If your muscle stay linear, you will look like a weight lifting guy.

In sport climbing, as most the route are 25 meters or 30 meters (90 feets), with very hard moves... it is better to have a weight lifting approach.

In trad, as most route are of 200 and more meters (600 feet) it is more to have a good cardio and a good synchronisation of' the fiber.

Notice that when you begin a training, some inert fiber become active. the volume of themuscle will change, but not the number of fiber. It is possible to increase the number of the fiber too by division of the fiber. An other think to consider is the color of the fiber. Red one are more for aerobic activity and white one are more for weight training.

Look for glycogenesis and krebs cycle for energy information. If you want for fiber, look for actine myosine fiber and contraction. In grimper, Patrick Edlinger, they make the relation between the energy use by the fiber and what you climb.

I've been on plenty of sport routes that are dozens of pitches long, and hundreds of single pitch trad lines.

As for giving advice on training, weren't you just posting about how you have no idea what you're doing and can't climb most of the time because you keep injuring yourself with your workouts.

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