WHAT IS IT?
Myoreps are a way to efficiently increase the volume of effective reps.
After performing an initial set of 12-20 reps to, or very close to, technical failure, continue with sets of 3-5 reps using the same load separated by 3-5 deep breaths (or 10-15 seconds) as rest. Discontinue myoreps after 5 “backdown” sets or once you are no longer able to achieve the desired rep target.
HOW TO TRACK PROGRESSION?
Progression can be quantified relatively easily through load used, number of “backdown” sets achieved, length of rest periods, and/or total number of reps achieved across all sets provided other variables remain consistent. Because the length of the rest periods play such a crucial factor, it is highly advised to standardize it as much as possible week-to-week to avoid “noise” in performance.
WHO SHOULD USE IT?
Myos as an intensity technique should be restricted to high level intermediates and advanced athletes due to the fatigue generation and risk of technical breakdown that comes with high volumes of effective reps. Counterintuitively, submaximal Myos can be used to improve technical resilience as long as the “end point” is shifted according to the trainee’s abilities.
WHO SHOULD NOT USE IT?
Beginners should generally shy away from Myos as an intensity technique and instead, focus on maximizing adaptations from straight sets. Trainees who have a hard time pushing themselves close to failure and/or maintaining form with high intensities may be better served using another intensity technique (such as cluster sets).
WHEN TO USE IT?
Myos can be used in the final week(s) of a moderate-volume phase, during a low-volume/high-intensity phase, and/or if the trainee is time-restricted. Due to the relatively unique property of Myos, to be strongly contributory towards mechanical overload AND metabolic stress, the technique can be implemented more liberally within phases without risking periodization cross-contamination.
Additionally, Myos don’t need to be restricted only to the end of a training session (as a finisher, challenge, or the like). Because they work by inflating the ratio or effective-to-non-stimulation reps, the SFR (stimulus-to-fatigue-ratio) remains in a healthy range for succeeding work. In other words, Myos won’t wreck you if used strategically.
WHEN NOT TO USE IT?
If Myos are used during a moderate/high-volume phase without controlling for intensity and volume, the potential to acutely overreach too quickly will be more pronounced. Though the accumulation of fatigue isn’t as strong as some other techniques (e.g. Rest Pause, Forced Reps, etc), there will still be an impact, locally and systematically. And this needs to be accounted for within the programming/periodization.
HOW TO USE IT?
Similar to Rest Pause sets, we need to be able to push close to failure multiple times with relatively quick transitions between “backdown” sets, so machines and cables will be the gold-standard modalities. Bodyweight movements/calisthenics also lend themselves extremely well towards Myos provided baseline levels of strength are met. Other variations, such as isolation, free-weight variations, that have a relatively low-risk and high ease-of-use can also meet the prerequisites for this technique. Myos also tend to work better with accessory movements where their strengths can be best utilized.
Movements more complex in nature, using larger muscles or muscle groups, and/or at the lower end of the acceptable initial-set rep range are going to be more “overload” focused and generally correspond to longer rest lengths and lower “backdown”-set reps (i.e. 5:3 paradigm). Conversely, simpler variations that aim to isolate a single muscle using the upper-end of the initial-set rep range are going to be more “metabolic” with “backdown” sets consisting of shorter rest times and higher reps (i.e. 3:5 paradigm).
1)EZ Curls- Perform an initial set to failure at 15 reps. Myos should be a 3:3 paradigm (3 breaths to 3 reps). This might play out in practice as: 15 reps, 3 breaths, 3 reps, 3 breaths, 3 reps, 3 breaths, 2 reps, end
2)Leg Extensions- Perform an initial set to failure at 20 reps. Myos should be a 4:5 paradigm (4 breaths to 5 reps)
3)Dips- Perform an initial set to failure at 12 reps. Myos should be a 5:3 paradigm (5 breaths to 3 reps)
HOW NOT TO USE IT?
Because of the strict rest intervals with the “backdown” sets, any movement that is energetically or temporally inefficient will be practically disqualified from Myos when speaking directly to hypertrophic potential. We also want to limit the potential for injury and unintended failure points so variations that have high axial-loading, intrinsic instability, external or non-useful dependencies, or technical variance should be avoided with Myos.
Another important consideration is related to optimizing the “backdown” rest periods and reps. If a mistake is made to the upside (that is, too much rest and/or too few reps per set), the fatigue will not accumulate fast enough to hit a failure point within a reasonable amount of sets. If that miscalculation is made to the downside (not enough rest and/or too many reps per set), failure will occur before any significant amount of effective reps can be accumulated.
1)Seated DB OHP- Too inefficient with the setup as too unstable close to failure
2)Barbell RDLs- Too much axial loading and risk associated with failure
3)Neutral Pull-ups- Too much instability, difficulty in standardizing reps/ROM, and external dependencies (grip)
BENEFITS OF THE TECHNIQUE:
-Increases volume of effective reps compared to “junk” volume
-Crosses over between overload and metabolic stress offering greater situational flexibility
-Easy to track progress once parameters are in place
-Fatigue generation is not as high as with other intensity techniques due to only two failure points and efficiency of reps
-Can be successfully implemented anywhere in a training session or program as long as other variables are accounted for
DRAWBACKS OF THE TECHNIQUE:
-Getting the “backdown” rest:reps paradigm right can be a challenge even for experienced trainees
-Relatively narrow selection of applicable variations
-Requisite levels of intensity needed to maximize stimulus can be difficult to sustain
-Overreaching can happen quickly when Myos are used with heavier, compound movement, especially as an overloading technique
-Rest times can be challenging to standardize