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I asked a question on exercise strategies (see question below). Specifically, I presented three strategies to exercise. The question got closed on the grounds that it is opinion-based. In the comment, one close voter indicates that he cast the close vote because all strategies are pretty much equivalent. Shouldn't the question be left open with an answer simply saying all strategies are pretty much the same (regardless of anyone's opinion)?


Arm exercises: when to alternate arms?

I need to do three arm exercises A, B, and C. For each exercise, I perform 2 series of 10 repetitions. I can only work with one arm at a time. Which of the following sequence is preferable to maximize muscle gain and minimize the risk of injury?

  • Do all exercises A, B, and C with left arm. Then, do all exercises A, B, and C with the right arm.
  • Alternate arm between each exercise, i.e.: Do the two series of exercise A with the left arm. Then, do two series of exercise A with the right arm. Do the same for exercises B and C.
  • Alternate arm between each series, i.e.: Do the first series of exercise A with the left arm. Then, do the first series of exercise A with the right arm. Then, do the second series of exercise A with the left arm. Then, do second first series of exercise A with the right arm. Do the same for exercises B and C.
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    I'm sort of in agreement that this isn't opinion based. It might be really wonkish and irrelevant in the grand scheme of things but that doesn't make it primarily opinion based. There's rest cycles, ATP recharging, blood flow, etc that would make this at least approachable from an empirical standpoint. – Eric May 26 '17 at 18:58
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Primarily Opinion Based answers are answers that lack evidence to prove or disprove their validity. In your example, “saying all strategies are pretty much the same “ (which I did not say, or, imply - your assumption) is the equivalent of offering an opinion because, it too, lacks evidence. That's not to say that future research may definitively answer your question. It simply means that any reply you get will be based on the opinion of the person supplying the answer. What worked for them, may not work for you.

In addition, the context of your original question lacked an understanding of how muscle growth is achieved. As I stated in my comment, there are many factors that affect the ability to achieve muscle growth. The suggestion that performing a specific exercise sequence without proper nutrition, rest, etc. can lead to muscular growth is incorrect. And, in fact, in the sole response you received, JJosaur later indicated he knew he was providing an opinion based response.

In the end, it's entirely up to you to accept an opinion based response. However, I would caution you against that for the simple reason that the answer is typically a guess, or, based on anecdotal evidence that may or may not be valid.

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  • 1. "the context of your original question lacked an understanding of how muscle growth is achieved" -> I disagree, I was simply focusing on one aspect. – Franck Dernoncourt Aug 4 '16 at 16:16
  • 2. "Primarily Opinion Based answers are answers that lack evidence to prove or disprove their validity. In your example, “ -> I disagree, one could simply answer that the scientific literature does not contain any answer and therefore we currently do not know. There is not opinion present in such an answer. – Franck Dernoncourt Aug 4 '16 at 16:16
  • I'd also like to add that it takes more than my vote to put your question on hold. Obviously, there were others that agreed. – rrirower Aug 4 '16 at 16:48
  • I can only see that one more who agreed. The two other ones might have voted something else (I don't have access to that information). And who knows how many disagreed. Regardless of the others, don't you agree with my two comments above? – Franck Dernoncourt Aug 4 '16 at 17:33
  • No, I do not agree with you. – rrirower Aug 4 '16 at 17:40
  • So can you explain which point(s) in my comments you disagree with? – Franck Dernoncourt Aug 4 '16 at 17:46
  • If you want to discuss this ad infinitum, please take it to chat. – JohnP Aug 4 '16 at 20:23
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Reopened question as I've added sources per request -- not sure how else to open this other than adding a new reply.

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There is an answer here for sure.

LIFT #1

  • Let’s say you're doing 10 reps with just your (R) arm then 10 with your (L).

This results in 2 things:

  1. A unilateral force causing destabilization (essentially causing you to laterally flex away from the arm that's lifting). The more unstable the less you’re able to lift. When alternating arms the destabilizing force would be reduced due to the counter weight of the dumbbell you're holding in your other hand
  2. Assuming your using the proper weight to attain hypertrophy. Volume load (VL) would be lower lifting all sets on one side right or left it doesn’t matter as you'd since you'd fatigue faster.

Unilateral Reps << Alternating Reps


The application of Physiological (glycogen depletion) and Biomechanical principles (stabilities relation to force) explain this:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5388079/
https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/11537690-000000000-00000
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15320684

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  • Unsure why you have been upvoted here, Meta is to talk about the SE Meta aspects of the question/answers. As such, this answer is not in the right place. If you think you have a authoritative and scientifically-backed answer to give then vote to reopen. – John May 25 '17 at 12:00
  • I've added related research to my post. – Mike-DHSc Jun 18 '17 at 16:57

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