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 Post subject: Fatigue
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 9:12 pm 
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n00b
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As a relative newbie to weightlifting (have lifted for many years, bet never seriously) I have a pretty basic question: At what point shoule I recognize when my muscles are fatigued enough so that I can't do one more rep?

The work-outs I've seen state to lift until muscle fatigue/failure. However, as someone who uses free-weights without a spotter, how do I know whether I can eek out one more rep without going too far and not being able to get the bar back on the stand? At best, it seems like a judgement call - "I really don't think I can do this one more time." If I can get one more rep out of the set, wouldn't that be the one that makes the most gain?

I know this seems like a stupid question (and I guess it is), but I'm trying a new routine (warm-up set followed my heavy set 'til failure) and want to make sure I'm doing it to the best of my ability.

TIA,

Ted


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 10:41 pm 
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If I recall your goals are strength and some hypertrophy. Truly, I try not to go to failure on dumbbells since I don't have a spotter. With the barbell I don't care so much since I play in the power rack and there are spotter arms. The last time I did dumbbell presses I misjudged and almost bought the whole farm, if you know what I mean. Amazingly I managed to hold on and I remained safe, but I don't ever want to make that mistake again.

I think if you don't have a spotter and the particular movement is dangerous (i.e., anything pressing over the head), I would stop when the form begins to get sloppy. That's usually sufficient warning to not go any further. Even if you start to get shaky in the beginning of the movement, it's okay to just bring the weight down and not try to finish the rep.

In terms of hypertrophy alone, I don't think that last "failure rep" is where you're going to find the most gain. There are so many other better things to do to tear up maximum muscle fiber -- like slower tempo, concentrating on the eccentric movement, and heaven forbid more sets. It could be considered important for strength improvements but you can still get much stronger without going to failure.

So I guess in a nutshell what I'm saying is, "better safe than sorry".

Hope that helps somewhat.

John


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 8:12 am 
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n00b
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Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:24 pm
Posts: 15
Thanks for the reply, John.

That's a good point re not losing form. I can definitely tell when my form is breaking down, esp with the linear sets. I wonder if instead of going for failure, if I did a set 'til just before failure then lighten the load and doing another short set would have the same effect. Any suggestions?

Ted


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 Post subject: Re: Fatigue
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 9:06 am 
hi ft! i'm a great believer in body weight exercises progressing to plyometric body weight exercises and gradually increasing your body weight accordingly to make sure that it is as progressive as you want. of course there is always that risk of breaking your nose with the clap press ups!! which should enhance the appeal for some people!! i'd give clap press ups a grade point 2 on the nicole carters risk factor scale ( NCRFS )

bearing in mind this is relative to everyone elses experiences and rfs.

yes it was me that started parqour not that french guy, cos he's probably never had anything to actually run away from!!

ah for anonymity or a big gun!!

nicole :0)
ps a few people might understand what i mean and i really don't care if "ironman" does or not!



fast_twitch wrote:
As a relative newbie to weightlifting (have lifted for many years, bet never seriously) I have a pretty basic question: At what point shoule I recognize when my muscles are fatigued enough so that I can't do one more rep?

The work-outs I've seen state to lift until muscle fatigue/failure. However, as someone who uses free-weights without a spotter, how do I know whether I can eek out one more rep without going too far and not being able to get the bar back on the stand? At best, it seems like a judgement call - "I really don't think I can do this one more time." If I can get one more rep out of the set, wouldn't that be the one that makes the most gain?

I know this seems like a stupid question (and I guess it is), but I'm trying a new routine (warm-up set followed my heavy set 'til failure) and want to make sure I'm doing it to the best of my ability.

TIA,

Ted


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 11:31 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:01 pm
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fast_twitch wrote:
That's a good point re not losing form. I can definitely tell when my form is breaking down, esp with the linear sets. I wonder if instead of going for failure, if I did a set 'til just before failure then lighten the load and doing another short set would have the same effect. Any suggestions?


Well I find that, for hypertrophy, I respond better to volume -- BUT... your mileage may vary. Ideally I try to stop before failure and then adjust my working weight for the next set accordingly. Of course for some of the "safer" exercises (like curls) I don't mind pushing it as far as I can go.

Why not give your idea a try for a couple of weeks and see if it works? The most important thing is to be safe.

John


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 11:38 am 
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PS: I'm not going to lie though... when I lift in the power rack it's common for me to push like crazy if necessary to get that last rep up, and that probably helps my progress. But there ain't no way in hell I'd be doing that outside of the rack... know what I mean?

J


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 6:58 pm 
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n00b
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Hi Nicole,

Thanks for the info. I've been using weights for a long time and am rather hooked on them, tho, I do perform chinups - does that count? ;-)

John,

No power rack here, just a squat rack and whatever's on my shoulders. I understand re volume and that's what I'm aiming for. Just want to make sure I, a) do it right and maximize the benefits, and b) don't kill myself in the process (would be a little counterproductive). I'm planning on mixing it up a bit as far as routines go, so I guess I'll just have to see what works best.

Thanks for the responses and help.

Ted


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:24 am 
hi ft! i reckon you should cumulatively increase your calorie intake by at least 200 a day whilst training and actually keeping this up in your rest phases to increase the challenge aspect for when you get back into it. please feel free to look at my web site and tell me what you think!!

nc :0)

fast_twitch wrote:
Hi Nicole,

Thanks for the info. I've been using weights for a long time and am rather hooked on them, tho, I do perform chinups - does that count? ;-)

John,

No power rack here, just a squat rack and whatever's on my shoulders. I understand re volume and that's what I'm aiming for. Just want to make sure I, a) do it right and maximize the benefits, and b) don't kill myself in the process (would be a little counterproductive). I'm planning on mixing it up a bit as far as routines go, so I guess I'll just have to see what works best.

Thanks for the responses and help.

Ted


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 1:08 am 
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Member
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Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 9:41 pm
Posts: 667
Location: Davis, California
In terms of what your goals are, you may want to try this:

(1) do your warm up in whatever fashion you need to get ready to lift maximum weights.

(2) load the bar with the weight you think best represents your potential maximum effort for that day and do 1 set like this. If you are doing reps this shouldn't be a problem since you can just stop shy of failure. If you are training singles then this is a bit harder but you can be conservative at first and then as you get better at feeling out how you feel on a give day you will get better at it. This gives your body the best chance to get the best workout with the most weight when it is fresh and warmed up.

(3) now that you have done your 1 set at maximum output, you can lower the weight to some predetermined amount of what you just did, say 80%. now do however many more sets with this lowered weight you need to feel like you've gotten a workout with enough volume. How many sets you need will depend on the person but usually 2-5 does the trick if you are doing sets of 1-6 reps.

This method can really build strong functional dense tissue by training for strength (as exrx puts it, you only need a few sets to make strength gains) and then you can get your volume at a lower weight to create additional growth. If you aren't after as much growth, then do fewer sets after the first set. I have found this to be a great way to train and although it takes some getting used to projecting your weights accurately for that first set, you can adjust to it and really makes you a focused lifter.


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 Post subject: chinups!!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 5:44 am 
ah one of these days i'll be able to do chinups!! which grip do you find easier or have you tarined equally for both?

nc

fast_twitch wrote:
Hi Nicole,

Thanks for the info. I've been using weights for a long time and am rather hooked on them, tho, I do perform chinups - does that count? ;-)

John,

No power rack here, just a squat rack and whatever's on my shoulders. I understand re volume and that's what I'm aiming for. Just want to make sure I, a) do it right and maximize the benefits, and b) don't kill myself in the process (would be a little counterproductive). I'm planning on mixing it up a bit as far as routines go, so I guess I'll just have to see what works best.

Thanks for the responses and help.

Ted


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 11:14 am 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2006 1:19 pm
Posts: 4424
Location: Pennsylvania
For me a shoulder with overhand grip is easiest, but a lot of other people do better with a narrow underhand or narrow parallel grip.


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 Post subject: chin ups
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:09 am 
Hi matt! :0)

what do you think of single rope pull ups / tarzan swing and climbing for lat development?
where i grew up we had fields behind the back garden and trees to climb and one of them had a rope "tarzy" we called it to swing on and jump into the stream which we would fill with straw after the farmer had harvested the wheat / barley whatever it was. ah great fun!! in the precinct here there is lots of scope for doing assault course style play stuff and ropes courses for kids and teens to keep them occupied at nights and during holidays. i am going to submit a plan for this to the council as i have my nc in landscape construction and design and svq outdoor pursuits activity leadership as well as my fitness stuff.

i'm also going to plan for a fenced basketball court with no gate because there is a road nearby and with open access it'll take away the risk factor of breaking in!

nc :0)
Matt Z wrote:
For me a shoulder with overhand grip is easiest, but a lot of other people do better with a narrow underhand or narrow parallel grip.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:25 am 
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In Memoriam: TimD
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Location: Va Beach, Va
Nicole, I think the ropes are every bit as useful for pulling strength (especially when done with no foot involvement) as chins/pullups, and probably just as good for lat development. My wrestling coach always had us do these along with the peg board everyday, handstand pullups, and partnersquats. It was every bit as good as using weights. When I was a kid, Tarzan bars were everywhere, and gave most of us a pretty good gymnastics background. Unfortunately, here in the US, there has been some criticism because of so called safety issues. Just keep em in a sand pit, post disclaimer signs, and there shouldn't be problems. Us older generations used them all the time with no major problems. The one thing though, no gates on a fenced in basketball court is a real safety concern. What if someone gets hurt, and they have trouble getting the rescue/med teams in? I'd put a gate in, just lock it up at night.
Tim


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 12:16 pm 
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n00b
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Nicole,

I am trying to increase my caloric intake. It's been hard since I work on my feet all day and tend to burn off a lot of what I take in. I also don't get much time to eat, so it's difficult. I'm trying to eat good snacks with calories and protein, so hopefully this will help me up the load.

As for chinups, I do wide-stance pullups and dumbbell pullovers for lats.

Ryan,

For the last couple of weeks I've been doing a 3 set split (upper/lower) routine: 1. warm-up at 50% load, 2. full load to failure, 3. 80% load to failure. I like it, but I guess it's too soon to tell whether the effects are what I want.

Since I am trying to build muscle mass, I'm not really sure whether this is the best approach or changing to something else, like 3 sets to failure (while decreasing reps or weight), will work better. I read here on exrx.net that the first routine is best for increase in strength, but I'm not sure how that corresponds to increase in mass.

I've also read that changing routines every couple of weeks is good. Since I'm pretty new to real muscle mass gain (I've basically lifted for maintenance), I'm not sure how to proceed.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 4:32 pm 
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Apprentice
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Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:51 pm
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Location: New Castle, PA
TimD wrote:
Just keep em in a sand pit, post disclaimer signs, and there shouldn't be problems.


And don't forget, Tim, that this sand must be approved, play sand that does not contain too much silica. When we were kids, we played in leftover sand that was found at a job site. Our toxic dump for toddlers always contained rusty Tonka toys and cat $h1t. How did we ever survive that perilous environment?

_________________
Squeeze life until it bleeds.


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