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 Post subject: First week report
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:36 pm 
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Hi all,

First, thanks to all the advice and tips you gave me in this thread

http://exrx.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6427

I decided to start a new thread so as to keep things more organized. Well after this first week I will say that there a LOT of muscles that were rusty to say the least.

90% of the time I commute on my bike so the legs/hips were fine but the upper body hasn't been worked in a long time and it shows now. I feel sore (a good sore) pretty much all over the arms and shoulder area, pecs too. The worse though are the triceps. It seems they are involved in all my exercises in one way or the other because they are SORE.

So I stretch and stretch. Thank god I work from home ;)

I really enjoy my workout plan, one I build using the template on this site, but I overdid a bit. Now I know why some exercises are optional.

A couple of question came to mind this week and I feel they may have a great impact on how I do things down the road so here they are.

1: How much time should I wait between rep? I usually wait no less than 30 seconds and no more than a minute.

2: Do I work too hard ?

For instance let's say I do a Dumbbell Straight Leg Deadlift. I start the movement (while breathing in) rest for half a sec once the movement is done, return to initial position while exhaling.

It is a bit hard to put into words but by the time I am at the last few movements of the 2nd and 3rd rep it will become increasingly difficult to finish those reps. Heat flashes are all over the muscle and I don't feel like my "muscle" is working, it feels more like "rows" of fibers being stretched.

The feeling I just described sort act as an indicator that I am really working out that muscle beyond it's limit.

Is that too hard?

Am I safe in my assumption that the "heat" feeling is an accomplishment or is it rather a warning sign?

3: I am left handed, so I tend to use my left hand and rest more my body on my left leg when I am standing still. Knowing that I was under the assumption that my right side would compensate and work harder,(especially since I work more with free weights), than why does my left side feels more sore than my right?

Well that's it for now, big thanks in advance for all your feedback.

On a side note, I am still astonished by that fact that most people have no idea of what they are doing. Throughout the last week I saw people coming in and jump right onto machines, no stretching, no warm-up or cardio. Others will race through reps like it is a speed contest or holding their breath throughout the whole rep...funny thing is a lot of clueless folks like these do manage to gain mass. I really don't know how they are doing it.

Phil


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:53 pm 
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1. Did you mean between reps, or between sets? Usually you only pause a second or two between reps. Rest between sets depends on goals. If you are focusing on strength, rest as long as you need to, even 4 or 5 minutes, but don't bother timing exactly. If you are focusing more on conditioning and endurance, keep it shorter, time your rest, and make it 60 to 90 seconds.

2. If you are not able to complete planned reps on the first sets, you are using too much weight. If you have trouble getting out the last rep of your first set with good form, then clearly it's too much. I think that the ideal is to get to the last rep of the last set with the feeling that I might have been able to do 1 more rep. I rarely work to more than form failure. If a rep is real sloppy, I know I'm done.

3. No one has perfect symmetry of strength. When starting a new exercise, it's common for one side to end up feeling more sore than the other. Don't worry about that, the soreness will decrease. It's good to have some DB work as well as BB work. DBs force you to do equal work with both sides. BBs allow the strong side to help the weak side. When doing DB exercises, do your weak side first, then don't do any more reps with your strong side than you did with the weak. For example, my routine includes flat BB bench press (doesn't everyone's? :smile: ), but I also include DB bench as an assistance lift on a different day. If you have both flat and incline bench, you might do one of them with BB and the other with DB for a few weeks, then change it around. Same with rows and overhead pressing. I don't have both DB and BB in the routine ALL the time, but from time to time I'll change from one to the other, and occasionally have both in the routine.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:07 pm 
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Hi Doc,

1: Yes I do mean between sets. I usually do 3x10 or 3x8-12 so my overall goal is gain and strength.

2: The main thing here was that I wanted to validate my feeling, meaning the heat flash and the overall sensation that the fibers are really working out. Are those good signs or red alerts?

I am able to go through my first set, the end of the 2nd one is a bit hard and the end of the 3rd one is usually a case where I could let out a big cry of effort.

3: I see what you mean, I would assume that by alternating between BB and DB I would strengthen my stabilizers and I guess overtime left and right will be more balanced.

Thanks,

Phil


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:52 pm 
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2. No reason for alarm. "Feel the burn!" Some people really like the sensation, and feel that it's telling that the lift is being effective. That's probably not true, but it's nothing to worry about either.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:02 am 
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1. I've found that as I've progressed in strength, my time between sets has increased naturally. I tend to just go when I feel like I can hit my rep/weight goal, rather than timing it specifically.

Of course, I'm going for size/strength. If you're going for just overall health/fitness, you'd want to keep your rests a little shorter so you're working the cardiovascular system as well.

From what I've read, waiting more than 5 minutes is pointless, however, as most of your recovery that's going to happen already has occured.


So usually like 2-5 minutes for strength/power training, anything less tends to be a little more cardio based, from personal experience.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:01 pm 
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First, please be assured that I don't intently watch the clock and move on to the next set in a precise manner. I was just merely explaining my ballpark wait conditions.

Second, I am not sure that I follow the reasoning. In a previous thread I was led to read some articles that explained that if you want to focus on strength one need to do short rep of 5, for gain/strength 8-12 and for endurance 15+.

Starting from there I deducted that the intensity seemed to be a determining factor. So I elected to go with short rest between sets. Now everybody are on the same page in telling me that a "complete" rest between sets is the key to gain mass.

With the knowledge that I have it just doesn't compute. Indeed I can easily see that short rest between sets will emphasize cardio but I am still doing mostly 3x10...

***

Also, anybody knows where that heat flash come from, it must serve a purpose...

Thank for filling my blanks :)

Phil


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:23 pm 
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24fps wrote:
First, please be assured that I don't intently watch the clock and move on to the next set in a precise manner. I was just merely explaining my ballpark wait conditions.

Second, I am not sure that I follow the reasoning. In a previous thread I was led to read some articles that explained that if you want to focus on strength one need to do short rep of 5, for gain/strength 8-12 and for endurance 15+.

Starting from there I deducted that the intensity seemed to be a determining factor. So I elected to go with short rest between sets. Now everybody are on the same page in telling me that a "complete" rest between sets is the key to gain mass.

With the knowledge that I have it just doesn't compute. Indeed I can easily see that short rest between sets will emphasize cardio but I am still doing mostly 3x10...

***

Also, anybody knows where that heat flash come from, it must serve a purpose...

Thank for filling my blanks :)

Phil


People confuse intensity when it comes to weight lifting.

Intensity is the % of your 1RM that you do.

It's not how much you're sweating or how hard you're breathing.

If you're doing bench for instance and your max is 300lbs. You'd want to do 70-85% of your 1RM or 210-255 for 8-12 reps for 2-4 sets for size gains. The amount of time you rest in between should be long enough that you're capable of hitting your weight/rep goals. (From my experience)

If you're wanting pure strength, people tend to do >85% for 1-5 reps with totals reps being around 20-30 (5sets of 5reps, 10sets of 3 reps, so on).

Again, this is just from what I've read/seen. But from what I understand, shorter rests between sets is simply taxing your cardiovascular system and not allowing adequate time for atp stores to come back and allow for another full effort lift.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:14 pm 
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Your last paragraph makes a lot of sense. Actually I trained this morning and this time instead of "calculating" the relax time between sets I went by the feeling. It felt a whole lot better.

In any case I guess I am still in my "groove" period. Meaning that since I am still in the beginning I guess I will be spending some time on adjusting all the exercises (not to mention finding the right ones) and weights, kinda like finding the right track.

I am a bit puzzled by that 1RM you write about. I wasn't even aware that thing existed until you wrote about it in your reply and even though I just read a few articles I still can't really guess it's purpose, how it works and how it could affect my way of looking at my training.

Even though Nightfall's explanation seems simple enough could someone explain in lament terms what this 1RM is about?

Thanks,

Phil


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:46 pm 
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http://www.exrx.net/Calculators/OneRepMax.html


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:20 pm 
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Yeah, that's a calculator for it.

1RM = One Repetition Max.

It's the amount of weight you can do in an exercise for one rep. Essentially the heaviest weight you can lift in the exercise.

Like if you got on bench and could get 225 but not 230 for one rep, then 225 is your 1RM.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:45 pm 
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It's a way do be able to discuss effort despite that fact that we are all at different places with strength. It allows me to compare squats with Hoosegow, even though he could squat me, my loaded barbell and a couple of my friends. As warmup. But when he's lifting at 85% of his 1RM, he's presumably putting out about the same effort as I am at 85% of mine, light though it is.

You can determine 1RM either by actually lifting it and not being able to lift a second rep or a higher weight, or you can lift a given weight for the max number of reps, and use one of the calculators to estimate a 1RM. This is often easier and safer. It also takes out some of the fatigue factor.


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