Question regarding no. of reps

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Badman
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Question regarding no. of reps

Post by Badman » Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:36 am

Ok first of all thanks for the advice given on my last post, really helped. My lifts are going up every work out (most of them at least). My numbers are all detailed accurately at home so cant give em to you here, major lifts are something like:

Bench: 60KG
Squat: 60KG
Dead: 57.5KG

Anyway my question is this. Next time i step in the gym ill do a bench of 62.5kg, supposedly 3 sets of 5 - 10 reps. What I actually get is 1X8, 1X5 and 1X3, or something similar. Should i do all i can on my first set and let the following sets suffer or curtail my first set at 5 reps and try maintain 5 reps for the following two sets? If i only manage 4 reps on my third set should i repeat this weight next workout?

I guess hypertrophy is what im mainly after, but certainly strength too.


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stuward
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Post by stuward » Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:59 am

How long are you waiting between sets? Are you following a program? Most strength based programs call for 3 minutes between sets or longer and you wouldn't expect that much drop off between sets if you rested that long. I assume you are relatively new to this type of training. You will make better progress following "Starting Strength" in all details. This is all explained in the program. I'm going to assume you are only resting for 1-2 minutes between sets, since that's supposed to provide better hypertrophy. That's true to a point but it's running before you learn to walk. Do the strength program first, then work on hypertrophy. Eat to support your growth. At your stage, you will probably find you get bigger faster than with a hypertrophy targeted approach.

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Post by TimD » Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:08 am

Yeah, what Stu said. But here is how we combined both back in the day, and it's still around. Take progressively heavier warm ups to your work weight. , something like 8 @20 kg, 5X 35 KG, 1-3 X50 kg (just to get the feel, don't burn out on these), then do 1-3 work sets at your top weight in the 3-5 rep range. Wendler's 5-3-1 brought to light by Pete would certainly apply. That's the strength portion. Then lower the weight, and do 1 or two "pump" or hypertrophy sets with all you can get in the 10-12 rep range.
Starr promoted these backoff sets in his "The Strongest Shall Survive - Strength Training for Football" for squats and presses, but NOT for Deads.
Tim

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Post by Badman » Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:27 am

Ya ok, guess i already knew the answer to the first question: 3X5 and read the book. How about pull ups? I do 10 Pull-ups followed by about 6 / 7 Chin-ups followed by about 2 Pull-ups. Would it be more beneficial to aim for 3XConstant number or just doing as many as i can each set?

Your correct regarding my rests, I aim for one minute but in reality it works out at about 90 seconds. I might give myself a little longer to recuperate. I am reading Starting Strength and basing my workout on that, but just beginning it really and have not finished the book yet. I am also not exactly following the book, i do a split four days a week. Im sure i'd progress quicker if i did it exactly as Rippetoe suggests, but I work a long day and shorter trips to the gym suit me better, I am not that worried about massive and immediate gains.

Plan to take it up a gear and follow Starting Strength a bit more closely when i get back from my holidays, but need to find a gym with a squat rack first. And finish the book!

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Post by frogbyte » Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:13 am

I used to have drop-off like that, or worse.

I think it was pdellorto that recommended going for new records on the later sets in the series, which has been very helpful to me.

So instead of rep counts like 10, 6, 4 I was able to switch to something like 8, 8, 9 and then gain from there. It's continued to work well for me.


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Post by pdellorto » Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:46 am

@frogbyte - yeah, that was probably me. Both Jungledoc and I used that for chinups. Instead of doing 5 x 5 or 3 x 10 or whatever and ending up with 5/5/4/4/3 or 10/9/7 you'd set a new total goal reps, and then save your max effort for the last set. Save some reps in the tank on the earlier sets, get the work in, and then go for broke on the final set. I think Jungledoc did something like 4/4/4/4/5 then 4/4/4/5/5, etc. but you can check with him. It's steady progress, you *know* you'll improve workout to workout, and there isn't a big plateau coming.

That, plus the percentages system, is probably why a lightbulb went off for me when I was first exposed to 5/3/1. Do 5/5/5+, then 3/3/3+, then 5/3/1+? Sure, absolutely, why wouldn't that work? Get your work in, get the goal reps, knock out as much extra as you can in the last set...and build on that. Brilliant.

@Badman - If you're doing Starting Strength, I'd just do Starting Strength. 3 sets of five with good form, add a little weight each session for as long as you can. So you shouldn't be doing 3 sets of 5-10 reps or anything like that. It's 3 x 5, every time. If you really want to do 3 x 8 or something else, do that, but it'll have a different effect. I'd recommend scaling up the weight like TimD suggested. If you like going for broke in the final set, you can do 5/3/1 instead...the percentages look intimidating and then you're under like 70% of your 1RM and it feels *light* yet you're getting stronger and stronger...


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