Building up max sets

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medic002
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Building up max sets

Post by medic002 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:33 pm

Hey, sorry, I know, another thread so soon after the other - but there was a question that has been bugging me for a while.

Take deadlifts or benchpress as examples, assume you were building up to a max set, one which is your maximum weight for those reps. You build up by doing sets at lower weights, but each set gets you closer to that max set right? you do incrementally heavier sets, but how big should those increments be?

Say you can do 5 reps at 100kg, and that is your max set. Would you start with just the bar and then go up in 10kg steps? so 30,40,50kg etc... or is that too many sets and simply tiring you out before you get to the really heavy stuff?

I have been going up to 120kg deadlift in 10kg step from plain bar up to 120kg - because it seemed like the natural thing to do, but it is a shed-load of sets and I am starting to wonder if this is the best thing I could be doing.

Sorry if this has been answered before, I could find anything.

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Jungledoc
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Re: Building up max sets

Post by Jungledoc » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:13 pm

It's a key question, and one that no one has the perfect answer for.

I think it's one of those things that you have to learn for yourself by trial and error. I'll tell you what I do, but that doesn't mean that it's the right thing for you.

I think of the sets I do when I start as warm-up. These are rarely more than 50% of the intended working set. Then I do a few reps of acclimation, just getting used to heavier weights.

I'll tell you what I do using pounds, and let you think in metric for yourself. This is bench. Say I'm shooting for a set of 3 at 185, which is about 95% of my 1RM.

bar x8
95x5
115x3
135x2
155x1
175x1
185x3

Sometimes when I'm doing multiple sets at the working weight, I find that the second set is a little smoother than the first, making me think that I could have done just a little more on the way up.

With heavier lifts obviously I use bigger steps. My DL looks something like this:

Bar 8-10 RDLs
95 5-8 RDLs
135x3
185x2
225x1
275x1
295x1
325xwhatever

So try something like that, and then experiment with varying the steps to find what you like best.
Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan

Oscar_Actuary
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Re: Building up max sets

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:24 pm

Jungledoc wrote:Sometimes when I'm doing multiple sets at the working weight, I find that the second set is a little smoother than the first, making me think that I could have done just a little more on the way up.
OTOH, set 3 4 and 5 are perhaps possible because you did not tire out as much
IT is a balance


Medic,
Every 10kg up to 120kg is crazy, I agree.
Low weight warm up is to groove the move, make sure if your an old man you dont have a kink/pull/tightness you were not feeling earlier, etc. Then after getting in 10-20 super low weight reps, maybe jump to 1/3 between where you are and your working sets and do 5-10. At that point, Im probably doing 1 or 2 more sets between that weight adn the final working sets, where my subsequent jumps are smaller, and the number of reps decreases. Much like the good Doc says
To some extent more reps at a weight allows for bigger jumps, but that has limits for sure.

anecdotal
Deadlift worknig set of 309
Warm Up:
BW Squats, maybe 10
Hang High Pull Empty Bar to 144 22/11 lb increments, 5 to 3 reps (just saying, you dont have to do the exact exercise)
Jump to 188 do a set of 10 RDLs
1 x 8 @ 234 - My first actual full deadlift. All that bending down could wear me out
1 x 2 @ 267
1 x 1 @ 289
3 x 3 @ 309

That whoe Hang High Pull thing really has not much to do with your question.

Bench
Working Set 204
Empty Bar for 10
89 for 10
122 for 6
155 for 5
177 for 4
192 for 2
204

give or take.

Sometimes its a matter of which plates are easiest to switch out

Use your performance on the working sets to gauge the warm up value

just one amatuers opinion

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Jungledoc
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Re: Building up max sets

Post by Jungledoc » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:59 pm

Oscar--do you use metric plates? Micro plates? Why all the "odd" weights?
Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan

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Re: Building up max sets

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:06 pm

I have a mix: full set of Metric and then 4-45 lbs and a pair of 1.25 lbs

Metric Set

2 20kg
2 15kg
2 10kg
2 5kg
4 2.5kg
2 1.25kg

If its a 1/2 lb, I round down in my posts. And sometimes I add wrong.

The metric set cost me $50. A bit of rubber coating peeling but I'll take it.

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