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Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 9:33 am
by hindsight
yes i think you are right, i have probably been putting too much emphasis on the volume of each workout and not so much on the intensity of each set...

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 3:55 pm
by Matt Z
One reason I prefer training each muscle only once a week is that I frequently train up to, or even beyond the point od momentary musclular failure. This type of intense training requires more recovery, since your pushing your muscles to their limit. Also, because a 3 rep max is considerably more demanding than a 12 rep max you can't always go heavy when training in this way.

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 4:01 pm
by Matt Z
If however you rarely (or never) train to failure, you may be better off training more often (like the twice a week push/pull routine you suggested), at least for now.

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 4:29 pm
by Matt Z
The best rule of thumb I can give you is to base your workout frequency on how long it takes you to recover. If your still soar from last time, then it's definately too soon to train the same muscles again. Meanwhile, when in doubt, give yourself a little extra rest. It's been my experience that among those who weight train consistently overtraining is a much more common problem than undertraining.

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 6:29 am
by hindsight
To be honest sometimes i dont feel that sore after training and i rarely still feel sore 42 hours after training a muscle group, does this mean i should be lifting heavier?
and could you please explain to me the concept of traning to or beyond momentary muscle failure? is this just where you physically cannot complete the last rep?

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:06 am
by Matt Z
Momentary muscular failure is the point where you cannot do another rep WITH GOOD FORM, at a given weight without resting. You can train beyond failure by using techniques like forced reps (where a training partner helps you get a few more reps), and dropsets (where you go to failure, then switch to a slightly lighter weight and keep going without rest). I wouldn't really recomend going beyond failure for a beginner, however you may find it useful as you become more advanced. Meanwhile, you can try going to failure, as long as you take apropriate precautions like using a spotter when neccessary.

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 2:16 pm
by Matt Z
Of course, it's possible to get good gains without training to failure. For example, most powerlifters only rarely train to failure. Often they only max out when attempting a new 1RM. However, since you said you've hit a plateu, I would recomend you at least try training to failure. This doesn't mean however you should go to failure on every set, or every exercise.

Generally, I do pyramid sets on all my compound lifts going to failure only on the last set. However, this depends partly on how I feel. If I'm feeling tired or run down that day, I may take it easy and stop short of failure.

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:49 am
by hindsight
Cheers for all this advice but unfortuantely i had to undergo quite a large operation yesterday, one which involved a large incision to be made on the left side of my abdomen. Now i expected this to mean i would not be able to lift for a couple of weeks, however after talking to my sugeon it turns out that i will not be able to lift for at least one month :( :( and when i do start again i will have to take it slowly etc.. This is a big blow to me as the long summer holidays we get between college and university is coming and I have just started learning of the changes i need to make the gains i want and put some of these in place. But it looks like my work is going to be undone! (Although by the time i go back to the gym i should be equipped with a lot more knowledge thanks to all my spare time!)
I suppose what i was wondering is to what extent will i loose any muscle bulk that i have put on, and is there a way (if any) that i can help prevent this or slow it down?

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:20 pm
by Matt Z
Sorry to here that. Generally speaking, people lose muscle at aproximately the same rate it took to build. The good news however is that when you do start back, you'll have knowledge and experience working for you. Also, coming off a layoff you'll regain mass and strength much more quickly than it took to build the first time around. This is called muscle memory.


Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:03 am