Eliminating plateau with different weights?

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derok
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Eliminating plateau with different weights?

Post by derok » Sun May 06, 2012 10:40 pm

Hi, im looking forward to gain muscle.

Im in the 8 to 12 rep range with progressive load.

In order to not hit a plateau, and keep the body in shock,
Should i sometimes do some sets in which i decrease the weight and increase the reps, so that i keep my body guessing?

Thanks..

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Re: Eliminating plateau with different weights?

Post by Jungledoc » Mon May 07, 2012 2:50 am

Well, first of all, shock is not a good thing.

Second, only your brain can guess. The rest of the body doesn't do that.

Third, there is no way to eliminate plateaus. Plateaus occur when you run out of the gains that are due to increasing motor-unit recruitment and improvement of skill and improvement of stabilizers. It's when you reach the limit of the strength of the prime movers.

The term plateau is misleading, because it implies absolutely level. It's actually just a much less steep slope than what you've been used to. It becomes a long, slow process involving patience and hard work. I suspect that it's the point when a lot of people stop lifting.

But it's a good idea to shift your set-rep scheme from time to time, to shift to different variations of your exercises, or to different accessory lifts.
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: Eliminating plateau with different weights?

Post by derok » Wed May 09, 2012 11:28 pm

Jungledoc wrote:Well, first of all, shock is not a good thing.

Second, only your brain can guess. The rest of the body doesn't do that.

Third, there is no way to eliminate plateaus. Plateaus occur when you run out of the gains that are due to increasing motor-unit recruitment and improvement of skill and improvement of stabilizers. It's when you reach the limit of the strength of the prime movers.

The term plateau is misleading, because it implies absolutely level. It's actually just a much less steep slope than what you've been used to. It becomes a long, slow process involving patience and hard work. I suspect that it's the point when a lot of people stop lifting.

But it's a good idea to shift your set-rep scheme from time to time, to shift to different variations of your exercises, or to different accessory lifts.
Thanks!

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Re: Eliminating plateau with different weights?

Post by derok » Thu May 10, 2012 12:26 am

Jungledoc wrote:Well, first of all, shock is not a good thing.

Second, only your brain can guess. The rest of the body doesn't do that.

Third, there is no way to eliminate plateaus. Plateaus occur when you run out of the gains that are due to increasing motor-unit recruitment and improvement of skill and improvement of stabilizers. It's when you reach the limit of the strength of the prime movers.

The term plateau is misleading, because it implies absolutely level. It's actually just a much less steep slope than what you've been used to. It becomes a long, slow process involving patience and hard work. I suspect that it's the point when a lot of people stop lifting.

But it's a good idea to shift your set-rep scheme from time to time, to shift to different variations of your exercises, or to different accessory lifts.
I found some info on a website, which talks about staying on 6-12 rep range for muscle growth.
And says this about plateaus:
if you have hit a plateau and you have been doing straight sets of 4x10, switch it up! Do 4x12, or 3x8. If you have been pyramiding your sets such as 1x10, 1x8 and 1x6, switch that up as well to 1x8, 1x6 and 1x4. This particular modification will allow you to use a heavier weight.

You can also take the route of adding less weight and pyramiding your sets with an increase in reps instead.


I was wondering, if for the purpose of eliminating a plateau, one could go above that rep range, like: In a week, go above that rep range and hit something like 16 reps or so. Then, in the following week return to the 6-12 rep range.
Would this work as well?

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Re: Eliminating plateau with different weights?

Post by Jungledoc » Thu May 10, 2012 7:39 am

Someone may answer differently, but I'll say again that you can't eliminate plateaus. They are a part of training. If you have unrealistic expectations for progress, then when you can no longer progress at the rate you are accustomed to, you will say that you have hit a plateau, and blame your routine, your rep range or whatever.

When your progress slows down, you can switch your rep-set scheme around, and sometimes find a combination that works a little better for you at that particular moment, but whatever it is, you will eventually slow down with that, too. There comes a point where progress is only by dogged hard work, and no routine changing will alter the reality of that.

The only way to get an answer about something so unusual and specific as whether 16-rep sets will "work" or not, is to try it and see. I mean, how would most people know that? Who has tried it? If you want to try it, you don't really need to ask anyone, just try it. That's the great thing about training--you can figure a lot out for yourself, and there's no time limit. If it doesn't work, little is lost.
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: Eliminating plateau with different weights?

Post by Dub » Thu May 10, 2012 8:52 am

There is no such thing as eliminating the plateau. It's just a fancy phrase to tell people to make you a wiser man. What it really is about, is progressing on the lift, or fixing weak points. Nothing more. For the simplest of all, it's just called progress. You don't eliminate anything. You don't make your body guessing, you just get plain stronger and/or better. The changing of rep/set scheme or exercise is more of a mental thing to me. It's freshens your mind and attitude if the weight goes up and reps down, or vice versa. If you're stuck it just might help to focus on different weigths for a few weeks. Then you get stronger and progress on the certain weight. No magic there.

6-12 is the optimal rep range for most movement yes. The reason doesn't lie on the reps, but on the time under tension and time of set in general. But, when you use lower reps like 3 to 5, you also get bigger. Because you get stronger. It's just not that simple. You can't strictly mark the line between strength and hyperthrophy. It's also very personal and even depending on the exercise. 16 reps sounds weird, I wouldn't do it on weekly basis. But then again it won't hurt either. Maybe on one exercise or set. Lots of bodybuilders use 12 to 20 rep sets on their programs.
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Re: Eliminating plateau with different weights?

Post by stuward » Thu May 10, 2012 9:40 am

derok wrote:...I was wondering, if for the purpose of eliminating a plateau, one could go above that rep range, like: In a week, go above that rep range and hit something like 16 reps or so. Then, in the following week return to the 6-12 rep range.
Would this work as well?
It is sometimes beneficial to take a break from heavy training to give your body a chance to recover. Doing a high rep week with lighter weights could do that for you.
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Thanks TimD

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Re: Eliminating plateau with different weights?

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Thu May 10, 2012 11:04 pm

1. eat, sleep, lift
2. repeat

from much wiser men than me.

focus on the big lifts and the accessories that support them, get rid of the other.

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Re: Eliminating plateau with different weights?

Post by derok » Sun May 13, 2012 12:53 pm

Thank you all for the replies.

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