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Why 3 sets or more?

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by CA$ON, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. CA$ON

    CA$ON Well-Known Member

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    I am just curious. If you are doing 3 sets or more, why are you doing it?
     
  2. bradh

    bradh Well-Known Member

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  3. George

    George Senior Member

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    I want the added volume.
    I've also done 1-2 sets per exercise in the past with good results. A lot of things will work.
     
  4. modmaven

    modmaven Well-Known Member

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    Set one brings some muscle fibers into play and wears them out. Set two has to draw on other muscle fibers. And set three yet more. With each set I'm bringing in more muscle and lifting heavier.

    For me, even doing one set to failure is just a warm up.
     
  5. CA$ON

    CA$ON Well-Known Member

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    If you work your first set to failure the muscle- fibers are used including slow twitch (type 1) fast twitch (type 11a) , and the fast twitch (type 11b) replaces 11a when fatigued.

    After set 1 you are fatigued and you should be able to stimulate maximum growth from 1 set. Set 2 plus uses up some of your valuable recovery ability and muscular growth is limited.

    ^ From HIT book Dr. Darden

    Just a thought.
     
  6. mastover

    mastover Well-Known Member

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    It depends on the routine. There are hundreds to choose from. Failure training, non-failure, 5x5, 10x3, 4x8 (bradh touched on these a bit), and volume training (GVT comes to mind). Pyramiding, reverse pyramiding, different rest intervals, cadence, supesetting, set bombs, drop sets, giant sets, tri-sets, the list goes on. And the one-set-to-failure made famous with the Nautilus style of training, later popularized by Dorian Yates with HIT.

    I've done the one set to failure routine numerous times, as well as Nautilus machine training (this was when training for an NPC show in the 90's) and I experienced some of my best gains....yes, WITH machines. One set per bodypart to failure 3x per week, which included negatives and forced reps to outright failure.

    Everything will work, as long as the nutrition is supporting the training, and if you are not holding back with intensity of effort.

    Personal leg training favorites are: 10 sets of 20 rep squats, followed closely by one tri-set consisting of one set of leg extensions to failure with pulses, followed immediately by one set of hack squats to failure, followed immediately by one set of squats to failure. George will be doing these two workouts soon, at Elmo's. ;) :tucool:
     
  7. Hockey4

    Hockey4 Active Member

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    I'm lifting heavy, I sometimes go higher than three sets, but my volume is still overall low.

    For example, I might do 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 for reps. That's technically five sets, but I've only done 15 total reps.

    But I mix and match sets and reps depending on the exercise. I may bench with lots of heavy, short sets, then do 2 sets of 15 rep dips.
     
  8. bradh

    bradh Well-Known Member

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    Oh no!! HIT!! :D

    Here's an article by louie simmons about HIT. However, he's talking about strength development.

    http://www.deepsquatter.com/strength/archives/ls12.htm

    Personally, HIT never appealed to me. Too much dogma and hype.

    No idea how accurate the above statements are from Louie.
     
    #8 bradh, Sep 7, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2008
  9. modmaven

    modmaven Well-Known Member

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    Since sets two and three take me an extra 15 minutes tops, I'm not sure how valuable that recovery time is. But here's my main question in response to Dr. Darden: can I lift as heavy with just one set? Today bench pressed 105 pounds for the very first time (yeah) -- and that was after warming up with 45 and 65 and then doing some real work at 75, 85, and 95. Am I wasting my time? Should I start out heavier from the start? What about warming up?
     
    #9 modmaven, Sep 7, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2008
  10. CA$ON

    CA$ON Well-Known Member

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    I am no expert by any means. My posting is to see why others do not right or wrong.

    Warm ups are with no weight a quick run through to insure proper form. (This is what I do)

    :tucool:

    Back to :read: so I can :bb:.
     
  11. MannishBoy

    MannishBoy Senior Member

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    I think various set/rep schemes have value.

    High numbers of sets with low numbers of reps per sets allow you to do more total tonnage in a given workout. So if you are doing 3x10 with one weight, you should be able to flip the sets/reps and do more weight at 10 sets of 3 reps each.

    So say you use 200 lbs in 3x10 you'd have moved 6,000 lbs total, where if you could do even 215 at 10x3 you've moved 6,450.
     
  12. bradh

    bradh Well-Known Member

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    15lbs increase? :doh:

    More like 25 or more. :D
     
  13. MannishBoy

    MannishBoy Senior Member

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    I originally had 225 in there :nod::D I went down and put "if" and "even" in there just to make the point even at a modest increase.
     
  14. bradh

    bradh Well-Known Member

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    I noticed. :)

    Bottomline: i believe people should change there paradigm of weight training away from sets but towards "reps".
     
  15. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    Darden's answer is you don't need all those warmups. The first 3 reps are warmups. You just used up energy with the lighter sets. he expects that you would train in the 80% of 1repmax which workout to be about 10 reps on 1maxrep calculators.

    You go to failure on the one set. If you can't do 8 reps then you decrease weight 5-10% next workout. If you can do 12 or more reps, you increase weight 5-10% next workout. You always seek to progress.

    You also keep rest periods at 60sec or below. It is a hard but rewarding workout under 30 min, 3 times a week.

    As for Dr. Squat mentioned earlier, he has his own ideas. Jones never retracted his belief in one set. I have never wanted to be like squat or look like him. HIT will build strength sufficient for those that don't have demanding manual labor jobs or the need to demonstrate or compete. How much strength do we need? What will we do with it?:cool:
     
    #15 RTE, Sep 7, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2008
  16. bradh

    bradh Well-Known Member

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    Dr. Squat is Fred Hatfield not Louie Simmons.

    HIT suggests no warmups? Geez there ideas get better and better. :blank:
     
  17. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I missed that, same things apply to Louie. Hatfield did a simliar story. HIT isn't for Powerlifters, it won't make you a Ronnie Coleman either. If that is what you seek, stay away from HIT.

    That isn't new to HIT. Something I could have told them. I haven't done warmup sets since I started in the 1950s. :cool:
     
  18. bradh

    bradh Well-Known Member

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    Nope HIT is not for powerlifters.

    No warmups though, doesn't HIT realize you stimulate the CNS, increase your work capacity and practice technique with warmup sets?

    Not including actually getting blood going to the muscles to prime yourself.

    If i were to use an analogy - i would say going pedal to the metal of a car or motorcycle has soon has you fire up the engine.

    Doesn't make good common sense to me.

    Edit: Imagine if you could deadlift 500lbs, if you used %80 for a set of 8 reps - without a warmup mine you - you would use 400lbs for a set of eight.

    HIT or Miss!?
     
    #18 bradh, Sep 7, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2008
  19. mastover

    mastover Well-Known Member

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    No you're not wasting your time. You are simply using the Pyramid system, Increasing weight, while subsequently dropping the reps on each set. If you started with your heaviest weight, you would then be doing a Reverse Pyramid. Using your 105 lbs as an example, with a normal pyramid, it would be something like: warmup 45x10, 65x6, working sets: 75x10, 85x8, 95x6., 105x4-5. For your reverse pyramid, where your first work set began with 105 lbs. I'd use 50% of this weight for your first warmup set for 10 resp, then 70% for a warmup set of 5 reps. Your working sets would then look like: 105x8, 85x10, 75x12. As you can see, you are able to do more reps with your top end set because you are doing it first, not last, thus not being pre-fatigued. More motor units are recruited. Either method, however will work just fine.
     
  20. Eagle Tree

    Eagle Tree Active Member

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    I personally am doing a lot better with bulk since I bagged all the extra sets. For my 5RMs I'm now doing 3 sets a day but on my 10s, I limited myself to 2 and it's best gains I've had and have no burnout this time. Even the 5s are bringing gains and on a 5x5 I got nothing. I think it's age related but it seems to be working. My tonnage is still good because I can workout more often which I have been. Seems to be the right mix for me to get gains going again.

    I've bit my tongue on posting lately just because it seems my experience is so different, reduce sets and get better gains. I started to wonder if it's just my age and genetic deficit that made that something unique for me. My best friend, a female bodybuilder, does many sets and has no problems, she was so shocked that I had to send her a picture to prove it was working. I think it's that I need more frequency and it stops me from getting that when I do too many sets. If I keep the sets down, full-body more often, I seem to gain just as I was at the start. I can do AM/PM and workout every other day and that's with still healing some overuse injuries from my last high set split, oddly they are getting better even without taking a month off.

    When I first started this, it had my eye's popping when I realized the myotape was actually finally moving again. For right now, I'm sold on keeping the sets low, working out often and just carefully calculating my progression, but I think it's situational. It really works for me.
     

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