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Old 01-11-2005, 11:18 PM   #1
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Default Sets and Reps... pros and cons?

Ive bought a Bodybuilding book to help me with excesizes and it mentions a lot about doing:

3 sets of 8 reps. (fictional example)

What is the best way to do this? Is 2 sets of 12 the same? Or 1 set of 24?

Why do it in small sets instead of just lifting to failure on one set?

At teh moment i am just doing 10 - 15 of each excersize twice per day, but that seems to be against all written advice i can find.

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Old 01-11-2005, 11:53 PM   #2
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ive always seen it as a rest.

ie one set of say 8 then a rest allowing u to push again for the 2nd 8 and so on

doing 24 in one hit will not allow you to use a lot of weight due to the tiring effect doing that much at once has.

so breaking it up into smaller chunks allows you to load the weight on, rather than tire yourself out in one hit

ive also always been told more weight less reps for strength, and less weight more reps for tone
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Old 02-11-2005, 01:58 AM   #3
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Right. I should be in bed, but tomorrow Baby comes home and I might not ever get the chance to stay up late in peace again

There are two schools of thought when it comes to training. The first is how Arnold trained and how most people still train today. This is based around a lot of exercises and alot of sets for each exercise. Arnold used to train a split routine and do something in the morning, then come in again in the evening and train something different. He ended up training his whole body in two days and then repeating so he ended up training his whole body twice in one week However, a lot of drugs were involved and in his era there used to be a cup of dianabol tablets next to the water fountain in the gym

Then there was the heavy duty crew. These guys were few and far between but they took a more scientific view. They basically did a couple of warmup sets and then did ONE working set per exercise, where as Arnold would work up to a weight and do 3 or 4 sets at this weight. However, they would usually do whats called a drop set. They would go to failure on their maximum weight, then imeediately take some weight off and go again to failure and so on until there was very little on the bar and they could hardly more.

Its not so different to Arnold in that they might do the same amount of reps in total, but the intensity is at a higher level. Arnold may take 15 minutes to do his 3 heavy sets, but the heavy duty gang will do it all within 90 secs. They also understood recuperation better and some didn't train again until they had stopped aching. This can be 3-4 days if you are training really hard!

eg

Arnold Benching

1 x 15 x 100kg (warmup), 1 x 12 x 150 (warmup) then 3 x 10 x 200kg

Heavy duty

1 x 15 x 100kg warmup, 1 x 12 x 150 warmup then (1 x 10x 200kg - 10x 150kg - 10 x 100kg)[dropset]

Stu, when it comes to reps; muscle building and strength training keep to between 5-12 reps. 12 reps + is more fitness and endurance and stamina comes in.

In your book, the 3 x 8 reps is a very generic statement. It could mean 2 warmups and one working set, or 3 working sets. Whichever way you take it 3 x 8 over a period of time will not have the same effect as 2 x 12.

Bodybuilding is about building muscle. A big muscle is a strong muscle and so in order to grow, it has to become stronger by progressively lifting heavier weights. I think most people realise that they will be able to lift a heavier weight for 5 reps than they can for 12.

This is why strength athletes and bodybuilders keep in the lower rep range.

I am personally in favour of the heavy duty style because it means I'm in and out of the gym quickly. I do a couple of warmup sets, increasing the wieght each time and then do one set which I class as my working set. I will nearly always drop the weight too and keep going to failure. I will also do about 3-4 exercises per bodypart.

This is not to say that what Arnold did was wrong. I am a firm believer in listening to the body and finding out what works best for you. Heavy Duty works for me but it might not suit others. Also changing your style of training every other month for a week is a good thing as it keeps your muscles guessing.

So, in a nutshell if you are going for strength and size, keep the reps low and put every effort in to progressively lifting heavier. And if your into fitness and maintaining a high heart rate then do lots of reps and sets.

Remember that the pro's do take a rediculous amout of drugs to enable them to train harder, faster, longer and more often.

Because the traditional way is a lot of sets, this is what most books recommend as most people cannot deliver the intenisty required for one all out set. I must admit that it took me a few years to evolve into it, but now its my prefered way of training.

A good book is Dorian Yates', Blood and Guts. He was the 6 time Mr Olympia and British to boot. He was an advocate of heavy duty training and followed in the footsteps of Mike Mentzer who was the pioneer of heavy duty training.
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Old 02-11-2005, 09:17 AM   #4
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Excellent
Im learning every day from you guys, hopefuly this info will all help my achieve my goals. Thanks ever so much.

Paul, i bet your excited about baby coming home, hope you have a great day
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Old 14-11-2005, 01:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Eggleton
Right. I should be in bed, but tomorrow Baby comes home and I might not ever get the chance to stay up late in peace again

There are two schools of thought when it comes to training. The first is how Arnold trained and how most people still train today. This is based around a lot of exercises and alot of sets for each exercise. Arnold used to train a split routine and do something in the morning, then come in again in the evening and train something different. He ended up training his whole body in two days and then repeating so he ended up training his whole body twice in one week However, a lot of drugs were involved and in his era there used to be a cup of dianabol tablets next to the water fountain in the gym

Then there was the heavy duty crew. These guys were few and far between but they took a more scientific view. They basically did a couple of warmup sets and then did ONE working set per exercise, where as Arnold would work up to a weight and do 3 or 4 sets at this weight. However, they would usually do whats called a drop set. They would go to failure on their maximum weight, then imeediately take some weight off and go again to failure and so on until there was very little on the bar and they could hardly more.

Its not so different to Arnold in that they might do the same amount of reps in total, but the intensity is at a higher level. Arnold may take 15 minutes to do his 3 heavy sets, but the heavy duty gang will do it all within 90 secs. They also understood recuperation better and some didn't train again until they had stopped aching. This can be 3-4 days if you are training really hard!

eg

Arnold Benching

1 x 15 x 100kg (warmup), 1 x 12 x 150 (warmup) then 3 x 10 x 200kg

Heavy duty

1 x 15 x 100kg warmup, 1 x 12 x 150 warmup then (1 x 10x 200kg - 10x 150kg - 10 x 100kg)[dropset]

Stu, when it comes to reps; muscle building and strength training keep to between 5-12 reps. 12 reps + is more fitness and endurance and stamina comes in.

In your book, the 3 x 8 reps is a very generic statement. It could mean 2 warmups and one working set, or 3 working sets. Whichever way you take it 3 x 8 over a period of time will not have the same effect as 2 x 12.

Bodybuilding is about building muscle. A big muscle is a strong muscle and so in order to grow, it has to become stronger by progressively lifting heavier weights. I think most people realise that they will be able to lift a heavier weight for 5 reps than they can for 12.

This is why strength athletes and bodybuilders keep in the lower rep range.

I am personally in favour of the heavy duty style because it means I'm in and out of the gym quickly. I do a couple of warmup sets, increasing the wieght each time and then do one set which I class as my working set. I will nearly always drop the weight too and keep going to failure. I will also do about 3-4 exercises per bodypart.

This is not to say that what Arnold did was wrong. I am a firm believer in listening to the body and finding out what works best for you. Heavy Duty works for me but it might not suit others. Also changing your style of training every other month for a week is a good thing as it keeps your muscles guessing.

So, in a nutshell if you are going for strength and size, keep the reps low and put every effort in to progressively lifting heavier. And if your into fitness and maintaining a high heart rate then do lots of reps and sets.

Remember that the pro's do take a rediculous amout of drugs to enable them to train harder, faster, longer and more often.

Because the traditional way is a lot of sets, this is what most books recommend as most people cannot deliver the intenisty required for one all out set. I must admit that it took me a few years to evolve into it, but now its my prefered way of training.

A good book is Dorian Yates', Blood and Guts. He was the 6 time Mr Olympia and British to boot. He was an advocate of heavy duty training and followed in the footsteps of Mike Mentzer who was the pioneer of heavy duty training.

I have to say I agree.

Also remember, muscles do not grow whilst you are IN the gym but afterwards as they repair the damage you have done to them. Not allowing enough time inbetween exercising the various bodyparts ( think days at least) is counterproductive. As is doing 15,000 sit up a day!

Also think about diet. Muscles need protein to grow (and of course ) Most recommend 0.8-1 gram protein per day per pound of bodyweight.

Eg. 10 stone = 140 lbs = 140 grams protein per day

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Old 14-11-2005, 01:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamaha
As is doing 15,000 sit up a day!
You mean ive been wasting my Evenings??!!??
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Old 14-11-2005, 01:56 PM   #7
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It is like

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Old 14-11-2005, 02:14 PM   #8
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I'm in favour of the heavy duty routine - example :

warm up on the bench with olympic barbell...2 light/medium sets

2 x all out to failure sets on FLAT bench
2 x all out to failure sets on INCLINE bench
2 x all out to failure sets of dumbell pullovers
1 x incline flys to failure
1 x flat flys to failure
1 x machine press to failure

That's my chest done. And it hurts a few days later. The next week I'll change from the barbell to dumbells to give better shape and keep my body guessing. I will also do some dips on the dumbell workout.

Most of what has been said in this thread is true - heavy duty training + 1g of protein per lb. Weider have a new ready-to-drink shake with 53g of protein for only 1.70 in Costco.
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Old 14-11-2005, 02:21 PM   #9
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speaking of protein, for those not keen on shakes................

Bernard Matthew turkey. 1 pack, 5 slices, 4g per slice, 20 cals per slice

20g for 100 cal
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Old 15-11-2005, 08:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamaha
speaking of protein, for those not keen on shakes................

Bernard Matthew turkey. 1 pack, 5 slices, 4g per slice, 20 cals per slice

20g for 100 cal
So eating a pack of that 1 hr after my weights session in the morning (8am) would definately be beneficial to me?
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Old 15-11-2005, 08:46 AM   #11
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Yes Stu, I would also add a few carbs aswell.
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Old 15-11-2005, 08:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Eggleton
Yes Stu, I would also add a few carbs aswell.
Such as a banana perhaps?
Sorry for the dumb questions, i dont know much about Food Science.
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Old 15-11-2005, 09:36 AM   #13
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Maybe a
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Old 15-11-2005, 09:40 AM   #14
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Great news, so at 9am i should have a pack of turkey slices and a banana and this will be of benefit? Should i skip my 2x Weetabix i have before i leave then and have this instead?
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Old 15-11-2005, 09:57 AM   #15
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well errr......... not sure I would fancy turkey at 8am

but if you can stomach it and want the extra protein
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Old 15-11-2005, 07:26 PM   #16
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I wouldn't recommend Bernard Matthews - that's processed crap full of additives and sodium...it'll dehydrate you and give you cancer!

I would advise

Pre-workout (allow 90 minutes for this to digest)

4 x eggs
1 bowl of porridge
Option - apple/and or protein drink

After workout

1 x protein drink
2 x chicken breasts (fresh type)
rice or pasta
fruit
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Old 15-11-2005, 07:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoshi
I wouldn't recommend Bernard Matthews - that's processed crap full of additives and sodium...it'll dehydrate you and give you cancer!

I would advise

Pre-workout (allow 90 minutes for this to digest)

4 x eggs
1 bowl of porridge
Option - apple/and or protein drink

After workout

1 x protein drink
2 x chicken breasts (fresh type)
rice or pasta
fruit

Well not sure about the cancer statement but yes, I see your point. Just a quick snack suggestion really.

However, your average protein powder has a fair few additives so...........

If you want to keep your diet fresh and wholesome then natural foods are the way to go...............

eggs ( all not just the white)
Chicken ( yes fresh) maybe cook some, slice up, put in fridge and munch accordingly

etc and of course will help
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Old 15-11-2005, 09:53 PM   #18
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I agree natural foods is best, but protein drinks/powders work sooooo well and they are very convenient for most people. It is sometimes difficult to get enough protein in your system so quickly after a workout, a ready-to-drink protein shake works very well.

Processed meats just don't have quality protein.
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Old 16-11-2005, 07:41 AM   #19
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I've heard of a pro bodybuilder who lived off protein drinks permanently. He wasn't that good though and I think he ended up doing gay porn

I would advise trying to build up your diet with good quality foods, find out where the gaps are and fill these with a protein drink. You can different forms of protein powder too, some with more carbs in than others(these tend to fall into the meal replacement category - METRx are good)
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Old 16-11-2005, 08:06 AM   #20
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Yeah, that was Chris Duffy who ate nothing but protein drinks - couldn't have been healthy but he was in awesome shape.

I'm using Pro-lab stuff just now because it doesn't have aspartame. Also got the Lebrada, Weider and EAS ready to drink stuff.

Recommend the new Myoplex Storm protein bars, taste like Snickers but they do have a bit of sugar in them - 27g of protein however. I like the Dorian Yates bars too, but they've got aspartame in them too.
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Old 23-11-2005, 08:53 AM   #21
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Well, due to my new diet, (see other topic) Bernard Mathews it is
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Old 23-11-2005, 08:53 AM
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