Absolute failure? (Drop sets and pryamiding down)
I seem to have heard something around 4 sets for smaller muscle groups that use isolation a lot(such as biceps), 6-8 for medium sized muscles (i.e. lats), and around 10 for the big stuff that mostly use compound movements (such as pecs)
Well, say someone does 10 sets of 3 with 300 lbs on the benchpress. First set he's about a few reps short of failure; he reaches failure (or close to failure) on that last rep of that last set. Most people would say that he's done, and hit his muscles, that does the benching, pretty well. (Not sure if thats true, but just go with it..)
But, if he lowered the weight to 250 lbs, he could probably do another couple sets of a good # of reps, yeah? And after that, he could lower it to 200, and do more sets. And even after that, lower it down to 150, and keep going. Who knows how many sets he can pull off with all that declining of weight, but it would be a whole lot.
What would you think of that? Is that "good"? Most people stop after they've hit their muscles pretty hard. But pretty much everyone could either lower the weight and keep going (if you do low reps), or lower the reps and keep going (if you do high reps). Or you could even do both. Thus, reaching "failure" on multiple levels. Perhaps not total absolute failure, but you could beat yourself up pretty hard. I would assume you would need a LONG period of rest and all that; most likely much more than even a week, but thats basically all I know about such a workout.
So my question would just be: Would doing so be beneficial? Is it a "smart" way to workout by doing all those drop sets or 'down' pryamids? What do you think?
Just some general information would be great.
Thanks in advance.
Those techniques are for advanced bodybuilders.
There is absolutely no need for most people to incorporate such last-ditch muscle-shocking unless of course you want to writhe in pain needlessly.
Most overzealous noobs who are in a hurry to grow overtrain; don't be one of them.
I got myself a perfectly good powerlifting routine. I'm just wondering here and its all hypothetical.
One thing I was trying to get at was, say a person has choice between strength training and training for mass. For strength, he could do 10 sets of 3 at a high % of his ORM. For mass, maybe 3 Sets of 10, at maybe 60% of his ORM. Well, if he finished 10 Sets of 3 with the heavy weight, he would have had sufficient work for strength; and for the normal person, he would be done. Now, what if he lowered the weight a bit, down to 60% 1RM, and did 3 Sets of 10? Isn't that gaining strength and mass at the same time?
Or, another example, one person could be benching 10 Sets of 3. After doing so, what if he dropped down and did a couple sets of 50 pushups? Wouldn't he be getting strength and endurance at the same time; fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibers both being worked? Two birds with one stone?
Note, once again, this is just for reference's sake, and I don't plan to do such, ever.
I would advise the reverse which is to warm up with your light stuff and then lift heavy.
You might also try adding the other stuff on your "light" days.
Stacking two different workouts such as those are much harder to recupe from especially if you are training hard in MA at the same time...
That would lead to overtraining. You're falling into the trap of thinking more is better, which is not. It may not be a bad idea to do before a long lay off, but otherwise to do something like that would not produce great results.
Just for your information, the lats are not medium sized muscles, in fact they are the largest muscles in the upper body and the 3rd largest in the body behind the glutes and quadriceps. I would brush up on basic physiology, it will help you out a ton.
Absolute failure leads to absolute failure.*
*I've no idea if this is true but I felt it should be said.
Those who esteme qi have no strength. ~ Exposition of Insights into the Thirteen Postures Attrib: Wu Yuxiang founder of Wu style tai chi.
Originally Posted by Stickx
EDIT: Fixed link and added a little:
Originally Posted by Varangian Guard
Some things learned from my own meandering experience and research over many years:
* high weight, low rep is generally best
* do not train to failure
* isolation exercises are inefficient; generalize, do not specialize, in terms of overall fitness/strength. Drop isolation exercises (e.g. bicep curls); work olympic lifts and gymnastics-style conditioning exercises.
* High intensity, shorter workouts that tax your whole body (anaerobic and aerobic systems) are better than 2 hours stints at the gym broken into cardio, weights, etc..
* Routine is the enemy.
* If you want be good at something -- for example, pull ups -- do them every day, but NOT TO FAILURE.
* Mix your sport/martial specific skills training in with your fitness routine.
Check out www.crossfit.com for excellent info, workout strategies, and more info.
Last edited by daGorilla; 10/31/2005 10:22am at .
Okk.. so basically, doing a workout like that is most inefficient; and you'll need a lot more rest time before working out again. Right?
Actually, there's some good scientific research that supports your statement.
Originally Posted by Jekyll
Relevant quote taken from http://www.strengthcats.com/CSfinalrep.htm.
Regular failed attempts lead to a reduction in a lowering of the Golgi Tendon Organ (GTO) excitation threshold (3).
Successful lifts which are above what the body is used to will raise the excitation threshold of the Golgi Tendon Organ, while failed attempts tend to lower it. What this means in bodybuilding parlance is that the more often you miss a lift, the more likely it is that you'll miss it again in the future.
First of all, we can't just tell him "Don't do isolation exercises! Use low reps!". It all depends on what HIS goals are.
Second of all, don't train to failure. Failure training is pointless, and detrimental to your gains. Here's a story that happened to me.
I was doing 4 sets of dips. On the first set, I was going all out, until I was unable to perform another rep. Fast forward to the next 3 sets and I was not getting a lot of reps due to the fatigue from the first set. Here is how my dips looked:
13 - 7 - 7 - 6 which would be 33 dips total. On my next workout, I was doing horrible for some reason, and I was not getting inreases in reps or weight for my other exercises. Then I thought about some things, and changed the way I did dips. This is how it went on the following workout:
9 - 9 - 9 - 9 = 36 dips total. Less intensity, but more volume. This style of training would grant GREATER results than simply killing yourself. After this, I was raising my dip numbers every workout. If there is constant progression, you will make gains. Do not train to failure!
Also, higher reps with lighter weight will not grant the same strength gains as HEAVY ASS WEIGHT, as Ronnie Coleman would say. That's why all the bench/curl jockies who thinks 3 sets of 10 is the only way to lift are only benching 160. The only time 3 sets of 10 would be remotely useful is for isolation exercises. Even then, specifying a specific number of reps is silly.
If you're going for strength gains, then specifying 4-6 reps* 4 sets per exercise would be a good way to go. When using a training style that calls for a rep RANGE, what I would do is start with a weight you can do 3-4 good reps with, and keep using it until you get to 6 reps on most sets. That has worked the best for me, as far as strength gains.
Personally, the 5-8 rep range has been the most effective for me for keeping a good balance between strength and mass gains. My split:
Mon: Push (Squat, bench, flies, military press, calf raises)
Tuesday: Pull (Romanian deads, lunges, pull-ups, 1-arm rows, curls)
Wed: Go over form and technique with strength coach, test things and learn new movements
I've gained 14 pounds in 3 months since working with my strength coach, and decreased overall body fat. The first two months were mostly correcting imbalances and improving core strength, and I just got into more advanced things the past month.
Last edited by Apostol; 10/29/2005 2:36pm at .
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