Is there a 'rule of thumb' so to speak when trying to gain strength and mass?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Dyson350, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. Dyson350

    Dyson350 Orange Belt

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    Specifically with bench press, I usually do 5 sets of 10 at a weight that has me barely making the 5th set. But to bulk up and gain more strength in those targeted muscles should I up the weight and lower the reps to maybe 4 or 5 sets of 6 or 7? Well I tried this for the past week by adding about 20lbs and to be honest I feel more sore the next day after doing the 5 sets of 10 with less weight compared to adding more weight.
     
  2. redaxe

    redaxe Silver Belt

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    The soreness the next day is from the negative part of the lift, which gets more emphasis when you use lighter weight because you tend to do the negative part slower to get more "pump." If you go slow on the negatives, you are stretching the muscle while it's already fully tensed, and this creates those tears in the muscle fiber that cause soreness. This doesn't happen as much when you do heavier weight, for example with bench you lower the weight faster when lifting heavy because if you lower it slowly you might not be able to push it back up.

    Higher reps are more for muscle endurance, if you want to build explosive strength, you need to lift heavier at lower reps. The fact that you're less sore than with high reps doesn't mean that you aren't building muscle. The idea that "if you're not sore the next day you didn't lift enough" is sort of a myth.
     
  3. BrassBalls

    BrassBalls Banned Banned

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    Well DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is not a great indicator of whether or not you are getting stronger. DOMS are an indication of muscle damage, which is what you are looking for to increase hypertrophy, but not the most direct route to increased strength.

    In 5/3/1 one of the options is to finish your squat workout with 5x10x50% of max, but it is soley meant as an hypertrophy addition to your strength training. You are still doing at least 3 heavy sets.

    Take a look at the two charts I am going to post below and lookup prilepin's chart on youtube, and take a look at the first video that pops up. That will be a good start to helping you understand rep scheme in relation to increasing strength. If there are words in the charts below you do not know, then you might look them up and learn the definition of them.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Indivdude

    Indivdude Blue Belt

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    Definition? Now I gotta look that up... what does definition mean...

    From Webster: the action or process of defining.

    Hmm...
     
  5. BrassBalls

    BrassBalls Banned Banned

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    why are we looking up the definition of the word definition?
     
  6. Indivdude

    Indivdude Blue Belt

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    So we can say that one knows how to define definition and can say this is the definition of definition. I have defined it.
     
  7. Dyson350

    Dyson350 Orange Belt

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    Your replies helped out a ton, thanks!
     
  8. BrassBalls

    BrassBalls Banned Banned

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    Nice link.

    Edit: and bonus for the pick you posted to end the "observation thread". I am sure that dude gets wacked by the end of the season, but he is going to be one bad ass.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  9. big_kahuna

    big_kahuna Problem?

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    The one thing that always threw me off about this chart, is the 20 rep box for sarc. hypertrophy.
    Can anyone else vouch whether that's accurate?
    Everything else I have read stated 10-12 reps is the best range.
     
  10. jkuhlmann

    jkuhlmann Blue Belt

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    rule of thumb:

    gomad
     
  11. BREEDmonkey

    BREEDmonkey Orange Belt

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    Not to hijack but I have a few questions:

    1. He's saying that when working over 90% you should only be doing 3 sets of singles? It's what it sounded like and I just want to be sure.

    2. What would the 70-79% range be good for, dynamic/speed work or is he saying you could build significant strength doing 4 sets of 5 reps with 75% max. That just seems like to little stress( when I can do 75% for 10-12 rep max) to illicit strength gains.

    3. Lastly, does anyone think incorporating this into a starting strength like protocol like:
    Mon-90% bp/ 80% dl/ 70% sq
    Wed-90% sq/ 80% bp/ 70% dl or pc
    Fri-90% dl/ 80% sq/ 70% bp
    would work well? Especially for someone who is getting up in weight in SS and is now dealing with constant knee and muscle soreness. It might be a nice break on my knees and lower back.
    Thanks.
     
  12. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    Prilepin's table is based off information/statistics of Olympic lifters and their training. So some people are of the opinion that when applied to powerlifts the number of total reps should be lower when training above 90%. This is because with the powerlifts (as compared to Olympic lifts) there is more weight being moved, the lifts take longer, and with the squat and bench there is an eccentric part of the lift. Although not follows this belief.

    Prilepin found that lifters doing more than the perscribed reps per set either had technique break down, or bar speed decrease significantly, or both. The idea is to stimulate strength gains, not grind out as many reps as possible.

    Then I'd recommend Bill Starrs 5x5 or Texas method. They have heavy days, volume days, and light days. The days are grouped like that to improve recovery. If you want something that makes use of Prilepin's table (while incorporating any number of other principles) you could try a beginner sheiko routine. If your knees and lower back are bothering you, deload for a week, and then, if you decide to do so, start a new routine.


    Prilepin's table is a very good guideline, but you won't necessarily always follow it. Some routines may have you do less or more than the recommended volume, and less or more than the recommended reps per set (especially at lower intensities). And with experience you'll understand whether you generally need to do less or more total reps, and reps per set. For example, you might find you get overtrained easily, so you tend to do less total reps, or maybe you find that tonnes of volume works well for you, and you train towards the upper end or even slightly above the recommended total reps. But Prilepin's table is a good starting point, and it answers the question of "what reps, sets and intensity should I use?" very well.
     
  13. BREEDmonkey

    BREEDmonkey Orange Belt

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    Thanks for the help.
     
  14. Origins

    Origins Blue Belt

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    You are asking about Prilepin's table, right? That chart was created by studying the training journals of hundreds of successful Olympic weightlifters. Due to the technical and explosive nature of those lifts, weightlifters very rarely do sets of more than 6 or so. I believe the 70-79% range is used mostly for submaximal work or to focus on technique, since form would break down too much in a set of 10-12 reps with that percentage of 1RM. Their training is done mostly with low reps, which explains why the reps/set is the same from 79% down.

    As for your regimen, if you are going to try to have hard, medium, and easy days, you need to keep the volume and intensity hard, medium, or easy. The whole point of having those days is to let your body recover from the heavy days. So if you are using 70% of your 1RM but you are doing 15 reps with it, that is still a "hard" day. Honestly, you would probably be better off doing a tried and true intermediate program like the Texas Method or Bill Starr 5x5 if you really feel that you are ready for more advanced programming.

    Edit: Tosa beat me to it.
     
  15. BrassBalls

    BrassBalls Banned Banned

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    Tosa pretty much covered it, but here is the video I could not post last night since I was at work. It is a great explanation of the table. I also found this article helpful:http://ambesc.com/lifting/prelipins.pdf



    edit: rereading your post it looks like you already checked it out. Check out that article though. I use it to help plan my heavy sets after my 5/3/1/ sets.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  16. BrassBalls

    BrassBalls Banned Banned

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    That is a good question. I never really payed attention to the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy on the chart as it was not my primary interest. I have always heard the 8-12 rep range. Not sure anyone around here will have a good answer for that one though. Might be a bb.com type question.
     
  17. BREEDmonkey

    BREEDmonkey Orange Belt

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    Damn, thanks everybody for all the help, greatly appreciated.
     
  18. DrBdan

    DrBdan Something clever

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    My thinking is that 8-12 gives you good sarc. hypertrophy while still having some effect on strength & power. 20 reps might give you better sarc. hypertrophy but it would have a negligible effect on S&P so 8-12 is like a happy medium. I'm basically thinking out loud here, so don't take this as gospel.
     
  19. Morganation

    Morganation Brown Belt

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    I have been having great success with doing the 5x5 on bench press.After years of doing a 3x10 and having no gains I sacked up and finally changed my routine.I will never go back to what I was doing.Fuck was that ever a waste of time lol.
     
  20. big_kahuna

    big_kahuna Problem?

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    What success specifically, strength or mass? (or both?)
    I'm looking to switch from the 10 rep set as well.
     

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