Sets: Straight across or Ramping up?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by KnightTemplar, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. KnightTemplar

    KnightTemplar Halloween Belt Platinum Member

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    When doing a strength training program with 3 sets of 5 reps on compound exercises, is it better to keep the weight the same on all three sets or increase the weight for the second and third set?

    Or does it not really matter one way or the other?
     
  2. h7jb7sg1e

    h7jb7sg1e Blue Belt

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    Assuming a proper warm-up and adequate rest interval. Increase the weight each set if you can handle it with good form.
     
  3. DrBdan

    DrBdan Something clever

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    Both have their advantages. I'm guessing based on your questions that you're somewhat new to lifting (me too) so you should just do whatever your program tells you and then see which you prefer.
     
  4. fothemo

    fothemo Green Belt

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    this. maybe 5-10 pound increase. maximally 10:20 pound increase.
     
  5. KILL KILL

    KILL KILL Gold Belt

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    I would never do just 3 sets of any compound exercise. There should be multiple sets prior to your "working sets" (which are the sets that you're truly building strength and pushing your body to adapt to moving the weight being used) so that your muscles and joints can handle the stress. especially when going heavy with compound movements where there are a lot of moving parts. To not do this is A. Not warming your body up fully so you will not be able to move as much weight as you can. Which is cheating yourself. B. Only doing 3 sets will force you to either jump to a heavy weight right off the bat or risk not working the muscles to the point where they are forced to grow. If you jump to a heavier weight You WILL get injured. It's just a matter of time. I do atleast 2 or 3 sets to work up to my working sets and increase the weight every set.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2010
  6. PowerHungry

    PowerHungry Oh yeah!

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    I do sets across. One of the things I didn't like about Madcow was if I had a shitty set on my top one, then it was basically like a ruined day on that lift. Plus I wouldn't feel like I was getting enough work in if only one of the sets was at a high intensity which is generally the case with ramping.
     
  7. KnightTemplar

    KnightTemplar Halloween Belt Platinum Member

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    I'm sorry I did not make myself clear; the three sets I was referring to were the Work Sets. These are preceded by at least three warm up sets, I just don't count them.:redface:
     
  8. miaou

    miaou barely keeping it together

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    KT, sets across and ramping are two different ways of programming. There is no better or worse. If you are doing 3x5, then sets across will be higher total volume, while ramping might allow you to have a slightly higher intensity on your last workset.

    As DrB said, if you are a beginner, it would probably be best to do whatever your program tells you and stick with it for a while before changing things up.
     
  9. DevilMMA

    DevilMMA Orange Belt

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    Coming from someone that has just changed from straight across to ramping myself...

    1) Better pure strength gains

    2) Worse hypertrophy gains

    3) Less calories burnt so I have put on some 'extra'!

    4) Better recovery

    5) Far fewer warm up sets (this was a big one for me as each of my lifts was needing 3 warm up sets.... in addition to the 5 work sets..... to get to the starting point!!)
     
  10. Carongt

    Carongt White Belt

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    Well I don't know what programs everyone else here are on. But I do the 5x5 from the FAQ and it has both volume sets and ramping sets, just at different times of the week. I find both work for me. I wont lie I dread volume sets. They take so much out of me but once I'm done i feel a real sense of accomplishment plus my body feels like it got some real work done. On the other hand the ramping sets are usually not as bad but(at least in my program) the last set is usually close to something youve never lifted before so theres a good feeling of accomplishment there also. And even if you have lifted a good bit before and are just getting back into it it's still a good feeling to see yourself constantly moving up 5/10 lbs. from the previous week. Idk what program your on but check out my log if you want to see how what I'm on incorporates both types of lifting and the progress I've made. I will admit I've been off and on with it but even still i've made solid progress.
     
  11. Oblivian

    Oblivian Aging Platinum Member

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    On my new program, I'm doing both. I actually alternate weeks. For example, this week my squat workout looked like this: warmup sets, 225 lbs x 5, 275 lbs x 5, 305 lbs x 5. Next week it will be: warmup sets, 225 lbs x 5, 285 lbs x 5 x 5 sets. I'll increase by 5 lbs each week.

    Both ramping and sets straight across have their place.
     
  12. Gary Peters

    Gary Peters Purple Belt Professional Fighter

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    If i'm putting in 4-5 days of skill work/sparring I generally ramp up my work sets. If i'm just working on strength I do them straight across. I think it depends on how much time you have for recovery. The straight sets definitely take more out of me.
     
  13. pliftkl

    pliftkl Green Belt

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    I tend to run my work sets at the same weight. I'm running on the logic that if I can increase the weight for my second and/or third sets, I probably should have increased the weight on my first set (after warmups of course!). I'll occasionally ramp the weight if I know I'm short on time in the gym, since I typically have to wait longer between sets when I'm running all of the work sets at the same weight.
     
  14. ssdd

    ssdd Purple Belt

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    For the last 2 weeks I ramped on 5x5 hitting 5rep PRs on squat and OHP on the last set both weeks. Next week I'll do straight across 5x5 + 5/10lbs, and then I'll deload week 4 and start over.
     

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