T Nation

1 or 2 Sets?


So I'm still using Joe Defranco's WSFSB and I'm done deloading..and Monday I start again..My question here is: 1) instead of going for that one 3-5RM...should i be doing 2 sets of my max 3-5 instead of just one..cause I dont know how much i'll gain with just warming up, then hitting my 3-5RM max..what do you guys think

One more question..A guy who competed at the NERB (raw lifting)..I was asking him about improving the deadlift and he said to go for 2 sets of a heavy heavy 6-8 reps..he said the form will go to shit but it'll get the lower back and all stronger..so outta the 3 week cycles I do, should I do it once during the 3 weeks (2 sets of 6-8 for deads). Then just do squats for a 5RM like regular, thanks a lot!


I think I might actually try that. The 6-8 rep deadlift will probably be effective because you can pause easily in between reps of a deadlift for just a few seconds, allowing you to increase the weight.


What is your level of training? The more experience you have under your belt lends itself to more volume in your training. Typically if you are training for strength, you want to leave something in the tank at the end of your ME day. you don't want to totally exhaust your CNS.

If you are new to training for strength, I would stick with one set for a max. Keep your form tight. Letting your form go to shit will lead to injuries. In my opinion, the second set at a max, especially for the rep scheme you want to use, will lead to muscular failure and breakdown of form.

Save the training to failure for an accessory day with lighter weights. It will develop mass and will keep you from getting injured.


I think you're supposed to work up to a 3-5 rep max, rather than just do light sets then one heavy set.


Yeah that is true. But you have to do light setse before you go to the 3-5rep max..and by light sets I mean warming up...I just do the old-school westside method of warm-up to hit your 1RM, 3RM, or 5RM. Obviosuly you need it cause you arent going to put X amount of weight on the bar..which is close to your max.


Great post!




I think the goal is to hit 3 sets above 90% of your max. That might only be applicable when you're working up to 1rm's tho.

I've heard of westside guys dropping a bit of the weight after hitting their max and getting the 3 sets above 90% in that way.