T Nation

3-4 Reps a Set Enough for Size?


#1

Hi, I am not really a newbie in the sense that I have been lifting for about 3 years. But in that 3 years while I've gained some nice muscle (5'11'' from a puny 135 to now 155), I have found my progress to have stagnated for about 2 years now. About 2 weeks ago I realized I just wasn't lifting heavy enough. It seems to be working, and I am getting stronger. However, I am using weight that I can only really move for 5 reps at the most. Is that enough? or am I wasting my time? Before this I was lifting for 8-12 reps a set, but like I said I haven't made real progress in a while.

Also what do you think about this split, I am trying to gain size.
My routine:

Upperbody twice a week:
Standing Barbell Rows x3
Standing Military Press x3
Bench Press x 3
Chins
Dips x3
Seated Rows x 3
Lateral Raises x3
Seated Behind the head tricep ext x3
Barbell curls x3

I know that seems like alot but it only takes me an hour.

Lower Body
Squats x3
Leg press with feet high for Hammies Glutes x 3
Abs
Calf raises


#2

So you are doing ONE set per exercise?

For hypertrophy it's usually 3-6 sets for 6-12 reps...


#3

no no, the "x3" is the number of sets. three sets of every exercise


#4

5x5 + food = muscle pretty simple equation that works


#5

5x5 + food= 25food? jk :wink:


#6

Yes, but if you divide by Pi the remainder = muscle


#7

This is why I fail at math.


#8

Lifting the same weights for 2 long years... Disturbing... It would make me question the way I do things.

Read the stickies in this forum for advice.
And yes, a load you can lift 5 times makes you bigger.


#9

Strength > "bigger"


#10

you sure? you just said you fail at maths :slightly_smiling:


#11

More than the smaller one eats the bigger one. Doing 5x5 is more for strength gains, IMO. However, there will be muscle hypertrophy but in less amounts compared to strength.


#12

Do you want to say that the strength can increase faster than the muscles? Can you be stronger without developing new muscle size? I don't think it's possible. Just saying.


#13

Apples and oranges?


#14

I'm allergic to appel's but love them? Just said that to myself so made no sense
So I go with Banana and oranges?


#15

How about neurological efficiency?
So you can develop strength without putting on much size.


#16

What about power lifters that are competing at say 130lbs dealifting 400lbs+ ? Hmmmmm


#17

i like pie :slightly_smiling:


#18

apple pie mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm


#19

Low reps, heavy weights. As long as you're overloading the muscle you'll simulate an adaptive response in form of strength. A huge part of strength 'gains' is teaching yourself to do the lift in the most efficient way possible, lots of great articles and threads here about how to lift. Just a tiny change in foot position for example can dramatically improve your squat. Dead lifting 400+ at 130? Perfect form for their physiology, lots of practice, individual training programs vary but often with power lifters, sets of 3 or less, often they'll just do a bunch of singles and not even go for reps in their sets. Same with the diet, it varies a lot but for most power lifters who stay relatively lean they eat like body builders.


#20

I agree.

Also, take a good look at this link:

http://www.scrawnytobrawny.com/excerpt.pdf