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3-4 Reps a Set Enough for Size?


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
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
Calf raises


So you are doing ONE set per exercise?

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


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


5x5 + food = muscle pretty simple equation that works


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


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


This is why I fail at math.


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.


Strength > "bigger"


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


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.


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.


Apples and oranges?


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?


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


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


i like pie :slightly_smiling:


apple pie mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm


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.


I agree.

Also, take a good look at this link: