T Nation

5x10 vs 10x3

Is this a weird phenomenon?

I feel great after doing a workout using a scheme like 10 sets of 3 reps or even 12 sets of 4 reps with a few exercises.

But if I do a few exercises with 5 sets of 10, I feel completely THRASHED.

I know for a fact i’m not going to heavy or anything, but no matter how light I go, when i’m on the 8th rep it still feels kind of shaky…I press through it, get my 10. But after the workout man I feel like SHIT.

but if I do something with high sets and low reps, after the workout I feel like I can do it all over again.

The hell is that supposed to mean???

what protocol do you make the most gains with??

AA

Quite a bit of it plays into what kind of shape you are in cardio-wise. 10x3 does not normally make your body rev as hard as a 5x10 workout. Kind of like how jogging two miles does not make you puke as much as interval sprinting one mile.

I’m the same way. For years I always followed the conventional set/rep schemes, 10-12, 3 or 4 sets. Progress was extremely SLOW and recovery was always a bitch, cos I’d be extremely sore for days.

A couple of years ago I read some stuff by Pavel about low reps for strength, tried it, and my body responded VERY well. Now I can do lots of sets, but I keep the reps low, usually 3-5. In fact, if I take a set beyond 6 reps, I really get trashed.

Perhaps it has to do with being fast-twitch dominant versus slow fiber types. Has anyone read anything to support this? I’d be really interested to know more.

[quote]daven wrote:
Quite a bit of it plays into what kind of shape you are in cardio-wise. 10x3 does not normally make your body rev as hard as a 5x10 workout. Kind of like how jogging two miles does not make you puke as much as interval sprinting one mile.
[/quote]

Especially on whole body exercises like squats and O-lifts. I talked with other T-men on another thread that they have no trouble with heavy squats but feel sick after a couple sets of 50%1rm 20reps.

If you are after a scientific reason, I guess your alactate energy system is stronger/ more efficient than your lactate energy system. Perhaps due to your higher exposure to low reps / high sets training?

Just $0.02NZD from the geek boy.

Weird! I was going to start a thread about this same phenomenon but I forgot. The only thing different is I’m the exact opposite.

I’m doing CW’s Big Boy Basics - 3 X 8 are awesome, I could do them all day; 8 X 3, however, suck! I manage to work through them but then I get flu like symptoms the next few days. I’ve got a cold as I write and I never get colds.

I know Charles Poliquin talked about this in his elements article, but I’m definately going to do some research.

I’ll give 8 X 3’s another week but if they make me sicker, they’re out, Brenda.

I agree with ipjunkie, it probably has a lot to do with your fiber makeup. Low reps for fast twitch, high for slow twitch.

[quote]daven wrote:
Quite a bit of it plays into what kind of shape you are in cardio-wise. 10x3 does not normally make your body rev as hard as a 5x10 workout. Kind of like how jogging two miles does not make you puke as much as interval sprinting one mile.
[/quote]

Possibly so, but my cardio is in check. I haven’t been doing MMA training (intervals and shit) for a while now since I’m trying to gain weight. Hell I haven’t done much outside of school and eat/sleep/lift for a few months.

But I went and rolled with a few guys a week or two ago and my cardio hasn’t staggered that much. I’ve lost maybe a step or two, but only because I think I’m using more of my new found strength than relying soley on technique. Otherwise I (surprisingly) seem fine cardio wise.

Best gains I’ve made were sticking to between 5-8reps… best strength gains were around 3-5reps… but above 8 (and 8 is pushing it). I feel like shit.

Do I qualify as an ‘advanced’ lifter now? I’ve been lifting for 2 years… on and off the first year, solidly for the last year. I know they say advanced lifters should stick to lower reps…I don’t think I am. Perhaps I just better extend energy in the few reps. (muscle makeup)

[quote]apayne wrote:
I agree with ipjunkie, it probably has a lot to do with your fiber makeup. Low reps for fast twitch, high for slow twitch.[/quote]

Then what should I be doing to maximize hypertrophy?

I think I need to go back to CT’s article about easy hard gainers… his training schemes always seem to workout the best for me

[quote]aschy wrote:
what protocol do you make the most gains with??

AA[/quote]

Best gains are when I mixed the two.

let’s see…uh, bad gpp.

you may think you have good gpp until you do 2x25 squats.

IMO, advanced lifters are at least 10 years into it. i’d call you beginner. remember, statements such as “beginner-high reps, advanced-low reps” are blanket and cater to the norm of low reps being accompanied by low tut.

i dont think the problem or solution is found in fiber make-up. case in point: big soleus and big soleus gains mean lots of fast-twitch stimulation and hypertrophy, yet all soleus’ are very dominantly slow-twitch.

[quote]ipjunkie wrote:
I’m the same way. For years I always followed the conventional set/rep schemes, 10-12, 3 or 4 sets. Progress was extremely SLOW and recovery was always a bitch, cos I’d be extremely sore for days.

A couple of years ago I read some stuff by Pavel about low reps for strength, tried it, and my body responded VERY well. Now I can do lots of sets, but I keep the reps low, usually 3-5. In fact, if I take a set beyond 6 reps, I really get trashed.

Perhaps it has to do with being fast-twitch dominant versus slow fiber types. Has anyone read anything to support this? I’d be really interested to know more.[/quote]

Yes i know what you mean by fast and slow twitch. I too am in the same situation. I train in extremely low reps, 3-5, but most of the time 3 reps. I can’t stand it when i have to do a lot of reps.

My max for bench is 205 but i can barely muster 10 reps of 135. Thats how bad i am.

xen,

you are the exact reason why ABBH works so well - many of us have been training in the lower rep ranges (relative to conventional bodybuilding 8-12, 10-15) for a while. the sets of 10 or more are a shock. you said the best gains are when you mix the two, just as in ABBH.

i am now doing Thib’s Shoulder Overhaul program. it sucks. painful sets of 12. i feel like a little bitch. but, as it is so far from what i have recently been doing, i anticipate really good gains.

why not try 4-6 weeks of bodybuilder type training?

BFG

I am the same way. I can handle multiple sets of near maximal weights, but as soon as I increase my volume beyond 30ish total reps per exercise I hit a huge wall. My strength endurance sucks! Interestingly enough my GPP isn’t bad. On my off days I incorporate a lot of the WSB GPP workouts and I seem to be doing fine with them. I don’t know a lot about the subject, but my instincts tell me that this has something to do with my muscle fiber make-up. For instance, anything over 8 reps per set feels extremely heavy, no matter how light it is.

Due to the fact that my higher volume workouts generally suck, I’ve found that low volume/high intensity routines work far better for me. I think everyone’s just different.

Seems to me lifters vary in what they are better at. But my philosophy is to suck it up and do the stuff that’s uncomfortable. Its probably just what you need.
For those who have trouble with higher rep sets, drop the weight a bit more than suggested - better to get through it and get better at it than have it defeat you.
I’m doing a variation of ABBH with my son and his friend (both 17) and we all react differently to the 5 x 10 but all agree to say “f*** you, Chad Waterbury” when it gets too horrible. We also agree to keep going anyway. Somehow cursing CW makes it all OK :slight_smile:
As my grandfather used to say “it puts hair on your chest”.

The whole point of training is to get the DESIRED EFFECT, as quickly and efficiently as possible - not to beat down your body to prove how “tough you” are or how high your pain tolerance is.

The no pain no gain motto is one of the worst things that ever happened to training.

If you get the desired effect from 10x3, great, 5x5, great, 3x10, great, OLYlifing, BBlifting, BW exercises, PLifting, 2x a week, 5x a week, supersets, whole body routines, split routines…all that matters is what workout will get you the desired effect as quickly and efficiently as possible.
This way you can get home, eat, and recover quickly.

[quote]Sonny S wrote:

all that matters is what workout will get you the desired effect as quickly and efficiently as possible.
This way you can get home, eat, and recover quickly.[/quote]

indeed the answer to all, and yet everchanging.

[quote]Xen Nova wrote:
But if I do a few exercises with 5 sets of 10, I feel completely THRASHED.
[/quote]

how many excercises are we talking about here? what intenisty are you using and your rest period? laters pk

[quote]Xen Nova wrote:
Do I qualify as an ‘advanced’ lifter now? I’ve been lifting for 2 years… on and off the first year, solidly for the last year. I know they say advanced lifters should stick to lower reps…I don’t think I am. Perhaps I just better extend energy in the few reps. (muscle makeup)
[/quote]

No, you are beginner. I worked out and sprinted in college and i still considered my self a beginner while in school. 3 years after i graduated i started to tread on the advanced stage. I’m 28 now. laters pk

[quote]Xen Nova wrote:
Do I qualify as an ‘advanced’ lifter now? I’ve been lifting for 2 years… on and off the first year, solidly for the last year. I know they say advanced lifters should stick to lower reps…I don’t think I am. Perhaps I just better extend energy in the few reps. (muscle makeup)
[/quote]

probably not an advanced lifter, but … some people “lift” for a lifetime and are still beginners. with awareness and knowledge, you are above average, but an advanced lifter will have lifted for more than 2 years. i have been at it in one way or another for 15 years and consider myself a f*cking noob! (ok, intermediate perhaps) the more you know, the more there is to know.

BFG