T Nation

Basic Progression Question


#1

Say one is doing 3 x 6-8 or whatever, increasing the weight after reaching 3 x 8. If you know you could only do 3 x 6 for a particular weight, but not 3 x 8, should you do 8 reps on the first set? Maybe you would only get 5 reps on the next set. Or should you just do the 3 x 6. Or does it not matter.


#2

?

if ^^, you shouldn’t have a 3 rep drop on the next set unless you didn’t take enough rest
However, it doesn’t matter that much


#3

It doesn’t.


#4

Just a caveat on this, when you are given a rep range it can be a mental get out to hit the minimum reps when you still have the max reps plus one or two more left in you - especially on the last set.

I’d say it matters in that instance.


#5

I apologize, but I don’t know what you mean by a mental get out.


#6

I reckon it took me 5 years to accept that I couldn’t walk away from the last set or two or pushing through my brain saying “okay, stop now”.


#7

I’m sorry; I’m not intentionally trying to be obtuse here, but I don’t understand what you’re conveying.

Are you saying it’s a good idea to leave a few reps in the tank, or that you need to push through your brain telling you to stop, or you need to tell your brain that it’s time to stop even though you feel refreshed? I feel as though I missed a part of the conversation.


#8

This one.


#9

Oh. Yeah, that’s an important skill that I find best learned through athletics.


#10

Thanks for the replies, I definitely don’t work as hard as I should, this is part of the equation. The real question out of my initial rambling is whether or not you should shoot for the top end of a rep range on the first set.


#11

Well yes you should try, otherwise you arnt progressing. Also you should have some idea if you can make the reps by your performance the previous workout. If it was a real struggle to get 7reps on all your sets last time, you may have to go 8reps, 8reps, 7reps or 8,7,7. It really is minute detail though…


#12

I’ve tried that before. It works well as long as the rep range on the first set isn’t actually a true max.

In other words- hitting your actual, genuine 8RM when you’re supposed to do 3 sets of 8 reps or some such will probably kill your other sets.

I think it’s best to determine based on how it feels and what you’ve done previously.

I.E- I did 3x10 on the squat last month. I added 10lb and reset down to 7x5 and am adding a rep each week. If the reps feel difficult on anything from 5-8, I know I’m just being weak and really need to man up.