T Nation

Can't Finish My Reps

I’m doing a cycling routine for my lifting. You know 55,60,60,65% one week 60,65,65,70% the next and so on. I’m on my second week and have noticed that although my strength has increased I’m not able to finish the reps (I do 12,10,10,8) once I hit the second 10 set my reps start to fall.

I’ve given myself 2 days rest between workouts. Ok that’s the info, now here’s my theory and tell me if I’m wrong.

I’m not too concerned about finishing the reps as long as I’m gaining in my used weight and as long as I push myself until I can’t push anymore. I’m I thinking wrong?

Well Training to failure isnt always a good idea from what I’ve read here. Also 2 days might night be enough time for adequate recovery if yer hitting the same muscles every workout to failure.

Have you tried to lower the weight some?
How is your form. If you are going to failure, is the form suffering?

[quote]GQed76 wrote:
Well Training to failure isnt always a good idea from what I’ve read here. Also 2 days might night be enough time for adequate recovery if yer hitting the same muscles every workout to failure.
[/quote]

I agree,
I have read in several places on this web site that training to failure is bad, bad, bad, bad. What happens when you train to failure is that you make it that much harder in order to recover. Remember, weight lifting is as much about fatigure management as it is about putting effort into lifting.
So look at your fatigue management.

1)Are you training to failure? This is increase recovery time.
2)How is your diet? Make sure that is in line. Good nutrition gives your body what it needs to recover quicker.
3)Get your sleep. 6-8 hours a night. I have discovered this is incredibly important.

Anyway. I hope that helps.

JF

Do some work on your weak points at the end of your workout. You probably need more recovery than the two days you’re giving yourself also.

[quote]GQed76 wrote:
Well Training to failure isnt always a good idea from what I’ve read here. Also 2 days might night be enough time for adequate recovery if yer hitting the same muscles every workout to failure.

Have you tried to lower the weight some?
How is your form. If you are going to failure, is the form suffering?[/quote]

The concept of “Training to failure”, or TTF, comes from a program called “High Intensity Training” or HIT. The premise behind HIT is that you do one set of 8-12 reps of 80% of your 1RM in perfect form using a 2/4 cadence: 2 seconds positive (up) and 4 seconds negative (down), with a smooth transition on both ends.

It is not meant to be done when doing volume, such as was mentioned above. If you want to complete your workout as listed, lower the amount of weight so as to complete the routine.

As for muscle growth, remember, they don’t grow when you are working out, not to be confused with the pump. They grow when you are resting. Be sure to get adequate rest.

Tyler

[quote]spaceotter wrote:
I’m doing a cycling routine for my lifting. You know 55,60,60,65% one week 60,65,65,70% the next and so on. I’m on my second week and have noticed that although my strength has increased I’m not able to finish the reps (I do 12,10,10,8) once I hit the second 10 set my reps start to fall.

I’ve given myself 2 days rest between workouts. Ok that’s the info, now here’s my theory and tell me if I’m wrong.

I’m not too concerned about finishing the reps as long as I’m gaining in my used weight and as long as I push myself until I can’t push anymore. I’m I thinking wrong?[/quote]

Another thing you might want to consider is losing one of the middle sets. It seems redundant, other than to fatigue your muscles so they can’t complete your last set. Then, if your reps start to fail on the last set, that may not be as bad. If you get adequate rest, you will notice that your rep range will increase, showing that you are progressing.

Another question, how long do you rest between sets?

Tyler

Read the importance of volume by Louie Simmons. Just search on google for it.

Say your max is 300lbs:
55%= 165lbs x 12 = 1980
60%= 180lbs x 10 = 1800
60%= 180lbs x 10 = 1800
65%= 195lbs x 8 = 1560
total volume = 7140lbs

then the next week
60%= 180lbs x 12 = 2160
65%= 195lbs x 10 = 1950
65%= 195lbs x 10 = 1950
70%= 210lbs x 8 = 1680
total volume = 7740lbs

So you’re increasing the intensity of your workout and the volume your doing. You might want to try to improve just one of them at one time. You could either drop 2 reps off of each set the second week or keep the same percentages and increase the reps per set. The first option puts you closer to the optimal number of reps per set so I’d say its the better option.

If you can’t complete the second set of ten, you could just skip it since you’re lifting every other day. If you could complete every set the first day of the week, but couldn’t in the 2nd workout you’re not recovering completely. I think Chad Waterbury recommended alternating between 3 workouts per week and 2 workouts per week to become accustom to working out 3 times per week.

Thanks guys. I’ll check out that article and give some of the suggestions a try. There’s actually a solid 72 hours between my workouts. I take two full days off and then include the rest of the first day. I’m not feeling fatigued at all when I get up to work out and there’s no pain, but maybe another day of rest might help also.

My diet consists of roughly 300 grams of protein a day/carbs through fruit/unsat. fat through olive oil and then supplementation (just the basics, a multi/creatine/glucosimine for my joints and fish oil pills). I normally consume this (other than the pills) in liquid form blended together several times a day. I also throw in a normal meal every once and awhile.

Thanks for your help-

       Adam

spaceotter,

Failure or not to failure, I think you’re simply trying to progress too fast. You want to add 5% on all of your sets weekly, and in my expirience that is simply too much.

In order for such program to work, you must use some kind of cyclical approach. Like this:

Week 1 - 45%, 50%, 55%, 60% - easy
Week 2 - 50%, 55%, 60%, 65% - ok
Week 3 - 55%, 60%, 65%, 70% - hard
Week 4 - 60%, 70%, 75% - really pushing it; won’t get all the reps; use long rests etc.
Week 5 - like week 2, backing down
Week 6 - like week 3, etc.

Despite cycling, after some 8-10 weeks you will start to feel really tired so take an entire week off!

Thanks for the advice slotan. Actually the program that I’m trying to do here doesn’t mention cycling down after peaking. I’ll give that a try and then use a week off as well. I also just read the tip on todays home page and saw that lower rep higher weight will gain well as well. I’m so new at this that I’m just trying to find what’s going to be productive, I don’t care how long it takes, or how hard it is. Oddly enough I enjoy the pain that comes from the workout(you know the good pain) because when there’s pain there soon follows that endorphen rush and I love that rush.

[quote]slotan wrote:

Despite cycling, after some 8-10 weeks you will start to feel really tired so take an entire week off![/quote]

During this ‘off’ week, should you still eat the same number of calories as what you would typically consume during the weeks when you do train?

I’ve been training consistently for about 7-9 weeks and I noticed that I feel really tired during the day. At first I thought it was simply due to lack of sleep, but I guess I ought to take a week off.

By the way, is it okay to take a light week off (say just doing core work like bridges, swiss-ball Y’s, and cable/barbell rotations) instead of completely going off?

I tried the 10 x 3 routine with the same excercises I was doing on my cycling routine today. I was able to do much more weight and was able to finish every set and rep. And I feel very very pumped. I like it. Those training tips are awesome.

[quote]loctite_zexel wrote:
During this ‘off’ week, should you still eat the same number of calories as what you would typically consume during the weeks when you do train?
[/quote]

Well, yes. You’re recovering, you need food and your appetite will probably reflect that. On the other hand, if you don’t really feel that hungry, no reason to stuff yourself.

[quote]
By the way, is it okay to take a light week off (say just doing core work like bridges, swiss-ball Y’s, and cable/barbell rotations) instead of completely going off?[/quote]

Absolutely. In fact, that’s what most people do. I prefer to stay out of the gym and go play basketball, and also do some light work at home (like dynamic stretches). Some people go to the gym and focus on some small body part they neglected, like arms; or just goof around with machines. But, most definetly, after 8-10 weeks of proper training you deserve a break.

On the topic of taking a week off or going light, there’s an entire article by Jack Reape:

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=546953