The Austrian Oak wrote:
Has anyone here tried Chad Waterbury's recommendations for sets/reps?
Basically you pick a total amount of reps to get based on your goal:
15reps for max strength
25reps for strength/size
30reps for pure size
-the total rep amount are more detailed than this, but this is the basic idea.
then you pick your load. superheavy 2-3RM, heavy 4-6RM, medium 10-12RM, light 10-22RM.
all that matters is the load for the first set.
say you want 25 total reps with heavy weight. you get 5 reps on the first set, the amount of reps you get on the next sets doesn't matter. you basically take each set to clean failure and do as many sets as it takes to get to 25reps. you will use the same weight for all of the working sets following your warmup.
what are the advantages and disadvantages of this method?
i normally would ramp my sets and never use the same weight twice.
here are some links:
I actually use this method (in a split routine however). Here are my advantages and disadvantages to it:
1) Total volume stays the same. If volume is a constant but the load gets progressively heavier, you increase the training load over time, which will lead to muscle growth. For example, if I curl 100 pounds for 40 total reps, that's 4000 pounds of work my biceps did. If in a month I add 15 pounds to it and now do 40 total reps with 115 pounds, that's 4600 pounds, 600 pounds more work than what I started with. With traditional sets and reps, the total reps in a workout can vary, usually going down as weight goes up.
2) Psychological relief. Knowing that the total amount of reps will stay constant, you don't have to worry about making every set life or death. While some might say that's a pussy thing to do, remember that cumulative fatigue matters more. A set doesn't have to be exhausting unless its your ONLY one (such as with HIT training). You get fatigue from the volume of work. It also goes in line with the law of repeated efforts.
3)Another progression method. Because you're using total reps instead of a traditional set/rep scheme, you now have another way to progress. if you can't use more load or even do more reps come next workout, you can at least try to do get to your total reps in less sets (density progression).
1) This is not really a disadvantage as it is an observation. Many others have gotten bigger from using traditional sets and reps. They have done it for many years without "totaling reps" so simply, its not necessary.
2) Unpredictable workout time. If it happens to be a workout that requires 25 total reps with a 4-6 RM, one day it might take 5 sets while another day it might take you 7. Because of that, your workouts can be longer on some days. With a specific set/rep scheme, total sets remain constant, so there is really no unpredictability in regards to workout length.
3) Using the same weight for every set. This is pretty self explanatory. Using the same weight for every set can cause injuries over time.
All in all, I find this method works well if you're using a select few exercises per workout. But if you're using a more bodybuilding type split with 3-4 exercises per muscle group, I would use a more traditional set/rep scheme.