mr popular wrote:
You can do it any way you like, there’s really no “rules”, but what I would recommend if someone was looking at “3x10” is to do 3 progressively heavier sets until your third set is the heaviest weight you can handle for around 10 reps (6-10).
For example, if you were going to bench press 200lbs, 3x10, I personally would do it like this:
100lbs x 10 (not to failure, warming up the muscles)
150lbs x 10 (not to failure, only a little challenging)
200lbs x 6-10 (to failure, if you get less than 10, come back to that weight next week, if you get 10 or more, move up in weight for next week).
Granted, there are many different ways to do a workout that could be described as 3x10 (if ignoring all the other factors). However, I’m guessing that the original poster is probably following some published program. In your example, with the relatively extreme jumps in the pyramiding, there’s really only one work set preceded by two warm-up sets (assuming that all three sets are done in the same fashion, not some scheme where the first set is ballistic, second set explosive, third set max effort or something like that). I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that’s probably not what the author of the published program intended.
So? It’s still the best option out of those given so far in terms of progression.
The only requirement is that the OP has to be able to muster up the intensity to truly push himself and not just quit the set when he reaches some predetermined rep number. or “burning” in his muscles/fatigue. This also requires that one has access to a good spotter, a power rack, a smith machine, or is using DB’s for all of their pressing work.
Some people don’t like training like this, and for them they’d probably be better off with the straight set method as the accumulated fatigue will somewhat make up for their lack of intensity. For most people it won’t allow for the same rate of strength progression (especially after their newbie gains end) though.