T Nation

Do All the Pros Train Like Yates?

I have said these things before and I will say them it again, perhaps because the sadist in me finds it so fun to repeat such things. I am sick - while still finding it humorous - of hearing the following:

  • Bodybuilders are all show and no go. This one is funny for several reasons. One is that several bodybuilders have athletic and/or powerlifting backgrounds. Some compete in both powerlifting and bodybuilding. No one ever talks about how dysfunctional powerlifters are, despite the fact that MANY - particularly bench press specialists do a lot of bodybuilding activity.

Take a look at Glen Chabot’s, Mike Wolf’s, David Waterman’s, Dave Tate’s (I mean when he was competing), Ryan Kenelly’s, Ken Patterson’s, and a whole lot of others’ training logs and you will see that nearly >80% of what they do in the gym is bodybuilding. Most of them do what looks like a powerlifting - bodybuilding-split hybrid routine. Yeah, they have leg, back, and arm days. If bodybuilding training was so worthless for a performance based sport, they wouldn’t be doing it, considering that they compete at the highest level of their sport.

Hey, wasn’t Chuck Sipes, a guy who trained 5 times per week on a bodybuilding split, pretty dysfunctional? I mean, the guy only had a raw bench of 500 lbs, the first one to have do so.

-Bodybuilders are womenless. I was at the Team Universe last week and there was no shortage of female ass walking around, some of whom were competing or accompanying their boyfriends, pleutonic friends, or husbands. One of the more humorous sayings is “women don’t like men who are too big!” I find this humorous to me since nearly all of the “too-big” men I know or have seen usually have a woman following them around! How ironic!

-Ken Leistner’s and Pavel Tsatsouline’s favorite sayings: “Bodybuilding is the worst thing to happen to strength training” and “bodybuilders look like a collection of bodyparts”. Hmm, most mammals are a collection of bodyparts. Aren’t insects too? I mean they have an abdomen, wings, antennae, and so on. Seems like bodyparts to me. They also look like they are a collection of them too.

I ask: “how the fuck is bodybuilding the worst thing to happen to strength training?!” Most of the bigger athletes around have done some bodybuilding training. And to say that added muscle mass is dysfunctional and useless in all sports is bullshit in my opinion, despite the fact that I am not a strength and conditioning coach.

You think pro wrestlers, some of who are fucking huge, don’t train like bodybuilders and are all about plyos, TBT, and Olympic lifts? I don’t think so. Otherwise, they wouldn’t look the way they do. And last time I checked, some of them can perform quite well physically.

-“Are you going to make money from lifting?” I ask “when the fuck did the more rational and worldly bodybuilder and powerlifters ever think they were going to make a dime from stepping onstage or from sponsors?!” I think most of us know the deal. But people ask “you invest all this time in it and what has it done for you?” I can think of a lot:
-Health.
-Well being.
-Bodybuilding friends.
-Entertainment education, and fun (shows, contest footage, websites, magazines, books)
-A sense of accomplishment.
-Women that wanted to and/or liked to fuck me because they thought I had a hot body (is this not important, being wanted by the opposite sex?).
-A hobby that some have turned into a living (writing, speaking, personal training).

But these same assholes sure make it their priority to spend nearly all of their boring days texting their buddies or girls about the silliest shit while at work, never miss an episode of Friends, Seinfeld, and American Idol, or Oprah, or read or watch some shit tabloid newspaper or TV show about celebritiies who they wished they were like.

They seem to take no shame in turning their brains into oatmeal from these activities, all the while being a bunch of jealous, shook bitches that criticize bodybuilders. By the way, do any of them have two cents to rub together that was accrued from their great, productive activities?! I say and have said openly in words (offline, that is) “fuck you” and “fuck off” to people who have given me shit about my eating and exercise and even dressing habits.

By the way folks, when have any of these wiseasses criticized some “dysfunctional”, “fat”, “bloated”, machine using idiots up close and personal? I heard many of them are real pushovers! :slight_smile:

[quote]Trainer1928 wrote:

ive seen allot of bb videos and stuff seems like there more concerned with being proportionate and having great looking muscle peaks/ straitions.

maybe it still has allot to do with genetics and stuff to obtain a look like that but im sure some them do train to get that look, wether or not its possible.
i guess its there way of doing it.[/quote]

Trainer1928, is that just a name you picked or is that your profession?

Just curious… I’d like to know where you’ve gained your unique insights into bodybuilding.

[quote]Bricknyce wrote:
-Ken Leistner’s and Pavel Tsatsouline’s favorite sayings: “Bodybuilding is the worst thing to happen to strength training” and “bodybuilders look like a collection of bodyparts”.

Hmm, most mammals are a collection of bodyparts. Aren’t insects too? I mean they have an abdomen, wings, antennae, and so on. Seems like bodyparts to me. They also look like they are a collection of them too.

I ask: “how the fuck is bodybuilding the worst thing to happen to strength training?!” Most of the bigger athletes around have done some bodybuilding training. And to say that added muscle mass is dysfunctional and useless in all sports is bullshit in my opinion, despite the fact that I am not a strength and conditioning coach.

You think pro wrestlers, some of who are fucking huge, don’t train like bodybuilders and are all about plyos, TBT, and Olympic lifts? I don’t think so. Otherwise, they wouldn’t look the way they do. And last time I checked, some of them can perform quite well physically.

[/quote]

I don’t understand this either. I lift at a university gym, and the “nonfunctional bodybuilders” are always the ones dominating the basketball courts.

How is added size and muscle going to make someone less functional in sports? Don’t people watch/play sports? I guess not. I guess you’re right, they’re too busy watching Oprah and Friends to do something active. Being more aggressive in sports is one of the reason I picked up weights.

[quote]
But these same assholes sure make it their priority to spend nearly all of their boring days texting their buddies or girls about the silliest shit while at work, never miss an episode of Friends, Seinfeld, and American Idol, or Oprah, or read or watch some shit tabloid newspaper or TV show about celebritiies who they wished they were like.

They seem to take no shame in turning their brains into oatmeal from these activities, all the while being a bunch of jealous, shook bitches that criticize bodybuilders. By the way, do any of them have two cents to rub together that was accrued from their great, productive activities?!

I say and have said openly in words (offline, that is) “fuck you” and “fuck off” to people who have given me shit about my eating and exercise and even dressing habits.

By the way folks, when have any of these wiseasses criticized some “dysfunctional”, “fat”, “bloated”, machine using idiots up close and personal? I heard many of them are real pushovers! :)[/quote]

I’m a pretty nerdy guy, but I never understand why the people who are trying to advance their respective fields don’t give a shit about their health and bodies. If you can’t take care and advance yourself, what’s the point of advancing other shit? Laziness all around I guess.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
This is true. I pyramid up because there is no way I could avoid a pec tear or some other injury if I tried to jump into my heaviest set right off the bat. This is something newbies don’t understand because they aren’t using weights that could actually KILL THEM.[/quote]

So do you essentially only do one working set per exercise (the final set)? If so, do you drop reps when you pyramid, or do you keep the reps constant but increase the weight every set? What about smaller exercises, like dumbbell curls, do you pyramid these as well or do you do straight sets?

[quote]INTERNETWARLORD wrote:
Professor X wrote:
This is true. I pyramid up because there is no way I could avoid a pec tear or some other injury if I tried to jump into my heaviest set right off the bat. This is something newbies don’t understand because they aren’t using weights that could actually KILL THEM.

So do you essentially only do one working set per exercise (the final set)? If so, do you drop reps when you pyramid, or do you keep the reps constant but increase the weight every set? What about smaller exercises, like dumbbell curls, do you pyramid these as well or do you do straight sets?[/quote]

They are all “working sets”. Why would I avoid counting every set I do?

There isn’t one exercise that I don’t pyramid up in weight. I also wouldn’t drop reps unless the weight I was using required me to stop the set with less reps.

I let the weight dictate that. Why would I do less reps on my last set if I could do more? If I could do more, why wouldn’t I increase the weight?

Still not sure I understand. What I am trying to ask is do you keep the number of reps the same on each set, just increasing the weight like 275x5, 350x5, 385x5

so that the sets that aren’t you final sets are purely weight acclimation or do you slowly drop the number of reps as the weight increases like 275x12, 350x8, 365x6 so that these previous sets are actually somewhat difficult for you?

[quote]Professor X wrote:
They are all “working sets”. Why would I avoid counting every set I do? [/quote]

The reasoning is that unless you’re using a straight-LOAD set method, only the last set uses a load sufficient to stimulate growth. Said otherwise if you excluded that last set from all your exercises you’d probably be undertrained and not grow nearly as much.

I genuinely don’t care if people do or do not count them, but I have to admit that the issue confused me for a long time, coming from a “low volume” background and having learned “low volume” lingo, how people were able to complete 16-20 sets per bodypart and not be completely dead (of course it’s clear to me now).

Out of curiosity if you believe them to all be “working sets”, which I don’t have a problem with, what do you consider “warm ups sets”? Or do you never use that term?

[quote]Bricknyce wrote:
I have said these things before and I will say them it again, perhaps because the sadist in me finds it so fun to repeat such things. I am sick - while still finding it humorous - of hearing the following:

  • Bodybuilders are all show and no go. This one is funny for several reasons. One is that several bodybuilders have athletic and/or powerlifting backgrounds. Some compete in both powerlifting and bodybuilding.

No one ever talks about how dysfunctional powerlifters are, despite the fact that MANY - particularly bench press specialists do a lot of bodybuilding activity.

Take a look at Glen Chabot’s, Mike Wolf’s, David Waterman’s, Dave Tate’s (I mean when he was competing), Ryan Kenelly’s, Ken Patterson’s, and a whole lot of others’ training logs and you will see that nearly >80% of what they do in the gym is bodybuilding.

Most of them do what looks like a powerlifting - bodybuilding-split hybrid routine. Yeah, they have leg, back, and arm days. If bodybuilding training was so worthless for a performance based sport, they wouldn’t be doing it, considering that they compete at the highest level of their sport.

Hey, wasn’t Chuck Sipes, a guy who trained 5 times per week on a bodybuilding split, pretty dysfunctional? I mean, the guy only had a raw bench of 500 lbs, the first one to have do so.

-Bodybuilders are womenless. I was at the Team Universe last week and there was no shortage of female ass walking around, some of whom were competing or accompanying their boyfriends, pleutonic friends, or husbands.

One of the more humorous sayings is “women don’t like men who are too big!” I find this humorous to me since nearly all of the “too-big” men I know or have seen usually have a woman following them around! How ironic!

-Ken Leistner’s and Pavel Tsatsouline’s favorite sayings: “Bodybuilding is the worst thing to happen to strength training” and “bodybuilders look like a collection of bodyparts”. Hmm, most mammals are a collection of bodyparts.

Aren’t insects too? I mean they have an abdomen, wings, antennae, and so on. Seems like bodyparts to me. They also look like they are a collection of them too.

I ask: “how the fuck is bodybuilding the worst thing to happen to strength training?!” Most of the bigger athletes around have done some bodybuilding training. And to say that added muscle mass is dysfunctional and useless in all sports is bullshit in my opinion, despite the fact that I am not a strength and conditioning coach.

You think pro wrestlers, some of who are fucking huge, don’t train like bodybuilders and are all about plyos, TBT, and Olympic lifts? I don’t think so. Otherwise, they wouldn’t look the way they do. And last time I checked, some of them can perform quite well physically.

-“Are you going to make money from lifting?” I ask “when the fuck did the more rational and worldly bodybuilder and powerlifters ever think they were going to make a dime from stepping onstage or from sponsors?!”

I think most of us know the deal. But people ask “you invest all this time in it and what has it done for you?” I can think of a lot:

-Health.
-Well being.
-Bodybuilding friends.
-Entertainment education, and fun (shows, contest footage, websites, magazines, books)
-A sense of accomplishment.
-Women that wanted to and/or liked to fuck me because they thought I had a hot body (is this not important, being wanted by the opposite sex?).
-A hobby that some have turned into a living (writing, speaking, personal training).

But these same assholes sure make it their priority to spend nearly all of their boring days texting their buddies or girls about the silliest shit while at work, never miss an episode of Friends, Seinfeld, and American Idol, or Oprah, or read or watch some shit tabloid newspaper or TV show about celebritiies who they wished they were like.

They seem to take no shame in turning their brains into oatmeal from these activities, all the while being a bunch of jealous, shook bitches that criticize bodybuilders.

By the way, do any of them have two cents to rub together that was accrued from their great, productive activities?! I say and have said openly in words (offline, that is) “fuck you” and “fuck off” to people who have given me shit about my eating and exercise and even dressing habits.

By the way folks, when have any of these wiseasses criticized some “dysfunctional”, “fat”, “bloated”, machine using idiots up close and personal? I heard many of them are real pushovers! :)[/quote]

those are acually all good shows but thats besides the point lol =]

[quote]Bricknyce wrote:

But these same assholes sure make it their priority to spend nearly all of their boring days texting their buddies or girls about the silliest shit while at work, never miss an episode of Friends, Seinfeld,
[/quote]
‘Not that there’s anything wrong with that!’

I watch Seinfeld…and I love Friends.

But yeah,I agree with pretty much all you said there and I get your point.

Can we go back to talking about pyramiding? I am still waiting to hear from Prof. X on what constitutes a working set.

[quote]INTERNETWARLORD wrote:
Can we go back to talking about pyramiding? I am still waiting to hear from Prof. X on what constitutes a working set.
[/quote]

Does it even matter? No matter what we call it, we still do the same thing.

Some guys do 1-2 very light “warm-up” sets with higher reps on the first exercise for every muscle-group and then proceed to 3 or so “working sets” where they pyramid up the weight.

You could just call that 5 sets or whatever… Or call it 4 warm-ups and one work-set… Or 2 warm-ups and 3 work sets…

Thing is, it just does not matter.

Example:
Alt. DB Curls (first bi-exercise in this session)
Warmup1: 25’s * 20
warmup2: 40’s * 15
Work set 1: 60’s10-12
work set 2: 75’s
10-12
work set 3: 90’s* whatever they can get

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
INTERNETWARLORD wrote:
Can we go back to talking about pyramiding? I am still waiting to hear from Prof. X on what constitutes a working set.

Does it even matter? No matter what we call it, we still do the same thing.

Some guys do 1-2 very light “warm-up” sets with higher reps on the first exercise for every muscle-group and then proceed to 3 or so “working sets” where they pyramid up the weight.

You could just call that 5 sets or whatever… Or call it 4 warm-ups and one work-set… Or 2 warm-ups and 3 work sets…

Thing is, it just does not matter.

Example:
Alt. DB Curls (first bi-exercise in this session)
Warmup1: 25’s * 20
warmup2: 40’s * 15
Work set 1: 60’s10-12
work set 2: 75’s
10-12
work set 3: 90’s* whatever they can get

[/quote]

Yeah, but I think proto’s questions were good ones if you take a look at what he wrote. For Prof X, is it the last one that is really the “growth set”?

Someone who is doing 5x5 with straight sets, same weight (w/ failure maybe on the last set) would consider all 5 sets work sets as they all contribute to growth. They may even do some warm-ups prior to beginning the 5 work sets.

In Prof X’s case, he could be pyramiding with the intent that, say, the last 2-3 will contribute to growth.

In your example- 60s x 12 may get some burn, 75s x 10 may also be a struggle, then 90s x whatever (let’s say 8) could be absolute failure or whatever. The mindset about all 3 is that it’s work/volume and, taken together, stimulate growth more than, say, 3-4 higher rep sets before the 90lb set that solely serve to provide some resistance and warming up.

Probably a forest for the trees kind of thing but I’m interested in what you or X thinks about it.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Does it even matter? No matter what we call it, we still do the same thing.[/quote]

Does it matter? Depends. If you found a system that works for you and don’t care about sharing your thoughts then I guess it doesn’t. If you want to participate on an online forum and discuss training methods, then I think it’s kind of important that people understand the terminology others are using.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Some guys do 1-2 very light “warm-up” sets with higher reps on the first exercise for every muscle-group and then proceed to 3 or so “working sets” where they pyramid up the weight.

You could just call that 5 sets or whatever… Or call it 4 warm-ups and one work-set… Or 2 warm-ups and 3 work sets…

Thing is, it just does not matter. [/quote]

As long everyone is doing the same thing, you’re right it doesn’t. But people are NOT training the same way loose definitions lead to programs being misinterpreted.

Personally I think the greatest cause of debate between “high volume” and “high intensity” trainees comes directly from them not using the same definitions for basic words like “sets” (if only someone would have clarified these words back in the 70s… j/k).

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Example:
Alt. DB Curls (first bi-exercise in this session)
Warmup1: 25’s * 20
warmup2: 40’s * 15
Work set 1: 60’s10-12
work set 2: 75’s
10-12
work set 3: 90’s* whatever they can get
[/quote]

Before I get to your example, let me just clarify what I personally define as:

Warm up (or ramp up) set: A set that allows you to use a greater load in a subsequent set than if you had not performed the set at all.

Straight set: A set, within the confines of a same exercise, that creates residual fatigue to make subsequent sets more difficult to complete.

Working set: A set cable of disrupting homeostasis to elicit growth.

Those are my loose definitions. They aren’t perfect, but it’s a start. Again, no one has to use my definitions, but I wanted to put them out there so that if anyone cares to read my posts they can understand where I’m coming from.

Onto your example

If on “work set 3” you were able to knock out 10-12 reps, then chances are the previous 2 sets were handled quite easily and therefore did not “disrupt homeostasis”. So, from my POV only the last is a working set.

If on “work set 3” you were only able to knock out 7 reps with 90#, then chances are the 10-12rep set with 75# was quite difficult to complete and probably did disrupt homeostasis, in which case you performed 2 working sets.

Another way to look at is it that because the 10-12rep set with 75# was challenging it probably made the following set more difficult to complete rather than easier - if so I was also call these last two sets “straight sets” with 3 warm up sets.

Again, the only purpose to try to clarify these words is that there literally are newbies who look up to certain pro-bodybuilders or even advanced forum posters and want to follow their advice but some fail because they literally are taking 16-20 set per body part to failure, not understanding that not everyone of those sets is supposed to “wreck” them.

G-Star and Crod,

Yes, there is good entertainment out there. And despite the fact that I have NEVER watched a full episode of Oprah, Friends, or Seinfeld, I am sure they all have a general appeal, hence their popularity. Entertainment is part of a good life and people seek it out in all forms.

What I was trying to get across - albeit in an emotional tirade - was that many people feel free to criticize the world of bodybuilding without knowing a thing or two about it.

How can one know which is a growth set? Despite the fact that I do not like excessive warmup sets, warmup sets and less than maximal “work sets” still lend to an overall growth stimulating WORKOUT!

I think that’s what people should be more concerned about: the entirety of an effective program, rather than waste their mental energy figuring out which set in the workout worked the most magic!

However, I do think that sets of less than 70% of your top end set lend very little to growth. But as stated above, submaximal sets lend to grooming the neural pathways, and to progress in size, you need to progress neurally.

When I use a “Westside” style powerlifting routine (to give myself a break from constant bodybuilding about 2 to 3 months per year; I think people specialize too much - a bodybuilder can powerlift and a powerlifter can bodybuild from time to time), I do quite a few warmup sets to reach a 5 or 1 rep max.

So, a max effort workout might look like this for a top end set with 500:
45 x 3
95 x 3
145 x 3
195 x 3
245 x 3
295 x 3
345 x 3
395 x 1
445 x 1
475 x 1
500 x 1

ALL of these sets are useful in getting results with the max effort methods. However, I never examined which ones were effective than others since they were all necessary in order to perform that 500 1- rep max.

For my bodybuilding program, I do fewer warmups since I am only dealing with 6 to 10 rep maxes. So, a warmup scheme for 2 working sets of 120 lbs dumbbells on the flat bench looks like this:
25s x 10 to 20 (quick, loose form)
35s x 12
60s x 10
85s x 8
110s x 6
Work sets: 2 x 120 lbs x 6 - 8 reps

I’m with the guys asking for more clarification. It’s not like they’re asking for the Holey Grail here. They’re just looking to clear up their own confusion.

Luckily, a specific member on here keyed me in on what many pro’s do.

I was coming from a background, where if you’re doing 5 sets of 5, all 5 sets were either the same weight or give or take 5-10 lbs on the last set depending upon fatigue

Jehovah,

With the 5 x 5 method, you could do straight sets or flat pyramided sets. Poliquin used to write about using the same weight, but it wouldn’t be a true 5 x 5 routine all the time you were doing it.

It may be something like: 5, 5, 4, 3, 2 with the same weight and near failure. You keep doing this workout after workout until you can complete 5 x 5 with the same weight. THEN you increase the weight on a following workout.

The Bill Starr method. He has a ramped up method, a flat pyramid. Just check ANY issue of Ironman and likely he is discussing his 5 x 5 method. He uses jumps too big for my taste - well - that’s what he wrote about anyway: 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x 5, 275 x 5, 315 x 5 .

I, and others don’t think 5 x 5 is that beneficial for an advanced routine but some do great on it (ie: Brad Gillingham, and I ain’t anything like him, NEVER will be; I am a bodybuilder after all anyway).

[quote]trextacy wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
INTERNETWARLORD wrote:
Can we go back to talking about pyramiding? I am still waiting to hear from Prof. X on what constitutes a working set.

Does it even matter? No matter what we call it, we still do the same thing.

Some guys do 1-2 very light “warm-up” sets with higher reps on the first exercise for every muscle-group and then proceed to 3 or so “working sets” where they pyramid up the weight.

You could just call that 5 sets or whatever… Or call it 4 warm-ups and one work-set… Or 2 warm-ups and 3 work sets…

Thing is, it just does not matter.

Example:
Alt. DB Curls (first bi-exercise in this session)
Warmup1: 25’s * 20
warmup2: 40’s * 15
Work set 1: 60’s10-12
work set 2: 75’s
10-12
work set 3: 90’s* whatever they can get

Yeah, but I think proto’s questions were good ones if you take a look at what he wrote. For Prof X, is it the last one that is really the “growth set”?

Someone who is doing 5x5 with straight sets, same weight (w/ failure maybe on the last set) would consider all 5 sets work sets as they all contribute to growth. They may even do some warm-ups prior to beginning the 5 work sets.

In Prof X’s case, he could be pyramiding with the intent that, say, the last 2-3 will contribute to growth.

In your example- 60s x 12 may get some burn, 75s x 10 may also be a struggle, then 90s x whatever (let’s say 8) could be absolute failure or whatever. The mindset about all 3 is that it’s work/volume and, taken together, stimulate growth more than, say, 3-4 higher rep sets before the 90lb set that solely serve to provide some resistance and warming up.

Probably a forest for the trees kind of thing but I’m interested in what you or X thinks about it.[/quote]

They ALL contribute to growth. Those first sets pave the way for you to hit the heavier weight. It is not black and white in terms of what ‘contributes to growth’ and what doesn’t. The frist few sets don’t directly tear that muscle down but they are just as important for growth in the end because they allow you to the last set hard and gauge your overall intensity for that day.

Ok guys, I see where you’re coming from.

Protoculture,
you’re right about people misinterpreting and thinking 12-20 sets per bodypart are all taken to failure…

Imo the sets before the last (when ramping up) probably increase neural drive and blood flow to the muscle… I know that when ramping, I can do more weight on the last set than when only doing 2 or so warm-ups and multiple work-sets.
Thing is, I don’t really care why that is.
I know it works, I’ve seen it work on almost every big guy out there, so I’m not going to waste my time analyzing why it happens or which sets all contribute to growth…

For me, the last set is the “work set”, because that is what I measure my progress on and because I use the most weight there. That doesn’t mean that the previous ones are unimportant or don’t make me sweat or anything.

It’s just my way of thinking…

Hell, most of the time I don’t even think in such terms at all.

I do my workout, I use as many ramping sets as I feel are necessary to get my ready for the last set that particular day.

Cold days usually get a set more, I’ve found that especially on stuff like Rack Pulls it helps to do more ramping sets in general… Higher top weight reached, for some reason. On curls, that seems counter-productive…

Shit, what was I even trying to say here? :wink:

[quote]Der Candy wrote:
trextacy wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
INTERNETWARLORD wrote:
Can we go back to talking about pyramiding? I am still waiting to hear from Prof. X on what constitutes a working set.

Does it even matter? No matter what we call it, we still do the same thing.

Some guys do 1-2 very light “warm-up” sets with higher reps on the first exercise for every muscle-group and then proceed to 3 or so “working sets” where they pyramid up the weight.

You could just call that 5 sets or whatever… Or call it 4 warm-ups and one work-set… Or 2 warm-ups and 3 work sets…

Thing is, it just does not matter.

Example:
Alt. DB Curls (first bi-exercise in this session)
Warmup1: 25’s * 20
warmup2: 40’s * 15
Work set 1: 60’s10-12
work set 2: 75’s
10-12
work set 3: 90’s* whatever they can get

Yeah, but I think proto’s questions were good ones if you take a look at what he wrote. For Prof X, is it the last one that is really the “growth set”?

Someone who is doing 5x5 with straight sets, same weight (w/ failure maybe on the last set) would consider all 5 sets work sets as they all contribute to growth. They may even do some warm-ups prior to beginning the 5 work sets.

In Prof X’s case, he could be pyramiding with the intent that, say, the last 2-3 will contribute to growth.

In your example- 60s x 12 may get some burn, 75s x 10 may also be a struggle, then 90s x whatever (let’s say 8) could be absolute failure or whatever. The mindset about all 3 is that it’s work/volume and, taken together, stimulate growth more than, say, 3-4 higher rep sets before the 90lb set that solely serve to provide some resistance and warming up.

Probably a forest for the trees kind of thing but I’m interested in what you or X thinks about it.

They ALL contribute to growth. Those first sets pave the way for you to hit the heavier weight. It is not black and white in terms of what ‘contributes to growth’ and what doesn’t.

The frist few sets don’t directly tear that muscle down but they are just as important for growth in the end because they allow you to the last set hard and gauge your overall intensity for that day.[/quote]

Best Post.

Every set I do contributes to growth. The only time I am lifting a weight light enough to not be effective at much but in getting the tendons ready for the exercise is if I go very light for warm up sets before I start my regular routine. The ONLY muscle group I do that for is biceps.

This is not about finding some specific number or specific weight. Some of you asking these questions make me wonder if you have actually started lifting yet.