T Nation

Dropoff From Set 1 to Set 2


Hi everyone,

I am new here and want to thank everyone for all the great advice provided thus far.

I have a question that I was hoping someone can help answer.

When doing weight training in the gym obviously the muscles being worked are more tired when starting my second set (even after resting for about 60 seconds between sets). Is there any real way to predict the drop off in strength between the first set and the second set, if I worked to failure my first set? Is there some kind of standard muscle strength drop off from the first set to the second?



If you're wondering if there is a direct correlation between work and fatigue that you can predict, no. Its going to be affected by so many factors from day to day, it is impossible to predict. Your body in general is constantly in flux based on so many of these factors (diet, sleep, physiology, life, etcetera).

However, the more experience you gain through lifting, the more you'll be able to sort of "predict" what you can do in the gym. For instance I know I can usually get about x amount of reps, using y amount of weight, on set number z. This is not always the case, I can show up and blow those numbers out of the water, or totally not get anywhere near them.

So, you just have to learn your own body and what outside influences affect your lifting.

Hope this helps.



though I wouldn't be surprised if someone posted an article or formula where one is totally unnecessary.

get under the bar and figure it out for yourself.


60 seconds isn't a lot of rest...


Depends on the rep scheme, goals, program, etc

But yeah, listening to one's body. Gold.


You should do a search on "ramping".

Going to failure on your first set is not a wise move.