Nowadays theres so much information out there that its ridiculous. And the world of fitness is especially bad. So many people out there come up with some training program and hail it as the best, the one, the only thing that any reasonable person would do. Some are simple. Some are complex. They all have some argument to back them up. And most of them seem to make sense too, which is just more confusing. Some of them say that the way to go is heavy weight and low reps. Others say that the way to go is low weight and high reps. Some say to just to 3-5 sets. And still others say 14-20 sets.Some call for you to train full body, three days a week and others do body part splits 6 days a week. You get the picture.
Now i dont think that theres any ultimate program for any person or any set of goals, but i do think that some are better suited to some purposes than others. Since there seems to be a lot of experienced lifters on this forum, i was hoping that some of you could help me sort through this mess.
My basic info:
weight 162 lbs
height. just shy of 6 feet
body type. pretty much a straight up ectomorph
time lifting. about a month and a half
current program: right now im trying Starting Strenght but add some ohter exercises. Pullups, pushups, curls, rows for example. seems fairly straight forward which is why im doing it.
Goals: Gain about 20 more pounds, achieve the following:
300 lbs squat (i would like to get this as 5RM not 1RM)
Double BW Deadlift (1RM)
100 lbs Overhead press (5RM)
160 lbs Dumbell Bench Press (i dont have a partner to bench with and two 80s are the largest DBs available to me.
300 lbs (total, including BW) pullup
I realize that some of these goals are very far off, and there may be holes, but these are jsut what i have set in stone rights now. Whatever I end up doing I want to make sure that it will be functional and that it will improve my athletic performance.
So here are some specific qiestions (and if possible please explain and back up your answers because i dont want to just end with more unexplained information.):
I'll take this chance to define some terms (though im not sure these are the official definitions) so that way i can get so clear answers.
Strength : Defined by the amount of weight one can lift 1-10 times.
Strength Endurance: (where strenght gains diminish and endurance gains increase) Defined by the amount of weight one can lift 10-15 times.
Enudrance: Defined by the amount of weight on can lift 15+ times or the maximum reps of an exercise that one can perform (given that they can perform at least 15 reps)
Functional Strength: Strenght and/or endurance gained from training which will help to improve athletic ability or the performance of everday activities (such as lifting boxes). from what i understand this usually excludes isolation exercises .
1) Is it necessary to do many sets (like 14-20) with multiple exercies in one session to fully workout a muscle groups?
2) Will this type of training increase functional strength?
3) Is thers a more effective way for ectomorphs to gain weight than people with other bodytypes? If so what does this include?
4) Do programs which encourage high reps and sets increase muscle mass and endurance more than strength? Are they even useful for gaining strenght?
5) Do programs which require low reps and sets with heavy weight improve strength more than endurance and muscle masss? Are they even useful for gaining mass?
6) If i want to gain all of these things, should i try to blend these types of programs together?
7) Do different rep ranges really affect hypertrophy?
8) Should i just concentrate on the basic big lifts and eat a lot?
9) Should i as a beginner even worry about any of this stuff?
10) Can i gain mass with heavy weight and low reps?