I have a question about fatigue/muscular endurance. I am more or less a beginner, and I typically do straight sets to failure or near failure (one reps left “in the tank”). My goal is building muscle first, and strength second.
My problem is that I take a given weight, lets say 275 for squats or 225 for bench, and I try for 5 sets of 8-10 reps. I will get 10 reps on the first set, then 8 on second, and then there is ALWAYS a huge drop in my reps. To like 4, then 3 and 3 again. I tend to take 60-90 second rests since I am training for size.
Is this as simple as going to failure or near failre on my first set or two? When I do something like 70% of 1RM for “______” reps, I always feel like I’m not getting anything out of it, since I could do 2-3 more easy. And I am truely calculating my 1RM (or 90% of 1RM).
Another exercise I have huge fatigue/endurance issues is pull-ups. I can do 12 strict ones. But next set is always about 8, then it goes down to 5!
Can anyone give advice? I was going to post this in the beginners section, but I don’t want “the blind leading the blind”.
thanks in advance.[/quote]
Realize that by by utilizing relatively short rest intervals, you will never truly give the muscle a chance to replenish its energy stores with respect to the anaerobic/lactic acid system. Likewise you will not be as neurally efficient.
This will reduce performance on subsequent sets. However with respect to training for size, this is not a bad thing. The short rest intervals will enable you to keep a high training density (more work in a given time frame).
1- Decrease the poundage on your subsequent sets. Ex- 225x10, 215x10, 205x10…This way you can experience more time under load and accumulate more volume while keeping the training density high.
2- On the first exercise (ex: pull-ups) take a longer rest interval between sets, like 2-3 minutes. Your repetition performance will increase on the other sets just by virtue of better energy replenishment. Then, with other exercises that follow, use the shorter rest intervals and apply the above weight drop method on your subsequent sets.
3- Don’t go balls-to-wall on your first set. Stop the set with a rep or two left in you. Since your rest intervals are short, you will really have to work progressively harder as fatigue sets in on the remaining sets. If you stop all sets shy of failure, you will find that you can perform higher reps on all the sets eventually.