T Nation

Professor X Ramping Thread?


#1

Hi guys,

Just wondered if anyone has the link or title for Professor X's thread on ramping up the weight each set?

Tried searching for it but no joy. Look to change the way I train, currently keep the weight same for all sets, but plateaued.

Much appreciated


#2

#3

I’m thinking to switching to this soon, too. I’ve always done straight sets and never had a problem, but I’m cutting now and the volume is just getting to me.

How do you progress on it though? It sounds stupid, but for straight sets, I just go say… 3x8 one workout, 3x9 next, then 3x10, and when I can do that, I move the weight up.

On ramping sets? Do you move every set up 5lbs or just the last set, or rotate moving the last and the first set up…

Could somebody explain this to me? I used to train like this for a few months, but I did it instinctively. It worked well, but I have to always write my workouts and weights down because you grow by progressing and not not lifting for the sake of lifting.


#4

[quote]Artem wrote:
I’m thinking to switching to this soon, too. I’ve always done straight sets and never had a problem, but I’m cutting now and the volume is just getting to me.

How do you progress on it though? It sounds stupid, but for straight sets, I just go say… 3x8 one workout, 3x9 next, then 3x10, and when I can do that, I move the weight up.

On ramping sets? Do you move every set up 5lbs or just the last set, or rotate moving the last and the first set up…

Could somebody explain this to me? I used to train like this for a few months, but I did it instinctively. It worked well, but I have to always write my workouts and weights down because you grow by progressing and not not lifting for the sake of lifting.[/quote]

Ramped weights are a huge part of 5/3/1 just google it to get an idea.


#5

[quote]Artem wrote:

Could somebody explain this to me? I used to train like this for a few months, but I did it instinctively. It worked well, but I have to always write my workouts and weights down because you grow by progressing and not not lifting for the sake of lifting.[/quote]

Lets take the bench press for example. With a top set, or a working set of 315

bar x 10
95 x 10
135 x 10
225 x 8
315 x however many you can get

Something like that. Everything UP TO 315 is a warmup. You are prepping your body for that final all out set.
Granted you need to make jumps in weight that are practical to your experience and strength.
I usually go by 10 pound increments on presses, and 25 pound increments for lower body.
This is the best way to go if your goal is to be bigger and stronger.

Keeping a log of your workouts helps keep things organized. It also lets you know how you’re progression is going.


#6

Ramping is just smarter and safer once you start tossing heavy weight (e.g. 3/4/5 club+).

I could get away with straight sets back with moving lesser weight, but you won’t see me go straight to repping 315 (hello pec tear!)


#7

[quote]Artem wrote:
I’m thinking to switching to this soon, too. I’ve always done straight sets and never had a problem, but I’m cutting now and the volume is just getting to me.

How do you progress on it though? It sounds stupid, but for straight sets, I just go say… 3x8 one workout, 3x9 next, then 3x10, and when I can do that, I move the weight up.

On ramping sets? Do you move every set up 5lbs or just the last set, or rotate moving the last and the first set up…

Could somebody explain this to me? I used to train like this for a few months, but I did it instinctively. It worked well, but I have to always write my workouts and weights down because you grow by progressing and not not lifting for the sake of lifting.[/quote]

I just switched to ramping on big lifts. The way I do it, anytime I can get more than 6 reps I’ll add 5 lbs to the bar for the next workout. This is only on the working set, not the warmups. And I always do that set to failure. So an example log with made up # for bench:

6/1/09 200x6 225x6 250x7
6/7/09 200x6 225x6 255x6
6/13/09 200x6 225x6 260x4
6/20/09 200x6 225x6 260x6
6/25/09 200x6 225x6 265x5

The first 2 are warmup sets, the last to failure. And I don’t raise the weight until I hit my target of 6 reps.


#8

[quote]xb-C wrote:
Artem wrote:

Could somebody explain this to me? I used to train like this for a few months, but I did it instinctively. It worked well, but I have to always write my workouts and weights down because you grow by progressing and not not lifting for the sake of lifting.

Lets take the bench press for example. With a top set, or a working set of 315

bar x 10
95 x 10
135 x 10
225 x 8
315 x however many you can get

Something like that. Everything UP TO 315 is a warmup. You are prepping your body for that final all out set.
Granted you need to make jumps in weight that are practical to your experience and strength.
I usually go by 10 pound increments on presses, and 25 pound increments for lower body.
This is the best way to go if your goal is to be bigger and stronger.

Keeping a log of your workouts helps keep things organized. It also lets you know how you’re progression is going.

[/quote]
Okay, so let’s say you can get 315 x 10 and you want to move up.

Next workout, would you add 5lbs to every lift, or just to the last set?

And do that until eventually 315 would be a warm up? This seems pretty confusing. Can you really grow effectively with just 1 working set a body part? I’m used to a lot more volume.


#9

[quote]Artem wrote:
xb-C wrote:
Artem wrote:

Could somebody explain this to me? I used to train like this for a few months, but I did it instinctively. It worked well, but I have to always write my workouts and weights down because you grow by progressing and not not lifting for the sake of lifting.

Lets take the bench press for example. With a top set, or a working set of 315

bar x 10
95 x 10
135 x 10
225 x 8
315 x however many you can get

Something like that. Everything UP TO 315 is a warmup. You are prepping your body for that final all out set.
Granted you need to make jumps in weight that are practical to your experience and strength.
I usually go by 10 pound increments on presses, and 25 pound increments for lower body.
This is the best way to go if your goal is to be bigger and stronger.

Keeping a log of your workouts helps keep things organized. It also lets you know how you’re progression is going.

Okay, so let’s say you can get 315 x 10 and you want to move up.

Next workout, would you add 5lbs to every lift, or just to the last set?

And do that until eventually 315 would be a warm up? This seems pretty confusing. Can you really grow effectively with just 1 working set a body part? I’m used to a lot more volume.
[/quote]

Gawd, why the hell do you guys overthink this shit? It isn’t “just one working set” because those other sets DO help the muscle to grow as well. If I am going up to 450lbs, it isn’t like that last set of 360lbs didn’t help my chest grow at all. Also, since this is how I have trained from day one, I would say YES, you can grow effectively this way.

Your questions are too specific because there is no “always do this” answer. I go up in weight by 45lbs a side to my heaviest weight for chest pressing movements. Each set, I add on another two plates. How about trying this out and figuring out for yourself how much you need to go up in weight?


#10

[quote]sam_sneed wrote:
Artem wrote:
I’m thinking to switching to this soon, too. I’ve always done straight sets and never had a problem, but I’m cutting now and the volume is just getting to me.

How do you progress on it though? It sounds stupid, but for straight sets, I just go say… 3x8 one workout, 3x9 next, then 3x10, and when I can do that, I move the weight up.

On ramping sets? Do you move every set up 5lbs or just the last set, or rotate moving the last and the first set up…

Could somebody explain this to me? I used to train like this for a few months, but I did it instinctively. It worked well, but I have to always write my workouts and weights down because you grow by progressing and not not lifting for the sake of lifting.

I just switched to ramping on big lifts. The way I do it, anytime I can get more than 6 reps I’ll add 5 lbs to the bar for the next workout. This is only on the working set, not the warmups. And I always do that set to failure. So an example log with made up # for bench:

6/1/09 200x6 225x6 250x7
6/7/09 200x6 225x6 255x6
6/13/09 200x6 225x6 260x4
6/20/09 200x6 225x6 260x6
6/25/09 200x6 225x6 265x5

The first 2 are warmup sets, the last to failure. And I don’t raise the weight until I hit my target of 6 reps.

[/quote]
Alright, but what happens when you can do 315 x 6? Are you just gonna jump from 225 to 320? Or do you need to add one more warmup set, then? So eventually, you’ll have like 8 warmup sets and 1 working set… Just doesn’t seem practical that way.


#11

[quote]Artem wrote:

Alright, but what happens when you can do 315 x 6? Are you just gonna jump from 225 to 320? Or do you need to add one more warmup set, then? So eventually, you’ll have like 8 warmup sets and 1 working set… Just doesn’t seem practical that way.
[/quote]

Are you being serious? I do 3-4 sets for nearly all exercises aside from arms lately because I just do sets now until I feel it is enough and go by feel). You are making this way too complicated…and I am not sure why.


#12

Because he’s never gotten close to lifting heavy and can’t grasp the concept of adding
weight on successive sets. He also needs to keep his Tourettes in check.


#13

[quote]Artem wrote:
I’m thinking to switching to this soon, too. I’ve always done straight sets and never had a problem, but I’m cutting now and the volume is just getting to me.

How do you progress on it though? It sounds stupid, but for straight sets, I just go say… 3x8 one workout, 3x9 next, then 3x10, and when I can do that, I move the weight up.

On ramping sets? Do you move every set up 5lbs or just the last set, or rotate moving the last and the first set up…

Could somebody explain this to me? I used to train like this for a few months, but I did it instinctively. It worked well, but I have to always write my workouts and weights down because you grow by progressing and not not lifting for the sake of lifting.[/quote]

To be honest 3x8, then 3x9, then 3x10 sounds pretty stupid (to me). I’ve honestly never heard of that before. Doing 10, 10, 7 and then sticking at that weight until you get 3x10, yes.

You try and get more reps or more weight on your working set (the last one) than you previously managed. So if I did 225x10 on the BB Row last week, I’ll do 240 for however many reps I can do this week. Or if I managed 315 x 4 on the bench press, I’d do 315 again but try to get more than 4 reps.

There is no set amount or percentage that should dictate the weights/reps used in the “warm up” sets. Use the weights you feel you need to warm up properly for the working set to prevent injury, and without exhausting yourself, which would affect your performance on the working set. People have already given examples. If I did 135 x 10 on my “warm up” set last week, and this week I only do 135 x 5, I don’t really care as long as my top set beats last weeks.

I like the last “warm up” set to have a smaller weight difference to the working set than the previous warm ups, and as you get heavier you will probably need to ensure you do this in order to prevent injury. Jumping from 315-> 450 on the bench press is probably not a good idea.


#14

Just take as many warmup sets as you like. My training partner is much stronger than me and likes to make big jumps i.e. from 315 to 435lbs on bench, where I may go from 135, 185, 225, 275, then 315 for an all-out working set. Shoot for a target number of reps, say, 6-10, and once you can get 8-10 solid reps, up the weight 10-20lbs and keep going. It’s not complicated.


#15

[quote]Artem wrote:
xb-C wrote:
Artem wrote:

Could somebody explain this to me? I used to train like this for a few months, but I did it instinctively. It worked well, but I have to always write my workouts and weights down because you grow by progressing and not not lifting for the sake of lifting.

Lets take the bench press for example. With a top set, or a working set of 315

bar x 10
95 x 10
135 x 10
225 x 8
315 x however many you can get

Something like that. Everything UP TO 315 is a warmup. You are prepping your body for that final all out set.
Granted you need to make jumps in weight that are practical to your experience and strength.
I usually go by 10 pound increments on presses, and 25 pound increments for lower body.
This is the best way to go if your goal is to be bigger and stronger.

Keeping a log of your workouts helps keep things organized. It also lets you know how you’re progression is going.

Okay, so let’s say you can get 315 x 10 and you want to move up.

Next workout, would you add 5lbs to every lift, or just to the last set?

And do that until eventually 315 would be a warm up? This seems pretty confusing. Can you really grow effectively with just 1 working set a body part? I’m used to a lot more volume.
[/quote]

Man, this still seems like a high amount of reps for warming up.

IMO, if the working weight is 315, it should be more like…

65 x 10
135 x 8
185 x 4
235 x 2
315 x …

Or something like that. You could probably even cut out one of those ramp sets as far as I know, and make bigger jumps. Why waste any extra energy?


#16

[quote]Artem wrote:
sam_sneed wrote:
Artem wrote:
I’m thinking to switching to this soon, too. I’ve always done straight sets and never had a problem, but I’m cutting now and the volume is just getting to me.

How do you progress on it though? It sounds stupid, but for straight sets, I just go say… 3x8 one workout, 3x9 next, then 3x10, and when I can do that, I move the weight up.

On ramping sets? Do you move every set up 5lbs or just the last set, or rotate moving the last and the first set up…

Could somebody explain this to me? I used to train like this for a few months, but I did it instinctively. It worked well, but I have to always write my workouts and weights down because you grow by progressing and not not lifting for the sake of lifting.

I just switched to ramping on big lifts. The way I do it, anytime I can get more than 6 reps I’ll add 5 lbs to the bar for the next workout. This is only on the working set, not the warmups. And I always do that set to failure. So an example log with made up # for bench:

6/1/09 200x6 225x6 250x7
6/7/09 200x6 225x6 255x6
6/13/09 200x6 225x6 260x4
6/20/09 200x6 225x6 260x6
6/25/09 200x6 225x6 265x5

The first 2 are warmup sets, the last to failure. And I don’t raise the weight until I hit my target of 6 reps.

Alright, but what happens when you can do 315 x 6? Are you just gonna jump from 225 to 320? Or do you need to add one more warmup set, then? So eventually, you’ll have like 8 warmup sets and 1 working set… Just doesn’t seem practical that way.
[/quote]

you take as many progressive sets as you need to be ready to hit your top weight with everything you’ve got. for most people that is 3 or 4 sets.

as others have said, don’t complicate this. the specifics don’t matter. the actual weights you use may very well vary from workout to workout even if you are stull using the same top weight, either because you aren’t feeling as energetic, the gym is colder than normal, you had a stressful week… or something else.

Too Long Didn’t Read Version: Just lift the weight.


#17

[quote]Artem wrote:
sam_sneed wrote:
Artem wrote:
I’m thinking to switching to this soon, too. I’ve always done straight sets and never had a problem, but I’m cutting now and the volume is just getting to me.

How do you progress on it though? It sounds stupid, but for straight sets, I just go say… 3x8 one workout, 3x9 next, then 3x10, and when I can do that, I move the weight up.

On ramping sets? Do you move every set up 5lbs or just the last set, or rotate moving the last and the first set up…

Could somebody explain this to me? I used to train like this for a few months, but I did it instinctively. It worked well, but I have to always write my workouts and weights down because you grow by progressing and not not lifting for the sake of lifting.

I just switched to ramping on big lifts. The way I do it, anytime I can get more than 6 reps I’ll add 5 lbs to the bar for the next workout. This is only on the working set, not the warmups. And I always do that set to failure. So an example log with made up # for bench:

6/1/09 200x6 225x6 250x7
6/7/09 200x6 225x6 255x6
6/13/09 200x6 225x6 260x4
6/20/09 200x6 225x6 260x6
6/25/09 200x6 225x6 265x5

The first 2 are warmup sets, the last to failure. And I don’t raise the weight until I hit my target of 6 reps.

Alright, but what happens when you can do 315 x 6? Are you just gonna jump from 225 to 320? Or do you need to add one more warmup set, then? So eventually, you’ll have like 8 warmup sets and 1 working set… Just doesn’t seem practical that way.
[/quote]

you take as many progressive sets as you need to be ready to hit your top weight with everything you’ve got. for most people that is 3 or 4 sets.

as others have said, don’t complicate this. the specifics don’t matter. the actual weights you use may very well vary from workout to workout even if you are stull using the same top weight, either because you aren’t feeling as energetic, the gym is colder than normal, you had a stressful week… or something else.

Too Long Didn’t Read Version: Just lift the weight.


#18

This thread is hilarious.

Just how, HOW can people overthink this shit?


#19

[quote]Artem wrote:
sam_sneed wrote:
Artem wrote:
I’m thinking to switching to this soon, too. I’ve always done straight sets and never had a problem, but I’m cutting now and the volume is just getting to me.

How do you progress on it though? It sounds stupid, but for straight sets, I just go say… 3x8 one workout, 3x9 next, then 3x10, and when I can do that, I move the weight up.

On ramping sets? Do you move every set up 5lbs or just the last set, or rotate moving the last and the first set up…

Could somebody explain this to me? I used to train like this for a few months, but I did it instinctively. It worked well, but I have to always write my workouts and weights down because you grow by progressing and not not lifting for the sake of lifting.

I just switched to ramping on big lifts. The way I do it, anytime I can get more than 6 reps I’ll add 5 lbs to the bar for the next workout. This is only on the working set, not the warmups. And I always do that set to failure. So an example log with made up # for bench:

6/1/09 200x6 225x6 250x7
6/7/09 200x6 225x6 255x6
6/13/09 200x6 225x6 260x4
6/20/09 200x6 225x6 260x6
6/25/09 200x6 225x6 265x5

The first 2 are warmup sets, the last to failure. And I don’t raise the weight until I hit my target of 6 reps.

Alright, but what happens when you can do 315 x 6? Are you just gonna jump from 225 to 320? Or do you need to add one more warmup set, then? So eventually, you’ll have like 8 warmup sets and 1 working set… Just doesn’t seem practical that way.
[/quote]

This was just a made up example, but personally I wouldn’t feel comfortable making a huge jump like that. I’d think if I can get 315x6 I’d probably warm up with 225, 275 then on to 315. Whatever feels right. I’m feeling my way through it right now as I just started so I can’t hypothesize exact weight for someone who benches 315 for reps. Right now I jump from 185, 225, 235, 260(till failure).


#20

[quote]w00tage wrote:
Artem wrote:
I’m thinking to switching to this soon, too. I’ve always done straight sets and never had a problem, but I’m cutting now and the volume is just getting to me.

How do you progress on it though? It sounds stupid, but for straight sets, I just go say… 3x8 one workout, 3x9 next, then 3x10, and when I can do that, I move the weight up.

On ramping sets? Do you move every set up 5lbs or just the last set, or rotate moving the last and the first set up…

Could somebody explain this to me? I used to train like this for a few months, but I did it instinctively. It worked well, but I have to always write my workouts and weights down because you grow by progressing and not not lifting for the sake of lifting.

To be honest 3x8, then 3x9, then 3x10 sounds pretty stupid (to me). I’ve honestly never heard of that before. Doing 10, 10, 7 and then sticking at that weight until you get 3x10, yes.

You try and get more reps or more weight on your working set (the last one) than you previously managed. So if I did 225x10 on the BB Row last week, I’ll do 240 for however many reps I can do this week. Or if I managed 315 x 4 on the bench press, I’d do 315 again but try to get more than 4 reps.

There is no set amount or percentage that should dictate the weights/reps used in the “warm up” sets. Use the weights you feel you need to warm up properly for the working set to prevent injury, and without exhausting yourself, which would affect your performance on the working set. People have already given examples. If I did 135 x 10 on my “warm up” set last week, and this week I only do 135 x 5, I don’t really care as long as my top set beats last weeks.

I like the last “warm up” set to have a smaller weight difference to the working set than the previous warm ups, and as you get heavier you will probably need to ensure you do this in order to prevent injury. Jumping from 315-> 450 on the bench press is probably not a good idea.[/quote]
I do what you explained. I think you’re misunderstanding what I currently use.

Okay, I’m doing back today so let’s use that.

I’d do pulldowns first.

100 x 20 (warm up joints and get the feel for it)
145 x 12 (get some blood going)
180 x 5 (get used to the weight a bit closer to my working sets)
200 x 8, 8, 8

Then, if I got 8 on all 3 working sets, next week, I’d move the working set up to 200 x 9, 9, 9. That’s how I do it right now.