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Progressing on 350

Hi Paul,

Your 3 by 50 method is very interesting. It is challenging in it’s own way and is very addictive to the mind. However it is very difficult to progress on it.

Two reasons :

  1. Getting 50 reps in 3 sets with a meaningful weight is difficult.
  2. As soon as you increase weight the reps fall much below the range with dumbells.

Also which set to maximize to reach the 50 also has varying results.

So what should I do when I increase weight ? Let us say with all said and done I ended up at 42. Should I go ahead and do 8 more singles. Will that help ? OR I just go home and just try to beat the number next time ?

I love this 350 thing because it is kind off a game and triggers the will to compete with the Reps.


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When I was doing the 350 method, I only done the three sets. I only went up in weight when I got the 50 reps in the 3 sets. Then increased weight moderately depending on the exercise.

Hope that helps.

I’ve got most of my 350 method lifts down, but if I’m trying to incorporate new movement with that method, then I use these parameters:

If after 3 sets I get 50 or more, then I increase the weight next time.

If after 3 sets I end up with less than 40, then I decrease the weight the next time.

If I end up between 40 and 50, I keep the weight the same the next time.

I don’t try to play catch-up if I come up short, as I usually have other fish to fry. Live and learn.

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You just go home and try to beat it next time, and then when you get 50+ you increase the weight.

The whole idea is to get more than 50 eventually, so by its very nature you will be under 50 most of the time.


Thanks to all of you for the replies. If I may ask from your own experiences which should be the set where I should try to maximize reps. I often find that it is best to keep a rep or two in tank on the first set else the rep count decreases dramatically.

It’s a “3 sets to failure” system, so you should not really be sand bagging on any of them. If you find the first set kills you too much go ahead, but the goal isn’t to get the reps in per se, that’s just the target for the 3 sets to failure.

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Goal isn’t to 17 reps per set but to get 50 total. Set 1 go to failure, 2 failure, 3 failure then add them up. Next time try to beat the number. If you get 50 then add weight to bar and repeat. It’s really that simple.