This particular subject always stumps me when it comes to training.
Ramping, NOT pyramids.
Ramping involves using the same amount of reps for each set, but increasing the weight each time.
Pyramid means going down in reps each set, and going to near failure (or failure each time).
Now, as what CC said, almost every pro does ramping on almost every single exercise.
HOWEVER, some guys that I highly respect and have a gold-mine of information (Christian Thibaudeau is the main guy i’m talking about) mostly write down straight sets in their training programs.
Or do they?
Personally, I would rather take CT’s advice over a pro any day. Due to that fact that most pro’s could probably sneeze and grow muscle.
Additionally, they have incredible mind-muscle connection and have the ability to exhaust their muscle in 5-8 sets.
But I have still yet to find out that when CT says “5 x 6, or 4 x 8” on an exercise, that it does infact mean straight sets.
If so, I would probably try straight sets over ramping, or at least do both in cycles to see what works best.
Saying that, I’m going through every single one of CT’s replies on his Q&A threads and articles.
To see if he does infact mean straight sets on his programs, or to ramp up to a maximal weight.
Ok, why do you think “fatiguing” the muscle is so important?
Progression… Progression… Progression… (if I keep repeating it, maybe people will eventually get it?) Do whatever the fuck allows you to gain strength in your chosen rep range the fastest… Is that so hard, come on now
(goddamn everyones’ obsessive-compulsive “more sets sets for the sake of fatigue”+“throw my whole routine in the trash and switch to the next fad whenever I get bored”+“Eat too little” -mentality)
I didn’t mean to come off that way.
I know this gets into the whole strength = muscle debate (which of course it does).
BUT, I am curious if a higher volume (and fatigue) would result in more muscle gain, opposed to just purely focusing on my strength gains.
ALSO, couldn’t changing up to straight sets every once in a while be more efficient for gaining strength (and size).
It just seems that the majority of my strength gain so far is neural…
[/quote] If you only do 1 set of 1-4 reps all the time, then yeah, not much size is going to come off that.
If you work your way up from 1 rep to 10 reps, that’s an entirely different matter (ala pX, if I remember correctly).
Other people go for smaller weight jumps and stick with the 6-8, 6-10 etc rep ranges or rest-pause.
Also, you’re doing more than one exercise per muscle-group, so you get 2-4 sets at working weight total, just on different exercises.
Again, if you want to go low-rep all the time, then more sets would be needed…[quote]
Elaborating… my mind is just getting better at co-ordinating them to move the weight. [/quote] Frank McGrath is close-gripping 405 for 8, non-failure.
Adding 5-10 lbs on your curls/CGP/whatever isn’t going to produce much visual change anyway.
What you need to do is go from curling the 20’s for 10 to curling the 50’s for 10(provided that your bicep actually does the work), then you’ll be seeing a real difference.
And then onto the 90’s+…
Again, try doing 4 sets of 12 on curls. I guarantee you that even if you were to do 4*15 with the 60’s or more, the guy doing 1 set of 8 with the 90’s is going to totally smoke you in the bicep department.
So straight sets could cause more MUSCLE fatigue/damage and therefore more growth. [/quote] If that were the case, then we’d all be doing 88 or 1010 on everything and weighing 470 lbs in contest shape. [quote]
That is what I was getting at with bodybuilders only needing to do 1 top set. They are very efficient at co-ordinating and recruiting their muscle fibres, so they can cause a lot of muscle damage with that set, and therefore get growth out of it. [/quote] If you lift like a 3 year old girl, then no amount of sets is going to help you.
I am not as efficient, so I was wondering if doing more than 1 top set on an exercise would be more beneficial.[/quote]
You can do 2 if you want, why not. But then I’d suggest not doing 3-4 exercises per muscle-group, else you’ll pretty much slow your gains down again (or at least most people would). Try that with 2 exercises per muscle group maybe…
Btw: One can’t “teach” intensity over the net, I suppose, but I guess I could try to get you on the way:
Stand up from your comp seat, get somewhere where you have some space.
Ok, just stand there, keep your body loose, get your hands into CGP position (shoulder-wide grip or so, elbows tucked) and, without minding your scapulae etc, just mimic a close-grip press. Rep out…
If you do it explosively, you’re probably rocking back and forth as well.
-Get into CGP position again, but this time touch your scapulae together behind you and shrug your shoulders down, chest out, tense your mid/upperback. If you were lying on a bench, your rear delts and upper back should be forming a stable base and be pressed into that bench.
-arch your back so that the upper part of your pelvis tilts forward and the lower part of your chest comes out/high. If you were lying on a bench, your head and traps would be pressed into the bench now.
-whilst keeping your back arched like that, bring your pelvis into a more neutral position again (sort of flexes your abs and butt, your low-back isn’t as hyperextended anymore but still extended to some degree).
Your whole body should be tense (we can’t simulate leg drive while standing, I guess, but keep your legs tight, too. You’d be straddling the bench with your thighs if you were lying on a bench now).
Ok, now rep out again (keep everything tight and tucked). If you got it right, you should now be wanting to rep out real fast.
Now, you HATE THAT FUCKING BAR!
Get angry at that thing, explosively push it away from you (while staying totally tight so that your shoulders don’t rise off the bench), and then lower it back under control (could think of it as “rowing” the bar back into you).
If, on a real CGP, the weight were getting real heavy now or your triceps aren’t in there as they should be, make a conscious effort to force your elbows under it/tuck harder.
Bar comes down just below the nipples or so.
Try this out a few times, then try it in the gym…
Well, this doesn’t make you “intense” per se, but it might help you understand the whole concept a bit better…
(I didn’t mention breathing, but you should now how to breath during training anyway)
You have to lift with your whole body… The body doesn’t lie there relaxed while your arms move on that cgp.
When doing laterals even… You get tense before the rep, initiate the movement with your delts and hate those goddamn db’s. You have to think of yourself as “powerful” or so… I’m not too good at explaining this… Maybe X could give us a better example or so.