T Nation

Pyramid or Not?

It doesn’t even make sense to use the same weight on all sets. There have been many days I go into the gym and have a little trouble with a certain weight only to come back to it after two other exercises to find that it is much easier to rep with.

The more sets you do, the greater the chance that muscle fibers not initially fired can be affected by the movement. This also means if you are easily able to get 10 reps with THE SAME DAMN WEIGHT for 4 sets, then there is no doubt in my mind that the weight you are using isn’t challenging enough for you to see much growth.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

The more sets you do, the greater the chance that muscle fibers not initially fired can be affected by the movement. This also means if you are easily able to get 10 reps with THE SAME DAMN WEIGHT for 4 sets, then there is no doubt in my mind that the weight you are using isn’t challenging enough for you to see much growth.

[/quote]

Actually I learned this because of you, but the problem comes when I try to explain it to other people; they think they won’t work enough, they don’t display enough intensity on that set. They’re usually guys who will do more than 6 exercises for chest to be sure they work it 100%.

I’m sure you have also found this problem several times during your lifting career. Is there a way to make them understand? They’ll see me bigger than them but will end up making anything else but not what I tried to explain. Otherwise there won’t be a reason to open my mouth for guys who want help from me.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
It doesn’t even make sense to use the same weight on all sets. There have been many days I go into the gym and have a little trouble with a certain weight only to come back to it after two other exercises to find that it is much easier to rep with.

The more sets you do, the greater the chance that muscle fibers not initially fired can be affected by the movement. This also means if you are easily able to get 10 reps with THE SAME DAMN WEIGHT for 4 sets, then there is no doubt in my mind that the weight you are using isn’t challenging enough for you to see much growth.

[/quote]

typically, I would do 10 super-strict reps on my first set, then on set 2 I might have to do 2-3 forced reps to finish the 10, then on set 3, I’d get maybe 3-4 strict and 6-7 with forced reps (just a little body momentum) and on set 4 I’d use dome momentum to lift, and then just lower under control. Not every set was the same, and I couldn’t do 10 strict sets on my second set.

I’m not trying to justify it, just explain where I am coming from.

My main purpose for this thread is that I am 38 now, and I have stalled on powerlifting style training for over a year. I’ve trained harder and harder, and tried about everything but when I get to the end of a cycle, my bench, squat, and dead haven’t moved.

I figure that I either have weaknesses in other areas that are holding those lifts back, and that I will get more progress if I focus on stricter bodybuilding style movements like dumbell incline presses, and hack squats versus power style benches and squats, and train in a little higher rep range, and also split my bodyparts up.

I used to do 2 upper body and 2 lower body PL workouts a week. Now I want to use a 4 or 5 day split.

I consistently have trained 4 or 5 days a week for a decade, and I basically can get in about 18 workouts in 4 weeks. I am worried because with power lifting, I originally felt I had to train a lift 2x/week to get stronger.

After a while I dropped to 1x per 5 days, but I need to make the leap that I can train a muscle group hard about once a week and add muscle if I use the higher rep schemes and proper focus.

If I train an average of 18 times per 4 weeks, how would you recommend I split things up?

I have been using the following split:

Delts and triceps
Lats and lower traps (rows)
Quads and calves
Chest and biceps
Hams and abs.

Completing the 5 day split over about 8 days.

I stay sore for about 4 days after a workout.

why do people overcomplicate this bullshit? this isn’t quantum physics… oh sorry yeah sme coaches like to make it out to be.

this is building fukin muscle. primal and barbaric. let me tell you human beings LOVE to make something simple into a fukin math equation… love overcomplicating shiat.

there’s thousands of cats in gyms pumpin the heeeellll out of their bodiez with 20 sets but still looking pretty much the same year after year.

you know what gives you big ass muscles? big weights done for ‘a lotta work’. and you know why i say ‘a lotta work’? i say that because i don’t wanna discuss sets, reps, tempo, supersets, yo mamma, et cetera. you make sure you add more rusty iron to that bar my buddy, and punish it, kill it. whether that takes you 2 sets or 5, you make sure you hit it hard and then next time around (or in three weeks, whatevs) add more weight.

why is this shit so complicated? ive been training with a couple BIG fellas lately and they don’t even know what ‘hypertrophy’ means - i ain’t even kidding. but you know what these cats know the definition of? hard fukin work. they load up teh bar and bust out as many reps as they can with it until their muscles are screamin and theyre screamin.

now if you are liftin a heavy ass weight and you can only get it up 4 or 5 times this week… then yeah take a couple minutes of rest, strip down the weight and pump out some lighter set. the goal should be = destroy the muscle with heavy ass weight… rest and eat … then repeat with heavIER weight.

you feeling tired this week dawg? take a few days rest, eat some more, back off a little in the workouts and don’t kill yourself.

mankind made the most simple and primal thing ever into a complicated, shit storm. we have little shits who look like starvin marvin wonderin if they should do presisely 3 or four sets… and ‘yo what reps?’
what ever dude…

Just wanted to say I’m a big fan of this thread… I think the pyramid vs straight sets is something not talked about nearly enough, because just about every program you read about has something like 3 x 10 of the same weight, and yet any video you see of a bodybuilder working out, they don’t do that.

You just always hear that you want to stress the muscle more, more time under tension etc by doing more sets, but the more I hear about it the more I really think that the one main set for that exercise is just so much more important.

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
mertdawg wrote:
There seems to be a split among trainees who use a traditional pyramid-type arrangement of sets, and those who do the minimum necessary warmup and then multiple sets with their work weight.

CW, and Poliqiun and really a lot of others would use something like arrangement 1:

OPTION 1
1-2 moderate warmups
6 x 6 at a work weight (3 x 10, 4 x 8, 8 x 3 whatever)

But the BIGGEST guys I know still use a pyramid system more like this:

OPTION 2
Easy 15 reps
15 reps at a work weight
10 reps at about 20% more weight
4-8 reps with 20% more

Sounds like you got things a little wrong?
BB ramping/pyramiding up example:
Bench
1358
225
8
3158 (or less reps, depends on the trainee… Some keep reps the same on all warm-ups, others do less and less reps before their top-set to save energy for it)
405
as many as you get (your “work set” basically, where you constantly try to get more reps/weight)

That’s what you see 99 percent of pro’s etc do.
I don’t see any really big people go to failure on three ramping sets.
What’s the point?

Some do a 8-12 rep set after their top-set, but that’s very rare. (in that case, they usually try to progress on both their top-set and their 8-12 rep set every time they train)

Which do you think is ideal as a normal rep scheme?
If you can handle high volume (actually manage to gain strength at a good pace while doing stuff like 4 sets of 12 with the same weight or whatever… Well, then you probably wouldn’t ask questions on this forum, anyway.

Regular people generally make faster progress with 1-2 heavy sets per exercise instead of… A lot.
Warmup followed by several same-load work sets?
Another thing to consider: If you do low reps and especially when staying a rep or two short of failure, like many powerlifters do on their main exercises, then multiple sets at working weight are usually needed.

But 4*10-12 at the same weight is usually just going to hold people’s strength progression back.
Pyramid with at least 3 sets at different loads pushed to fatigu , say 12-15; 8-10; 4-6. If you want to pyramid/ramp up, then look at my example above again and read this thread:


From start to finish.
(that’s pretty much the standard system in use for bodybuilding today)

Your response does clear up some things in my mind. I remember reading a post from Prof X about 3 years ago where he said that he pyramided up but he felt that all 3-4 sets were “working” sets, yet his weight jumps were pretty large. I think his point was though that those sets were done as seriously as the hard set-that you still practice intensity and concentration.

I know about the ramping system, but you still see Ronnie Coleman Ramp up with sets of 12-15 (and huge jumps) but then he’ll still do a max set of 8, and possibly a real heavy double on something like squats or deadlifts, or maybe 4-6 on presses. [/quote] He doesn’t necessarily go to failure on all these extra sets though (usually just on the last, and even there he stays short of failure on squats etc so he can walk the weight back to the rack. Also, most of them he does simply for the camera. His normal training, by his own admission, is usually within the 12-15 rep range… High for a pro, but well…).
As for doing lower reps on his last bench set(s): His vids are usually shot during contest prep, so when he gets 495*6 or whatever in a vid, he’d be doing that weight for 10 or so in the off-season. [quote]

Ramping up to a baseline weight is a given (although if I was going to try to hit a work set of 10-12, I would probably ramp up with sets of 4-6. Why isn’t that better? [/quote]? Do you mean do less reps on warm-ups to save energy? (like 8, 5, 3, work set)
Many now do it, some pros go 12, 8, 6, (6), work set or so.

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
At any rate, my training was more power oriented in the past.

Typically I would work up to a heavy weight and do 2-4 sets of just 2-5 reps of a heavy exercise like squats, deadlifts, benches or overhead presses. Then I would do something like 4 sets of 10 at a single weight on a few assistance exercises.

Example:

Bench: 135 x 10; 185 x 5; 225 x 2; 255 x 2; 285 x 1; 315 x 2 sets of 3

Tricep extensions: 4 x 10 at the same weight [/quote] Here you have to ask yourself, “why do 4 sets of high reps with the same weight? What’s that going to do for me?”
You a) Can’t use all that much weight on tri extensions etc compared to other exercises, so usually progression is slow as it is. Now you’re also using a set/rep scheme which really sucks for constant strength progression (compared to 1-2 top sets of moderate/high reps, 1 DC RP set, 3*5-3 or so).
So why not use a set/rep scheme which allows for better progression here, 15-30RP is nice for extensions, and just get stronger faster here, too?
Bigger muscles that way… [quote]
Laterals: 4 x 10
Hammer curls: 4 x 10

[/quote]

[quote]Goodfellow wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Goodfellow wrote:
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 :wink:

(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.

[quote]

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.

[quote]

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.

Now,
2)
-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.

[quote]Goodfellow wrote:
Also, guys, I’m not saying the pro’s dont ‘work hard’ and focus their whole lives on bodybuilding.

I’m just saying that I would rather take advice from someone who has trained hundreds of different people, has ‘average’ (or slightly above) genetics and has built a very decent body himself.
[/quote] Then go have a look at ironaddicts.com

[quote]
Again, see the end of my last post.

Sorry that I’m not very clear when I explain myself.[/quote]

Pro’s aren’t just born as intense motherfuckers.

And what about some of us in this very forum?
We’ve trained that way from the beginning, do you think we we’re all long lost brothers or sons of Dorian Yates?

You want to learn/develop intensity, then do something which requires intensity and keep doing it until you “get it”.

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
Professor X wrote:
It doesn’t even make sense to use the same weight on all sets. There have been many days I go into the gym and have a little trouble with a certain weight only to come back to it after two other exercises to find that it is much easier to rep with.

The more sets you do, the greater the chance that muscle fibers not initially fired can be affected by the movement. This also means if you are easily able to get 10 reps with THE SAME DAMN WEIGHT for 4 sets, then there is no doubt in my mind that the weight you are using isn’t challenging enough for you to see much growth.

typically, I would do 10 super-strict reps on my first set, then on set 2 I might have to do 2-3 forced reps to finish the 10, then on set 3, I’d get maybe 3-4 strict and 6-7 with forced reps (just a little body momentum) and on set 4 I’d use dome momentum to lift, and then just lower under control. Not every set was the same, and I couldn’t do 10 strict sets on my second set.

I’m not trying to justify it, just explain where I am coming from.

My main purpose for this thread is that I am 38 now, and I have stalled on powerlifting style training for over a year. I’ve trained harder and harder, and tried about everything but when I get to the end of a cycle, my bench, squat, and dead haven’t moved.
[/quote]

  1. You’re not the youngest anymore. If your test levels have gone down the drain, consider HRT…
  2. Food. Protein.

Look into…
PL:
-Wendler 5/3/1 (requires no actual maxing or even real low rep work, ramped, works with a reduced max, nicer on the joints than regular pl training)

BB
-DC (if you can stomach the food intake and you’re putting up some respectable numbers…)
-ironaddicts.com
-the standard bodybuilding method. Because you haven’t really done it before. [quote]
I figure that I either have weaknesses in other areas that are holding those lifts back, and that I will get more progress if I focus on stricter bodybuilding style movements like dumbell incline presses, and hack squats versus power style benches and squats, and train in a little higher rep range, and also split my bodyparts up.

I used to do 2 upper body and 2 lower body PL workouts a week. Now I want to use a 4 or 5 day split.

I consistently have trained 4 or 5 days a week for a decade, and I basically can get in about 18 workouts in 4 weeks. I am worried because with power lifting, I originally felt I had to train a lift 2x/week to get stronger.

After a while I dropped to 1x per 5 days, but I need to make the leap that I can train a muscle group hard about once a week and add muscle if I use the higher rep schemes and proper focus.

If I train an average of 18 times per 4 weeks, how would you recommend I split things up?

I have been using the following split:

Delts and triceps
Lats and lower traps (rows)
Quads and calves
Chest and biceps
Hams and abs.

Completing the 5 day split over about 8 days.

I stay sore for about 4 days after a workout.[/quote]<- Doesn’t matter.

What’s your diet like… Lifts, weight, height…

I don’t know how my intensity got questioned, it really isn’t an issue.

I was not at any point talking about intensity AT ALL.

I was just discussing pros/cons of straight sets/ramped sets. And why CT might use them over ramped sets when writing his programs.

On the issue of comparing the guy curling 90’s for 8 having bigger biceps than the guy curling 60’s for 15 - obviously this would be true.

But what about a guy curling 80-85lb db’s for 4 sets of 8?

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Goodfellow wrote:
Also, guys, I’m not saying the pro’s dont ‘work hard’ and focus their whole lives on bodybuilding.

I’m just saying that I would rather take advice from someone who has trained hundreds of different people, has ‘average’ (or slightly above) genetics and has built a very decent body himself.
Then go have a look at ironaddicts.com
[/quote]

A couple of routines written by ironaddict:

Day one, week one

Dips 3 x 10
Incline Bench Press 3 x 6
Lateral Raise 4 x 10
Laying Tricep Extensions 3 x 8-10

Day two, week one

Wide Grip Pull-Down/Up 3 x 8
Chest Supported Row, or Barbell Row 3 x 8-10
Barbell Curl 3 x 10
Resistance Abs 3 x 10

Day three, week one

Squat 3 x 6-10
Leg Press 2 x 15
Good-Morning or Stiff-Legged Deadlift 2 x 8
Calf Raise RP 2 x 15/30

Monday
Squat or box squat 2 x 5
Glute/Ham Raises or pullthroughs 3 x 10
Bent Row or Chest Supported row 4 x 6
Barbell or Dumbbell Curl 3 x 8
Calf Raises 3 x 15

Wednesday
Bench Press or low board press 3 x 5, or 3 x 3
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 x 8
Military or Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3 x 8
Skull Crushers 3 x 10
Ab work 3 x 10

Friday
Deadlift or rack deadlift 2 x 5
Leg press 2 x 10
Chin or lat pull-down 4 x 6
Barbell or Dumbbell Curl 3 x 8
Calf Raises 3 x 15

Even on wendler’s 5/3/1 program, he lists the assistance exercises of 4 x 10-15 reps, or 3-5 sets of 6-20 reps.

Westside for skinny bastards, Joe DeFranco lists the exercises as 4-5 sets of 8-15 reps, again.

If you look at Layne Norton’s thread on bodybuilding.com, you can see he uses straight sets very often on the majority of his lifts.

NO ONE really specifies if their programs should be using straight sets, or if they just want you to stay in that range and increase weight every time. It fucks me off.

This is what I’m trying to find out.

For what it’s worth, until very recently, I couldn’t even imagine what it’s like pyramiding up. Seriously: I didn’t “get” the concept and felt it’d be too easy.

Then, I tried wavelike loading, which is somewhat similar to pyramiding. It might go like this:

Set 1 - 5x 120 lbs
Set 2 - 4x 130 lbs
Set 3 - 3x 140 lbs
Set 4 - 5x 130 lbs
Set 5 - 4x 140 lbs
Set 6 - 3x 150 lbs

I’m really loving this type of training. The first “wave” prepares you for the heavier loads to come. Sets 4 and 5 are heavier and taxing, but you can still focus on the last set. Now, I can’t really imagine going back to straight sets. I’ll probably be pyramiding and waving very often from now on.

Oh, btw. I could slap myself for not noticing this before, but:

Goodfellow, pro’s will always be bigger and stronger than you and get there faster etc.

If you had pro genetics, you wouldn’t be posting here… Unless you wanted to show off your progress.

Due to that, it’s fairly obvious that they may get more out of those routines than you, what did you expect?
They’ll outdo you on any routine!

If, however, they could grow as easily as you seem to think… Why then don’t they train with only 1 exercise per bodypart… Maybe once or twice a week or month or whatever(total sessions) instead of what they’re actually doing?

Or, if higher volume of work-sets were so beneficial… Why aren’t they doing that?
After all, they can recover from more than you can, right?

If Ronnie can get to the size he is at/was at via standard bb training, 1 top set per exercise, probably a smaller drug intake than most other superheavies…
Why then don’t/didn’t the others use some of those new and oh-so-magic programs found in every second internet-article in order to catch up to Ronnie?

Most of them surf the net and post in forums, it’s unlikely that they’ve never encountered sites such as this one.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
So why not use a set/rep scheme which allows for better progression here, 15-30RP is nice for extensions, and just get stronger faster here, too?
[/quote]

Such as?

(I was doing sets with the same weight, but from reading these threads, I switched to a ramping scheme and noticed it is a lot more intense.)

Excellent thread btw.

[quote]Goodfellow wrote:
I don’t know how my intensity got questioned, it really isn’t an issue.

I was not at any point talking about intensity AT ALL. [/quote] How do you know that your intensity isn’t the issue?
Do you seriously think that, say, Dorian, has a super-duper nervous system and you don’t, and that’s the reason why he can “fatigue” the muscle in one set and you can’t?

The whole fatigue part is the problem here again…

Get your lifts up in the moderate or higher rep ranges, the faster you do that without turning all of them into semi-olympic lifts, the faster you’ll get big.
A lot of powerlifters don’t go to failure as such on their ME work (or even assistance work). They don’t care about “exhausting the muscle”. And every single one with an elite total carries more muscle on his frame. vs his height than many “4*10-12 on everything”-people do.

Most other natural bodybuilders in my area are weak as fuck. That’s not just because they don’t use gear, it’s because they do a three times the volume any pro does, with half the recovery ability, and many still think that as long as they’re using x percent of their 1rm for so and so many reps, they’ll grow. Great. Won’t happen unless the weight used keeps growing at a good speed, too.
And of course they try to stay fairly lean all the time.
Hey, that doesn’t even work for most pros, but somehow, it’ll work for them, right?

[quote]
I was just discussing pros/cons of straight sets/ramped sets.[/quote]Just use whatever is appropriate… This isn’t so terribly hard.

Again, if you don’t go to failure and want to improve mainly your 1rm or so, do something like maraudermeat does (his 5*5 variant, where he moves up in weight once he can get 5 on the first 2 sets… The others are like 3, 2, 1 reps or so, all one rep short of failure. Oh, look, this is also fairly low volume, isn’t it? Surprise. [quote] And why CT might use them over ramped sets when writing his programs.
On the issue of comparing the guy curling 90’s for 8 having bigger biceps than the guy curling 60’s for 15[/quote] for 4 sets of 12, actually [quote] - obviously this would be true.

But what about a guy curling 80-85lb db’s for 4 sets of 8? [/quote] And how many guys can do that with decent form? And how long does it take them to get there? The whole point of not doing a ton of work-sets is so that your body/muscle isn’t constantly beaten into the ground… So that it can actually do more than just recover, so that it can improve faster!

You still have to remember that you need to beat your performance from this workout in the next… And the one after that… Etc.
A pro or someone like bauer and waylander etc, the guys who have the genetics (and food intake) necessary to gain strength at a good rate while doing something like
BB curls, 4 sets of 12, same weight
Incline Curls, same
Preacher Curls, same
Cable Curls, same
Reverse Curls, same
will leave you in the dust if both of you are doing such a routine… And chances are you’ll do a lot worse on that kind of thing than on a regular training system.
You really think you could get to the 90’s+ faster than pX or I did via regular training… When doing 4 sets of 12? (even without many extra exercises…)
Seriously.

None of us “get as much out of our routines” as this or that Pro does.
So what? You can always be a bigger, better yourself though… Just because the pro has great genetics of some sort and uses gear doesn’t mean that he then automatically thinks “oh, whatever, I’ll just do this less-efficient workout to make up for my advantages!”.

Or you can try to go the route most of the people who get all their training info from the magazines or so go and end up straight-setting everything with high reps… Like most of the small people in the gym.

By the time you’re doing the 85’s for 4 sets of 8 (good luck getting there without turning the lift into an aborted high-pull/reverse power clean), don’t you think the other guy using the regular method will be doing the 100’s or so already?

And finally… I’ve talked about the whole issue of overuse injury/repeated trauma and whatnot before, so I’ll just leave that out now.

In the end, I don’t care how you train and of course I hope that you’ll have success with whatever method you decide to follow.
Just saying man…

If you want, pm me your training stats and I’ll introduce you to a few different routines/approaches and we’ll see how you respond to them…

[quote]Gkhan wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
So why not use a set/rep scheme which allows for better progression here, 15-30RP is nice for extensions, and just get stronger faster here, too?

Such as? [/quote]15-30RP. (DC rp)
Or even just one top-set (I prefer RP for extensions though. I can go fairly high in reps on the first leg of the RP set and avoid elbow trouble, yet still gain strength fast by comparison)

Hm. I don’t really want to get people into arguments over this all the time, sorry there goodfellow.

Thinking of creating a thread in the t-cell where I’ll just describe the basic bb method in detail (as apparently people on here know jackshit about it, which I find rather amusing) and professor X could, if he’s willing, add his variations…

[quote]Goodfellow wrote:
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.[/quote]

I wondered the exact same thing as you for a while. If all these pro’s do it ramping why do CT and Poliquin use straight sets? Definitely confusing.

Anyway I have read a lot of CT’s stuff and asked him before. I’m pretty sure he feels straight sets should generally be done but ramping, like most styles, can have their place.

(just so you know I’m not giving my opinion here, this is just explaining CT’s thoughts)

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Gkhan wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
So why not use a set/rep scheme which allows for better progression here, 15-30RP is nice for extensions, and just get stronger faster here, too?

Such as? 15-30RP. (DC rp)
Or even just one top-set (I prefer RP for extensions though. I can go fairly high in reps on the first leg of the RP set and avoid elbow trouble, yet still gain strength fast by comparison)

(I was doing sets with the same weight, but from reading these threads, I switched to a ramping scheme and noticed it is a lot more intense.)

Excellent thread btw.

Hm. I don’t really want to get people into arguments over this all the time, sorry there goodfellow.

Thinking of creating a thread in the t-cell where I’ll just describe the basic bb method in detail (as apparently people on here know jackshit about it, which I find rather amusing) and professor X could, if he’s willing, add his variations…

[/quote]

I don’t consider it an arguement. I really appreciate and take in what you have to say, which is why I bring these things up in the first place.

BTW as far as my training goes, it’s very difficult if not impossible to write it down without giving you my past 8 weeks of training logs lol

I try to stick with 5/3/1 on the main lifts (bench,squat,dead,m.press), but end up just going by feel and working up to 1 all out set.

On other exercises I ramp up using 4 sets, and make small jumps each set

i.e - db shoulder press
20kg x 10
25kg x 8
30kg x 8
35kg x 6

I guess I could call it 4 x 6-10 reps, but it could be misleading.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:

Thinking of creating a thread in the t-cell where I’ll just describe the basic bb method in detail (as apparently people on here know jackshit about it, which I find rather amusing) and professor X could, if he’s willing, add his variations…

[/quote]

I think this would be a good and useful thing.