T Nation

Question About Rep Ranges


so i have been doing 3x5 for some time now and it has been giving me great strength results, but i am not happy with how i grow volume wise to date. i think that might be because i do 5 X 3, low reps low sets.

so what i decided to do was that, i'll add one bodybuilding day a week( friday), where i do sets of 3 x 8, but i am still not growing fast enough( although i have only been doing that for a little while). as i read some article that said training in different rep ranges is good for you

see, in order to full understand this here is my workout plan

i have two full body workout routines workout a and workout b

workout a:
bench press, leg press, bent over rows( underhand), hyper extensions, shoulder press,preacher curls, dips and leg raises, later at home i do front or back squats depending on the day( 2 days a week i do back squats 1 day front squat, i decide which)

workout b:
Deadlift, explosive bench press( dynamic focused or whatever you want to call it, i just try to lift the bar as fast as i possibly can, not focusing on how much weight i am using or increasing it, just lift as fast a possible ), chin up/ pull ups ( alternating each workout b ) flies, cable lateral raises, crunches.

My question:

So what i was thinking of doing is that on big lifts like deadlift, squat, benchpress and maybe shoulder press(??) i could do 3x5, so that i continue to increase in strength, but on everything else, some other rep range that fits better in with building volume.

what do you think? would that be a good idea?

or should i just stick to the 2 day strength training and 1 day volume building day, and maybe just do 4x8 instead?


When you want to gain size, you've got to eat enough. What exactly did you eat yesterday?

If you've been gaining strength and not size, the odds are you simply haven't been giving your body enough calories and protein to grow.

How long did you have the "bodybuilding day" before you decided it just wasn't working? I'll bet all the money in my wallet right now that you stuck to it less than eight weeks. Overnight transformations just don't happen.

If I understand correctly, you were only training two days a week? And for a short while you added a third day for "bodybuilding"? I just solved your problem. This training "program" you're using is crap, plain and simple. Get on a better-designed program.

Actually, since you're a younger dude still getting the hang of things, I suggest at least a week or two of just bodyweight stuff like the routine I suggested in this thread:

That's a pretty common plan (similar to some of Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 work), starting each workout with a "strength" movement using heavier weights/lower reps and finishing that day with "bodybuilding" movements with relatively-higher reps. It'll address all aspects of building strength and size, but again, I suggest you make sure you can handle your own bodyweight before doing something like that.


yeah i have no problem eating enough, eating to much is more of a problem to me. and that might be why i don't notice so much mass gains even tough i am 11 kg heavier than in the summer, it's because i am getting fatter.

yeah under 8 weeks.. i am not saying more

sorry man, i worded myself wrong: i have two full body routines and i train 3 times a week, alternating between A and B.

my program is not crap wth is wrong with it?:
heaviest exercises first
not same bodypart in a row so that i'll performe optimal on exercise that both for example require strong triceps
Mostly built of compound exercises
the entire body gets trained 3 times a week ensuring optimal growth, as we know today that protein synthesis do not require more than 36-48 hours to change. a very respected Norwegian website( kind of like t nation ) wrote in one of it's article that growth signs increase up to an climax after 24 hours, then dims down to normal level after 48 hours.

i might be young but with todays internet full of information and stuff, it dont matter, it's so easy finding information

thanks for replying man


why do you do squats seperate? your not going to see real results till you greatly increase your lifts, how much progress on the lifts have you actually made?


i didn't get that first question?

i started benching first thing when i started working out which was in January. maxed 40 kg, yeah it's true.

now i max 85 kg, going to try 90 on my maxing day 20th december

I started deadlifting somewhere in summer, maxed 100 now i max 135, going to try 140 on the 20th

first time i squated was in august, maxed 70 or 75, now i max 95 going to try 100

started doing one arm bicep curls with 10 kgs in january, now i use 18, and can manage 20 for 5 reps 1 set

my max on the clean and jerk in the summer was 50, now it's 65, yeah not so big improvement there sadly

so yeah strength wise i have made progress, and on the scale, but when i compare pictures of me now to pictures of me in summer, i dont see much difference, even tough i am a lot heavier now.

so yeah i decided to putt a lot more focus on building volume

so i am still wondering if i should go with:

3x5 on every big exercise like shoulder press, bench press, squat and deadlift

while doing some other rep range that is good for volume on every other exercise that i do?

if yes what rep and set range would be most effective?

or what do you people do?


You gained 24 pounds in, what, three or four months? Of course you're getting fatter. This article should help you get a better idea of what and how to eat.
The Athlete Diet:

Again, I'll ask... what exactly did you eat yesterday? The more info we have, the more we can help.

That's what I figured. Patience, dude. Remember that you're lifting for the long term. Pace yourself and put your time in under the bar.

It's a crap plan mostly because the days are too lopsided (workout A has much more challenging exercises than workout B) and the exercise choices aren't that great. There's no reason for you to be doing an "explosive bench press", for example.

With some guys, that is the problem - too much information. For example, your thread worrying about gyno and your thread asking about EMG readouts and muscle activation (and that info you just wrote about protein synthesis, a 16-year old dude starting out doesn't need to concern himself with that sort of stuff). To quote the dude in The Last Samurai, "too many mind."

Yes, do that. As I said, it's a popular plan.

One of Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 templates calls for almost that exactly. So you'd do 3x5 for the first (and biggest) exercise, then do something like 5x10 for two or three more exercises that day, and call it a session well done.

But forget about "most effective." Right now, plain old "effective" will serve you just fine.


I agree with Chris Colucci.

Also, what I think your problem is, you have a brain block as regards size and strength. They are not as mutually exclusive as you think. Do you know what a strength athlete does when they come to a sticking point? They eat more and add more muscle...

Don't automatically think that a 3RM is better than a 10RM strength-wise. In the words of Jim Wendler himself, if your 12RM goes up your 1RM went up too!

Stop getting the two confused (strength/size), do a standard bodybuilding program, ramp up the weights instead of doing straight sets (if strength is important to you). Do 2 or 3 maximal sets in the 6-10 rep range. So this means that you will slowly ramp up to your true 10RM (e.g.), drop the load by about 10%, knock out another set, repeat again if necessary.

A good compromise (if you want your lifts to improve quickly) is a 3 way split. This does muscle groups frequently enough for good strength gains, but also gives you enough volume for muscle growth. Example:


^^^Really excellent thread...and this one:


(page 6 I posted an example 3 way guideline that C_C has outlined before)


Oh also, the main reason for your "bad" body composition is not just diet, but lack of total weekly workout volume. Get in the gym 5 days a week (increase set/rep volume too) and that should improve your muscle to fat gains.


alright, thanks for the advices


but, 5x10 isn't that a tad bit much, i mean thats 50 reps right there on mulitple exercises, and thats going to be a hell of a workout, is it possible that i could get away with something like what i am doing? like 3x8 or 4x8?


oh and about what it eat:

Burgers, hot dogs, pizza, fish and bread.

i am planning to cut down to 10% bodyfat at the 25th of december, so i have started to try to eat more fish, chicken and different types of meat.

problem is, good tasting healthy food usually tastes like shit or cost a fortune, but i have started working on it.



"Some people look for the magic combination of assistance exercises, and completely under-rate the key lift," Wendler notes. "I call that majoring in the minors. Assistance work is just that - assistance. Do one or two exercises for five sets of 10, or maybe do a few more exercises for fewer sets. It's assistance. It doesn't fucking matter."

Either way, man.

Again, check the article I posted earlier. It explains some good, simple choices to make for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I will say, though, hot dogs are pretty much junk food no matter who you ask.

And for the third time... what exactly did you eat yesterday?

I'm guessing you mean you're going to start cutting down on the 25th, right? Not that your goal is to hit 10% by the 25th?

And on a related note, why shoot for a certain bodyfat percentage? Do you even know what percentage you're starting at? If so, how reliable was the testing method? It's generally more effective to diet down based on how the results are looking in pictures and tape measurements.

Sir, I disagree. Some ideas to cut costs on food:

As far as "healthy food" not tasting great, there are a ton of solid recipes around this site and others. But really, one great trick once you get into full throttle fat loss mode is to find one or two recipes you really love and just have them often. Sounds retardedly simple, but it helps a ton.


Are you trolling or just a complete pussy?


It's all relative to intensity and whether you are training to failure or not. If you were lifting close to your 85% rep max, then you would do say a total of about 25 reps per exercise (e.g. 3 X 8). But if you are lifting close to your 70% rep max, you'd be able to manage a total of 50 reps per exercise (e.g. 5 X 10).

The lower the load, the more the total reps you can manage. Also, the less you go to failure, the quicker the recovery will be.

Both methods have merit, although the lower load workouts (e.g. 70% 1RM) tends to be "easier" on the nervous system and can be repeated more frequently (depending on total volume).

If you are lifting with high intensity/maximal strength in mind (e.g. ramping), and you are to keep within a rep range on multiple sets, you have no other option but to lower the intensity (load) on subsequent sets. So you'd maybe work up to an 85% rep max, then lower the load on subsequent sets.

If you are training with straight sets/volume in mind, then instead of working up to a max and then reducing, you'd do say 2 warmup sets, followed by your "work" sets with a load around 70% of your 1RM. You'd pick a load that you can do say 10+ reps with, and only do 8-10 reps/set. Your first work set isn't to failure, it's "comfortable" enough. You build up fatigue the further into your sets you go, so it's only the last one or two sets that's truly hard/failure. So with this method the load stays constant and isn't difficult until the last sets.


i ment the workout was going to take too long, and that it was too much in terms of it giving results.. i mean, is there a point in doing this? does it give faster volume results than 3x8 even tough i obviously have to lower the weight.

sounds good, i'll maybe try 5 X 10 for preacher curls, flyes, cable lateral raises and pushdowns. still reading up on whats best tough

But one my bodybuilding day, which is once a week, what rep and set should i use on the bigger exercises like bp, bent over rows,leg press, shoulder press? 5 X 5? it's said that it gives you strength from using much weight, and the size of high volume training.

Yesterday i ate 5 hot dogs(885 40 fat, 75 carbs,40 protein), 1 pizza(1374 calories,52 fat,152 carbs,73 protein) and 2 burgers(720 cals, 32 fat,60 carbs, 40 protein) and drank pure whey protein powder( 190 calories, 3 fat,4 carbs,36 protein)

the hot dogs are some low fat thing

the pizza i eat doesn't really contain a wide variety of foods, mostly just cheese

Burgers are 85% meat, the burger breads i eat tough are pretty bad

yeah thats it, i usually don't get so much protein, cause i too often don't bother making burgers and just eat hot dogs instead, and bread of course. i often end up eating the chocolate they sell at school too. Thats some things i am currently working on.


well i used this --> http://scoobysworkshop.com/bodyfatCalculator.htm

Why not? i haven't done it long enough to say it works, but when i know from experience that other explosive exercises like clean and jerk give great results. and westside barbell does explosive training.

So yeah, i think i am going to give 5 X 10 a try on my accessory work, like preacher curls. and i think i am going to continue with 3x8 or maybe 5x5 on my bodybuilding day when it comes to the bigger exercises. Still searching for information tough,


That diet is absurd.

And Id love to see this pizza you eat that has 70 grams of protein.

All in all you are completely lost. Forget everything you know about nutrition and some damn articles on this site.

Your philosophy on lifting is also miserable. Your "bodybuilding day" ?? What on earth could that mean?

Youre wasting everyones time by asking questions and then ignoring the advice. Find a mirror and have a conversation with yourself, it'll be more productive.


i explained it at the top of the page you damned idiot.


Youre the one eating 5 hot dogs a day. But Im the idiot. lulz


ignoring the advice? i said that i am still searching for information, cause i don't believe anything anyone tells me anywhere, never said it was wrong just not jumping on board at the sec i am hearing it.

Mark rippetoe:
" You are right to be wary. There is much bullshit. Be wary of me too, because I may be wrong. Make up your own mind after you evaluate all the evidence and the logic. "


But IM the idiot.

kids these days