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Reps Pattern?

I have multiple questions about reps.
4 weeks ago i started to do 6 days weekly pull downs and i liked the results: improved muscles mass and strenght. I am 55, lean, small muscles better than average on flexibility and endurance but under average 1-14 reps. By avoiding to reach failure and keeping the eccentrics to control tempo i do well training 6 days weekly upper/lower split. After more than 11 months of resistance training for the first time of my life i decided to get an other 12 months gym membership. My first year goals of getting stronger and adding muscles mass were achieved. For the next few months i hope to get stronger(not real strong)LOL.

I have allways been active(i am one of the few crazy canadian to bicycle 365 days in snow, minus 40…) and i like the outdoors. I want to be healthy, happy, active and keep aging a very slow process.

Today was my first day of my new program wich is upper days 1, 2, 4, and 5, lower days 3 and 6.
First the simple part lower:
should i keep things simple like 7 reps day 3, 12 reps day 6 or finish the week on the heavy side for about 8 weeks ?
or should i mix it like 2 weeks 8-15 than 2 weeks 5-10 ?

Upper, should i use the pattern from lower body(but twice weekly) ?

Should i progress 75%, 82%, 91% and 100% ?
(100% being my heavier load of the week) i have no clue about my 1RM and will not search them.

Should i play it like 2 micro cycles like about 70, 90, lower, 80, 100, lower than rest.

Repeat might be shorter rest fallowed the next week by adding 5% to the loads.

On my 6 days experience i did 80, 90, 100, add a little repeat.

Most exercises are compounds, 4 in gym, 2 later at home, about 5 sets each about 10 min./exercise.
I will not do less than 5 reps.
Thanks for your input.
PS. On 3 days weekly i did use for a while 1-1 like 45 sec. work, 45 sec.rest,
1-2, 1-3(20 sec. work-60 sec. rest). But with 4 days maybe just adding 1-4 is a good idea, i have no clue.

EDIT: should my rests be about 30-60-90-120 sec. ?
Or for those used to % of 1 RM if i use a wave pattern weekly it would be 62%, 77%, off/lower, 70%, 84%, off/lower, OFF
Or if you prefer reps. at 3 days i did 12-10-8. Should i simply do 12-10-8-6 or a wave like 12, 8, off/lower, 10, 6, off/lower, OFF.

HOLY COW!!! Out of all that I got nothing.

So basically you want someone to write you a program based on the variables above?

I will use my best judgement about reps variations but it is new to me so i am open to suggestions from experienced people.
Without suggestion i will use for the first week called week 0 to ease in:

  • 15 reps, 10 reps,12 reps, 8 reps upper… lower 20, 10
    for week 1:
  • 12, 8, 10, 6, lower 15, 8

the rest will depend on joints respond. It might have small waves/variations. The heaviest day(upper) might get 3 exercises at home because of longer rest periods.
My WO could last 65 min. but i know at 40 min. the intensity drops so i do a gym session plus a shorter home session.

Whatever happened to the whole Serge Nubret training you were doing? Didn’t work for you?

I am still using most of the principles. I had a shoulder issue since the end of last Jan. and i rested it for 5 weeks using only my non dominant side/hand so it is not obvious to evaluate my progression over the last 10 weeks. I got a little leaner and my upper body progression was lagging that is why i tried for 4 weeks a high frequency with lats pulldown. I never tried the suggested program the volume was too much for me. I had to invest time to rehab my shoulder and RC and i am glad it is OK now.

Since i had good results i will use it for my upper body for about 6 weeks. Until 2 days ago i used a reps rotation that a poster said he was using, 12, 10, 8 and i really liked it. i might get back to that after this. Since i reached my first year goals i reevaluated my goals when i decided to renew my year gym membership. No big turn around, just small adjustments. I am planning for decades so my plan is firm with small waves from time to time. I learned patience and a few things over the last 5 decades.

What about you, still building muscles ?

[quote]BHappy wrote:
Since i had good results i will use it for my upper body for about 6 weeks. Until 2 days ago i used a reps rotation that a poster said he was using, 12, 10, 8 and i really liked it. i might get back to that after this. Since i reached my first year goals i reevaluated my goals when i decided to renew my year gym membership. No big turn around, just small adjustments. I am planning for decades so my plan is firm with small waves from time to time. I learned patience and a few things over the last 5 decades.[/quote]

You said you’re looking for strength for the next few months, so why not look into 5/3/1? If not for the exact program, to understand the principles behind the rep and progression system.

For the most part, I’m still doing 3x8 to 3x12, then up the weights and repeat. I’ve tried 12, 10, 8 (and 15, 12, 10) and I like those too, but either way, those are more hypertrophy specific than strength specific.

I am, yes. Digestion is still a mess though: low appetite, chronic low-grade nausea, and vomiting when I wake up every couple days. Pretty imagery. I’m currently treating an h. pylori infection, and I’ve got an upper GI scope next week.

So, the training’s pretty good, the eating’s not. But, still making progress despite that.

h. pylori is no joke. i had a bleeding ulcer without symptom. You might need weeks of anti-biotics. It is worth it if you avoid an operation and hospital time. The anti-biotics might give you diareha. If so no fruit, no veggies and a ton of rice plus yogourt should get rid of that side effect. I still remember that bad experience. Just ask if you have any question. It was 5 years ago but i was not well advised and it lasted way too long.

I will not do under 5 reps.

All the best!

[quote]BHappy wrote:
I will not do under 5 reps.[/quote]

Not sure what you meant. 3x8 is 3 sets of 8 reps.

Unless you meant 5/3/1.

In that case, I’d just work with a 5x5 program for awhile.

I do not think 5x5 is a way to do high frequency. I am not big on warm up sets.
I knew 3x8 was 8 reps.

Check out 5/3/1 ‘old mr grey pubes template’

Also get plenty of warm up sets, neglecting them for a guy over 50 is a recipe for disaster.

Week 1: 3 x 5
Week 2: 3 x 3
Week 3: 3 x 5, 3, 1
I Wrote twice i do not do less than 5 reps.
I know i would need warm up if i selected heavy loads.
Thanks for the suggestion and the reminder.
Just by using longer rests i can focus more on strenght than hypertrophy.

I could have written goal 60-40% strenght/hypertrophy but i would have been told make up your mind so i wrote strenght but it is a modest gain i am after.
All the best !

[quote]BHappy wrote:
Week 1: 3 x 5
Week 2: 3 x 3
Week 3: 3 x 5, 3, 1
I Wrote twice i do not do less than 5 reps.
I know i would need warm up if i selected heavy loads.
Thanks for the suggestion and the reminder.
Just by using longer rests i can focus more on strenght than hypertrophy.

I could have written goal 60-40% strenght/hypertrophy but i would have been told make up your mind so i wrote strenght but it is a modest gain i am after.
All the best ![/quote]

Well, there’s kind of a problem with what you’re looking for

You’re looking for an effective program with an emphasis on strength, that keeps the reps above 5. And yet, strength programs generally keep their reps under 5, because that’s more effective.

So, you’re really not going to get the answer you’re looking for.

That being said, you might as well keep your reps as close to 5 as you can, keep with the progressive overload, and just rest as much as you need between sets; 2+ minutes is a good place to start.

When you start stalling with the overload, you can either deload 10-20% and work your way back up and just keep repeating that, or use a %-based wave-loading protocol.

[quote]BHappy wrote:
Week 1: 3 x 5
Week 2: 3 x 3
Week 3: 3 x 5, 3, 1
I Wrote twice i do not do less than 5 reps.
I know i would need warm up if i selected heavy loads.
Thanks for the suggestion and the reminder.
Just by using longer rests i can focus more on strenght than hypertrophy.

I could have written goal 60-40% strenght/hypertrophy but i would have been told make up your mind so i wrote strenght but it is a modest gain i am after.
All the best ![/quote]

If set up right you start light and will be getting around 12 -20 reps on the heaviest sets for at least the first 8 weeks and that is if you choose to rep out.

You need to warm up thoroughly for any program. If you lift weights and you’re over 35 I can pretty much guarantee you will get tweaked joints/ injuries from time to time. Check out the over 35 forum.

@ RampantBadger , thanks for your suggestion about the 35 forum. I do appreciate your willingness to be helpfull and i respect that your experience is over 10 times mine. But i started benching the bar. So even after doubling that i am still using light loads. I spent most of my life under half your body weight so i have no doubt that my loads look like a funny video to you. What you would suggest i use to warm up i use period. I have been active all my life(not resistance training) and i am aware that at 18 i could be more wreckless. That is why i will not use less than 5 reps. I do not care if i look skinny, or if most are stronger than me. In 6 to 12 months i will probably switch to maintain mode.

All the best !

PS. I avoid compressing my spine because i am aware of negative potentials.

@ LoRez, the previous 4 weeks i used 60 rests with an extra 15 sec on my heaviest day. Now i will try 120 and 150 sec on my heaviest day, thanks.

[quote]BHappy wrote:
@ RampantBadger , thanks for your suggestion about the 35 forum. I do appreciate your willingness to be helpfull and i respect that your experience is over 10 times mine. But i started benching the bar. So even after doubling that i am still using light loads. I spent most of my life under half your body weight so i have no doubt that my loads look like a funny video to you. What you would suggest i use to warm up i use period. I have been active all my life(not resistance training) and i am aware that at 18 i could be more wreckless. That is why i will not use less than 5 reps. I do not care if i look skinny, or if most are stronger than me. In 6 to 12 months i will probably switch to maintain mode.

All the best !

PS. I avoid compressing my spine because i am aware of negative potentials.[/quote]

Spend 5 mins doing very light cardio on cross trainer, bike etc. ‘mobility for old farts’ in the over 35s section also has tons of good dynamic drills and is a fantastic resource.

For the first exercise or two do a set with just the bar for 15-20 reps then do 3-5 very light sets of 5 reps, you can also just pyramid up in weight.

So for example if your work sets are 3x8 at 160, warm ups could be be:
bar x20, 60x5, 70x5, 80x5 100x5, 140 x5, 160 x3x8.

rest maybe 30 secs for the first few sets and a minute for the final warm up

For accessory exercises no matter what do one very light set of 20.

@ RampantBadger

thanks for that good laugh, " 3x8 at 160 " i never use close to that unless we talk lower body and that post is only about upper body.

I appologize sometimes i do not put all the details to keep it short.
I mentioned the lower body only to avoid answers like do not forget legs or balance is important. I have no question about that half. Also writing " I know i would need warm up if i selected heavy loads. " i meant specific, lighter load before each exercise. I have been doing warm-up for 35 years, only general. As soon i have a little time i will do your suggested readings.

Thanks to all contributors your input is sinking in and the details i was not sure about are getting clearer. This morning the 120 rests made a difference.