T Nation

Straight Set Programming

bodybuilding

#1

I have a new question regarding straight sets for natural bodybuilding. Tom McCormick posted an article on another website talking about volume. However, there was no mention as to whether this is for natural or enhanced bodybuilders. His recommendation is a minimum of 40 all the way to a maximum of 70 total reps per muscle group for every workout for 2-3x per week. If someone wanted to bodybuild naturally using straight sets and with limited to no intensity techniques, is this realistic? Thank you in advance.


#2

Reps without intensity doesn’t mean anything. What is 40 reps? 4 sets of 10? 2 sets of 20? Do you think these two would have the same effect on your body?


#3

Thats why I never like programs that list total reps! So if I do 40 total reps with just the bar compared to 10 sets of 4 with a heavyweight that would give the same effect? Lol

I would say you could try to go with a double progression method of 4 to 6 or 6 to 8 rep range. Not sure how many sets CT would advise for a natural on double progression.


#4

But this is a good question. I’ve been wondering the same thing for my big assistance lifts.

I’ve been debating between doing rest pause or straight sets using double progression.


#5

Sorry all, I should have clarified. The idea is to work within that 40-70 rep total at your 8-12 rep max resistance. I personally have always just tried to add reps on my first working set before adding resistance. However, gave no thought into adding total work volume as another avenue for progressive overload. That’s why I’m so curious. At maximum volume per workout at maximum recommended frequency, a trainee might be doing 210 total reps per muscle group per week. I would assume then that the trainee could then add resistance while backing off on total volume for the next go-round.


#6

Adding volume can be a good idea. Often with Coach on the accumulation phase you add one set per assistance exercise per week. But also 12 reps of squats isn’t the same as 12 leg extensions. So 210 reps can be totally different. And volume is an individual thing. I’m a 2A with high acethylcoline so on the higher side of volume tolerance. This week I did around 120 reps of chest. But the 6x6 bench at 8.5 rpe and 3x15 machine flyes didn’t have the same impact at all