First of all, 3x8 means 3 sets of 8 reps, right?
Second, if I perform multiple sets (for the same exercise), should they be spread throughout the day, or should I perform them about 2 min. after each other?
Generally speaking, your routine should be done at the same time. Don’t forget to add in 2-3 warmup sets. Personally, I do 30-45 seconds between warmup sets (enough time to switch the plates), and 60-90 seconds between working sets (which are significantly heavier).
Third, what is a good amount of reps in a set for hypotrophy? (bench pressing in particular)
From what I’ve learned (vets please feel free to correct me), the break down goes pretty much like this:
1-3 reps = strength
4-7 reps = strength/size
8-12 reps = size
Finally, if I can only lift about 11 reps for one set, and about 2 min. later, I can only lift 5 reps, what should I do?[/quote]
First off, it would help to know what your routine is, what your experience lifting is, age, weight, and what your diet is. What are your goals?
You need to find weights that will allow you to complete most of your sets and reps, and then work up to completing all your sets, then increase the weight and work your way up to completing all your sets, and so on ad infinitum. Progression is the key to building solide strength and muscle mass.