T Nation

When to Change Reps/Sets?


#1

goal is all around size/hypertrophy. current weight 170 (goal 185) 6', eating 3500 kcals daily, clean (ie all home cooked, low sod, fat from avos, oils, nuts, meat etc). my old 'program' consisted of the whole "one muscle group a day, 4 sets 3-5 reps." I made strength gains (bench up to 265 from 205) however, still weighed 170 ish and looked the same. I have corrected diet inconsistencies and thanks to reseach on this site, feel like i will be able to hit my goals. it will be as follows:

-cardio - run 1.5 mi every morning, i also surf and play ice hockey, basketball, raquetball, etc occasionaly

Workout A
SQUAT 3-4 sets 8-10 reps
PRIMARY CHEST 3-4 sets 8-10 reps (any chest dominant lift, ie flat/incline bench, bb/db)
SECONDARY CHSET 3-5 sets 8-10 reps (flys, cable work)
ROW 3-4 sets 8-10 reps (horizontal)
TRI's 2-3 sets 12-15 reps (any tri movement, c.g. bench, tri pushdown)

Workout B
DEADLIFT 3-4 sets 8-10 reps
SHRUGS 3-5 sets 8-10 reps
SHOULDER PRESS (bb, db,) 3-4 sets 8-10 reps
LAT PULLDOWN 3-4 sets 8-10 reps
CURLS (bb/db, ez bar, hammer) 2-3 sets 12-15 reps

freq. will be MON- workout A, WED- workout B, FRI-workout A , rest/sports T,Th,S,S. then the next week will alternate B, A, B, then A, B, A.

each week I will pick a new exercise for each group to change it up. my real question comes now: how soon, or not, should i change up the rep/set scheme??? i have used the low rep 3-6/heavy weight and i didnt really respond to that size wise (i am considered an ectomorph but i dont know how much bearing that has/truthfullness of that 'excuse') however, if there is any science in that at all it seems like i would respond best to high freq/moderate volume/higher sets put into a total body workout for the day, as mentioned in said A/B program above. Thank you very much for any feedback


#2

forgot to mention i am using this for 3-4 mo's as a starting point. then moving to ws4sb or 'stripped down hypertrophy' or christians 'six week to super hero' star complex programs. any one have personal experiance with the star complex routines?


#3

You need to do more research... it sounds like you are to at least some extent blaming your previous training on your lack of size gains, though you got stronger. The key here is you did not gain weight. Obviously you have some sense of this issue as you say you have addressed some dietary changes. just don't get stuck in chasing the perfect routine in the weight room that is going to make the scale move, when the answer is in the Kitchen!

With your height/weight and activity levels I think you really need to keep an eye on the calories and make sure the scale moves. bottom line if 3500 doesnt increase your BW EAT MORE FOOD!

I don't think your training program is terrible, except for one thing: why do you feel you need to change exercises every week?

If you must have more variety have an ABCD program... but going in and having variety for the sake of variety is just sabatoging the progression necassary to force the body to respond!


#4

you aint gaining anything because you change everything (apart from bench) before you can actually improve on it


#5

Thank you for your time to read/respond. I will try to add a couple hundred kcals and see how that goes. Hockey season is over for me now, and I will just run every other day so that should help I suppose.

Back when I was using a 4 or 5 day split I was doing 3-4 different exercises per muscle group. Now that I'm only doing one, I figured it might be good to change it up so it hit different parts of the muscle. I will stick with one though from now one (until I have burned out that lift) thanks to your insight.

I know there is no 'magic program' but for my goal would going back to split be better? My dilemma is how I know my body responds to training- for consistent, long-term gym efforts it seems the low volume/high frequency would be key.

When I was making gains on the bench I had high volume/high frequency however I was teh uber noob and never squatted/dlifted etc. MOn wed fri or at least twice a week I'd hit the 'bro workout' of bench and tri's. When I started the full body 4 or 5 day split I went heavy low/reps still but didnt feel like I had enough frequency- in fact my bench went down a bit, and as stated earlier was the same size (which i know now is DIET DIET DIET)

I am a beginner in terms of... im only 170, etc etc. but I have experiance lifting and know when I start to feel cns burnout/just spinning wheels instead of progress. Thats why I have spent a lot of wasted time trying to find the ever elusive 'magic program.'

BUT ..Is there any insight on what programs you know that sort of fit where I am and allow for 3 lifting days week and a day recovery inbetween? or does this look good/what would you do to improve rep/set scheme in terms of staying in the 6-12 rep range? i.e. stick to 8 reps a few weeks, then move to 10, then 6...or try to hit 8 reps all the time and just add weight, OR as I have seen before...in one session do 10, 8 , 6, 12? From your personal experiance, what has helped most.

*** But aside from that, it will mainly be effort in the kitchen now. I am starting a food log, I hear that works wonders ***


#6

If your goal is size / hypertrophy concentrate more on lifting / eating and less on running, hockey, basketball, raquetball, surfing, etc...........!