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When To Not Use Straight Sets?

I’m starting to lift the same weight for my first lift for 3 sets after warming up/ramping up to my working weight. I used to toy with adding a few pounds on the 2nd and 3rd set but I am not sure if I know what the fuck I am doing. My numbers are going up but I still don’t think I’m hitting it hard enough.

Todays Flat Bench was 225 for 5 reps for 3 sets. Afterwards for Incline DB I didn’t do straight sets. I did 75 for 10, 80 for 8, and then 95 for 5.

Can anyone point me in the right direction of when to not use this approach, or when to add some smaller plates to the first set?

I’d say not to use straight sets ever. What works for me is using 8 reps for every set (except the top set), even though the weight increases with each set. When I am able to get 8 on the top set, I up the weight again, and make that the top set. You may want to choose a different number of reps than 8. I really like 8 though.

I find using 8 gives me enough of a warm up without depleting my strength too much for the top one or two sets.

Do it whenever possible.

What you did with dumbells is fine.

PLay around with the weight jumps. It doesnt have to be equal incriments. I make bigger jumps between the first 2 sets compared to the last 2 if im doing 4 sets.

It’s a good idea to forget the words “warm up sets” and “work sets”. Every time you lift a weight it is a set. Just keep adding weight until it is no longer productive to do so.

Thank you!

I agree with Eric for the most part, it’s generally seen as more productive to do alternating sets. However, some times the alternating sets do take on a rather unusual form, for example a couple of times I’ve alternated between high rep deadlifts and sitting on a bench breathing heavily wondering whether I can keep my breakfast down for another set.

am i the only one that does this ?

3-5 sets for 8-12

example is db benchpress

75 x 12
90 x 11
80 x 10
100 x 8
80 x 7

?

Possibly… are you stopping at 11, 10, 8 etc… due to failure?

[quote]solidkhalid wrote:
Possibly… are you stopping at 11, 10, 8 etc… due to failure?[/quote]

first and possibly second set i will keep 1-2 reps in the bank… and the others i stop due to faillure

my training philosophy is that you have to get weaker before you can get stronger “one step back to move 2 forwards” kinda stuff

but ive always compared it to running… if you run so slow that you could run the same distance in the same ammount of time exactly after it you have not gone fast/wild/intese enough…

[quote]blunt wrote:

[quote]solidkhalid wrote:
Possibly… are you stopping at 11, 10, 8 etc… due to failure?[/quote]

first and possibly second set i will keep 1-2 reps in the bank… and the others i stop due to faillure

my training philosophy is that you have to get weaker before you can get stronger “one step back to move 2 forwards” kinda stuff

but ive always compared it to running… if you run so slow that you could run the same distance in the same ammount of time exactly after it you have not gone fast/wild/intese enough…[/quote]

I think the question should be, are you progressing?

[quote]iwong wrote:

I think the question should be, are you progressing?[/quote]

i have hit 2 PRs one in close grib bench and one in deadlift this week.

so yes ?

i use straight sets for calf raises and shrugs and i make great progress on them. i used a straight 5x5 program for pull ups and standing dumbell presses and make conistent progress too. five pounds a week on my pullups. i made better progress before i switched them to the constantly add weight philosophy. it makes sense to me to stick with an optimal weight for several sets than to lift suboptimal weight for eighty percent of your workout and breeze past a good work set