T Nation

Why Do People Ramp Up Weight?


#1

I never do this, and wondering why people do. After a couple warmup sets, i start with the heaviest possible weight for example

Bench press
set 1 - 260 x 10
set 2 - 230 x 8-10
set 3 - 200 x 8-10

With ramping i see people doing something like this
set 1 - 200 - 10
set 2 - 230 - 10
set 3 - 260 - 8-10

It makes no sense to because, those first 2 sets are not even close to failure, and could easily push out another 2-3 reps but they stop short. I don't usually go to failure but i go until i can't push out another rep with proper form (the last rep before i fail).

Thanks for help


#2

Creating fatigue in prior sets allows one to use less weight to stress the muscles.

I do my squats at the end of my workouts rather than the beginning so that I can use less weight but still destroy my legs.


#3

This is going to make working out alot easier, if i just stop 2-3 reps early on every set but the last set or 2 of each exercise.


#4

[quote]Silvercrank wrote:
This is going to make working out alot easier, if i just stop 2-3 reps early on every set but the last set or 2 of each exercise.[/quote]

Awesome.


#5

Yup all the pros have been doing it wrong. Lol.


#6

lol i’m not saying they are wrong, i just thought you should workout with maximum intensity on all sets, not just the last set or 2 of each exercise. I’ve been making good gains the way i’m doing it but maybe i will see even better results with this type of rep scheme.


#7

So should i only go to failure on my last set of each exercise? and stop a few reps before failure on any prior sets? I’m currently on a 5 day body part split that i started a few weeks ago, i was doing HST before that.

edit: So ive been doing some more research and it appears what ive been doing is called a reverse pyramid, basically starting with my heaviest working set and dropping down in weight while increasing the reps. How would this compare to a ramping or pyramid rep scheme as far as hypertrophy, my main goal is size right now.


#8

i tried to use the heaviest weight i can in the 1st set many times in the past. all it gave me was joint pain.
i think ramping up makes my muscles and my mind ready for heavy weights.
also, when i ramp up i can do more reps with my heaviest weight.
you expect it to be otherwise but it just doesnt work that way for my body.


#9

Alright thanks for replies guys, i was under the impression most pro bodybuilders went to failure on basically every working set. (going until you can’t do another rep with perfect form, not actually failing)


#10

I’m confused… What exactly is going to failure?
I always thought going to failure was going to the rep right before you actually fail another rep, needing a spotter or using bad form would be going beyond failure, not actually failing an attempted rep.
Also, are you guys saying alot of pros stop short 4 or more reps there first 3 sets on each exercise?, than go to failure on the last while ramping?

I’ll use bench press to show you what i mean
10x185, 10x205, 10x225(failure)

If you’re able to do 10x225 on your last set, that means the first 2 sets would be basically stopping early even though you could easily push out another 4 or 5 reps. So most guys who do ramping are really only pushing themselves on the last set of each exercise?


#11

I do a hybrid of the two. For example on bench, I have a day where I will do 6 x 4 with an AMRAP on the last set. That means 5 sets of 4, and I will usually hit 7-8 on set number 6. Now if I did my AMRAP first, I would not be able to hit 20 reps on the next 5 sets. But instead, I get more total volume by doing it this way.


#12

[quote]Gorillakiv83 wrote:
i tried to use the heaviest weight i can in the 1st set many times in the past. all it gave me was joint pain.
i think ramping up makes my muscles and my mind ready for heavy weights.
also, when i ramp up i can do more reps with my heaviest weight.
you expect it to be otherwise but it just doesnt work that way for my body.

[/quote]
Second this


#13

[quote]ssjfighter555 wrote:
I’m confused… What exactly is going to failure?
I always thought going to failure was going to the rep right before you actually fail another rep, needing a spotter or using bad form would be going beyond failure, not actually failing an attempted rep.
Also, are you guys saying alot of pros stop short 4 or more reps there first 3 sets on each exercise?, than go to failure on the last while ramping?

I’ll use bench press to show you what i mean
10x185, 10x205, 10x225(failure)

If you’re able to do 10x225 on your last set, that means the first 2 sets would be basically stopping early even though you could easily push out another 4 or 5 reps. So most guys who do ramping are really only pushing themselves on the last set of each exercise?[/quote]

i do something like this;

i do warm up sets of 10-12 by increasing the weight gradually.
then i find a weight i can barely do 10 reps with and stick to it for 3 or 4 working sets and i go to failure in each set.

so in your example 185 and 205 is warm ups, 225 is the first working set.