T Nation

Why Is My Body So Weird?


For some reason I can do a workout like this:

Bench: 8 reps at 135(warmup), 10 reps at 170, 6 reps at 200, 3 reps at 220, and 3 reps at 225.

But I can't complete a workout like this:

Bench: 8 reps at 135(warmup), 5x5 at 205

This is the same for all the major compounds. Should I raise the weight of my warmup? Should I stick to the 10,6,3,3?


Its your basic Muscle fiber makeup and what you have used before. You simply are not used to lower rep for extended sets. What is the rest in comparison??

You may benefit from doing a 5x5 for a bit.


Adaptation is very specific, but why aiming for a weight? Just take the amount to complete the right numbers of reps and forget the rest. If five pounds is enought so it is!

Keep pumping, that's the most important as the life goes by!

Harry ;o)


If you are trying to gain strength (and who isn't?) keep the warm-up reps to multiple sets of three.

210x5x5 or higher

try for 4 weeks adding 5 lbs each week
then switch to a similar warm-up but do 3x3 instead of 5x5 for a decrease in volume with an increase in intensity for another 4 weeks, then start over with 5x5 at higher weights than the first "cycle" of 5x5.


workout 1:

10x170 + 6x200 + 3x220 + 3x225=4235 lbs

4235/(10+6+3+3) = 192.5 lb/rep for 22 reps

workout 2:

5x5x205=5125 lbs = 205 lb/rep for 25 reps

205lbs represents a 6.5% increase in weight per rep vs. 192.5lbs. You're also simultaneously trying to do 3 more reps; 25 vs. 22.

There should be no surprise that the second workout is harder. Total poundage is not the only metric, but in this comparison, where the rep range is similair; ie. 3-5 reps, I think it is applicable.




You can't handle the volume. My guess is that you burn out after the second set. Drop the weight by 20 pounds +/- and do 5*5 with that, and build up over 4-5 workouts.


You can't jump from a single 135 warm up set to a 205 work out. You'll have to give the muscles and CNS time to adapt to the weight.

I start out with an empty bar. So people look at me, let them.

12 reps with an empty bar: 40
immediatly put on extra weight and do 9 reps with 80
immidiatly 6 reps with 120
then sets of 3 reps to move up to your workout weight, gradually increasing the weight so the muscle and CNS has time to get accustomed to the weight.
Take a bit more time to put the extra weight on. 10-15 more seconds.
finally, the workout sets.

In short, the workout you just described is more like a warmup series.



This may work for you, but it certainly is not that necessary to complete this amount of warmup sets.

2-3 sets at lower weights, not taken near fatigue--ie 135x8..225x5..go into workout.

For warmup, 5-15 cardio, then 5 min various light shoulder work. Just light front,side,rear lateral lifts works for me. Sometimes I like to do overhead squats with the bar just to get the body going. But back to the original, I don't feel like you have to make 20 or more warmup lifts for CNS or any other purpose.


Thanks for the advice everyone. I think my problem is the weight jump and my endurance, also there may be the possibility that I'm getting ahead of myself poundage wise. I was resting only 60 seconds between sets, should I increase this?

I've noticed that compared to most other people I work with it takes me longer to get the "pump" in my muscles. I tried changing my warmup to 135 for 10 then 170 for 10 and then my work sets. For the second set with 170 the last one or two is hard to get up so i know i'm doing some work, but I really don't feel warmed up until after I do the 170 set. I'm going to try doing a couple sprints pre-workout.


Idealyy, you are not trying to gain a 'pump' in your warmup. A warmup is just that, don't confuse warmup with workout.

From what I've seen in your post


rest more than 60 sec. though. My gues would be at least 90. If you get through it great. Move up next week to something like this


And continue to add. Now only you will know how the sets are going. Maybe you could jump more/maybe less.

This would work for me. If you feel you need some more warmup, I wouldn't do a ton of bench, I would just do some bodyweight squats or stuff like that to make sure the body is heated up properly.


That set scheme is exactly what I did and it worked much better.


I do 5 minutes of cardio, then do my warmup series. Total warmup time, including the cardio is 10-12 minutes.
I only do I warmup series for the entire workout. For my next muscle group, I do less warmup during the pauze between workout sets of the previous muscle group.