At this age: How many sets, 2 or 3?
- 07-09-2011, 01:47 PM
At this age: How many sets, 2 or 3?
Just wondering, whose getting decent results with minimum sets of 2? As an older guy, without androgens, recovery diminishes some what. Is there value in doing just 2 sets? If so, how much? The data out there suggests that 2 is as efficient as multiple sets. Experiences, opinions, work outs?
- 07-09-2011, 05:06 PM
just make em count. i do very low sets but hit each body part ever 4-5 days or 3 times every 2 weeks. this way i can keep the total sets per wo low but keep intensity high
07-09-2011, 06:54 PM
Yeh makin em count with perfect form, I hear that, but, each muscle group 3 times every 2 weeks, I dont know if I could maintain with that. It might be worth a try though. I know youre experienced and you know the ideal is to maintain as much as possible without juicin and being exhausted all the time. I had decided years ago that 2 full body WO's per wk wasnt doin it for me, but after each periodization break from exercise, it seems a little more difficult to get back into it. Lifting every 48 hrs is just gettin too strenuous. My total sets per WO have been a standard 21, 3 times wkly. Ive cut em down to 14 and 2 times weekly, just not getting the pump that way or the endorphin rush. Instead of takin a break, next time Im just going to decrease the weights to nothing and do mickey mouse WO's for a couple weeks. This ageing thing isnt for weaksters.
07-09-2011, 11:59 PM
07-10-2011, 02:11 AM
Yeh, its worth a look, even slight variations in training have been shown to work. HST (hypertrophy specific training) is another style thats worth a look. Ive been lifting for quite awhile, exercise becomes part of your life, not in an addictive sense, but in the same sense as brushing or flossing your teeth, ya know what I mean.
07-10-2011, 11:11 AM
Let’s go back to basics here; what’s the goal of your weight training?
To put on new muscle. Even if you are on a cutting phase, you are always wanting to get bigger, although you may talk about it like you are wanting to ‘preserve’ muscle, the whole point of bodybuilding is to put on muscle.
So the question should become; ‘what do you need to do to stimulate new muscle growth?’
Work harder than you did last time. Quite simple. Or is it?
What does harder mean though?
Think of it like a threshold, a fence you have to jump over. Every session you need to make the fence that little bit higher. The great thing about this is that there are three ways to make the fence higher;
1, Do heavier weights (with the same reps and sets)
2, Do more sets (with the same weight and reps)
3, Do more reps (up to a limit, with the same weight and sets).
So which do you choose to do?
Surely any will do? And that’s right when we just want to make the fence higher, but we also have another consideration;
You want to conserve as much energy as possible, so that your energy can be used to recover. Remember, you don’t grow when you are in the gym, you grow when you are resting. Exercise is the stimulus that forces your body to ADAPT. That adaptation only occurs when you are resting.
So which of the three will cause the needed jump in fence height, but also conserve energy most effectively?
An increase in weight. Both of the other options cost considerably more energy. Especially increasing your sets.
Think of each set as your fence; each time you jump over your fence, you are hitting that threshold. Your body recognizes the need for adaptation. What happens when you jump over it again?
Does your body try to adapt more? No, it just costs more energy.
The volume is actually quite low. Leaving you lots of energy to recover with.
So an interesting question to ask now is ‘how many working sets do you need to do to reach threshold?’
One, and only one. You only have to jump over the fence once, after all. That’s why you’ll see lots of pro bodybuilders doing multiple sets, getting heavier and going lower on the reps, they are just making sure that they get over the fence. But it is a highly costly and flawed method, they don’t really know where the fence is! It’s a method from the old school, before we really knew what it took to build muscle. It’s a scatter gun approach; shoot as many times as possible in the hope that one hits the target. (we should also note that pro bodybuilders take lots and lots of steroids which make them much more resilient and capable of dealing with that type of stress. It still doesn’t mean that its the most effective method though!)
Think training's hard,. try losing!
07-10-2011, 11:35 AM
Just so I'm clear,.. that's 1 working set,. not counting warm-ups!!
Think training's hard,. try losing!
07-10-2011, 12:18 PM
I have been using relatively low sets for years, keeping the intensity very high at the same time. At age 47, I am somewhat sore up to 48 hours after a workout. Just for reference, I work chest and back on Monday, legs on Wednesday, and shoulders and arms on Friday. I have not been working abs at all, but will eventually bring abs back in. Typical total sets are 8 or 9 for chest and back (3 exercises each), 8 or 9 sets for quads (5 or 6 sets squats or leg press plus one additional exercise) and 2 or 3 sets for hams, 6 sets for calves, 7 or 8 sets for shoulders (3 exercises), and 7 or 8 sets for biceps and triceps (3 exercises each). I vary reps and exercises, with reps between 6 and 15, using the heaviest weight I can handle with strict, full-range of motion.
07-10-2011, 07:59 PM
07-10-2011, 08:10 PM
07-10-2011, 08:53 PM
Yup, exactly the downside to that, gave me tendinitis. It went away after I switched back to standard 3x10, joints arent something you think about, until theres a strain. Im researching to come up with something that will produce optimum results. Im thinking that reduceing the volume on a 3 times wkly full body WO, 3 sets, 2,1, on those days might be an option to limit fatigue and build, it falls in line with a guy here saying that (and Ive read the same elsewhere) he works a group once a week. A decrease in sets per week might be all I need to do.
07-11-2011, 12:32 PM
Just my 2c...
I'm 38 now, and I've never done any bodybuilding before in my whole life (and no sport at all until 4-5 years ago). I workout 4 days a week as follows: (3 excercises for each group, 4 sets, 6 reps min for each set)
Mon : Chest + Triceps + Abs
Tue: Biceps + Dorsal + Legs (Recall)
Thu: Shoulders + Back + Abs
Fri: Legs (full set)
Every midday of the week I swim for 20mins.. I want to start skipping just before waking up (trying to convince myself to starting it for the moment :-) )
I'm also taking very special care of my diet:
Breakfast : Proteins + Oats + Water + Fruit mixed in blender -- Sandwich -- Coffee
Before bed: Protein Shake
I started Dexaprine to try cut the fat, I'm at around 15%-17% and trying my best to approach 10%
I can tell you that not only the results are visible (muscle growth and fat loss), but I really feel (and look) like I'm 20 years.
Everybody told me I was too old to get any results. Don't be fooled, when there's a will there is a way.
07-11-2011, 02:16 PM
07-11-2011, 03:28 PM
07-11-2011, 03:36 PM
07-12-2011, 09:58 AM
I'm 35 now and keep going back to Gironda 8x8. My split usually changes often but I have a very physical job and years of heavy lifting took their toll. I do throw the random day of heavy singles, doubles and triples when i feel unusually well.
Lift heavy and eat lots of dead animals! Yes, that's me in my avatar.
07-16-2011, 09:35 PM
Good thread! Everything Ive read seems to say that its 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps, at 80% of 1rm, 2-3 times per week. Im throwing in some set variations on various exercises, save a set here and there according to energy levels, stopped using a barbell for any other exercise except bench, keepin load increases light, etc.
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