Is it beneficial to add that 5th set or can you accomplish the same on 4?
It depends, can you add more weight/reps to your fifth rep? If so, then yes, it will help. Just make sure to keep your workout under 1.5 hours to avoid overtraining.
However, to everything is a threshold. Volume taken to extreme measures like 20+ rep ranges per set no longer favors hypertrophy, but muscle endurance and the much further away you get from strength. You don't run marathons to be a good sprinter.
Variation is key really. Traditionally, I do a 3 set pyramid (10,8,6 reps), but right now I'm doing 5 sets, 10 reps. Of course I can go heavier with a 3 set pyramid then 5 sets of 10 reps, but I switch things up all the time for variation & muscle confusion aka a new stimulation and stress giving rise for adaption (whether in the form of hypertrophy or strength, depending).
NSCA - CSCS
Great input-thanks. I was wondering because I currently am doing 5 sets for 2-3 different excercises i.e. 5 sets tri xtns, 5 sets rope pull downs 5 sets pushups and wanted to incorprate one or 2 more tri excercises. How many different ones should be done on each target body part?
If I'm doing a 3 set pyramid, I'll do an average of 12 sets per body part, split between various exercises, but all taxing the same part.
NSCA - CSCS
I may try that. The majority (it seems) tend to do what I am currently doing and although I find it effective I am getting a little stagnant and need to mix it up and/or add something. Thanks again!
I like following prilepin's table
Serious Nutrition Solutions
I recently just read a write up from Bryan Hay**** which you can find here: http://thinkmuscle.com/forum/showthr...ryan-speaks-up!
Volume seems to be a very personal thing from what he says, typically the longer you have been training the more volume you need.
My interpretation I got from one of his statements was that when your on a cycle you would need less volume which contradicts what I always read on peoples experiences.
If you're doing 4 sets per exercise, try adding a 5th. If you see improvement, you've found something that works for you; if you don't see improvement, ditch the extra set. Keep in mind though that usually (for natural lifters) less is more. Almost always, less is more. But that "less" should be direct and intense.
Good luck bro
Thanks for the advice. I usually crank it up on my 4th set and take the weights way down for the 5th and do a high rep set. By the time I get to the 5th set I am fatigued as hell so I am not sure if this is beneficial or not. Thanks again for the great input.
Are you trying to bulk?
Ideally it would be great to bulk up but more than anything I am just looking to get stronger. I could lose a few lbs of body fat but my goals are first to increase strength.