Is twenty sets to much?

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    Is twenty sets to much?


    It is official, I have stopped growing.... For the longest time I have trained all the large muscle groups at about 20 sets each, different days for the majors groups, and it worked. Now my body has called a mutiny. should I go up sets because my body has gotten used to it or go down sets. I have thrown in a week long break to see if that would help and I did not see that much of a difference.

    Help please,

    P4P

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    how old are you? experience? do u have exercise/nutrition in order?
    if yes then u might want to try a new workout routine...Personally I like max-ot.
    It's much less than 20 sets and everything is planned out for you. plus the reading has a lot of logical info that you might not know that can maybe help you get over this hump. (a lot of info on warming up correctly that I liked)

    if you leave me ur email address i'll email you the pdf file of max-ot.
    (and anyone else too, leave ur email address and i'll send the pdf file to you and then you can edit out your email address)
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    Quote Originally Posted by cable626
    how old are you? experience? do u have exercise/nutrition in order?
    if yes then u might want to try a new workout routine...Personally I like max-ot.
    It's much less than 20 sets and everything is planned out for you. plus the reading has a lot of logical info that you might not know that can maybe help you get over this hump. (a lot of info on warming up correctly that I liked)

    if you leave me ur email address i'll email you the pdf file of max-ot.
    (and anyone else too, leave ur email address and i'll send the pdf file to you and then you can edit out your email address)
    22 y/o, 2 years serious lifting, excercise and lifting are fine, except for the fact that what I was doing stopped working, my diet is extremely bland and clean. I eat almost 3600 cals a day and I usually end up vommitting from so much food. That was the first thing I took a look at, diet is the most important part. But that doesn't seem to be the problem. So I started to look at the training.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pain4pleasure
    I usually end up vommitting from so much food.
    I don't know if you are joking here, but if not, this might be your problem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pain4pleasure
    It is official, I have stopped growing.... For the longest time I have trained all the large muscle groups at about 20 sets each, different days for the majors groups, and it worked. Now my body has called a mutiny. should I go up sets because my body has gotten used to it or go down sets. I have thrown in a week long break to see if that would help and I did not see that much of a difference.

    Help please,

    P4P
    First off a week’s break is a good idea.

    Second, if you are working out with any kind of serious intensity then yes 20 is WAY too much. For the VAST MAJORITY of people less is more in so many ways.

    Third, The fact that you were growing on 20 sets per muscle group! is a testament to the fact that you are either relatively inexperience (doesn't sound like it from your post), are!getting back into shape that you previously lost (muscle memory), or have genetics that most would kill for.

    My advice is back WAY WAY down off the volume and focus on pure strength only. When I train this way I only use 1-2 'work sets' (yup 1-2). I usually do 3-4 warm up sets (I start out with bar only and go up to 50% of one rep max @ 5 reps) IMHO this doesn't count as a set but if you wanna argue like a lot a guys then sure its actually a 6"set work out per muscle group, that is still a far cry from 20. When I get to the point were I'm not able to add weight to the bar and switching lifts didn't help I started lowering the weight and adding reps and maybe one more set. After a couple weeks of that I start 'stalling' again and the start adding weight and doing fewer reps.

    I have never seen someone that followed this waved volume strategy (intelligently adapting it to their body!) stop making progress, but I have seen guy after guy stall out and spend years in the gym adding little if any weight all the while cranking out 10+ working sets per muscle group. day after day after day.

    Morale of the story is:

    if it stops working ...change it.
    or
    less is more (unless its actually less )
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    Quote Originally Posted by dego
    First off a week’s break is a good idea.

    Second, if you are working out with any kind of serious intensity then yes 20 is WAY too much. For the VAST MAJORITY of people less is more in so many ways.

    Third, The fact that you were growing on 20 sets per muscle group! is a testament to the fact that you are either relatively inexperience (doesn't sound like it from your post), are getting back into shape that you previously lost (muscle memory), or have genetics that most would kill for.

    My advice is back WAY WAY down off the volume and focus on pure strength only. When I train this way I only use 1-2 'work sets' (yup 1-2). I usually do 3-4 warm up sets (I start out with bar only and go up to 50% of one rep max @ 5 reps) IMHO this doesn't count as a set but if you wanna argue like a lot a guys then sure its actually a 6 set work out per muscle group, that is still a far cry from 20. When I get to the point were I'm not able to add weight to the bar and switching lifts didn't help I started lowering the weight and adding reps and maybe one more set. After a couple weeks of that I start 'stalling' again and the start adding weight and doing fewer reps.

    I have never seen someone that followed this waved volume strategy (intelligently adapting it to their body!) stop making progress, but I have seen guy after guy stall out and spend years in the gym adding little if any weight all the while cranking out 10+ working sets per muscle group. day after day after day.

    Morale of the story is:

    if it stops working ...change it.
    or
    less is more (unless its actually less )
    Thank you for the input, I will give it a try, what a huge change that will be, I only train one body part a day, so my workouts will now be cut from almost an hour to about 20 mins, lol. Let me get this straight, first four sets are warm up sets going from allmost nothing to 50% then two sets of the absolute most you can lift for......I'm guessing 6-8 reps. My only other questions are, how slow do you do each rep there has to be some sort of counting scheme. how many times a week do you train each muscle group?

    Thanks,
    P4P
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beowulf
    I don't know if you are joking here, but if not, this might be your problem.
    I have a stomach condition, where I pretty much randomly vomit, I asked doctors about it and everyone seems to have a different opinion, some think that is to much lactic acid build-up all at once from a very hard workout(maybe) but it doesn't always happen during a workout, sometimes it happens during the day even when I don't work out, and since most doctors have no Idea about anything when it comes to bb'ing they say "cut back on the food". I have a monster metabolism and If I cut back on the food, give me three weeks and I will wiegh 110lbs again....hahahaha.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pain4pleasure
    I have a stomach condition, where I pretty much randomly vomit, I asked doctors about it and everyone seems to have a different opinion, some think that is to much lactic acid build-up all at once from a very hard workout(maybe) but it doesn't always happen during a workout, sometimes it happens during the day even when I don't work out, and since most doctors have no Idea about anything when it comes to bb'ing they say "cut back on the food". I have a monster metabolism and If I cut back on the food, give me three weeks and I will wiegh 110lbs again....hahahaha.
    Yo p4p, I have that same problem. When trying to gain, I eat over 5000 cals easily..well...not easily...I usually have to dry heave at least 3 times/day due to teh constant food in my stomach. And sometimes the stufff finds it's way back out!!
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    eating yogurt helps me digest a lot of my food better
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bean
    eating yogurt helps me digest a lot of my food better
    Yogurt, eh?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dego

    My advice is back WAY WAY down off the volume and focus on pure strength only. When I train this way I only use 1-2 'work sets' (yup 1-2). I usually do 3-4 warm up sets (I start out with bar only and go up to 50% of one rep max @ 5 reps) IMHO this doesn't count as a set but if you wanna argue like a lot a guys then sure its actually a 6 set work out per muscle group, that is still a far cry from 20. When I get to the point were I'm not able to add weight to the bar and switching lifts didn't help I started lowering the weight and adding reps and maybe one more set. After a couple weeks of that I start 'stalling' again and the start adding weight and doing fewer reps.
    dego,
    if you could expand on this training style that would be greatly appreciated, I tried it out tonight (well I tried what I thought you meant) and I am quite a bit more interested. Here is what I did.
    Flat dumbell press: Four warm up sets of 25, 35, 45, 50, and then two working sets of 100, 105
    And I couldn't help myself I wasn't feeling like that would make any difference so I did fly's too.
    Flat dumbell fly's: four warm up sets of 15, 25, 35, 35, and then two working sets of 70lbs after that I still felt like I could do a whole lot more, but I did find it quite a bit more challenging than I thought, so I dragged my ass home, and had a shake.

    peace,
    P4P
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    Quote Originally Posted by pain4pleasure
    dego,
    if you could expand on this training style that would be greatly appreciated, I tried it out tonight (well I tried what I thought you meant) and I am quite a bit more interested. Here is what I did.
    Flat dumbell press: Four warm up sets of 25, 35, 45, 50, and then two working sets of 100, 105
    And I couldn't help myself I wasn't feeling like that would make any difference so I did fly's too.
    Flat dumbell fly's: four warm up sets of 15, 25, 35, 35, and then two working sets of 70lbs after that I still felt like I could do a whole lot more, but I did find it quite a bit more challenging than I thought, so I dragged my ass home, and had a shake.

    peace,
    P4P
    I'm not dego, but on that chest workout if you did 4 warm up sets for regular DB presses and then jumped into the work sets, there's not really a reason to warm up your chest again, you're already warm. I would just do one or two weight acclimation sets, say 2 sets one for 35, the other for 50, and then jump into your work sets with 70. It's the extra warm ups that are killing your energy. If it's not necessary, save that energy for another workset at 70 or a higher one with less reps at 80.

    Just do what you feel is best, everyone is different and you might have to tweak the workout a bit until it's just right for you.
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    yogurt is important- it contains probiotics (live bacterial cultures) that aid in digestion. stonyfield farms has more cultures than most, and their chocolate underground mixes well with chocolate whey protein.
    or u can just take a pill if ur lazy.
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    walmart brand vanilla is da bomb!
    sometimes i mix that or the strawberry (two or 3 cups) in with my weight gainer shake

    been getting IBS lately and looking for ways to combat it... its annoying as **** to look almost pregnant when you normally have a 28" waist
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    Quote Originally Posted by pain4pleasure
    dego,
    if you could expand on this training style that would be greatly appreciated, I tried it out tonight (well I tried what I thought you meant) and I am quite a bit more intdrested. Here is what I did.
    Flat dumbell press: Four warm up sets of 25, 35, 45, 50, and then two working sets of 100, 105
    And I couldn't help myself I wasn't feeling like that would make any difference so I did fly's too.
    Flat dumbell fly's: four warm up sets of 15, 25, 35, 35, and then two working sets of 70lbs after that I still felt like I could do a whole lot more, but I did find it quite a bit more challenging than I thought, so I dragged my ass home, and had a shake.

    peace,
    P4P
    Check out www.ironaddicts.com and read up on irona's warm up routine and low volume routines... Strength first growth later. My routines are strongly influenced by ironaddict and DC. The key is to find what works for your body so don't just randomly make huge changes unless you've been stuck for a long time. If you decide to try the low volume routine try to really focus on increasing strenght only if you feel your body can handle a little more start rest-pausing a set or 2. And with any new routine you have to give yourself at least 6 weeks to evaluate what it does to your body. Something as simple as changing the volume of your routine can really effect the amount of glycogen your muscle store and make a big difference on the scale. Give it time and see for yourself, the scale isn't what you need to watch... its the bar- keep adding weight and the scale will follow right behind assuming proper rest and nutrition.

    It sounds like you have been plodding along for awhile now and have seen some good gains but don't know how to keep that going. I'd recommend you hire a personal trainer like Bobo or IronA. Objective feed back and direction can work wonders.
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    some people would seriously disagree with 'strength first growth later'...

    try being my size and then saying that... I'm just fine in the strength department for my weight... now give me 30lbs of mass dammit!
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    Quote Originally Posted by pain4pleasure
    22 y/o, 2 years serious lifting, excercise and lifting are fine, except for the fact that what I was doing stopped working, my diet is extremely bland and clean. I eat almost 3600 cals a day and I usually end up vommitting from so much food. That was the first thing I took a look at, diet is the most important part. But that doesn't seem to be the problem. So I started to look at the training.
    I 3600 cals (even TOTALLY clean and whole) is like a snack for me - it's been easier since I added more fiber to my diet though, I feel fuller longer

    Just keep at it, you'll get there.
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    You might find hypertrophy specific training perfect for reconditioning muscles to grow. You first need to decondition ie rest then its all about progressive loads/sets/reps changing every week.

    Many people who have stopped growing find this very usefull, you may like to check it out http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ridgely1.htm
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    I only do 6-8 sets per muscle group at about 4-6 very high intensity reps per set. I haven't stalled in a while. For some reason it's also a better work out because you only have to psych yourself up for 4 or 5 all out reps instead of 8-10. I basically follow Max-OT, you should give it a read.

    You also don't have to have so many sets or reps in your warm up. For example, if I was going to squat 315 for my 4-5 reps, I'd do 135x10, stretch, 225x6, 275x3. Then I'd load the 315 and do my 3-4 work sets. Also that's the only warmup I'd do on leg day. The key is to decrease the reps as the weight goes up in the warmup sets. You're not doing them to pump the muscle or get some more sets in, but simply to acclimate the muscle with increasing weight to your work set.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hypo
    I only do 6-8 sets per muscle group at about 4-6 very high intensity reps per set. I haven't stalled in a while. For some reason it's also a better work out because you only have to psych yourself up for 4 or 5 all out reps instead of 8-10. I basically follow Max-OT, you should give it a read.

    You also don't have to have so many sets or reps in your warm up. For example, if I was going to squat 315 for my 4-5 reps, I'd do 135x10, stretch, 225x6, 275x3. Then I'd load the 315 and do my 3-4 work sets. Also that's the only warmup I'd do on leg day. The key is to decrease the reps as the weight goes up in the warmup sets. You're not doing them to pump the muscle or get some more sets in, but simply to acclimate the muscle with increasing weight to your work set.
    thats the key, the warmup. it doesn't count as part of your set. you shouldn't wear yourself out, and should never go to failure on a warmup set. when u get closer to ur work set you can even do 1 rep close to your working weight for "weight acclimation".
    btw this is all from max-ot.
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    cable; your avatar is NICE... lol who is that?!?
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    thanks bean. i actually have no idea who that is. i have a bunch of pics on my comp, i am looking for the pic to see what i named it to try to find out, but i can't even find it. oh well let's enjoy it for what it is lol.
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    Thanks alot for all the input guys, I really appreciate it. I am revamping the whole workout. From what I see so far, my body feels good, and I am probably not wasting so many calories for the same result.....time will tell. If I get superhuman results I will post them, and you will all have my thanks...And a date with cable626's avatar, lol.

    Peace,
    P4P
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    Quote Originally Posted by exnihilo
    I 3600 cals (even TOTALLY clean and whole) is like a snack for me - it's been easier since I added more fiber to my diet though, I feel fuller longer

    Just keep at it, you'll get there.
    At 280, I might be a snack for you.
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    I usually train hard and heavy, keeping volume around 12-15 sets. I find that a few weeks at high intensity, higer rep training to be very beneficial, however. I always have one exercise as a 'core' for that bodypart that always gets the heavy treatment (squat, bench, deads,etc), but getting some volume in there now and again will really help with muscular endurance. Plus, it'll give joints and tendons some relief from the stress of strength focused lifting.

    IE:Its great to be able to bench 300+ lbs, but if you're spent after 60 pushups that kinda sucks...Variation is the key, IMO.

    BV
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    60 pushups? I have to fight hard to get 40

    My endurance is getting a lot better recently though. I can bike up some gnarly hills recently without stopping and without feeling like I'm going to die.
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    When I was at my all time strongest/heaviest back in Dec I weighed 240+lbs and was as strong as an ox. (and a small Ox compared to you ExNihilo!), but after climbing the stairs in the mall while xmas shopping I felt winded!! I was terrible. Im down about 2-3% BF now ~11lbs lighter since I started cutting, and I feel SO much better. Note quite as strong, which sucks, but a worthwhile tradeoff to not feel like Im going to die when I run to the end of the driveway

    Its a tough balance to maintain...its like big&strong and lean&fast are at two opposite ends of the spectrum, and the harder you push for one the more you have to let go of the other. And if you try to maintain both, gains in either take excrutiatingly long to achieve. Unless you dont have to work and can focus on training/diet 24/7!!!

    BV
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigVrunga
    Its a tough balance to maintain...its like big&strong and lean&fast are at two opposite ends of the spectrum, and the harder you push for one the more you have to let go of the other. And if you try to maintain both, gains in either take excrutiatingly long to achieve. Unless you dont have to work and can focus on training/diet 24/7!!!

    BV
    MAn, you hit the nail on the head right there...so true..
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigVrunga
    When I was at my all time strongest/heaviest back in Dec I weighed 240+lbs and was as strong as an ox. (and a small Ox compared to you ExNihilo!), but after climbing the stairs in the mall while xmas shopping I felt winded!! I was terrible. Im down about 2-3% BF now ~11lbs lighter since I started cutting, and I feel SO much better. Note quite as strong, which sucks, but a worthwhile tradeoff to not feel like Im going to die when I run to the end of the driveway

    Its a tough balance to maintain...its like big&strong and lean&fast are at two opposite ends of the spectrum, and the harder you push for one the more you have to let go of the other. And if you try to maintain both, gains in either take excrutiatingly long to achieve. Unless you dont have to work and can focus on training/diet 24/7!!!

    BV
    Yeah. One thing that's really helped with how I feel in general and energy levels is fixing my diet to include mountains of green veggies and some lentils/other stuff.

    I'm thinking of getting back into muay thai over the summer when I have some free time, I haven't done any sort of martial arts since I was down around 220. I'm sure it'll be a shock to my system, but I'm hoping as I get down to around ~275ish I will be able to handle it no problem. As good as I'm feeling right now, 20lbs of fat loss will probably having me bouncing off walls
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigVrunga
    When I was at my all time strongest/heaviest back in Dec I weighed 240+lbs and was as strong as an ox. (and a small Ox compared to you ExNihilo!), but after climbing the stairs in the mall while xmas shopping I felt winded!! I was terrible. Im down about 2-3% BF now ~11lbs lighter since I started cutting, and I feel SO much better. Note quite as strong, which sucks, but a worthwhile tradeoff to not feel like Im going to die when I run to the end of the driveway

    Its a tough balance to maintain...its like big&strong and lean&fast are at two opposite ends of the spectrum, and the harder you push for one the more you have to let go of the other. And if you try to maintain both, gains in either take excrutiatingly long to achieve. Unless you dont have to work and can focus on training/diet 24/7!!!

    BV
    I think I'm the lean and fast side of the scale I do know I run pretty fast and have very good endurance...
    after not running for 9 years, the first time iwent out, i ran a 6:23 mile without trying too terribly hard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bean
    I think I'm the lean and fast side of the scale I do know I run pretty fast and have very good endurance...
    after not running for 9 years, the first time iwent out, i ran a 6:23 mile without trying too terribly hard
    Just to clarify, you can be fast and huge. You just can't be huge and have good endurance. There are guys out there near 300lbs who can run the 40 in low 4's, but don't ask them to run a mile at a fast speed... Also, your agility suffers to some degree as you put on weight, which is why you don't see 280lb ballet dancers
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    I had good endurance at 165, but at 230 running a couple miles is indeed a workout!! getting a lot better though. Im sure there's a 'perfect' balance for everyone, I'd rather lean toward the mass side myself. But I'll never neglect my cardio again!

    BV
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    When I break 210 I will worry about being fast, with my metabolism if I ran down the driveway, I would burn 3500 of my 4000 cals. lol.

    p.s.
    yeah I bumped up the cals to 4000 because exnihilo made fun of me. j/k
  

  
 

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