The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
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    Volume, Deload, and Fat Loss Questions

    I've been doing HCT-12 for about 3 or 4 weeks now and I've made some gains on squats and deads but I'm not moving at all on my upper body movements. I'm wondering if I'm using too much volume.

    I made the program a little more concrete and not as variable because I felt that it would be better to track progress this way, but now I'm wondering if I'm using too many ramping sets, or if I'm not making big enough jumps.

    I aim for six sets, with my last being last workout's 6 RM. If I feel good I add 5 pounds and do a seventh set.

    For example my bench has looked like this:
    135X6
    155X6
    175X6
    185X6
    195X6
    200X6

    I use this progression scheme for ramping on all big lifts (+20, +20, +10, +10, +5, and if I can do another set, +5 more). I do something a little different for the isolation exercises but it's similar.

    I've seen on some people's journals that they only do 3 or 4 sets total, and they tend to use 10 pound jumps minimum. I know Daniel has said that if you feel a PR, that you can reduce ramping sets to limit fatigue. But since any set greater than 70% 1 RM triggers a growth stimulus, I figured making smaller jumps allows more volume in that growth range, but maybe it's limiting my top set? I'm guessing the top set is the biggest stimulus for growth? Or is what I'm doing okay?

    If I haven't really been able to increase anything on my upper body lifts, should I still do the deload week?

    Also if I were to use this for fat loss later on, would I want to make sure to decrease volume more? I know keeping the weight on the bar is the most important aspect for keeping muscle during fat loss.

    Sorry I know that's a lot of questions but I figure I'd throw them all out at once, Hahaha. Any help with all of this would be much appreciated.

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  3. #2
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    I made the program a little more concrete and not as variable because I felt that it would be better to track progress this way, but now I'm wondering if I'm using too many ramping sets, or if I'm not making big enough jumps.
    Good questions, but you've answered them yourself. Too many ramping sets, very small increments, and a strict adherence to your own predetermined numbers (no auto-regulation), and I'm assuming too many of those are close to failure - basically your shortchanging yourself of a higher final weight and getting fatigued.
    Last edited by Daniel Roberts; 06-23-2010 at 03:46 AM.

  4. #3
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    Thanks Daniel. I'm gonna try making bigger jumps today. Maybe jumping like 10% of my 6 RM rather than 5 or 10 pounds. I'm still a little confused on how to go into it without having planned out what kind of weights to use, but I guess I'll keep playing with it.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berzinator View Post
    I'm still a little confused on how to go into it without having planned out what kind of weights to use, but I guess I'll keep playing with it.
    You plan to beat your last PR. You go into the gym thinking "I benched/squatted x last time, I want to beat that this time", then you use however many warmup sets are needed to get to that top weight. I don't see how that's confusing. I've stopped caring so much about the warm-up sets. I generally get 3-4 total sets on the upper-body lifts and maybe 5-6 on squats. After getting used to it on the first cycle it's all done by how I feel now. At least that's the way I do it. I do still worry I'm not getting enough volume, but I seem to be making progress so I'm happy.

  6. #5
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    Okay that helps. I'm guessing if you jump up to the new weight and can't hit the 6 reps, you knock it down to the previous best and finish up. Then next workout try for the 6 reps at the weight you failed with last time.

    Today's workout felt great making bigger jumps. I hit higher weights on all my lifts.

  7. #6
    Father of Three Bosch232's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berzinator View Post
    Okay that helps. I'm guessing if you jump up to the new weight and can't hit the 6 reps, you knock it down to the previous best and finish up. Then next workout try for the 6 reps at the weight you failed with last time.

    Today's workout felt great making bigger jumps. I hit higher weights on all my lifts.
    Not sure if this will help you, but since your bench numbers look similar to mine, I'll show you what my bench profile has been so far..

    135 x 6
    135 x 6
    185 x 6
    (Here is where I begin the auto regulating...)
    200 x 6
    210 x 6 +2 +2 +2 <--- The 210 is sometimes 215, and sometimes it's 205. Just depends on the day.
    "A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." ~ C.S. Lewis

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bosch232 View Post
    135 x 6
    135 x 6
    185 x 6
    (Here is where I begin the auto regulating...)
    200 x 6
    210 x 6 +2 +2 +2 <--- The 210 is sometimes 215, and sometimes it's 205. Just depends on the day.
    So how do you choose whether the last set is 205, 210, or 215?

    Lately I'm trying for the higher number and if I fail I'll drop it down to the previous best or lower to finish it out. Then at the next workout I'll try for the higher number again. Is this okay?

  9. #8
    Father of Three Bosch232's Avatar
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    I use the second-to-last set to know what to load on for the last one. After doing it a bit, I've learned to be able to know when I''m going to own (or get owned by) another 10 or 15 pounds for 6 reps. That's how I took Daniel's write up, anyway.
    "A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." ~ C.S. Lewis

  10. #9
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    Okay so I've had a few workouts now with bigger jumps and my top weights are moving up. I just wanna double check to see if there's anything else I should be careful of, so I'm gonna post my last 4 bench press workouts and let you guys critique.

    Workout 1 (I was still doing smaller jumps):
    135X6, 155X6, 175X6, 185X6, 195X6, 200X6+2+2+2

    Workout 2 (started making bigger jumps):
    105X6, 125X6, 145X6, 165X6, 185X6, 205X6+2+2+2 (PR)

    Workout 3:
    135X6, 150X6, 170X6, 190X6, 210X6+2+2+2 (PR)

    Workout 4:
    135X6, 150X6, 170X6, 190X6, 215X6+2+2+2 (PR)

    So my top weight is going up which is awesome. I've seen lots of people are including their last 6RM as one of the jumps, whereas I'm skipping over it and just making a big jump up to a new PR. Obviously it's working, but in the long run I wonder if this is okay or if I'd need to hit my last 6RM in order to "feel" if I'm ready for a new weight. At the same time I worry it would fatigue me enough that I wouldn't be able to hit a new PR when one is possible.

    Either way, a 15 pound increase in about 2 weeks is awesome and I'm really loving this program.

  11. #10
    Father of Three Bosch232's Avatar
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    Good.
    "A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." ~ C.S. Lewis

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