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Thread: "Finisher" Set

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    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    "Finisher" Set

    How many people here will throw in a 'finisher' set at the end of their workout?

    I usually do some sort of fairly intense drop set or super-set at the end of my workout and I feel like it is beneficial.
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    I love "finishers." I usually do conditioning stuff, like sled pulls or hill sprints at the end of my workouts. But in the past, I've also used Farmers Walks, Stone Carries, and Sandbag Lifting to "finish" my workouts.

    Along the same lines, sometimes after a heavy squat session, I will finish with a lighter set of 20 reppers.
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    Never really done them but I feel like I need to. On my bench days, its my triceps that are exhausted way before my chest. Maybe it would be beneficial to throw in some pec deck sets or something. I have a teeny chest for my size lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    Never really done them but I feel like I need to. On my bench days, its my triceps that are exhausted way before my chest. Maybe it would be beneficial to throw in some pec deck sets or something. I have a teeny chest for my size lol.
    One thing that I will sometimes do is put together a 'giant set' where I start off with a compound movement and then move on to isolation movements without resting between exercises. For chest it might look something like this:

    - Incline Bench Press (set of 5-8 reps)
    - Dumbbell Flat Bench or Machine Bench Press (set of 8-10 reps)
    - Cable Crossover or Pec Deck (set of 10-12 reps)
    - Push-ups (10-25 reps)

    You can do this for 1-2 circuits at the end of your workout, using weights that are challenging but not to the point where you are completely failing early in the circuit.
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    A gallon a day, everyday! ThomasG's Avatar
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    I do backdown sets for my main me movement. For example after I work up to a RM I drop the weight to something I can do 10-15 times. It has helped me tremendously especially on the bench press.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasG View Post
    I do backdown sets for my main me movement. For example after I work up to a RM I drop the weight to something I can do 10-15 times. It has helped me tremendously especially on the bench press.
    I noticed that Eric Lilliebridge does 'backdown' sets as well for bench press.

    Does anyone else here who trains for hypertrophy do any type of 'finisher'?
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    I have just added farmers walk to my legs days. Seems to do it for me...

    I also like to add in a 20rep bench if i can muster it. I always have done i do not know why or any science behind it just feels good
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    One thing that I will sometimes do is put together a 'giant set' where I start off with a compound movement and then move on to isolation movements without resting between exercises. For chest it might look something like this:

    - Incline Bench Press (set of 5-8 reps)
    - Dumbbell Flat Bench or Machine Bench Press (set of 8-10 reps)
    - Cable Crossover or Pec Deck (set of 10-12 reps)
    - Push-ups (10-25 reps)

    You can do this for 1-2 circuits at the end of your workout, using weights that are challenging but not to the point where you are completely failing early in the circuit.
    This sparked me to research a little bit. I found an article that talked about doing a high incline to just about failure, then quickly setting it to low incline and go to nearly failure, then putting the bench on flat and finishing up the set.

    I definitely need to add something at the end of my bench day...my chest is really lacking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    I definitely need to add something at the end of my bench day...my chest is really lacking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    Have you paid your dues on the bar dips?
    Never tried them actually...Maybe when my shoulder heals I will give them a shot.

  11. #11
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    This sparked me to research a little bit. I found an article that talked about doing a high incline to just about failure, then quickly setting it to low incline and go to nearly failure, then putting the bench on flat and finishing up the set.

    I definitely need to add something at the end of my bench day...my chest is really lacking.
    If you are going to go with various angles I would go Incline / Flat / Decline since your decline bench should be stronger than your flat bench.

    One of the best 'finisher set' methods is to simple "run the rack" or do a "strip set". Pick an exercise like flat dumbbell bench press and then start off with a challenging weight and work your way down. You can make 10-15 lbs drops without any rest until you are working with light dumbbells and struggling. You can also do this with a barbell by loading some smaller plates and stripping off the weight while continuing your set and forcing out additional reps.
    Last edited by Tom Mutaffis; 11-02-2010 at 09:38 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    If you are going to go with various angles I would go Incline / Flat / Decline since your decline bench should be stronger than your flat bench.

    One of the best 'finisher set' methods is to simple "run the rack" or do a "strip set". Pick an exercise like flat dumbbell bench press and then start off with a challenging weight and work your way down. You can make 10-15 lbs drops without any rest until you are working with light dumbbells and struggling. You can also do this with a barbell by loading some smaller plates and stripping off the weight while continuing your set and forcing out additional reps.
    How often do you recommend doing something like this? Any ideas how I can tailor it to my bench day? Right now, I strategically placed my bench day so I get a nice 3 day rest before my next upper body movement (military press).

    I use 5/3/1...

    Bench 5/3/1
    Heavy rows working up to a 5rm


    Then bench again with either
    5x10 of 50-60% of my max (Boring but big) or
    5x5 of 75% of my max if I am feeling really good that day

    Then I do more lighter sets of rows and I match what I did on bench, so if I did a 5x5 on bench I do a 5x5 on rows.

  13. #13
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    I have done backdown sets in the past as well and really enjoyed them so I guess you could say that would be a finisher.

    Usually I would ramp up to one heavy all out set of 5-8 reps, then I would drop the weight back and knock out a set of 10-12 reps. I got this idea from DC training as they do not rest pause back thickness, they use two sets as said above.
    Success is achieved by doing a little more than you thought you could, and a lot more than anyone else.

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    Used to do finisher sets until a couple years back. Now every set is a finisher. i go as heavy as possible on every set. Everyone responds differently to training but since i simplified and simply started lifting ehavy on a handfull of exercises, my strength and asize has shot up more than on anything else. No dietar changes either so i know it is purely as a result of hard work on basics.

    Squat
    Bench
    Deadlift
    Row
    Dip
    Pullup

    I pick two each workout and do one set of each after sevral warm-up sets, strecth and go home. I lift every 3 days.

    169 to 192 in bw with no dietary change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by justaddweight View Post
    Used to do finisher sets until a couple years back. Now every set is a finisher. i go as heavy as possible on every set. Everyone responds differently to training but since i simplified and simply started lifting ehavy on a handfull of exercises, my strength and asize has shot up more than on anything else. No dietar changes either so i know it is purely as a result of hard work on basics.

    Squat
    Bench
    Deadlift
    Row
    Dip
    Pullup

    I pick two each workout and do one set of each after sevral warm-up sets, strecth and go home. I lift every 3 days.

    169 to 192 in bw with no dietary change.
    Your full of ****...

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    Senior Member BoAnderson71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    How many people here will throw in a 'finisher' set at the end of their workout?

    I usually do some sort of fairly intense drop set or super-set at the end of my workout and I feel like it is beneficial.
    On my leg workouts i like going to a squat leg press machine ( the one with a board for your feet and char goes back and forward hinging not sliding) and using the whole stack 310 lbs. and repping out. last week i did 52 reps, great way to finish a leg workout. I also love to do kroc rows
    Last edited by BoAnderson71; 11-03-2010 at 09:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by punkguitarist View Post
    Your full of ****...
    I imagine it is mind blowing to a small man like you that gaining 23 pounds in 2 years on honest heavy lifts is impossible. Why do you even bother lifting then? You are a poser.

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    Quote Originally Posted by punkguitarist View Post
    Your full of ****...
    I am sure he meant no dietary change as in he was not bulking on purpose. I am sure as he added weight to his deadlifts/squats, that he naturally ate more just to avoid being hungry all the time. You don't gain 23 pounds without eating a LITTLE more food.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    I am sure he meant no dietary change as in he was not bulking on purpose. I am sure as he added weight to his deadlifts/squats, that he naturally ate more just to avoid being hungry all the time. You don't gain 23 pounds without eating a LITTLE more food.
    MChicia, you have it. I changed nothing as far as bulk/cut. I just eat when i'm hungry and stop when I'm full. I eat mostly meat and veggies with some carbs. I lifted with various high volume, super gizmo, complex, hanky panky crap fromt he time I was 16 till age 32. I got nowhere and spent a lot of money and time in the gym. Then two years ago I started reading rader's stuff and got back to basics. hard work, simple lifts, brief sessions. Have never looked back. here's the workout from last nigth:

    warm up sets on dip and then one all out set for 8 reps

    warm up sets on squat and then one all out set for 20 reps.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by justaddweight View Post
    warm up sets on dip and then one all out set for 8 reps

    warm up sets on squat and then one all out set for 20 reps.

    You are speaking my language. I will get back to that some day, after my volume experiment is over.
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    Quote Originally Posted by justaddweight View Post
    MChicia, you have it. I changed nothing as far as bulk/cut. I just eat when i'm hungry and stop when I'm full. I eat mostly meat and veggies with some carbs. I lifted with various high volume, super gizmo, complex, hanky panky crap fromt he time I was 16 till age 32. I got nowhere and spent a lot of money and time in the gym. Then two years ago I started reading rader's stuff and got back to basics. hard work, simple lifts, brief sessions. Have never looked back. here's the workout from last nigth:

    warm up sets on dip and then one all out set for 8 reps

    warm up sets on squat and then one all out set for 20 reps.
    Good deal...

    Thats what I am doing...not really bulking or anything but just eating when I am hungry. Its been working so far....was 220 pounds a few months ago at any given point during the day (sometimes even as low as 218 in the AM) and now I am 233 in the mornings. I don't think its necessary to bulk unless your lifts are just stalling like crazy or you are trying to switch weight classes for whatever reason or just painfully skinny.
    Last edited by mchicia1; 11-04-2010 at 08:32 AM.

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    OR, volume works well for many of my mates (the ones on "assistance") but never did anything for me or my training partner. In a few days, my next workout will be deadlift (20 reps, do or die) and bench (8 ish reps till positive failure). Simple, brutal, effective. You would love the classic iron man articles. The pre-roid era writing is filled with wisdom.

  24. #24
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    How often do you recommend doing something like this? Any ideas how I can tailor it to my bench day? Right now, I strategically placed my bench day so I get a nice 3 day rest before my next upper body movement (military press).

    I use 5/3/1...

    Bench 5/3/1
    Heavy rows working up to a 5rm

    Then bench again with either
    5x10 of 50-60% of my max (Boring but big) or
    5x5 of 75% of my max if I am feeling really good that day

    Then I do more lighter sets of rows and I match what I did on bench, so if I did a 5x5 on bench I do a 5x5 on rows.
    I would add in the 'finisher' for all of your workouts unless you already have a good amount of volume/intensity and feel that it would be counterproductive.

    Since you are already doing a lot of benching I would probably go with incline dumbbells, bodyweight dips, or another exercise that will hit your chest/triceps from a different angle. Something like this could be effective:

    Pressing 'Finisher' Complex:
    - Incline DB Bench (moderate weight for 10 reps)
    - BW Dips (10 reps)
    - Triceps Pushdown (light weight for 25 reps)

    You could do two rounds of this complex with minimal rest and that should leave you feeling pumped/fatigued when you walk out of the gym.

    Quote Originally Posted by justaddweight View Post
    Used to do finisher sets until a couple years back. Now every set is a finisher. i go as heavy as possible on every set. Everyone responds differently to training but since i simplified and simply started lifting ehavy on a handfull of exercises, my strength and asize has shot up more than on anything else. No dietar changes either so i know it is purely as a result of hard work on basics.

    Squat
    Bench
    Deadlift
    Row
    Dip
    Pullup

    I pick two each workout and do one set of each after sevral warm-up sets, strecth and go home. I lift every 3 days.

    169 to 192 in bw with no dietary change.
    It sounds somewhat similar to HIT training or DC Training except that you have a group of movements rather than body parts and do not have a set schedule.

    What I am talking about with a 'finisher' is not just going to failure but going to failure and then stripping the weight and continuing your set or jumping on another machine/piece of equipment and pounding out a few more reps.

    Are you doing drop sets / super sets or just 1-2 high intensity sets for each movement?

    Quote Originally Posted by BoAnderson71 View Post
    On my leg workouts i like going to a squat leg press machine ( the one with a board for your feet and char goes back and forward hinging not sliding) and using the whole stack 310 lbs. and repping out. last week i did 52 reps, great way to finish a leg workout. I also love to do kroc rows
    Wow, 52 reps... talk about lactic acid build-up.
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  25. #25
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justaddweight View Post
    In a few days, my next workout will be deadlift (20 reps, do or die) and bench (8 ish reps till positive failure). Simple, brutal, effective. You would love the classic iron man articles. The pre-roid era writing is filled with wisdom.
    This is actually quite similar to how I train except that I usually do one 'all-out' set on a specific exercise and then finish off some super sets / drop sets for conditioning and hypertrophy. I have made good gains with the lower volume high intensity approach, training each movement once every 2-3 weeks (power clean, front squat, weighted chins, incline bench, standing military press, deadlift, rack pull, etc.).
    Last edited by Tom Mutaffis; 11-04-2010 at 08:49 AM.
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