I've been stuck at a plateau for years, have a few questions:
1. Let us say you did a bench press and did 120 lbs x 3 sets of 6. The next time you lift, must you increase weight or reps to make progress? What if you physically cant?
2. Will muscle growth through high reps EVER lead to increased strength? or can strength gains ONLY be made through low reps?
3. Is it possible to make size gains for a long period of time without ever changing your routine at all?
Last edited by Eric Cartman; 06-29-2007 at 10:03 PM.
Wow, not one response... I thought these were good questions, but I guess not... last time I asked this question, you guys just told me to add squats to my routine, which I did.. now I need real answers to push forward and make progress.. even if you just post a link to another thread, that might help.
1. Technically speaking, if you didn't add reps or increase weight, then you'd be really good at doing 120x3x6.
2. I'm not 100% sure on this one, but I've done training to failure and I aimed for 8-10 reps on my top set, and eventually when I tried out sets of 3 I did get stronger.
3. Yes it is. However, you do need to either add more weight progressively, or do more reps.
Hope this helps man.
I have only been training since January so i may not be entirely correct, but i have made good gains so far, so here is my opinion from what i have learn t:
1: The idea is that by stressing the muscles from a workout they will be temporarily damaged but then grow back stronger after a few days (depending on the exercise) and so this will mean you will be slightly stronger than you were before. However this may not mean you will be able to lift much heavier weights the following week because you will only be a little stronger so you continue to lift the same weight until you find that you can do more reps than you normally could and so you increase the weight. Thats what worked for me anyway. I would also personally increase the number of sets you do if you are only doing 3 sets try doing 4.
2: From what i have read training with a high number of reps improves muscle endurance rather than gains mass so if you want to gain mass i would stay within the 6-10 rep range.
3: i am not sure on this, i have not changed my routine for about 3 months now and my gains still seem to be fine...
There could be other reasons for you not making gains such as your exercise technique, diet, sleep etc. but I hope this helps.
for the second question. it makes sense to me ( although i am not sure about this) to work in the mass range for a while to build more muscle mass which also equals potential strength but without doing lower reps hevy weight you arent stimulating the new muscle fibers because they have never fired before so wouldnt it make sense to do a routine with sets of 6-10 reps for mass for a few months and then switch to low reps that way your neurons start firing in the new fibers. put simply ill say maxing muscle fibers then maxing stimulation for strength. i bet you would see immense strength and size gains doing that. but thats just my idea i would like some feedback on this. ive thought about it for a couple of days and im thinking of trying it.
Weight:165 (september 1, 2007)Goal:170
40 Time:4.98 Goal:4.75
(didnt do too good on my goals this round)
why not set a big goal that you cant acheive and get as far as possible than to set a goal you know you can acheive and only get so far
If it is strength you are working for, use a weight that will have you reach failure at 5 or 6 reps. Also make sure to give yourself at least a minute or two of rest between sets so you can give your full effort each set. While training with low reps for strength, I would also keep my sets at 3 to 4 per exercise. Although you are training for strength in the lower rep range, there isnt any reason you wont gain size as well as long as your calorie intake is high enough. I dont know if you have tried any of the WBB routines or BGB, but they are really great programs. I personally gained a little over 40lbs in just under 6 months with BGB. No matter your program, make sure to include all big compound lifts and eat rediculous amounts of food...
I wouldn't do 4 sets. I'd try lowering it to 2 sets first of all. Me and my dad, and my lifting buddy, we've all been doing 2 sets, and it seems to work better. Also, I'd try doing dumbell benchpress for your next 3 or 4 times you do benchpress. Just to switch it around and throw your body off.
Last edited by bodybuilderam; 07-03-2007 at 11:04 PM.
Goals by January '08:
Well I do usually 3 sets x 6 of everything, because I thought that 6-8 builds mass and 3-6 builds strength, so I was getting the best of both worlds... turns out I havent made progress in strength or size for several months!
This lack of progress seems to be due to the fact that my routine is always the same...
So really I am looking for a "theory" of bodybuilding that explains how plateaus are broken. The problem with just adding weight is that your body will just do less reps cause the weight is heavier. If you keep the weight the same and try to do more reps, you might find you reach muscle failure at the exact same moment in your routine (this happens to me frequently)...
Thank you for your ideas.. I think my next attempt will be to do high reps 3x8 and then switch to low 3x3.. i dunno, something has to change, I'm tired of putting the same weight on the bench press rack and have all the kids look at me like Im weak..
I'm gonna post my current strength in another thread, to get opinions..
plateaus have always happened to me through years of liftin, I have found I stick to good sets of 8-10 reps and eat like a beast and I always will grow again. Sometimes it takes three months and it sucks. Also I have found as the 8-10 reps adds size the strength corespondes with it. So getting bigger will eventually add strength.
Also would not recomend staying 3x3 long, Maybe throw it in once a month to max or somthin
Let's use a max of 275. Just change the percentages to whatever your max is.
135 x whatever, this is just a warm up
185 x 6 this will be easy, just getting warm
215 x 6 slightly easy, but muscles are getting worked
245 x 6 this is where I get worked. Complete concentration and I wont be able to do a 7th rep. Very hard.
Try something like that. It works very well and I see a lot of the "stronger" guys doing it. (I do this myself btw, just different setxrep schemes)