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
    Senior Member Eric Cartman's Avatar
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    Reaching goals, breaking plateaus

    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?

    Thanks!

    EC
    Last edited by Eric Cartman; 06-29-2007 at 10:03 PM.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Eric Cartman's Avatar
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    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.

    Thanks

    EC

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Cartman View Post
    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?

    Thanks!

    EC
    Sorry bro, I haven't been at my computer for a few days. Here's my 2 cents:

    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.

  5. #4
    Wannabebig Member
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    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.

  6. #5
    Iron man
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliG View Post
    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.

    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.
    Currently:
    age: 15
    height:5'8.5"
    weight: 143
    bench: 185
    squat: 225x15
    Goals by January '08:
    weight: 145-150
    bench: 210
    squat: 250x10

  7. #6
    Hi MidlandBDog's Avatar
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    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.
    Age:15
    Height:5' 7"
    Weight:165 (september 1, 2007)Goal:170
    Bench:205 Goal:240
    Squat:315 Goal:350
    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

  8. #7
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    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...

  9. #8
    Senior Member Eric Cartman's Avatar
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    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..

    Later

    EC

  10. #9
    Wannabebig Member
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    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.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Eric Cartman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tholly View Post
    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.
    Would you recommend lowering the weight during the later sets so I can still get out 8-10 reps? If I keep the weight the same it will be more like 8,6,6,4 reps as I get tired...

    EC

  12. #11
    Senior Member DSmith22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Cartman View Post
    Would you recommend lowering the weight during the later sets so I can still get out 8-10 reps? If I keep the weight the same it will be more like 8,6,6,4 reps as I get tired...

    EC
    as with that being said if you do heavy enough weight yes your muscles will fatigue and you will only beable to do 4 that last set but try to progress if you only get 8,6,6,4 next time try for 8,6,6,5 or even more once you get close to 8,8,8,8 then add weight then you will go back down to 8,6,6,4 but you will be doing more weight then keep doing that and progressing. Progressing takes time. Keep pushing it hard and eating like a mother ****er and you will grow and get stronger. Make sure to get plenty of rest.

  13. #12
    phil 4:13 Bako Lifter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Cartman View Post
    Would you recommend lowering the weight during the later sets so I can still get out 8-10 reps? If I keep the weight the same it will be more like 8,6,6,4 reps as I get tired...

    EC
    Try ramping the weight. This is what most people do. Say you want to do your usual 3x6 for bench press, here's how you'd do it.

    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)

  14. #13
    Senior Member DSmith22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bako Lifter View Post
    Try ramping the weight. This is what most people do. Say you want to do your usual 3x6 for bench press, here's how you'd do it.

    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)
    I actually did something like that but i had 5 sets and went up a little slower and it boosted my strength through the roof. went from 190 something to 225 in a decent amount of time.

  15. #14
    phil 4:13 Bako Lifter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSmith22 View Post
    I actually did something like that but i had 5 sets and went up a little slower and it boosted my strength through the roof. went from 190 something to 225 in a decent amount of time.
    Yes, I did it with 4x6 and it shot me up from 225x2 to 225x6 in about a month. I abandoned it after that though, but I still recommend it to everyone.

  16. #15
    Wannabebig Member
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    Also would not recomend staying 3x3 long, Maybe throw it in once a month to max or somthin

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