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S&C UnderGround >> Question about volume and intensity


9/17/12 8:49 AM
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LordSeano
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I was reading back over Leigh's building muscle thread and thinking about the very helpful comments people were putting up (Hertswenip and others) about volume and intensity for hypertrophy.

Basically one recomendation was made about a workout where you do a high number of low rep sets, like 8-10 sets of three reps.

If you are aiming on finishing the full number of sets with the same weight can you maintain appropriate levels of intensity (given the workload) throughout each set?

What I mean is that if you can finish 8 sets of 3 with 85% of your 1RM surely you don't require the same intensity of effort to complete the first set as you do the last set?

Or have I misunderstood?

There was interesting stuff on that thread about recruitment of different muscle fibres being driven by the intensity/effort of the repetition so it seems slightly counter-intuitive
9/17/12 9:08 PM
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william795
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Sorry I'm not much help in answering your question, but out of curiosity, what are your goals?
9/17/12 11:57 PM
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HERTSWENIP
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Edited: 09/18/12 12:04 AM
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Actually, for many people the later sets will be easier due to neurological mechanisms. Adequate rest is key- in other words you're aiming for quality reps. If the bar speed starts turining into a grinder, you're probably not resting long enough. and/or use too heavy of a weight. Most people don't time their rest intervals. I do.

For example, my last workout using this protocaol- I ramped up with two warmup sets on bench, then the following 8 sets I did were with the same weight. The first few sets I was resting 3-4 mins, last few sets 5-6 mins. My last set was my easiest- and I banged out 5 reps, with 1-2 left "in the hole." It felt much lighter than my first heavy set. Your muscles feel numb in this state, but the weight just moves easily. I was pretty hung over after celebrating a string of birthdays this month, and those previous sets ramped up my nervous system quite nicely.

Generally speaking, the more advanced your strength training experience is, the more rest you'll require between heavy sets, and the lower your %1rm you'll use.


Your nervous system takes longer to recover than your muscles. Many lifters are accustomed to training with fatigue as their goal, that's not what we're trying to do here. But granted, the younger your "trainnig age," the more you'll benefit from fatigue oriented weight training/need shorter rest.

85% was a ballpark range- it'll vary depending how advanced you are, how often youre training, your periodization structure, the muscle group youre training, how you evaluated your 1rm etc. Tension can also be created through acceleration, as a rule of thumb outside of warmups you'll never use less than 60%
9/18/12 1:54 AM
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LordSeano
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OK - thanks for the response. I see how you could do it with those rest numbers. I think that would be challenging in my gym unless its quiet as there is usually someone waiting to use the (one) bench.

Would you mind just explaining what you mean by your first sentence re. neurological mechanisms?

William - at this stage my goal is more from a theoretical standpoint (learning). Training wise, my work has put paid to any free time to train (with a weight program) however I may be about to have a situation where I have a clear three months to do a proper run at training so am just thinking about programs that generate hypertrophy with associated strength, rather than just simply hypertrophy for pure size and there was a good discussion on that topic I mentioned in my first post.

In other words gets some guns but make sure they are not firing blanks
9/18/12 2:34 AM
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HERTSWENIP
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LordSeano - OK - thanks for the response. I see how you could do it with those rest numbers. I think that would be challenging in my gym unless its quiet as there is usually someone waiting to use the (one) bench.

Would you mind just explaining what you mean by your first sentence re. neurological mechanisms?

William - at this stage my goal is more from a theoretical standpoint (learning). Training wise, my work has put paid to any free time to train (with a weight program) however I may be about to have a situation where I have a clear three months to do a proper run at training so am just thinking about programs that generate hypertrophy with associated strength, rather than just simply hypertrophy for pure size and there was a good discussion on that topic I mentioned in my first post.

In other words gets some guns but make sure they are not firing blanks

There's various terms I've heard thrown around over the years, but I'd summarize it as nervous system excitation accumulates, CNS grows accustomed to the weight in your hands and inhibition mechanisms subside, and I also vaguely recall years ago about a theory regarding cross-bridging potentiation in high intensity, near complete recovery training protocols.

About 10 years ago "wave loading" programs based on this phenomena seemed to be popular on strength sites.
9/18/12 3:18 AM
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Leigh
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Go heavy but not to failure. Rest and repeat. Phone Post

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