Sets vs Reps vs Weight

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    Sets vs Reps vs Weight

    I've been sticking to 10 sets of 3 for the past year and a half now. I've seen slow, but steady growth with this type of lifting and each set is at a weight where I struggle to reach 10 reps with perfect form. I usually move up in weights only when it's easy to do 10 reps completely with the best form I possibly can. It usually takes me one to two months to move up in weight.

    I have a feeling this is too slow, but it's all I'm used to, and I want to continue to put on lean muscle, especially with summer coming up.

    Any suggestions (if I want to build mass and strength) on whether I should up the number of sets, reps or weights? or any combination of the 3? Any help or advice would me much obliged.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmanthebeefman View Post
    I've been sticking to 10 sets of 3 for the past year and a half now.
    Year and a Half

    That is too long to do the same thing.

    You need to change you sets, repetitions and exercise up about every 6 week or less to insure progress.

    Kenny Croxdale

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    If you can do 10/10/10, increase the weight. Don't wait until it's easy to get that last 10. Next time, you might only be able to do 10/9/7 with the higher weight. That's okay, keep using that weight until you get to 10/10/10 again, then increase again.

    You can also do 10/10/12, meaning you only increase weight when you can do 12 reps on the last set, which sounds similar to what you're doing now, except that it's not cold hard numbers, it's by 'feel' of how easy it is.

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    Ever think about pyramiding? Or if you are looking for strength, try Wendler's 5/3/1. Great for strength and could be the change you need to kick start your gains.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThreeGigs View Post
    If you can do 10/10/10, increase the weight. Don't wait until it's easy to get that last 10. Next time, you might only be able to do 10/9/7 with the higher weight. That's okay, keep using that weight until you get to 10/10/10 again, then increase again.

    You can also do 10/10/12, meaning you only increase weight when you can do 12 reps on the last set, which sounds similar to what you're doing now, except that it's not cold hard numbers, it's by 'feel' of how easy it is.
    Periodization Training

    The biggest problem is that peforming the same program for a year and a half is too long.

    To effective make progress, his program need to be changed every six week or less.

    That is the foundation of Periodization Training...to insure progress.

    Kenny Croxdale

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    If I do lower the reps and up the weights, should I also do higher number of sets as well? Or would my muscles be fatigued enough with just 3 sets? Thanks for all the feedback though.

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    Everyone above is right - but just to re-emphasize - to see continuing gains you have got to change up your routine - your muscles will plateau if you don't and you will get very little gain. That doesn't mean you have to change up completely - but keep your muscles guessing - such as switching from reg flat bench with a bar to dumbbells to periodically do wide grip bench. Don't always do your exercises in the same order - if you always do one exercise first and move through the gym in a pattern - change it up and do the one you normally do first instead do it last or whatever - just different. By combining slightly different exercises with different orders your virtually eliminate any kind of plateau

    If your looking for strength and mass - even 10 10 10 is a bit high IMO - if your getting ten in all three sets - your lifting too light. In my humble opinion try going more along the line of 8-6-4 and if you get that last one for 4 - increase weight.

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