High intensity, short workouts. I still do more sets than that, but I dont make myself pass out during sets either. I dont have a training parter so forced reps are out on some movements, and static holds can only reasonbly go on for so long.
Dorian Yates and Mike Mentzer would be two people to look at for this kind of routine. Often this would mean warmup sets dont count if I recall what Dorian said about his training, then a couple "working sets."
I dont find low volume stuff working for me much outside of perhaps biceps and abs. I dont think my routine is very high in volume but its way outside of '3 sets.'
I rarely train to failure. A great part of body building takes place in the brain. Each set that you do to failure, you are sending your brain a very negative message, one not of success but of failure. So if you do 15 sets you are essentially training both your mind and body to fail (15 times). Eventually , if you keep training this way, what happens is that your workouts become more and more tedious, and wrapped in negativity. Many who train this way regularly eventually burn out and give up training altogether.
Push hard enough so that the last rep is difficult but not a failure. Make it a success. This will cause not only hypertrophy but your workouts will be much more enjoyable and you will be in a much more positive state of mind, both during your workout and after. Something this simple can be the difference between training and progressing your whole life or just being a flash in the pan. Consistency is the most important part when it comes to training. How can one be consistent if one is not enjoying themselves?
Mudge, I didn’t say never go to failure. It’s just that many guys go to failure every single set in every single workout. To me that’s unecessary and overkill. You don’t have to go to absolute failure to get a challenging workout or to push your limits. That’s why God invented Pyramids, Supersets, Giant sets etc…
There’s a very subtle difference between stopping on that VERY hard but do-able rep and going to failure. Anyways, failure rarely happens cleanly at the end of a rep, you usually fail half way up or into your negative. Sure, by going to failure you exhaust more muscle fibers and will probably feel more intense DOMS the next day and have slightly larger hypertrophy.
But its been my experience that
the closer you get to failure the more your technique goes out the window, making joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles very unstable and VERY succeptible to injury. Is getting that last quasi-rep worth 3 months off rehabbing a torn pec or rotator cuff that snapped … or worse? I’m certainly not advocating that people “lift like a chicken”. I’m very pro intense training but with the passage of time I’ve toned down the He-man Ego thing and adopted a more pragmatic approach. Safety has to come first.
I don’t know how many guys you people have known that have had to give up training because of injuries but I’ve known a lot more than I would’ve liked to. I plan on doing concentration curls at 104. I don’t want to have an arthroscopic shoulder reconstruction at 35, a knee replacement at 50 and a chronic debilitating pain in my lower back for the rest of my life. Learn from the mistakes of others. Like my grandma used to say, “Better safe than sorry”.
All I’m doing is bouncing some ideas around. I’m certainly not saying my way is the best way. The best way is whatever works for you as an individual. My philosophy is real simple ; Gain as much as you can while minimizing injury.
The problem with body building is that there’s not a lot of creativity going around. Everybody wants someone else’s routine, basically copycatting. The idea behind it being, “well if it worked for him , then it’ll work for me.” That’s bull because so much relies on genetics that even if Lifter A had great results with his particular routine that doesn’t mean that Lifter B would get the same or even comparable results . Some people respond really well to a certain type of training while others don’t. There are so many factors and so many variables involved. The best thing is to 1st master the fundamentals and then go on a search to find what system is best suited to your genetics and personality type. Doing Dorian Yates’ bicep and delt routine will not turn you into him. Get to know yourself and your body , every strength and every weakness . The tweaking and fine tuning never stops. I think every great athlete find his own way of doing things , his own style.
Originally posted by vanity
But its been my experience that the closer you get to failure the more your technique goes out the window, making joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles very unstable and VERY succeptible to injury.
But, I would argue that most of that is weakness of the mind crubmling under the strain of your workout. I know what its like to get sloppy when you are fatigued, but you can avoid it by using your brain.
Originally posted by vanity
The problem with body building is that there’s not a lot of creativity going around. Everybody wants someone else’s routine, basically copycatting. The idea behind it being, “well if it worked for him , then it’ll work for me.”
That is lack of creativity dont you think? Cookie cutter workouts can be fine for starters, what I seem to find more than anything is people trying to do 30 different movements thinking they need to do 5 sets of everything in the gym.