calculation muddle :(

1. ## calculation muddle :(

Hi everyone
I am in a bit of confusion about how to calculate and increase the weights to use in an exercise. Like, doing 3 sets of 8-12 reps, using 10,8 and 6 kg's (its ok to reduce the weight as you go down the sets isn't it?) if I can do the first set for about 14 reps then I increase the weight used in the first set. But should I right off increase the weights used in the second and third sets too? Or should I try and work to the point where I can do more than the required reps in the 2nd set and increase the weight, and then try and do the same with the third, and after that try increasing the load in the first set again and so on? (Otherwise I'll be just increasing the load on the first set only always, right?) Sorry, this is basic stuff, but I am confused so please do advise.

2. Bodybuilding is as complicated as you make it. Personally speaking, I love to simplify things. Something like this: If you can do more than 12 reps, increase the weight. In no time at all, you'll hit your personal limit.

3. Yes sir, I will, but do I increase weight on all 3 sets at once or can I just do it one set by one?

4. Increase the weight and do your sets within the planned rep range with that weight. If you can do all planned sets within the rep range, increase the weight. That's how most people do it.

My approach is different since I have a big, big problem with a fixed number of sets. Nobody can tell you where the idea comes from and what the reasoning behind this is. There is no science that can give you an ideal rep range or number of sets because we’re all different. You are the only one who can tell which muscle has been worked sufficiently. For this reason, as long as I am able to complete a set within the rep range without reaching technical failure, I add another set. On some exercises, this means only two sets. On other exercises, it can mean ten or even more sets.

5. can someone tell me if my training Technique is ok, here is a example of my last set of bench presses i did in my last chest workout 2 days ago.
warm up set 55 pounds (25kg) 12 reps.
warm up set 2 77 pounds (35kg) 8 reps.

working sets.

set 1 - 121 pounds (55kg) 11 reps
set 2 - 121 pounds (55kg) 10 reps
set 3 - 121 pounds (55kg) 8 reps
set 4 - 115.5 pounds (52.5) 9 reps

i kind off work to Failure. by this i mean i have a spoter (my brother) and lets say for example after the 9th rep i am pretty sure i cannot do another rep then i finish that set. but if i think that i may be able to get i more rep but am not sure i go for it and cannot make it then my spoter steps in.

So this means that on some off my sets i am going to failure. is it normall to drop i or 2 reps as each set goes on. i always see people saying do a weight with 12 reps for 1 set, then next set increase the weight and do 10 reps, then next set increase the weight again and do 8 reps. i dont understand how people can keep increaseing the weight on each set and only drop by 2 reps. As you can see i drop by 1 or 2 reps each set keeping the weight the same, so if i was to increase the weight each set i would post likly drop about 5 reps by each set. is this just me am i doing something wrong. please help.

6. I don't want to be impolite, but your question should have been asked in a new thread because some people don't like it when their thread gets hijacked. But well ...

You're obviously working to absolute failure, which is different from technical failure. Technical failure means that you can't do another rep using perfect form. For instance, you slow down at a sticking point or aren't under full control of the weight. That's where I stop a set. Most others "man up" and do another two or three reps no matter the cost. That's where most people get their injuries from.

Have you ever asked those people what the reasoning behind this method is and what evidence they can show you that it actually works? What's your reasoning behind going to absolute failure? Who told you to do so and why? Your goal is to overload the muscle to stimulate growth. You have reached this point when you get to technical failure. I don't need a spotter because I'm not training for powerlifting. I need impeccable form because I am training to become a bodybuilder.

7. sorry for not starting a new thread, i am new here and thought that because my question was kindoff the same i would just ask here. sorry will not happen again.

8. Regarding the original question +1 for keeping it simple if simple works.

According to the survey on my site, which has only a few entries, most people increase the weight for later sets.

Biggly

Do you change weights between sets?
Yes, I start light and add weight 13 81.25%

Yes, I start heavy and reduce weight 1 6.25%

No I keep the weight the same between sets 2 12.50%

That puts me in the 12.5% range then, I tend to just throw some suitable plates on and boink em up and down, recover, do it again, maybe a 3rd set.

Life's too short to be changing weights for the same damn exercise, that's what I say.. though 87.5% disagree with me, one way or the other

B.

9. Ty for responding, Xfatman and Biggly. (*pokes UFC* - I learned somefin from your q too hehe). mhmmm I think I am treating my 3 sets as one entity while everyone else treats them as individual things. Let me see if I have got this correct- it doesnt matter if it's my 1st 2nd or 3rd set, whenever I can complete/exceed the reps thats have been fixed for that set, I simply bump it up right?
Biggly,sir, if you keep the weight the same and not lighten it up on the succeeding set, dont you just about die?Going full out on both sets sounds too tough for me Guess I aint tough!I have a beginners workout program that someone kindly gave me and it calls for me to do the same exercises of the previous week , same reps, 2 sets(was 1 set before), and I dont think I can do the same amount of reps for two sets using the same weights. In addition, I end up doing extra sets for the left side of my body which is lazier than my right. (I must be built all wrong!-or like Xfatman said, I am built way too different!)

10. Biggly,sir, if you keep the weight the same and not lighten it up on the succeeding set, dont you just about die?
I'm still here aint I?

Reducing the weight will give you more stimulus to some extent, which is good, and a lactic acid build up, which isn't so great, and reduce the energy available for the next exercise, which is awful, and murders motivation, which is terrible, and means you spend your time in busy work adjusting weights instead of breathing deep and concentrating on your goals n stuff, which is kinnda silly...

But that's jus' me

Some of the old-school guys acheived great things just heaving a lump of concrete up and down in their garden - they didn't 'adjust' the concrete from one set to the next.

Getting too light? Find a bigger lump.

I'd say the biggest challenge newbys face is the fact that growth takes awhile and often they give up before seeing results. Having said that they often notice the boost in strength to start with but you can't develop at that pace for long. So they get a quick boost, think "great!" and then it flattens off and nothing happens. After awhile they quit trying. More pizza?

I'm very human myself too. So to me anything that makes life easier is a good thing. If I have to drag myself off the sofa and miss an episode of Mythbusters, that takes committment and enthusiasm, which may be lacking at that moment. If it includes the prospect of changing a lot of weights around and generally being a pain, sofa wins.

Simple is best. Do the simple thing.

Get all complicated and confuse yourself later whan you hit a real flat spot.

B.

11. Uh sorry about being so dense sir, but wouldnt keeping the weight as high as the previous set increase the lactic acid output and lessen your energy for the next exercise even more?(Dont kill me- I am a newbie who dun have a clue ).
Hmm so I am gonna find that I will reach a plateau sooner or later. And you are right sir, changing the weights around is a bit of pain in the butt .My problem is,if I keep the weights the same I find that I go flat, way before I reach the end of the set.And then I end up having to take a breather before I continue.And thats really bad isnt it sir? I'll try heaving the same weight though and see how it goes,maybe after trying it some time I'll be able to do it. Ty for replying ,sir

12. Lifting weights is as complicated as you make it. I lift weights to stimulate muscle growth. As long as I can lift a weight within the planned rep range, the muscle hasn’t been worked sufficiently to give it a reason to grow. That’s why I add sets dynamically. I hope this clarifies my answer.

You stimulate muscle growth by overloading the muscle. If you take weight off the bar, you are actually doing the opposite. As a result, guess what your muscle will do? Exactly, it will do nothing.

As a beginner, you should first watch your form. Never add weight if you have to sacrifice form. Choose a weight that you can lift for 12 repetitions. If you can lift it for more than 12 repetitions without getting to technical failure, the weight is too light. If you can’t lift it for at least for 9 repetitions, the weight is too heavy. Use this method to find the ideal weight for all your exercises. This can take days and even weeks but it’s worth it. When you got that going, add a second set to each exercise to see if you can still lift the very same weight for twelve reps. Add sets until you can lift the very same weight for only 8 repetitions. Once you got there, it’s time to add more weight. You don’t need to be tough to do that.

Do not treat your left side differently from your right side. It is normal to have a weaker side. Just do your exercises normally. Your weaker side will eventually catch up.

13. wouldnt keeping the weight as high as the previous set increase the lactic acid output
Nope, not compared to reducing the weight and doing more reps.

The acid is basically a waste product from burning energy. If you're just after losing weight then sure but you're trying to grow, right? You don't need to burn to grow and fewer sets with a heavier weight is often looked down upon because there's so little burn or soreness the next day. It still works though.

If you grab an empty bar and go for 100 reps the next day you'll be in agony from that acid. Lots of effort, no real growth, quite possibly the opposite.

As Xfatman said, growth comes from stimulating and overloading the muscle to the point it needs to adapt. What message are you sending when you keep reducing the weight cos the little baby's tired?

Usual disclaimer - just my opinion, albeit an informed one, I hope.

B.

14. Thank you for the clarification and the lucid example, Xfatman,sir. Happy to know that I dont need to do extras for my left side Tyvm for replying sir
Biggly, sir, I was actually thinking of reducing the weight for the same no: of reps coz I couldnt heave the same weight for the required number of reps.(Sort of trying to do all the reps-giving undue importance to reps I suppose).Tyvm for answering, sir, and no need for a disclaimer- I do find the opinions and advice given here very valuable
My program calls for 2 sets of 15 reps so I'll just use the same weight and if I cant get to 15 on the second set I'll not worry about that, rather than me going and lowering the weights just to achieve 15 reps.

15. Originally Posted by maltesecorsair
My program calls for 2 sets of 15 reps so I'll just use the same weight and if I cant get to 15 on the second set I'll not worry about that, rather than me going and lowering the weights just to achieve 15 reps.
Exactly. You got it.

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