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SADDHU1 SparkPoints: (187,601)
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12/12/15 1:07 P

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There is no "right" answer without understanding your goals and what other exercises you do. I hope to primarily maximize muscle gain, so I choose the heaviest weights I can safely lift and fewer sets (1-2.) If I relied on my weight training primarily to increase my endurance, I would choose moderate weights and 3 sets. (There is no way I could lift what I lift and do 3 sets!) Also, how many sets you should do depends on how many exercises you are doing. Some people only do 5 different exercises per day, so they do 3 or 4 sets of them. I do 10 exercises, but I only do 1-2 sets. Either way, it is 15-20 exercises total. I prefer to hit the same muscle from different angles, and others may prefer to fatigue the muscle doing the same exercise repeatedly.

I am a tall, thin ectomorph and hard-gainer. So, 4-6 x per week, I typically do 10 exercises (mostly compound), but fewer sets (1-2), with the heaviest weights I can safely lift in the 8-15 rep range (higher range for lower body, lower range for upper body.) I split my weight workout into upper and lower body split, except for 1 day per week when I do total body, choosing my most beneficial exercises. I do a lower and upper body split because I do mostly compound exercises that work, for example, arms and chest at the same time, or arms and back at the same time, or legs and butt, for example.

In addition to strength training, I do plyometrics to build explosive power. Plyometrics have been insanely beneficial. I work abs 5-6 x per week (I count these separately from the strength training.) I typically do 2 sets of 5 ab exercises 20 reps per set, so a total of 200 reps of abs nearly every day. I do 30-120 min cardio per day, 5-6 x per week. I do 2 long sessions and the rest are shorter. I also do yoga and figure skating.

There is not 1 right answer; it depends on your goals. In general, lighter weights + more reps + more sets = endurance gains. Heavier weights + fewer reps + fewer sets = hypertrophy.

Consistency is the most important thing. Nearly any decent program followed religiously is better than the "best" program followed haphazardly.

LORENVER's Photo LORENVER Posts: 6,718
11/10/15 7:48 A

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Yah for week two :).

Best of luck on having good genes!
Let us know how it goes.

I just finished my first week of a new split workout. I really like it, especially the back and chest day!

Indianapolis IN - Eastern Time Zone.

Warrior Dash September 10th 2016
Sprint Triathlon September 14th 2014.
Marathon, Indianapolis Indiana October 16th 2010.

Your stomach shouldn't be a waist basket.
~Author Unknown

I miss you Dad (I know you'd be proud of me).
~Loren


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JLYNN459's Photo JLYNN459 Posts: 116
11/9/15 12:58 P

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I'm staring the second week today. I just decided to do the three sets after deciding to follow the workout program exactly. It says it's supposed to unlock my genetic potential. We'll see I guess (lol).

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BELDAME's Photo BELDAME SparkPoints: (0)
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11/5/15 10:33 A

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Personally, I feel like I haven't finished the job if I don't do 3 sets. I don't understand 4 sets - why not just add reps and/or increase the weight?
Likewise, if you're fatigued after the second set, you may want to lower the weight and/or the number of reps.

Three sets just seems to be the norm; I haven't really put any research in to finding out why, although now I might.



"My hovercraft is full of eels."


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JLYNN459's Photo JLYNN459 Posts: 116
10/30/15 9:56 A

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Thanks for the reply. It seems no one is certain. I'm wondering if people are worried about going me an incorrect answer. I figure I will just do the three sets like the book says. I've never been able to do that many sets for all eight exercises and stick with it before but I just recently realized I get more things done if I do them in the morning. Perhaps I will attempt this early on. If it takes too long I will just do less cardio on those days. I want to do yoga stretching on the other two days.

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LORENVER's Photo LORENVER Posts: 6,718
10/30/15 7:54 A

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I don't have an answer for you, but would love to hear the response. In the past I have mostly done 2 with heavy weights (until fatigue), now I usually do 3, but one trainer i worked with like to do 4 and that was really annoying.

LV

Indianapolis IN - Eastern Time Zone.

Warrior Dash September 10th 2016
Sprint Triathlon September 14th 2014.
Marathon, Indianapolis Indiana October 16th 2010.

Your stomach shouldn't be a waist basket.
~Author Unknown

I miss you Dad (I know you'd be proud of me).
~Loren


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JLYNN459's Photo JLYNN459 Posts: 116
10/26/15 10:43 A

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I'm trying to put together a program for me and I found a great book. The reason I love it so much is because it goes through steps and includes a maintenance program at the end. The problem I'm having is it starts out with a full body program three days a week. I get bored super fast and three sets of eight exercises seems like so much. I'm trying to decide if I should split them up into six days a week (chest, back, shoulders, abs on Mon, Wed, and Fri and biceps, triceps, quads, and hamstrings on Tue, Thur, and Sat) and keep it at three sets or if I should just do the 8 exercises three times a week but drop the sets to 2. There's no way I'd be able to last with eight exercises and three sets for very long before I got bored and dropped out.

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