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Old 28 June 2019, 15:57
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3x5 vs 3x12

Looking for thoughts and ideas on the positives and negatives of the above lifting patterns. I have 12 free weight exercises I rotate through. Currently I lift six exercises per workout, three sets of 12 repetitions, adding weight each set, with a fourth set to failure if I'm feeling froggy. If I am travelling, I try to get in at least two free weight workouts a week, but then I focus on the big ones like squat, deadlift, etc.

I rarely push to failure on bench press or squat as I normally work out solo; my wife would kill me if I got hurt lifting. At my age, I'm not trying to set world records every week. I've seen some people talking about the way 3x5 sets allow you to lift more weight, but I haven't heard/seen any well-argued arguments as to which lifting pattern speeds strength gains and/or allows you to break plateaus.

Thoughts? Ideas?
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Old 28 June 2019, 16:05
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It's all relative based on your goals.

I actually think neither one of those rep schemes is good for more than general fitness. 3x5 may let you demonstrate more strength due to less reps generally meaning you use a higher weight, but that is about it, IMO.
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Old 28 June 2019, 16:47
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neither one of those rep schemes is good for more than general fitness.
Recommendations? My main goal is to maintain strength and fitness.

I also run for 30 minutes most every day but Sunday, as fast as I can maintain. Usually ends up being somewhere between 3.25 and 3.5 miles. I try to walk 5-6 miles with a 30lb pack once a week or so, but it often ends up being every other week.
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Old 28 June 2019, 18:09
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As most here, I have used and modified more workout programs than I can remember. The cycle usually is...do a program hit peak for program, plateau (or get bored) then move on to next program. I recently finished a muscle hypertrophy program which called for: 1st set@20 reps, 2nd@10reps, 3rd@10reps,4th@15reps>>all at a weight in which you struggle to finish the last rep>>>rest period is 1 minute between sets. The theory here is work volume vs heavy weight to stimulate growth.

I recently started this... .https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/sclark70.htm which is a 5x5 program. My strength has dramatically increased as well as size but at the expense of endurance. This program is all about the basics: Squats/Flat Bench/Deads/Bent over rows/Pull ups. If you are looking to get stronger this program is a good vehicle. You need to do a little prep work and some basic math to know your starting point and then you are ready to take it on. If you like to run this might not be a program for you as it calls for squats 3 days a week and a deadlift day. You can get cardio on a bike or rower.
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Old 28 June 2019, 21:14
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I recently started this...
Looks like an interesting program. I'm going to save it and maybe jump into it after my summer travel season ends.

Thank you.
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Old 29 June 2019, 00:58
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In general, the conventional wisdom is that low reps build raw strength quicker (2-5), higher reps build muscle mass (8-12), and in between is sort of a blend.

There is zero science to back that up.

Using a program that utilizes a lot of different rep schemes is the best way to get a high level of functional fitness and stay durable.
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Old 29 June 2019, 06:40
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Hypertrophy, along with neural adaptations are two of the processes involved in strength gains. Here is a very brief article on the science behind getting stronger. I suppose you mean "Zero Science" in terms of the rep/set count regarding strength/mass/endurance. The article mentions lack of understanding as to the exact mechanism of action by which exercise increases strength.


https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...rcise-make-yo/
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Old 29 June 2019, 08:27
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Is there such a thing as nonfunctional fitness?

Answer is no.

There's also no such thing as functional fitness either. You're either fit or not.

Same with lower reps vs higher reps. Lower reps let you develop strength in a more effective manner than higher reps. Anyone or any study that says otherwise is wrong. Science has been behind under the bar experience for decades.

Gray Rhyno, there's plenty of info in other threads that list solid advice.
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Old 29 June 2019, 18:12
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I guess very simply put, there are two kinds of muscle mass: sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar. Myofibrillar mass is muscle fiber. Sarcoplasmic mass is an increase in the part of the cell that stores glycogen for energy. Any lifting will increase both, but higher rep ranges tend to build more sarcoplasmic mass, and lower rep ranges tend to build more myofibrillar mass. Contrary to popular belief, sarcoplasmic mass isn't "show muscle," but rather fuel storage for anaerobic exercise. That said, it is the kind of muscle mass people view as aesthetic.

If you're a powerlifter, you're largely focused on building myofibrillar mass. If you are a bodybuilder, you're largely focused on sarcoplasmic mass. Everything else falls somewhere in between. Personally, I work in cycles focused on one or the other...that's what seems to work for me. I know some people who largely work in intermediate rep ranges with good results, but that has never worked well for me.


So...with all that said, do your goals tend more toward absolute strength, work capacity, or a healthy blend of both?
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Old 29 June 2019, 22:01
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So...with all that said, do your goals tend more toward absolute strength, work capacity, or a healthy blend of both?
A healthy blend of both. I want to be strong enough to move anything I reasonably need to move, and also be able to work at a relatively high level for a sustained period of time.
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Old 30 June 2019, 07:26
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I do this training for every month 4 times a week allowing for recovery time which is essential for building strength and endurance. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.
1st week: 5 sets of 10 repetitions of 5 exercises.
2nd week: 5 sets of 10 repetitions of 5 exercises.
3rd week: for definition 5 sets of 15 repetition of 5 exercises. this is exhausting if done right. dropping down some 5 to 10 lbs in order to complete the training for that week. this allows the long muscles to be more balanced and adds definition.
4th week: Super set week: 5 sets of 10 repetition of 6 exercises.By combining 2 exercises per routine you keep the body from being in a slump or plateau out of getting used to a boring routine.
Example of Super set: Standing bar curl then go to setting dumb bell curl 5 sets of 10 repetition per exercise. Dumb bell flies then dumb bell press 5 sets of 10 repition. Bench press, then elevated chest press. 5 sets of 10 repetition.
Then starting the next month you will be ready for the first 2 weeks to increase your weights by 5 pound increments . bench press by 10 pounds.
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Old 30 June 2019, 11:35
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Brad Schoenfeld (PhD and Lifter/Coach) has done a lot of peer reviewed work in the last few years on this subject. The current data says the not surprising (but you need RCT's to confirm - hence the research):

EVERYTHING WORKS

So do it all. All rep ranges induce positive changes - even up to 20 reps with light weights (which can be nice after a week or two of stuff in the 1-5 rep range).

Even better, maintaining what you have is a lot easier then trying to continually gain.

Just periodize and use Micro-Cycles of 1-2 weeks and do everything. There are infinite programs you could come up with, so I don't want to type up everything I do - Once you know the basic principles, you can program what works for your schedule/recovery ability.

Free Weight Compound Movements, all rep ranges, Bodyweight Movements (ever try a Glute/Ham Raise? LOL) - figure out how many you can do in a set, that lets you do 3-4 sets. Pullups, Pushups, Dips, and Inverted Rows (like a reverse pushup) are awesome - when you can do a crap ton, start adding plates in a backpack. Climb a rope. Hit a heavy bag. Sprint. Jog. Walk.

Just do everything - there is no deadline (like trying to win a gold medal) - do *something* every day, make it fun, don't get bored. The turtle won - consistency is king.
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Old 30 June 2019, 19:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray Rhyno View Post
A healthy blend of both. I want to be strong enough to move anything I reasonably need to move, and also be able to work at a relatively high level for a sustained period of time.
Consider kettlebells. You can combine what you are looking for if you get the proper range of weights with the bells and hit the correct exercises. All within a (relatively speaking) condensed time frame per workout. And it won't matter that much what your set/rep plan is - so long as you are consistent.

I did about 3 years where my workouts were almost exclusively KBs. I felt stronger and had more "strength endurance" in my mid-40s than when I was in my 30s and just "pumping iron". I still do KBs today - but now it's a blend of KBs, bodyweight/cals, etc.
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Old 30 June 2019, 20:25
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not sure what your workout background is like, but you might be able to use something like the starting strength program. It sounds like it’s exactly what you’re looking for, but as others have said it will only get you so far. I like Wendler 5/3/1 a lot myself but you need to be able to commit more than 2 days a week for that.
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Old 5 July 2019, 10:55
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not sure what your workout background is like, but you might be able to use something like the starting strength program. It sounds like it’s exactly what you’re looking for, but as others have said it will only get you so far. I like Wendler 5/3/1 a lot myself but you need to be able to commit more than 2 days a week for that.



You can do 5/3/1 on a 2 day a week schedule, with two major lifts each training day. Blackironbeast has a template for it, IIRC. I don't recommend it, though.
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Old 5 July 2019, 18:39
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Despite my Adonis like physique, I'm not an expert on the science. I know when I switched to lower reps/higher weight I felt like I got stronger quicker. Maybe it was just more enjoyable because it went quicker

I think the prevailing thought these days is that "time under tension" is what matters more than number of reps and all that. If you Google that term you'll probably find some research.
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Old 5 July 2019, 19:16
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Thanks. Googling it now...
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