Sets and Reps guide? General info?

Does anyone have a well written article on sets and reps that also addresses rest times? Im trying to get an idea of the range of ideas thats out there. Like what people do people and why they do it for their specific goals.

I can get into more specifics if needed. Thanks.

fiatlux, could you email me at demandango at gmail.com if you get a chance? thanks.

Science says that 2+2=4, but that's wrong, sometimes 2+2= 3 or 5.

My legs have gotten bigger and stronger from doing 500 squats than from any 5, 10 or 20 rep squats I ever did in the past. That goes totally against science, but exercise is not an exact science.

I guess what im getting at is that there are things people have come up, systems or whatever you wanna call them that "work". And those people stand behind those systems for reasons. I've found some that I like but I want to expand and move away from powerlifting. I need to get in the gym more often and not lift quite so heavy. Its a total 180 degree turn in the way ive looked at weight lifting.

Well. I asked a similar question some time ago. A summary of what was said then was that there has not been any scientific discoveries on this topic so far. Problems arises with finding a homogenous test group that has equal fitness level. Different fitness levels responds differently to the same stimuli. More importantly, do your own fitness level correspond to the ones in the test group so the findings apply to you and your specific goals. Also, rep numbers is only a small part of a total training regimen (rest, sets, nutrition etc must all be considered).

Science aside, you said you did a 180 degree turn away from powerlifting. Into what? Bodybuilding, OL, something else? If you tell us your goals and why perhaps people can give more suitable advice.

Most recently I had been doing Westside for Skinny bastards by Joe Defranco. I had set PR's in both bench and deadlift and was pleased with my progress. I always seemed to struggle getting 3 lifts in per week and almost never had energy for anything else. After recent shoulder surgery ive been told once I get back I shouldnt be lifting heavy weight EVER. So my 180 degree turn would be I guess to bodybuilding. Something that would get me in the gym more often to help lose the weight ive put on post surgery. Idealy I would like to be lifting 4-5 days per week and mixing in some boxing also. Primary goal is to get back to pre-injury strength levels, then lose 20lbs.

"My legs have gotten bigger and stronger from doing 500 squats than from any 5, 10 or 20 rep squats I ever did in the past."

500 Body weight squats? No rest? How often?

"Well. I asked a similar question some time ago. A summary of what was said then was that there has not been any scientific discoveries on this topic so far. "

This is absolutely not true at all. There are many.

Although more complex than this the simple guideline is somethingn as follows:

Hypertrophy: more reps, more sets, short 1 min or less rest interval between sets using increaing and decreasing loads. change routines 3-4 weeks.....personally 8 weeks works very well for me but 2-3 weeks works just fine for others....you need to determine what works for you.

strength training: less reps, less sets with 3-5 minute rest between sets

3 weeks of heavy training is usually enough as you need to regen 1. your body 2. your CNS. I find the CNS plays a bigger part of how long I can "go heavy".

definition: higher reps/set with lower loads. short rest again.

This is only a guide, more reading and research from recognized researchers will reveal more detail.

go to testosterone.net and search their articles for anything by Chad Waterbury, he wrote an article recently on the subject. I'd repeat it, but my memory is fuzzy and wouldn't want to pass bum info.

"Something that would get me in the gym more often to help lose
the weight ive put on post surgery. Idealy I would like to be lifting
4-5 days per week and mixing in some boxing also. Primary goal
is to get back to pre-injury strength levels, then lose 20lbs."

Why do you want to lift 4-5 days per week? More is not
necessarily better when it comes to strength training.
I've lost bodyfat by training 2-3 times a week -2 different full
body workouts - and
limiting my calorie intake and all that at a time when I could not
train judo.

You mentioned that you had shoulder surgery and they told you
you shouldn't lift heavy, what did they say about your plans to
include boxing?

edited 'cause I forgot something.

The only reason to ever lift more than 3 days a week is if you don't participate in an additional sport. If all you do is lift weights and maybe jog and swim just lightly to burn some fat then you can lift weights 4-5 times a week, if you wanna do some boxing, limit your weekly workouts to 3 per week.

People who lift 4-5 times a week usually waste their time on
accessory lifts like 5 different kinds of curls. Those are the same
people that think a full body workout is for beginners only and
that full body means you cram all the exercises that they usually
have in their split (and even split up there are way to friggin many
useless ones) into one long workout. Idiots!

jjj-I could not possibly agree with you more.

well I guess I fit into that group of people who dont play any sports or do anything other than lift then. Shortly i'll be done with my 5 months of shoulder rehab, but i'll have serious restictions including no overhead lifting or powerlifting EVER and no grappling. Ive been told to take up lifetime sports like tennis and golf lol. Im concerned about my long term health now and more than now I cant find a reason to even exercise if im not grappling/powerlifting. So I guess there has to be something else. However, im certainly not making any progress finding anything which works.

Why no grappling/powerlifting? I would consider finding a second opinion(not necessarily just to find someone to let me do it, but to see if other doctors agree with the prognosis).

fuck... i'd have a hard time doing 500 bodyweight squats...

There are MASSIVE problems with the old giudlines for the number of reps to do for a specific goal.

Part of the reason why, Fiat, is that there are an infinite number of set/rep/rest schemes. So there is the answer to your question about how many ideas are out there.

-doug-

I've done 500 bodyweight squats.

One time while I watched the Matrix about 3 years ago.

After the 300 mark legs stopped hurting but by the time I got the 500 my back was cramping so bad I couldn't stand to do anymore, in fact I should have stopped at 400 but I figured fuck it I'm close to 500 lets make it happen.

I layed in the floor and shook for like 30 minutes before I could get up and go take a shower.

Fiat man I don't know about your Doctor but mine is a fat fuck who knows two things about exercise science that is Jack and shit and jack just left town.

Get a second opinion, go see a good sports therapist who works with at least college level athletes and let them help you.

Good luck man.

Rehab, get back strong and then decide how you want to train.

I agree with the suggestion to get a second opinion.
I don't know the nature of your shoulder problem but if your doc
says don't do any powerlifting, take up tennis instead that just
strikes me as odd. That's like saying that slamming a ball has no
impact on your shoulder, the same goes for boxing.