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Old 12-09-2013, 08:26 PM   #1
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Hi everyone

I have a question about set failiure, was wondering if you could help me.


Basically Iv'e now realised why my workouts are taking such a long time.

The reason is this.


I do 5x5 with everything, lets use bench press as an example. Heres a senario I encountered today, but its different each time.

Say I load the bar with 80 kg.
I knock out the first 3 sets fairly easily, but then on 4th rep of the 4 th set, I reach failure and have to terminate the set.

This means I havn't hit 5x5 for that set, So I drop the weight slightly and re-do it.

I then re-do the set with the lighter weight, hit 5x5 (or might not, this is just an example), and move to the next set with that same weight.

We're now on the 5th set.
I fail at rep 4, and have to drop the weight, to again, re-do the set seen as I only got 4 reps instead of 5.

After dropping the weight I re-do set 5, but then again fail on the 4th rep.

I got frustrated by this point, but carried on.

I then dropped the weight again to re-do set 5 again.

This time I hit it, and so had my 5x5 for bench press in the bag.


Problem is, thats 3 sets of 4 added onto my overall 5x5, meaning I have a total of 8 sets.

When resting 2 mins in between each set, you can imagine this takes ages, and then this happens with multiple exercises throughout the workout, particularly rows and pullups, but often with nearly/ or all exercises.
Add in there the time it takes to keep swapping the weights too.

Of course its of varying degrees each time as I'm continually getting stronger.
Later on down the line I'll be able to get much more done of the 5x5 sets and reps as I get stronger.
Failure with the given weight at 4th rep of set 4 today, will soon be failure at 4 sets, then 1st rep 5th set, 2nd rep 5th set, and so on until I reach 5x5 and increase the weight.


Obviously I'm getting more and more fatigued every time I drop the weight too.



I'm assuming this shouldn't really be happening, so is there something I should do or something I'm doing wrong?


Cheers guys.


- Linden
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:40 PM   #2
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Yes. Stop over-thinking everything. Training is suppose to be hard but fun. I have a question for you. Are you keeping a log where you can refer to a previous day to try not to commit the same mistakes from the past. With a back log you can see where you reach failure, where you can add some more reps or add more poundage.

Now, next time try this. Do a light warm up. 1st set is going to be your heavier set. This set is the heaviest because you suppose to max at 5 reps. If not, do a second set with same weight. For 3rd set remove 5-10 pounds and try to do a fourth set. Your fifth set will depend of the fourth set where you can repeat amount of lbs/kg or remove another 5lbs. You have there 5 x 5.

Now, make sure you log that training in a notebook, apps or whatever. Next time you have a base line to compare. Make also notes next to your entries such as...this set felt light, this set was heavier, I felt pain in my left shoulder, need to lower weight, need to add lbs, etc. Also Make entries if you eat before, after, pre-workouts, etc. Notes like this will help you to improve in your training cycle and will help you to identified what best work for you.
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:26 PM   #3
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So like are you doing 40 reps of what's supposed to be 25 reps total? That's how I'm reading that.
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:34 PM   #4
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i think you are doing it wrong.
the set still counts even if you don't get all five.
if you don't count it you're doing more volume than you intended to.
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:37 PM   #5
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5 sets at 5 reps or to failure ( whichever comes first )
when you can do all 5 reps add some weight..... you really do like to overthink things don't you?

Simple layout:

Warm up - 20 to 30 % of 1 RM for as many sets / reps as feels right- does not count towards 5 x 5
1 set x 5 reps at 60% of working weight -
1 set x 5 reps at 80% of working weight
3 sets x 5 reps each (or to failure) at working weight when you can do all three sets at 5 reps add more weight


OR do 5 sets at 5 reps at one weight and when you can do all sets / reps add some weight.



remember if you add just 2lbs per week for a year you increase totals by 104 lbs do not overthink it
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:44 PM   #6
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I guess that we can agree that overthinking is an issue. Now, SCSTRONG draw you a plan to increase weight. I explained to you a reverse pyramid where you start heavy and finish lighter but heavy enough to reach failure. At the end of the story is still 5 x 5. Don't over-think this. Choose one and try. Then choose the other one and try too. Write and repeat which ever training cycle you prefer or like the most. Have fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCStrong View Post
5 sets at 5 reps or to failure ( whichever comes first )
when you can do all 5 reps add some weight..... you really do like to overthink things don't you?

Simple layout:

Warm up - 20 to 30 % of 1 RM for as many sets / reps as feels right- does not count towards 5 x 5
1 set x 5 reps at 60% of working weight -
1 set x 5 reps at 80% of working weight
3 sets x 5 reps each (or to failure) at working weight when you can do all three sets at 5 reps add more weight


OR do 5 sets at 5 reps at one weight and when you can do all sets / reps add some weight.



remember if you add just 2lbs per week for a year you increase totals by 104 lbs do not overthink it
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:45 PM   #7
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I have my wife doing 5x5 the way SCS described it. She moves up in weight by 5lbs when she completes the 5x5 without missing a rep. Once she moves up, she may do 5 sets, but they might wind up being 5,5,5,4,3. She just does as many as she can if she can't get the 5. She keeps the same weight on the bar until she can get 5x5.
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:58 PM   #8
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I made excellent progress on 5x5. If I got all of my sets, I added more weight. I performed it like a rest/pause set. I didn't go to complete failure, but stopped when I thought I wouldn't get the next one. I would stay on the bench and even keep my grip on the bar. After a short rest I would pick it back up and complete the set. Sometimes I would have to rest twice to complete a set. That always worked well for me. Just don't rest like 3 to 5 minutes. Give it about a minute and get what you can, even if it is only one more rep.
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Old 12-09-2013, 10:01 PM   #9
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1 more rep is always good...


Quote:
Originally Posted by TDawg75 View Post
I made excellent progress on 5x5. If I got all of my sets, I added more weight. I performed it like a rest/pause set. I didn't go to complete failure, but stopped when I thought I wouldn't get the next one. I would stay on the bench and even keep my grip on the bar. After a short rest I would pick it back up and complete the set. Sometimes I would have to rest twice to complete a set. That always worked well for me. Just don't rest like 3 to 5 minutes. Give it about a minute and get what you can, even if it is only one more rep.
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:07 PM   #10
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I'm going to walk you through a bench press exercise using 5x5 format and the progression scheme of Starting Strength or the Reg Park Beginner Routine.

This is Bob. Bob's working weight is 200 lbs on bench. He will be are example.

5X5 "Great" Set
Bob's first two sets with be warm ups.

Set 1: Warm Up Set
Bob loads 120 lbs (60% of 200) on the bar and then performs five reps.
*End Warm Up Set*

Set 2: Warm Up Set
Bob loads 160 lbs (80% of 200) on the bar and performs five reps.
*End Warm Up Set*

Set 3: Working Set
Bob now loads 200 lbs on the bar and performs five reps.
*End Set*

Set 4: Working Set
Bob keeps 200 lbs on the bar and performs five reps.
*End Set*

Set 5: Working Set
Bob keeps 200 lbs on the bar and performs five reps.
*End Set*

*This was a great workout for Bob today. He reached five reps on all three working sets for his bench press. Now, next week when he bench presses again, his working weight will be 205 lbs.

5x5 "Okay" Set
*In this scenario Bob will not reach his goal of three sets of five reps with 200 lbs.

Set 1: Warm up
120 lbs x 5 reps

Set 2: Warm up
160 lbs x 5 reps

Set 3: Working
200 lbs x 5

Set 4: Working
200 lbs x 4
*Bob only got four reps. He does not lower the weight. He takes his rest and gets ready for the next set.

Set 5: Working
200 lbs x 3

*This was an "okay" workout for Bob. He didn't hit his goal of five reps for every set but he still did alright and will try for five reps with the same weight next week.

5x5 "Bad" Set

Set 1: Warm Up
120 lbs x 5 reps

Set 2: Warm up
160 lbs x 5 reps

Set 3: Working
200 lbs x 3 reps

Set 4: Working
200 lbs x 2 reps

Set 5: Working
200 lbs x 1

*This was a bad workout for Bob. He only got three reps on the first set. And since he was not able to hit AT LEAST three on the other sets he will lower the weight by five reps NEXT WEEK when he benches again.

Do not lower the weight unless you cannot get at least three reps for any of working sets.

Do not perform any extra or "re-do" sets. Do not lower the weight until the NEXT week when you bench again.
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