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Old 08-11-2011, 10:31 PM   #1
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Folks,

I'm sitting here with a bit of a sore shoulder, it's the usual story i've done too much/too soon/too hard. But anyway i'm thinking about how to safeguard myself from this type of thing.

I figure at this point i'm probably as strong as i'll ever be having done around 500/350/550 under 200 so that's not a huge concern anymore. For those who follow my log you know my training now is miles away from my earlier PL days, firstly I train very frequently, I do sets of 10-15 usually. I time my sets so I rest no more than 45 seconds between sets and naturally the weights used are light(er). This has been great as it means I can train as hard as I like and not be in danger of hurting myself from heavy weight/low reps. But again i'm running into issues with some exercises as the weights are getting up there again.

Now the one area I haven't yet controlled is rep speed. I was debating the idea of slowing everything down to perhaps a 3-0-1 type of deal. So that's 3 seconds down, a quick turnaround and 1 second back up. Since I start my sets every minute this would cut down rest periods to less than 30 seconds which should once again limit my weights allowing me to work hard and frequently but not hurt myself.

That's what i'm thinking anyway, any thoughts? What do you guys do in terms of rep speed, i'm looking at the Bodybuilder types not the Power guys here.

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Old 08-11-2011, 10:39 PM   #2
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That's what i'm thinking anyway, any thoughts? What do you guys do in terms of rep speed, i'm looking at the Bodybuilder types not the Power guys here.
I've tried slow cadence. It seems to be a very personal thing whether you like it or not - excuse me overstating the obvious. As a progression junkie I had a better go at it with a slower eccentrics than I did concentrics. It was also difficult for certain movements, primarily back movements. Dumbbell rows or one arm movements worked best for me.

I've done some reading on slow eccentrics and it looks promising.

After my attempt with cadence I stumbled upon rest pause which I actually really enjoy, not to derail the thread.
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:46 PM   #3
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I've tried slow cadence. It seems to be a very personal thing whether you like it or not
As it is, i'm only really toying with the idea of it perhaps being easier on the joints. Any other benefit at this stage would be a bonus!

I'm gonna go ahead and toss this into the ring:

The WeighTrainer - Making A Strength/Size Routine Part III: Sets And Reps And How To Perform Them
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:05 AM   #4
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I very weight and tempo. I love a 4-3-4-1 tempo. Make the muscle do the work, not the momentum. Feel every fiber fight to make the lift.

But remember a bodybuilder lifts to build a look, were a power lifter lifts to lift more.

So we don't care about how much we can lift as much as a powerlifter, just how we lift it, look from lifting it and on stage.
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:37 AM   #5
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I was having similar problems with my current routine. Juggernaut has you getting rep maxes and I found I was bouncing the weight to try and get extra reps. I ended up hurting my shoulder and I had to stop benching for a while. If I return to benching, I am going to make sure to pause the weight. But counting a rep cadence is not something I want to start doing.
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:52 AM   #6
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I very weight and tempo. I love a 4-3-4-1 tempo. Make the muscle do the work, not the momentum. Feel every fiber fight to make the lift.

But remember a bodybuilder lifts to build a look, were a power lifter lifts to lift more.

So we don't care about how much we can lift as much as a powerlifter, just how we lift it, look from lifting it and on stage.
^agreed.

I'm sure Rich can witness to this also. That the BBing mentality is geared towards blood flow. How can we get as much blood and nutrients delivered to the muscle as possible. Everyone has different ways of doing so but the one thing that you will find common is that we all focus on contraction more than anything.

As for rep speed, it varies for me. For instance, here is how a chest routine would go for me:

Incline Barbell press (45sec rest): 4 x 12
Controlled, steady pace reps. Might pause at the bottom of last 2 or 3 reps to feel a full stretch. My last set would probably end with an extra 3 or 4 reps of partials.

Pec deck (30sec rest): 3 x 15
Squeezing the heck out of each rep. Last rep is negative, prolly lower it slowly for a 5 count. Sometimes i throw a dropset of 15/20 in there for a 4th set.

DB Flat bench press (45sec rest): 4 x 12
Explode at the bottom of each rep. Not letting elbows break 90 degrees.

Cable crosses (30sec rest): 6 x 12
Squeeze and hold each rep. I will also let the weight stretch the muscle at the top of each rep.

If you notice there is no real emphasis on rep speed but like rich said the focus is on how.


Hope this helps and happy lifting!
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:01 PM   #7
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Interesting answers guys. Yeah Offroad I know what you mean, although years ago I never thought i'd time my rest between sets, now I couldn't imagine not doing so. I gave it a go today, it wasn't so bad I just counted the negative "1, 2, 3, 1 ... 1, 2, 3, 2 ... 1, 2, 3, 3 ... 1, 2, 3, 4" sort of thing.

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I very weight and tempo. I love a 4-3-4-1 tempo. Make the muscle do the work, not the momentum. Feel every fiber fight to make the lift.
Thanks Rich, I was hoping i'd get a reply from you.

I experimented with a much slower rep cadence today. I settled on 3-0-1-0 as I didn't want to disrupt my trainng parner too much either (we do a set every 1 minute) but even a relatively small difference made a massive difference. I really have a lot of faith that this will let me work as hard as possible, for the frequency that I like but without poundages that are causing me joint issues across the week.

Emekajokammor, thanks for the detailed reply that's very useful!
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Old 08-14-2011, 01:02 AM   #8
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Interesting answers guys. Yeah Offroad I know what you mean, although years ago I never thought i'd time my rest between sets, now I couldn't imagine not doing so. I gave it a go today, it wasn't so bad I just counted the negative "1, 2, 3, 1 ... 1, 2, 3, 2 ... 1, 2, 3, 3 ... 1, 2, 3, 4" sort of thing.



Thanks Rich, I was hoping i'd get a reply from you.

I experimented with a much slower rep cadence today. I settled on 3-0-1-0 as I didn't want to disrupt my trainng parner too much either (we do a set every 1 minute) but even a relatively small difference made a massive difference. I really have a lot of faith that this will let me work as hard as possible, for the frequency that I like but without poundages that are causing me joint issues across the week.

Emekajokammor, thanks for the detailed reply that's very useful!
No prob, just trying my best to help...

Thanks for swinging over to my log and checking it out also . I plan to give more detailed workouts in my log like the one listed above.

Happy lifting!
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:32 PM   #9
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A new article at T-Nation:

T NATION | How to Use Tempo Training
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Old 08-16-2011, 06:58 AM   #10
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Some good practical advice there.

I've thought a lot about rep tempo the last few days, it's not something that i've ever concentrated on apart from faster = better. It's not something I see mentioned too much either, which is strange as the way you perform reps would seem to make a massive, massive difference on the stress you impose on yourself from a session. A set of 10 reps done in 15 seconds is a mile away from a set of 10 done in 60 seconds. Surely there should be more of a distinction of this in most instructional articles?

Anyway I have done a couple of sessions with a 4 second rep like 3/0/1/0 which left me with only 15-20 seconds rest between sets. My second and third set dropped off considerably so I figure that's probably too far in that direction. I'll try and do 3/0/3/0 and rest a full minute and see how that goes.

I'm also debating doing some reps below 10, some 5's maybe. I've never found the lower reps compatible with frequent training but I could probably get away with the lower reps with slower reps.

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