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Old 10-10-2011, 10:31 PM   #1
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Default Sets for a beginner

How many weekly sets is too much for a beginner? I am trying to help a friend and we started on a full body but he is tearing it up and he wants to try a 5 day split. He's eating, gaining and getting stronger. Should be stick to the full body?
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:34 PM   #2
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If he's not utterly beaten by a 20 (or so) set routine, he's not training heavy enough. Increase the weight before you decide to increase the frequency of your workouts.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:36 PM   #3
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This sounds like a job for glwanabe.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by swoleramon View Post
...we started on a full body...

...He's eating, gaining and getting stronger...

...Should be stick to the full body?
Seems an easy choice to me.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:48 AM   #5
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^that edit makes it pretty simple really.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:51 AM   #6
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Seems an easy choice to me.
Good post. Why switch when you have something that's working for you? Sounds like a bad decision to me...
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:02 PM   #7
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I'm with the others, keep the full body. It obviously works, but the frequency will also serve as practice with the pattern/form/technique of the movements which is important for beginners.

Another thing to consider is that beginners can adapt/recover fairly quick so lifts can be performed often and progression made just as fast. Moving onto a 5 day split will unnecessarily drag out strength progression which, if the goal is hypertrophy, will also diminish gains in muscle. If anyone has the ability to add 10-15lbs a week to a lift (5lbs every or every other session) why would you choose a slower method?
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Old 10-11-2011, 01:24 PM   #8
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[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by swoleramon View Post
How many weekly sets is too much for a beginner?
How many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop?

There are a lot of variables that have to be accounted for, it is not a black or white answer. Sets come in many different flavors.

I tend to look at reps per week, and how many days per week I'll be lifting. Within that format I also look at the % of known max at which the heaviest worksets will be performed at.

The answer for reps per week usually falls somewhere between between 60-75 on the low side, and 90-108 on the high side.

The higher the % of max worked at the lower the reps per week. It also depends on the lift being worked. Then there is also the factor of what are the main lifts in the program, and what are the assistance lifts. Main lifts will get more attention while others will get less.


Quote:
I am trying to help a friend and we started on a full body but he is tearing it up and he wants to try a 5 day split. He's eating, gaining and getting stronger. Should be stick to the full body?
Always continue with whats working.

Eventually progress will slow. This does not mean that the program needs to be totally changed. You should make MINOR changes to the program and adjust the progression to keep things moving.

Understanding progression is by far the biggest fail point for most people.

Progression for a beginner is far different than progression for an advanced lifter. The lifts performed are the same, but the method to progress can be night and day. In the end the root issue is always the goal of adding weight to the bar.

A beginner may add 5lbs a week, while an advanced lifter may only add 5lbs a month, or even less.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
The answer for reps per week usually falls somewhere between between 60-75 on the low side, and 90-108 on the high side.
That is for each movement correct?
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