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RobMoriRB 04-30-2012 08:43 PM

What is a Back off set
I have been looking at a lot of work out log's an articles, an they all have a back off set. Could someone explain what they mean by this?

BendtheBar 04-30-2012 08:55 PM

A back off is simply slightly lighter weight for more reps.

When you perform a heavier set, say 400 pounds for one rep, and then jump down to perhaps 350, the weight will feel lighter because your CNS (central nervous system) is more fully engaged. Some people prefer to do back off sets for this mental reason - rep work feels lighter.

This is my prime reason at least, when I do them.

RobMoriRB 04-30-2012 09:01 PM

Okay , so for an example, if I was doing a 3x3 for 400lbs then I would do a back off set of 1x3 @350?

big valsalva 04-30-2012 09:13 PM

Just an easy way to get some extra rep work after your heavy set(s). Sometimes people use backoff sets to get an extra pump in the muscles. Me, I've used multiple backoff sets after my max bench set just because I need the extra work on exploding the weight.

Sometimes people will "rep out." Or go to exhaustion on lighter weights. So instead of going slightly lighter for 5 reps, maybe go much lighter for 8 - 12 reps.

RobMoriRB 04-30-2012 09:17 PM

that is very help full for my next spike day in training, thank you very much

MikeM 04-30-2012 11:27 PM

Ummm.... I hesitate to say this as I could be wrong, but I recently went through a max effort program that prescribed backoff sets, and what I realized was that it reinforced your groove when lifting.

I would hammer away at max singles, but then the backoffs were a lot more volume done with much more confidence, and more importantly, much better form at those weights.

Bottom line, you take any lift to a near max effort with good form, then backoff for reps at a lower weight, you will hit those weights easier and with better form and for increasingly higher weights, all reinforcing the groove you want to reinforce.

Keep greasing the groove, keep adding weight to the bar.

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