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number of sets VS total reps

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  • number of sets VS total reps

    I have been watching your podcasts on programming and things are starting to make a lot more sense to me (I’m beginning to understand why in the last couple of months I have been making more progress than the 8 months prior ).

    Your recommendations on volume and intensity got me thinking: is there data about a possible difference in efficacy (as far as hypertrophy goes) between a classical sets x reps scheme workout, and a workout in which you choose the number of total reps and the intensity (eg 40 reps at 75% of your 1RM) and you do amrap always leaving a couple in the tank, taking a break when needed until all the reps are completed?
    These looks like an easy way to progressively add volume to your workouts (add 5 reps total next week... if the more strength-oriented part of your training suggests you are getting stronger, calculate your new 1RM and use 75% of that number as your new weight... then start again adding reps progressively).

  • #2
    The more useful parameter/predictor is the number of sets you perform in which you achieve sufficient motor unit recruitment -- which requires some amount of fatigue to be generated.

    In practical terms, this means that the number of "challenging" sets you do.
    IG / YT

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Austin Baraki View Post
      The more useful parameter/predictor is the number of sets you perform in which you achieve sufficient motor unit recruitment -- which requires some amount of fatigue to be generated.

      In practical terms, this means that the number of "challenging" sets you do.
      So would you suggest choosing an above-70% intensity, do as many reps as possible for n sets (I don't mean going to failure), and increasing the number of sets over time to maximize hypertrophy?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Austin Baraki View Post
        The more useful parameter/predictor is the number of sets you perform in which you achieve sufficient motor unit recruitment -- which requires some amount of fatigue to be generated.

        In practical terms, this means that the number of "challenging" sets you do.
        So would you suggest choosing an above-70% intensity, do as many reps as possible for n sets (I don't mean going to failure), and increasing the number of sets over time to maximize hypertrophy?

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        • #5
          Accidentally posted twice
          Last edited by Huffman_Tree; 05-02-2018, 06:45 PM.

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          • #6
            Would that mean that hypertrophy-wise a set of [email protected] (intensity = 83.7%) is somewhat equal to a set of [email protected] (intensity = 70.7%) even though the volume (as defined in The Bridge as number of reps x sets) in the latter set is twice as much? Assuming the trainee is equally sensitive to both rep schemes at that point in time.

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            • #7
              When you say “challenging” do you have a minimum RPE threshold in mind?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by TheChemist View Post

                So would you suggest choosing an above-70% intensity, do as many reps as possible for n sets (I don't mean going to failure), and increasing the number of sets over time to maximize hypertrophy?
                I think it is difficult to sign off on this method without you being more specific to your parameters and context.
                Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
                ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Huffman_Tree View Post
                  Would that mean that hypertrophy-wise a set of [email protected] (intensity = 83.7%) is somewhat equal to a set of [email protected] (intensity = 70.7%) even though the volume (as defined in The Bridge as number of reps x sets) in the latter set is twice as much? Assuming the trainee is equally sensitive to both rep schemes at that point in time.
                  No. I would expect the 10 @ 9 to produce more hypertrophy - though looking at single sets and subsequent responses are not terribly useful IMO.
                  Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
                  ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tim K View Post
                    When you say “challenging” do you have a minimum RPE threshold in mind?
                    Not at all.

                    For hypertrophy, if the volume is sufficient then relative intensity can go pretty low- off the RPE charts even.
                    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
                    ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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