View Full Version : Weightlifting

Red Viper
05-13-2004, 07:52 PM
Hi, im really big into weights and was wondering if it was better to do multiple sets or one all out set? For example 3x12 or a couple of light warmups fallowed by an all out set of 12.

05-14-2004, 12:28 PM
Always start with warmups no matter what type of weight training you do. Then if you go to gym for Tennis do multiple sets with 15-20 rep range for small muscle group ( biceps, triceps, shoulders) and 10-15 rep range for big muscle group ( legs, back, chest). Number of sets vary but no less then 3 per group.

05-15-2004, 04:19 AM
There are as many different routines as there are weight lifters. While there are rules of thumb concerning rep counts and sets based on your target goals, each person responds differently to a given training routine. I have seen numerous studies that show that you get 90% of your results from the first set if done properly with a weight amount that causes failure by the 8th to 10th rep. Additional sets greatly increase the risk of injury with almost no additional benefits.

The one thing that seems constant is that you must continually challenge muscles with (1) failure and (2) variety. First, muscles grow only when they have been pushed beyond their current strength ability, thereby forcing them to add more fibers. So if you are not working to failure, you aren't really adding strength and size. Second, the human body adapts quickly to physical motions, so if you do they same move over and over for a specfici muscle group,it will get more efficient at it and stop growing.

www.exrx.net is a great site full of weight training info. Check it out.

05-15-2004, 07:17 AM
netman, what do you think of the Nautilus idea of one set to failure?

05-15-2004, 02:02 PM
One set to failure isn't exactly what you're aiming for with tennis, that's for big bulky gains.

Aim for 2 sets of 10 reps.

05-15-2004, 04:01 PM
After 30 years of weight training, I've come to realize that whatever is being lifted, be it free weights, Nautilus, or beer kegs, as long as the muscle involved is pushed past its limits, then growth will occur. Muscles don't work in degrees, they are all or nothing. If they are not pushed beyond their 100% capacity, they do not get stronger. One set seems to be the safest approach, because if you do one set to failure, you aren't putting the muscle at risk by doing a second set when it is near the point of failure and vulnerable to injury (or causing injury to the joint it supports). Most important is to allow recovery afterwards. If you aren't giving the muscle 48-72 hours to recover and grow, you are setting yourself up for injury as well (called "overrtraining"). Everytime I've violated these principles, eventually an injury in the weight room has sidelined me.

As to the the "bulking up" argument, yes it can happen (mostly based on your genetic makeup), but the key is to decide when you have reached the size you want, then maintain it. Speaking for myself, I lift very heavy weights to failure, have large arms and chest, and can still hit a drop shot that lands as soft as a feather. As long as strength training is augmented with stretching and aerobic work, it does nothing but add value for tennis. I seem to win a lot of matches, when after two tough sets, my opponents, who have a better tennis "game" than I do, run out of gas in the 3rd and I have the muscle strength and stamina to hang in there.

Just my opinion FWIW.

05-16-2004, 11:33 AM
The Nautilus training concept has been shunned by many strength athletes these days. It seemed to work well with untrained subjects and beginners, but did not produce result similar gains for intermediate on up. The 3*10 scheme seems to be the most popular in the muscle magazines along with other publications for adding mass and strength. Although, not every routine fits everyones needs, and different rep, set, tempo, and rest parameters can be used to give you the exact training response you are looking for. Since most Olympic lifters and power lifters only need one powerful rep, many of them train with long rest periods using near maximal weight for single attempts. For example, some guys will squat 5 or more days a week using that method, and they never reach failure during their workouts. Even though they rarely train to failure, it cannot be denied that they have impressive musculature, and it really proves that working to failure is not a prerequisite for gains in muscle mass. Not working to failure is the best known way of boosting the neuroconnections associated with strength gains, and the idea is very much like a practice makes perfect principal. It seems that the 3*6-12 rep strategy will put you in between the two extremes of maximal strength and maximal muscular endurance, and most tend to agree it is the best set and rep range to produce hypertrophy. However, not everyone responds the same to every training concept. Some people achieve larger muscles with higher reps, and other achieve it better with lower reps. It is suggested that our success with a particular program is completely reliant upon are slow vs fast twitch muscle fibre ratio, and that a person looking to maximize their size should follow a routine tailor made for their body. Many problems are associated with this concept though. The only true way to get knowledge of your muscle fibre ratio is to have a muscle biopsy. It would cost you money, and it is very painful, which makes it an undesirable process. Some experts claim certain tests can be done in the gym to give you an accurate idea of your particular makeup, but it is not fool proof. Instead of ranting on continuously, I will end it by saying it is best to study some of the main theories out there, and then experiment to find out what gives you your best results. Also, never continue the same plan for longer than six months, your body should have adapted by then so some alterations should be made to the routine your on.

05-16-2004, 02:25 PM
Great post, kobble.

Your point is well spoken on finding the right program for each person. We all have to experiment with different racquets, strings and tension to find the [perfect weapon to compliment our games. Same for weightlifting. Experiment with different routines and find three or four that work. Then use each one for 4-6 weeks, then shift to the next one. The results will make you happy.

05-16-2004, 05:30 PM
For example, some guys will squat 5 or more days a week using that method, and they never reach failure during their workouts.

Huh? Only if they're on 'roids, and even then, I've never heard of this being done-not consistantly.

05-17-2004, 11:35 AM
Phil, I tried to get a link to one of the articles I read explaining all the different methods that olympic lifters use, but the site has been reconstructed so I wasn't able readily find it. Paul Anderson makes claims of squatting all day long, and he did it by never working to the point that he got sore. He did this because he believed that the squat was the key to performing big in all the olympic lifts. I do not know if he ever claimed to be steroid free though. However, I do understand that the bodybuilders who post their extreme routines in the magazines can only get away with it because of the increased recovery of the drugs. Most people would be wise not to copy some those guys routines. Getting back to the high volume theory, Pavel Tsatsouline promotes a high volume routine he calls grease the groove training. The good thing is that it is simple, and it can be applied to any exercise. Also, the fact that you do not terribly sore after the workouts, makes it a great alternative for tennis players. The only problem is that most people will not be able to follow it to perfection, because most people cannot work out all day long due to work, school, and a life in general. Although, working out all day long is not necessary to see some good results from the program anyway.

Here is the link for Tsatsoulines article. http://aolsearch.aol.com/aol/redir?src=websearch&requestId=66efc45f85ca0c37&cli ckedItemRank=3&userQuery=grease+the+groove&clicked ItemURN=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dragondoor.com%2Fcgi-bin%2Farticles.pl%3Frm%3Dmode3%26articleid%3D69

05-17-2004, 04:51 PM
Kobble - That's just it; a lot of these people advocate extreme routines that have been successful FOR THEM, but they fail to mention the drugs that were, more than their workouts, the keys to their strength/performance gains. Get back in 15 years to the guy who squats five days a week, and let me know if he's walking without a pronounced LIMP.

As you said, steroids aid in quick recovery but they don't do anything for the joints, tendons and ligaments, which, like anyone's, will eventually break down from the massive workload.

My suggestion to a beginner is to find a basic routine that is safe and effective, and build on the knowledge and results gained from that, moving on to more advanced routines. Also, a beginner who is serious MUST hone his B.S. radar; there are just too many shysters out there offering magic pills. Pavel has some good things to say, but he is also a blatent self-promoter who is, forever, trying to sell his "miracle" kettlebells and overpriced books. However, over the years I have sifted through the b.s., and found a few pearls of wisdom from the former "Trainer of the Spetsnaz".

05-17-2004, 05:18 PM
Red Viper,

We've been giving you a lot of philosophy and not much practical advice. For a simple, yet effective workout that allows time for tennis while giving you a complete workout, try a 3 day split routine. Basically you do PUSH work one day, LEG work one day and PULL work one day. Take a 1-2 day break after the cycle and repeat. You can mix up the order. You can also take a day break in between each work section. A lot of tennis players I know do each section once a week and play tennis or do other aerobicss on the off days.

PUSH (Basically Chest and Triceps). Bench Press, Incline Press, Flys or Dips, Front Shoulder Raise, Tricep Extension, Tricep Pushdown. 2-3 sets. 10-12 reps

LEGS. Squats or Lunges, Leg Press, Leg Extensions, Leg Curls, Abduction, Adduction, Calf Raises (Standing or Seated). 2-3 sets, 10-12 reps.

PULL. (Basically Back, Biceps, Shoulders and Forearms). Deadlifts, Close Grip or Lat Pulldown, Lateral Raise, Rows, Shrugs, Rear Lateral Raise, Bicep Curls, Hammer or Preacher Curls, Wrist Curls, Reverse Wrist Curls. 2-3 sets, 10-12 reps.

Do some ab work each day.

You can also do these one set to failure.

Its simple, highly effective and can be varied infinitely different ways based on exercises chosen, rep counts, sets and weight.

05-17-2004, 08:08 PM
I agree Phil, all of those people in the magazines are just trying to sell you the magic bullet in the end. They speak some truth in hopes of gaining your trust, then they hope you buy their toys and candy. The kettlebell is a great way of selling a ball with a handle. I have done all of those "lost" exercises he promotes with an adjustable olympic dumbell, and that cost me $39.99 before the plates.

Have you ever seen the content of his stretching videos? I was wondering if anyone is willing to spill the beans about what he actually prescribes. From what I have read, he seems to be promoting the use of PNF and isometric stretching methods.