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Weights - sets - reps - help

GhostgraphicsGhostgraphics Posts: 109
edited March 2010 in Health, fitness & training
Ola

Having read lots and lots of fitness mags (only read mind you) when you see weight routines listed and it says:

shoulder press x 10 3 sets
Bicep curl x 10 3 sets
Chest Press x 10 3 sets
etc

Do you do - shoulder press for 10 rest, shoulder press for 10 rest, shoulder press 10 rest
then Bicep curl x 10 rest etc

or do you do

shoulder press x 10
Bicep curl x 10
Chest Press x 10

shoulder press x 10
Bicep curl x 10
Chest Press x 10

shoulder press x 10
Bicep curl x 10
Chest Press x 10

ie do you do it like a circuit or the same lift three times in a row.

When I do dust off the weights and I tend to do it as a circuit.

Is this right, wrong, good, bad ...
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Posts

  • amck111amck111 Posts: 189
    You want to finish each set before moving onto a new exercise. :wink:
  • amck111amck111 Posts: 189
    After re reading your post again I'm thinking you could do with a few pointers on your programme.

    The basics are for compound exercises (squats, deadlift, bench press) you want to lower the reps and increase the sets. Lifting heavier weights will result in better gains in strength so try lifting reps of between 5-8 for 4 or 5 sets. For isolate exercises (biceps curls) you should increase the reps to 10-12 and do 3 or so sets. A bit like what your doing however I do question the need to do any isolate exercises, especially when your first starting out. Compound exercises on the other hand are great as they stimulate a range of muscles and give a full body workout. You should also think about working the legs, being the biggest muscle group they should not be neglected. An ideal programme might be

    Squat 5 x 6
    Bench Press 5 x 6
    Shoulder Press 5 x 6
    Pull Up 3 x Max Rep

    Prone Bridge for the core to finish

    Doing this 3 times a week, alternating the squat for the deadlift and the bench press for dips every other day and you will notice gains in your strength.
  • Ok, cool. The exercises listed were just an example but I get your point about compound and isolate lifts. I would probably have just lifted 10 of each.

    Apart from the ones listed, what are the best compound exercises to be doing? Especially for mountain biking strength.

    Cheers

    Matt
  • amck111amck111 Posts: 189
    I'm not too sure Matt, but I would say the A2G Squat and dead lift would be up there.
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Matt - that routine is very regimented. You need to adapt depending on the weight you are/can lift.

    I used to always increase weight for each set - some do it the other way around.

    i.e. 15ish light 1st set , 12ish heavier 2nd, 8ish as heavy as possible 3rd for each body part. I think more than 3 sets per exercise is overtraining.

    Great compound exercises are bench presses, squats, dips and pull ups.

    For MTBing, do blast your legs but be aware that unless you are doing sprint work, you don't want much bulk on them - the best training is just to cycle a lot.

    Upper body strength seems pointless in MTBing but really helps you fling the bike around.
  • I have noticed the need to increase my upper body strength as I do struggle to maneuver the the bike about, which in turn effects my control, ability and confidence.

    What I am looking to achieve is to get more strength up top and also develop some show muscles a little, to keep the wife interested :wink:

    I am also on a weight loss mission having come down from 17st 10 to 15st 10 at 6ft1 and aiming for 14st (then review how I look and feel). So far the weight has come of through riding and cutting out most of the junk from my diet.

    For resistance work I had planned to do

    Plank
    Side plank

    Bent over row
    Dead Lift
    Shoulder Press

    Chest Press
    Bicep Curls
    Dips

    Squats
    Lunges

    I don't have anything at the moment to do pull ups with.

    I do have
    15kg Dumbells
    An olympic bar and lots of loose weights (I used to work in lettings and it is amazing how many people leave weights behind when they move out)
    And just under 16st of body weight to lift.

    Thoughts appreciated on how to go with this.
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Weight loss + strength gain is a tricky one.

    You'll need highish reps and lots of cardio.

    Bench pressing on your own is dangerous - I'd do press ups and dips for your chest area - safe and varying intensity depending on what type you do (I used to help instruct a kickboxing class - press ups are my evil speciality :twisted: ).

    Use the dumbells for biceps and some triceps stuff and also shoulder presses with the barbell. Do high rep squats with the barbell. Do calf raises holding both dumbells (off a step), do bent over rows with the dumbells but definitely avoid benching unless it's easy weights (in which case you'll build no strength!)

    You have enough kit but do consider a pull up bar (google "Powerbar pull up" for the best one) - what you need most is determination in spades. Sounds like you have plenty but I reckon the last part could be the trickiest!
  • Ok, swap bench press for press ups. I used to do teakwondo and the nice korean instructor would have us doing all kind of pressups variations all of which causing more pain than the last.

    Deadlifts or back raise for lower back strength?
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    I'd go for deadlifts but watch the weight - keep it light with high reps.

    Back raises can cause problems unless form is 100% perfect.
  • I have just found my new routine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ud-Q4eUN8xA&feature=response_watch :D It was a recommended link when looking for deadlift techniques ??
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    I have just found my new routine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ud-Q4eUN8xA&feature=response_watch :D It was a recommended link when looking for deadlift techniques ??

    :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :lol::lol:

    What a find!!! :D
  • rhyko7rhyko7 Posts: 781
    this depends what you want to achieve,
    to improve power you want to do really low reps 1-6
    to improve strength go for 6-15 reps (this also builds muscle)
    for muscular endurance you want to be repping into the 20's and 30's

    if your doing weights for mtbing the ones that stand out are basic push and pull upper body exercises - upright row, bench press, push ups, tricep extensions, horizontal pull ups. i dont think biceps help much with riding but all guys want biceps lol so get curling.

    for the legs, the main two are squats and leg press to develop pedal power, but leg culs, extensions, lunges will help too. - im scared of deadlifts and dont do them out of fear of pulling my back so i do good mornings for lower back and back extensions.

    the idea of weight lifting is to damage the muscle fibres in a controlled manor and they grow back stronger, the best way to do this is to keep surprising them by mixing up the exercises and the reps from week to week, like matt said Matt - that routine is very regimented, mix it up a bit, i would advise doing some core work aswell for riding, plankt exercises are fun to do.

    normally i would say if your new to weights, stick to the basic exercises and use the machines for a while to build some raw strength and get your body used to lifting weights before you start using free weights and risk bad technique and injury.
    but since you already have the weights i would advise you to concentrate on good tecnique form and not worry about how much you are lifting-dont let your ego take over.

    hope that helps in some way, good luck now go get on with it
    Dont look at it-ride it! they are tools not f*cking ornaments

    my riding:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/rhyspect

    Some of my Rides Data/maps:
    http://www.trimbleoutdoors.com/Users/527337
  • Yeah it does help, I should just get on and pick the damn things up.
  • asdfhjklasdfhjkl Posts: 333
    What I am looking to achieve is to get more strength up top and also develop some show muscles a little, to keep the wife interested :wink:

    I am also on a weight loss mission having come down from 17st 10 to 15st 10 at 6ft1 and aiming for 14st (then review how I look and feel). So far the weight has come of through riding and cutting out most of the junk from my diet.

    Ultimately, nutrition is going to help you achieve weightloss, not training.

    As a beginner you can't really go wrong, you're going to gain strength regardless of what you do because it's new stimulus. I wouldn't worry about set and rep prescriptions - just go in there and lift. Personally I'm a fan of lifting heavier, so stuff in the range of 1-5 reps. I've always felt it provides a more appropriate stimulus for causing strength gain - high reps just doesn't seem to work that well for me.
  • I have to admit that I when I have used them in the past I have done high reps and not really noticed that much gain, perhaps I will give lifting heavy, low reps a blast
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Ghost - I "wasted" two years training because I was doing high reps, low weights. Sorted a proper high intensity heavy routine and gained 3 stone (while dropping to 8% bodyfat) in under two years.

    I believe that nutrition is important but secondary to training - when I was gaining no weight (9.25 stone, 5'8") I gorged on powders, minging high protein food, etc. It did nothing. When I sorted the routine out, my appetite naturally shot up and the muscle gains followed.

    Be sensible with diet but don't let it lead your goals.
  • Yeah, it is difficult to know what to do. I want to gain strength but I also need to loose weight. But a good weight routine (I have two hour long sessions earmarked for weights) and the 3 lots of two hour riding sessions I do a week should hopefully see the weight come off. It best bloody do :x
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    If your weights routine is okay, that should do the trick nicely!
  • JayKingFunkJayKingFunk Posts: 411
    Hi, sorry to jump on this thread with a question but I've just got back into lifting and press ups too!

    What are: dips and deadlifts?!

    I'd like to improve lower back strength for cycling and also tone up + get a bit bigger!

    What foods do you recommend for after a workout? I've mainly been going with tinned fish and bananas etc.

    Thanks in advance, J
    I love the sound my tyres make on dusty single track!
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Jay - you need to "carbo load" within an hour of working out. It's a "window" when your body makes best use of them.

    Bananas are good for energy but stuff like pasta and rice are best for carbo loading.

    Dips are these:

    (easy version)

    tricepdip.jpg

    and these (harder):

    tricep-dips2.jpg

    Deadlifts are when you grasp a barbell in front of you and use your lower back to lift it to the standing position - you need to be very careful for obvious reasons:

    deadlift.jpg
  • asdfhjklasdfhjkl Posts: 333
    I like to have a bottle of chocolate milk after lifting. It has the "magic" 4 : 1 ratio of sugar : protein, and tastes damn nice. Matt's right though - make the most of that short period after lifting.

    Best way to learn to deadlift is to get a good coach to show you. I'd give this a read. Some good advice for other exercises too. Starting Strength as a whole is actually a pretty awesome program - if you haven't set on anything already, I'd be sure to give it a look. Depending on how often you ride your bike though, squatting 3x a week might prove to be a bit too much for your legs.
  • JayKingFunkJayKingFunk Posts: 411
    Thanks matt and thanks asdfhjkl, I'll have a look at the link as I haven't got a specific routine yet, just been doing a press ups reps most days in the week since January, I've noticed and felt a difference but want to get back into the weights too!

    J
    I love the sound my tyres make on dusty single track!
  • paul.kpaul.k Posts: 90
    i will give you some sound advice after 5 years of body building ,got to the gym ,a proper gym and talk to the guys that are training and tell them what you want to achieve most of the guys are very friendly ,talk to the gym owners , i used to train 4 times a week ,main workout sessions would be 1 :chest would be trained first followed by triceps
    2: back would be trained in the same session as biceps
    3:shoulders /traps
    4:legs got trained once a week heavy and hard
    taking carb drink whilst training , and as soon as training finishes protien dring followed by high protien meal within 1 hour of training
    but as to routines and weights you would be better getting in to the gym and talking to the guys ,face to face . it is also better at the gym as it motivates you more
  • paul.kpaul.k Posts: 90
    these guys are helpfull too
    http://forum.british-bodybuilding.co.uk
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Paul - i agree but you do have to be very dedicated - that doesn't suit many.
    Like you, I used a "proper" gym (which sh4t me up the first time I went - very intimidating!), trained a split routine 4 days a week and added three stone but it needed dedication bordering on obsession.

    All well and good but not many have the spare time or money for such a "mission!"

    I used to find spotting for the massive people who lift comedy amouunts was a great motivator and you also tend to "compete" with others which helps motivation.
  • paul.kpaul.k Posts: 90
    surf matt i will ask you 1 question ,do u miss it ? ,because i know when i go these days and i will cycle on the bike for about 45 mins and have a leg work out and look at the other guys training , i do , but after years of training it has left me with bad wrists so i cannot do it at the level that is required hence the bike riding , also you will be pushed to find a bodybuilder that doesnt carry one injury or another ,and it gets expensive,

    back to the original post if all you need is abit more upperbody strenght for mountain bikeing then things like bent over rows ,chest presses ,lateral raises ,lat pulldowns should do the trick or just a genral upperbody workout, do a warm up set then 3-4 sets of each i would work to 15-20 rep range as this will make you stronger if you can do 20 easily add weight
    one tip to remember is muscle fibres are different
    slow twitch fibres are power, developed by training with higher weights and lower reps
    fast twitch fibres are endurance and speed which can be developed by lower weights but more reps if you stimulate slow twitch fibers you get bigger ,and fast twitch fibers you look more toned hope this explaines a bit.
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Paul - not really. I had a goal, I achieved it, and now just do much easier maintenance work outs at home. TBH I got a little too heavy for surfing (became harder to catch waves) and slower for martial arts (lots of kickboxing) so trimmed a bit off. I do plenty of cardio now having been "scared" of it in case it lost me weight - no very healthy attitude!

    I think it's all about balance - strength with endurance and power when needed.
  • Thinking about maneuvering a bike around, performing bunny hops, manuals etc. They call for kind of an explosive movement. Is there a best way to get this kind of strength?
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Mix plyometrics in with your routine.

    I found lots of martial arts training helped - as does getting a big punch bag and knocking the stuffing out of it!
  • OwenBirdOwenBird Posts: 210
    Thinking about maneuvering a bike around, performing bunny hops, manuals etc. They call for kind of an explosive movement. Is there a best way to get this kind of strength?
    Olympic lifting.
    SOLD!
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