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10

I'll answer this question in the context of a popular strength program (Starting Strength) that I happen to be doing. Why only a few exercises? Because as a novice, you don't need complicated training to make general strength gains. A well chosen, small set of full-body barbell movements trains you in almost every way you need to be strong as a human ...


7

Based on this position statement from the American College of Sports Medicine, the answer to both questions is yes. According to the ACSM, sets of 15-25 reps (using light loads) are most effective for increasing muscular endurance, and have also been shown to increase strength in moderately trained people. High rep sets may also supplement a conventional ...


3

How you organize your sets determines what you get out of them. Each exercise on its own: 5x5 curl, 5x5 press, 5x5 squat. Wait between sets. This is the most strength-oriented of the options. It will involve some hypertrophy and some token conditioning. Note, however, that squatting the same weight that you press and curl will not challenge your legs ...


3

I found this article in Men's Health very interesting and have shaped my workouts on it over the last month or so. The page I linked to breaks down the reps/sets combinations for your different goals. I'm a flabby weakling, and am working on building strength just to get started. I'm doing 6 sets of 4 reps of a very few basic exercises at about 80%-90% max ...


3

I'll start with the overall theory. Greg Nuckols wrote an excellent article on increasing work capacity, which is at the core of getting stronger. It provides a great framework to understand everything else. Option 1: Same weight, but increase reps. This is essentially how the Doug Hepburn training routines are designed. Another example of programs in ...


2

Number of Reps for a Novice As noted in my answer to your original question, I think sets of 5 or so are fine for a novice such as yourself. That is close enough to the strength end of the rep range spectrum, but is high enough to trigger some muscle growth (hypertrophy) in addition to the neurological improvements. Later, you can decide whether to switch ...


2

After a quick research session, I can't find any research that shows that heavy lifting contributes to spinal disc degeneration. So, lift according to your goals, eg. more repetitions for hypertrophy or endurance, less reps for strength. Previously, heavy physical loading was the main suspected risk factor for disc degeneration. However, results of ...


2

There are some major limitations regarding 1RM formulas: They are designed with a certain demographic in mind. If you are outside that demographic, they may not be applicable. For example, the one you listed is designed for men in their 20s. They are designed to work within a certain rep range. For example, the one you listed becomes grossly inaccurate ...


2

Who ever said that one-rep max calculations were reversible? They're a very rough guide for estimating or predicting an appropriate one-rep max attempt. They're simply not designed to be inverted so that one can figure out the correct rep target for 2kg weights. You would probably get better results basing your workout program on an existing, proven ...


1

Numbers are approximate, but here's what I do. If you can only do one to three pull-ups, then you should use negatives or assisted pull-ups and strive for an equal number of reps across your sets. At this stage you're not strong enough to warrant straining to do some variable but small number of real pull-ups. You're better served by getting in a ...


1

Just to rule out worst-case scenarios, do you have any issues with eye movement as the day goes on? There's a nasty auto-immune disease called Myasthenia Gravis where the primary symptoms are loss of muscular control with use. Almost always, it's characterized by often-used muscles such as the eyes and the jaw, but there are rare cases just involving major ...


1

What aerobic exercise do you do? What exercises get you heart rate within target range for 20+ min. My guess would be a lack of general fitness. If your heart and lungs aren't strong enough to get oxygenated blood to your muscles, then you wont be able to build strength as effectively. No, I virtually never see "medical practitioners." I certainly ...


1

Counting is generally best for keeping rhythm when lifting. You can say the numbers out loud, murmur them, shout or grunt them, or just count in your head.


1

You are right, for increasing muscle mass, training at intensity that allows you to perform 8-12 reps per set is reasonable. But note that it's not the number of repetitions per set that make the muscles grow, but the intensity of each repetition. If you are able to do more than 8-12 reps per set with a certain weight, the intensity of that weight has ...


1

Both approaches have worked for me. Doing more reps with the same weight is challenging for strength at first, and later for endurance. It works strength, endurance, and size. It can be hard to keep adding reps. Personally I prefer going heavier and doing sets of 3 and progressing to sets of 5 (and sometimes adding additional sets in order to get enough ...


1

With regard to spinal disk safety during exercise, the critical factor is amount of impact rather than actual load (within reason). So doing static lifts will usually be less stressful than playing basketball or running for example. Having said that, maintaining good form during lifts is also critical especially when your back is involved. In my ...


1

Instead of doing a single set 5/7 times a day, I would try doing 2 or 3 sets in a row, with 1 to 2 minutes rest, 2/3 times a day. The second or third sets should feel a lot harder. Note that, It's not clear what your goal is in your question.


1

Don't try to apply a mathematics approach to your training. What you are doing now is over training your body because you workout everyday. What that website suggested is better because by training 3 days per week your body will be able to recover on the other 4 and build strength. In your case there is no recovery time. However what I encourage you to try ...


1

Short answer: 8-12 reps, whichever your goal may be (strength, mass, speed, etc). Long answer: This has actually been rather well studied in science. 8-12 reps is the ideal range for a beginner, no matter what your goal is. You can see a (rather lengthy) post I wrote about this here, or just go to my source, the 2009 position stand by the American College ...


1

If your main focus to primarily to gain strength, I would highly recommend you to consider a starting strength 5x5 program. There are different variations of 5x5 programs, but they basically focus on compound exercises through squatting, benching, and barbell row/cleans. There's some extensive wikis on Mark Ripptoe, Bill Starr, and Madcow programs; however, ...


1

I presume all of your exercises working out the same body part? If so, you are essentially using the technique called "pyramiding down". This means you start with a heavy weight and back off from there. It's a perfectly legitimate way of working out, though you will of course find its proponents and opponents. With your priority being mass, going as ...


1

Generally the point of an exercise is to push your body to adapt to stress placed on it. You want each workout to push your body a little bit more than last time so your body gradually adapts towards where you want it to go. How you push it is down to your goals. If you want to be able to do lots of push ups, you will want to always try to do more push ups ...


1

It's recommended not to go to failure because it's demanding on the central nervous system. If you just do some pushups from time to time you can go for failure no problem, but if you have a routine with lots of exercises and sets per exercises it can get too much.



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