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Time between sets vs intensity
#1
Curious if someone can break this down for me because I may either be confused, overthinking, etc.. 

I'm trying to figure out if there's any real reason to care about time between sets vs just doing the next set when I'm breathing normal again/feel rested/etc... Also curious about intensity...

If I do a max effort 12 rep movement (whether it's compound, isolation/etc), and my goal is 3 sets of 12... If I try to rush my next set before I'm ready, i may only get 9, and then only 6-7 if I stick with timing it. 

Some say not do "go to failure" and maybe this is where I"m going wrong.. but, if I use a lighter weight, I may be able to hit 12 reps 3 times in a shorter amount of time, but then where do you go from here?  "Progressive overload" says I should eventually increase the weight (or maybe do the 3 sets of 12 faster... 4th set?).. either way, at some point I end in a situation where that 90 or 120 second rest isn't enough for my 2nd set to be as effective. So when I do so, I end up taking longer to hit 12 reps 3 times at higher weight, or the 2nd and 3rd sets suffer when timing between sets.    

Note: I don't do 3x12 for everything but wanted to use it as an example.
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#2
This is the case for most people. The typical "bodybuilding" rest of 60-90 seconds works only for light weights. Otherwise, it is not enough to recover.

The less you rest, the more you are doing "conditioning". More rest allows you to lift heavier weights and is considered strength training.

Compound exercises may require a lot of rest when done with a heavy weight - sometimes over 5 minutes. But general assistance exercises should not require more than 3 minutes of rest unless you are going heavy for a specific purpose.

I am not sure if I answered correctly. I just said what was on the top of my head.
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#3
(06-30-2019, 06:12 PM)TruthSeeker Wrote: This is the case for most people. The typical "bodybuilding" rest of 60-90 seconds works only for light weights. Otherwise, it is not enough to recover.

The less you rest, the more you are doing "conditioning". More rest allows you to lift heavier weights and is considered strength training.

Compound exercises may require a lot of rest when done with a heavy weight - sometimes over 5 minutes. But general assistance exercises should not require more than 3 minutes of rest unless you are going heavy for a specific purpose.

I am not sure if I answered correctly. I just said what was on the top of my head.

What you've said sorta confirms what I'm thinking.  I'm basically trying to slowly, over time, perform my 3 sets with maximal weights for a given rep range (2+ min rest for isolation,3-5 for compound). When hit, increase weight a bit, etc, work up to that rep range with higher weight and continue (note i've prob been stuck on the same weight for 6+ months lol). 

For the purpose of hypertrophy (and when I say this, I say this knowing that hypertrophy is a very slow thing for natties).. not asking if it's going to turn us into our favorite youtube natties, but am I better off lowering the weight and doing fluff and pump work.. or something in between?
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#4
meh I rest and go when I am ready
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#5
(06-29-2019, 04:26 AM)TheNaturallyEnhancedTruth Wrote: Curious if someone can break this down for me because I may either be confused, overthinking, etc.. 

I'm trying to figure out if there's any real reason to care about time between sets vs just doing the next set when I'm breathing normal again/feel rested/etc... Also curious about intensity...

If I do a max effort 12 rep movement (whether it's compound, isolation/etc), and my goal is 3 sets of 12... If I try to rush my next set before I'm ready, i may only get 9, and then only 6-7 if I stick with timing it. 

Some say not do "go to failure" and maybe this is where I"m going wrong.. but, if I use a lighter weight, I may be able to hit 12 reps 3 times in a shorter amount of time, but then where do you go from here?  "Progressive overload" says I should eventually increase the weight (or maybe do the 3 sets of 12 faster... 4th set?).. either way, at some point I end in a situation where that 90 or 120 second rest isn't enough for my 2nd set to be as effective. So when I do so, I end up taking longer to hit 12 reps 3 times at higher weight, or the 2nd and 3rd sets suffer when timing between sets.    

Note: I don't do 3x12 for everything but wanted to use it as an example.

There is nothing wrong with using short rest periods, intensity is not only about the weight on the bar, I guess that came from powerlifting circles. Intensity is important because you want to recruit all your muscle fibers, but you don't necessarily have to lift heavy, you can fatigue and recruit your muscle fibers by using shorter rest time. It's just a different way to skin a cat. And you may even find that some muscle groups respond better to that type of training.

Now, if you wanna train like that you should probably use some suboptimal weight, for example for 3x12 you shouldn't use your true 12 RM, but your 14 or 15 RM. If you use your true 12 RM then 12-9-6 thing will happen. Although that's perfectly natural, you can train and progress like that too. It's like a longer rest pause... But I digress, so you use your 15 RM and you do 3x12 with 60 sec rest. Now you try to add reps or weight but keep the same rest time. Let's say you add some weight, now you can do 12, 11, 9. That's ok, your goal is to get to 12, 12, 12 again. And that's your progression. Or you can add reps and try to get to 15, 15, 15. At that point you will have your new 15 RM.

But if you wanna do 3 sets across with your true 12 RM and focus primarily on weight progression, then yes, you should rest longer. Although I have a feeling that you are obsessing too much about completing the reps. It's normal that even if you rest for like 3 min. that your reps drop on subsequent sets when you add weight, that's part of the progression. And of course, you can combine and use both approaches in your training. About training to failure, just don't do some ridiculous grinders, especially on big compounds, it's stupid and it's frying your CNS. You know, it's ok if the bar slows down and the last reps are hard and all that, but if the bar is barely moving and you are dying on your last rep, that's just stupid. Might as well do HIT then.
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#6
(06-30-2019, 10:51 PM)Templar Wrote: There is nothing wrong with using short rest periods, intensity is not only about the weight on the bar, I guess that came from powerlifting circles. Intensity is important because you want to recruit all your muscle fibers, but you don't necessarily have to lift heavy, you can fatigue and recruit your muscle fibers by using shorter rest time. It's just a different way to skin a cat. And you may even find that some muscle groups respond better to that type of training.

Now, if you wanna train like that you should probably use some suboptimal weight, for example for 3x12 you shouldn't use your true 12 RM, but your 14 or 15 RM. If you use your true 12 RM then 12-9-6 thing will happen. Although that's perfectly natural, you can train and progress like that too. It's like a longer rest pause... But I digress, so you use your 15 RM and you do 3x12 with 60 sec rest. Now you try to add reps or weight but keep the same rest time. Let's say you add some weight, now you can do 12, 11, 9. That's ok, your goal is to get to 12, 12, 12 again. And that's your progression. Or you can add reps and try to get to 15, 15, 15. At that point you will have your new 15 RM.

But if you wanna do 3 sets across with your true 12 RM and focus primarily on weight progression, then yes, you should rest longer. Although I have a feeling that you are obsessing too much about completing the reps. It's normal that even if you rest for like 3 min. that your reps drop on subsequent sets when you add weight, that's part of the progression. And of course, you can combine and use both approaches in your training. About training to failure, just don't do some ridiculous grinders, especially on big compounds, it's stupid and it's frying your CNS. You know, it's ok if the bar slows down and the last reps are hard and all that, but if the bar is barely moving and you are dying on your last rep, that's just stupid. Might as well do HIT then.

Thanks. I'm going to start trying different techniques with different body parts to see if there's any advantage of one over the other. Like I can try this with biceps, instead of 3x12, use shorter rests with slightly lighter weight and see if works better than taking the longer rest.  And maybe for tricep extensions, I'll keep it the same.

Typically when I do anything with failure, it's with something I can't hurt myself on.  Like I'll do it for compounds that are with cable or machine.  Seated cable rows or row machine, chest press machine, but not for the big 3 (bench, squat, deadlift).
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#7
does it really matter
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#8
(07-01-2019, 01:31 AM)TheNaturallyEnhancedTruth Wrote: Thanks. I'm going to start trying different techniques with different body parts to see if there's any advantage of one over the other. Like I can try this with biceps, instead of 3x12, use shorter rests with slightly lighter weight and see if works better than taking the longer rest.  And maybe for tricep extensions, I'll keep it the same.

Typically when I do anything with failure, it's with something I can't hurt myself on.  Like I'll do it for compounds that are with cable or machine.  Seated cable rows or row machine, chest press machine, but not for the big 3 (bench, squat, deadlift).

I can tell you that for me it worked for legs, back and shoulders, didn't work for triceps and calves. But that's just me. Never tried for chest and biceps.

A few years ago I hurt my lower back and couldn't train heavy neither my legs nor back. It was very dumb, I overused my lower back and well... But that was the first time I tried that type of training. I remember I could only do leg presses, leg extensions and leg curls for legs and only vertical pulls for back, so no squats, no lunges, no rows or any type of deadlift. I just wanted to maintain, you know, until my discs heal. So I trained like that for 5 or 6 months and I noticed that my back and legs improved. By the way, only on the internet you have morons who say that you have to squat for legs and that leg extensions are useless. I don't know, are they coming from Blaha camp or some other youtube-wannabe-expert? Oh, I forgot the Starting Strength guys, now they are something special, that's a whole new level of delusion... Nevermind, after that I tried the same thing for shoulders and triceps, delts improved, triceps didn't.

So, as I said, nothing wrong with that, try it for 6 months, if it works, then great, if it doesn't, don't worry, you won't lose any muscle.
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#9
(06-29-2019, 04:26 AM)TheNaturallyEnhancedTruth Wrote: Some say not do "go to failure" and maybe this is where I"m going wrong.
I like to think that going to (near) failure is beneficial. Consider the following: what will make greater impact - 100 push-ups done in a 1 rep per minute fashion (negligible intensity), or 100 push-ups done in one set or spread in couple of sets, each set taken to (near) failure? I dare to say that 100 push-ups done in a 1 rep per minute fashion may have basically no effect besides learning a movement pattern.

Anecdotally, I use rest-pause sets with lower loads and exercises I can take safely to failure for time efficiency sake. Hypertrophy-wise I see no difference, though I've been training for 14 years and now I basically maintain. Also squats and deadlifts lost their charm after a couple of herniated discs Wink
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#10
(07-17-2019, 11:38 PM)impatient_undertaker Wrote: I like to think that going to (near) failure is beneficial. Consider the following: what will make greater impact - 100 push-ups done in a 1 rep per minute fashion (negligible intensity), or 100 push-ups done in one set or spread in couple of sets, each set taken to (near) failure? I dare to say that 100 push-ups done in a 1 rep per minute fashion may have basically no effect besides learning a movement pattern.

Anecdotally, I use rest-pause sets with lower loads and exercises I can take safely to failure for time efficiency sake. Hypertrophy-wise I see no difference, though I've been training for 14 years and now I basically maintain. Also squats and deadlifts lost their charm after a couple of herniated discs Wink

100 push--ups done in one set or 10 sets of 10 spread throughout the day, to be honest, for a natty anyway, the difference in results is probably minimal.

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