Yesterday I touched on what sets and reps meant. Not only that but I also gave a brief guideline on how to utilize these new terminologies, to your weight training benefits. Basically, now that I know what these terms are, how do I use them?
When weight training, we have to recognize the size of our muscles that we are going to train. The arms are small muscles, which don’t require too much training to grow. Besides that, they are also secondary muscle groups that are indirectly worked out when training backs, chest, etc. Because of them being complementary muscles, anyone who’s training for mass would pair them with say; triceps on chest days. By having triceps on chest days, you’re warming up your triceps indirectly, preparing it for isolated tricep workouts after the chest exercises are done.
So because arms are small, the amount of exercises per session should be low. For the general guidelines, 3 to 4 exercises is enough for biceps and for triceps, individually. With a max of 8 exercises per arm session, if you are training arms on it’s own day. If it’s on a chest or back day, and you’re training triceps and biceps respectively, then 3 exercises is sufficient. For some people, they would do more because they’re on the intermediate level and have come to realize a little higher volume tends to work for them. As a beginner, one needs to recognize what works for their own body. So start off with the 3 to 4 exercises per arm body parts, and then if you realize this is a little lower than you think it should be, you can increase it by 1 more exercise. I tend to do about 4 exercises, and depending on how I feel after the 4th one, I will do another exercise that’s more involved in pushing my muscles to failure.
Now how does that incorporate into sets? 3 exercises with 3 sets per, would equal 9 overall sets per individual arm body parts; triceps and biceps. If it’s 4 exercises, with 3 sets, then it would be 12 sets overall. As for reps, if it’s 8 to 10 reps per exercise and we have 3 exercises, then it would be 72 reps and 90 reps, respectively. If it goes up to 4 exercises, with 8 to 10 reps, we’ll have 96 reps and 120 reps, respectively.
You are probably wondering, what about shoulders? Shoulders are a small muscle group, so the same will apply for them. They tend to get warmed up by chest, if you work them out with shoulders in the same training session. So a 3 to 4 exercises, with 3 sets and 10 reps, will produce the same numbers as above.
Finally, with the bigger muscles; chest, back and legs, we can use a heavy amount of training with them. We can do about 5 to 6 exercises per body part. The same calculation methods used for the arms and shoulders, would be used here. Legs tend to be able to take heavy loads of training on them. They don’t tend to be warmed up indirectly by any muscle group being trained, so the amount of exercises is appropriate as 1 of the exercises is used as a warm up for the others.
That’s another thing I will be touching on sometime soon. Is the technique of warming up. As it’s essential to prevent injury and as you will see, will help you lift more during a particular training session, I will make an individual post talking about it. Warming up helps immensely, and it’s something one does without shame. Meaning, if you are accustom to curling 35 lb dumbells in the gym, warming up with 25s or even 20s is okay, as it will help push blood to your muscles and yet again, prevent injury.Read More »