Thread: Charles Staley on Reps/Sets
07-03-2004, 07:51 AM #1
Charles Staley on Reps/Sets
Found this a bit eeeeeeeeeeeeinteresting... Anyone?
WHEN SHOULD YOU END A SET?
Q+A by Charles Staley
"Coach, in The Ultimate Guide To Massive Arms, you recommend a starting weight of 10RM. Does this mean a weight you can lift 10 times to technical failure, or physical failure with poor technique?
COACH STALEY RESPONDS: Hey thank God I've got thoughtful readers out there with some great questions:
OK, here's the scoop on when and how to terminate a set:
Let's say you're working with a weight that can you can lift 10 times, but not 11— if you tried rep 11, you'd totally fail. Now, somewhere around rep 7-8, you'll hit what's called "technical failure," which means the point at which your lifting technique starts to break down— in other words, you'll be forced to alter either your speed or posture (or both) to get the next rep(s). Many coaches would say that you should end each set not at total failure, but at technical failure.
And while I agree that stopping at technical failure is a better idea than continuing to TOTAL failure, there's still a better way: stopping half-way to technical failure.
Because roughly halfway to TF, your power (expressed in watts) will be at it's highest (there are a number of research investigations, including some former Russian force plate studies that validate this claim— I just don't happen to have them at arm's length at the moment). Therefore, rate coding, inter-muscular coordination, and muscular tension will be maximized. And needless to say, this results in the best fitness gain. That's why the EDT protocol uses a starting point of 5 reps where 10 are possible.
Here's a challenge for any serious lifter out there: if you typically perform 6 or more reps per set, for the next 4 weeks try cutting your reps in half while at the same time doubling your sets. In other words, if you normally do 5 sets of 8, you'll do 10 sets of 4. If you normally do 3x10, do 6x5. Don't add more weight because you've cut the reps in half! Also don't exceed your total training time either: if 5x8 normally takes 25 minutes, do 10x4 in 25 minutes. Control the descent and then get as much concentric speed as possible on every rep. After a month of this, send me a note detailing how amazing your gains were.
07-03-2004, 08:05 AM #2
Good read and makes some good points...
I'm looking more at it from the preventing
injury point of view... Going to total failure
most of the time leads to sloppy form and
07-03-2004, 08:20 AM #3Originally Posted by buff87
07-03-2004, 08:32 AM #4Originally Posted by Charles Staley
07-07-2004, 03:01 AM #5
True stuff. From what Coach Stanley says, because you would be pushing the weight for more reps, each set being controlled and focused. This, from what I understand, would mean your body wouldnt be able to cheat, just to satisfy the ego and cain out those extra reps!
I like it and not being a real ripped guy, this could really work for me.
07-07-2004, 10:31 AM #6
This is exactly why I prefer to work in the lower rep ranges and have a larger number of sets per exercise. Holding workload constant, the only way you can raise the intensity is to reduce the number of reps and increase the number of sets.
Originally Posted by Warrior
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