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One body part at a time or all at once?

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Old 07-02-2008, 01:10 PM   #1
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Default One body part at a time or all at once?

Question - when doing a weight routine - say upper body - does it make any difference if you do this:

biceps:
12 reps w/12.5 lbs
10 reps w/15 lbs.
8 reps w/15 lbs.

THEN move onto the next body part vs. this:

biceps:
12 reps w/12.5 lbs

triceps:
12 reps w/12.5 lbs

shoulders:
12 reps w/12.5 lbs. (then back 12 reps/12.5 wts and chest 12 reps/12.5 wts)

THEN repeat the whole sequence using fewer reps but heavier weights?

Is there a difference in doing one vs. the other or are they pretty much both the same? Thanks. (sorry if this is a stupid question. )
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Last edited by Hat Trick : 07-02-2008 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:58 PM   #2
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If you do alternating sets instead of straight sets, you should be able to lift heavier in the subsequent sets as each body part will have a longer period to recover.

In you example, if you do straight sets of biceps with 60 seconds between rest, you biceps will have 60 seconds of recovery between sets. If you do alternating sets with the same 60 seconds after each set, you will have 4 minutes rest before your second sets of biceps. 60 seconds after your set of biceps, 60 after the tricep set, and 60 after the shoulders, plus the 30 seconds each for the set of triceps and shoulders. More recovery time means you should be able to lift even heavier on each subsequent set than you would if you were to do straight sets.
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:03 PM   #3
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What she said.

A lot of trainers recommend alternating sets for just that reason. You can get a more intense workout because of the increased rest time for the various muscle groups between sets.

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Old 07-02-2008, 07:10 PM   #4
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But why would you stick to the same weight for each muscle group? pick a weight that is appropriate. If you can use 12.5 pounds for triceps (assuming you are doing one arm at a time) you should be able to use a lot heavier weights for biceps and some shoulder exercises.

Mel
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Old 07-02-2008, 07:40 PM   #5
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Oh yeah, I totally missed the same weight thing. You shouldn't be using the same weight for everything. You should pick a weight that allows you to just barely complete your last set. And that will be a different weight for each type of exercise.

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Old 07-03-2008, 10:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel View Post
If you can use 12.5 pounds for triceps (assuming you are doing one arm at a time) you should be able to use a lot heavier weights for biceps and some shoulder exercises.

Mel
Just not quite there yet. I can use 12.5 lbs. for the first set then only 15 lbs. for the second & third sets (for biceps and shoulders) and am definetely feeling it and struggling some by the end of the reps. Eventually I'll get to heavier wts. if I persist, right? Thanks for all the info. Hadn't really thought about the longer rest interval / being able to lift a heavier wt. Will try this on my next w/out.
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Old 07-05-2008, 03:15 PM   #7
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I do your first scenario, probably bc it makes it easier for me to keep up with the weights amount I'm using. I would probably have to write it all down otherwise, which I do have, but I could see myself having to make checkmarks. As it is already, I sometimes forget if something was my 2nd or 3rd set if I get interrupted. Yeah, I'm sad like that. Maybe I should shake things up next week!
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Old 07-05-2008, 08:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
But why would you stick to the same weight for each muscle group? pick a weight that is appropriate. If you can use 12.5 pounds for triceps (assuming you are doing one arm at a time) you should be able to use a lot heavier weights for biceps and some shoulder exercises
I think what Mel is trying to say is that very few people use the same weight for each exercise. You will advance at different rates for each exercise. For instance, you'll take longer to be able to lift more on shoulder exercises than biceps. Your aim is to have the last rep be almost too much, but not too much. You should just be able to finish it - with good form. When you feel that you could do more reps at a particular weight, then it's time to move up a bit.

I usually do one or alternate two groups of exericise at a time. Like Fran, I tend to forget which set I'm on....
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Old 07-05-2008, 08:19 PM   #9
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Thanks, Pat That's exactly what I meant. Sometimes I just type too fast and leave out the though process.
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