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Not sore enough!

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Old 09-01-2005, 10:59 AM   #1
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Question Not sore enough!

I did a great split workout last night. Really worked my arms. Could feel it burning at the time and worked to failure on some tricep dips and abs exercises.

I'm not sore today though. Not at all! Am I working hard enough? It feels hard at the time!! Working to about failure -1 for my standing shoulder press and probably failure -5 for a bench press. I just don't feel sore! I feel tired! But no muscles screaming at me! Which is good I suppose, cos I wouldn't want to be kickboxing with aching muscles!

Do you have to work to stiffness the next day? Is it a sign I'm not working hard enough, or have I got a magic resistance to sore muscles???
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Old 09-01-2005, 01:31 PM   #2
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I am by no means an expert, but I did chest and back exercises on Tuesday (chest press, chest fly, seated rows, back extensions, and a few others) but my muscles only started feeling sore gradually over the course of the day yesterday (Wednesday) and I was working hard, to failure on a few machines. My muscles are still a bit sore today.
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Old 09-01-2005, 02:16 PM   #3
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2F -- If you were working to failure, you will probably feel some soreness by the second day. Sometimes I am sore the next day (24 hours), and sometimes I am sore a couple of days later (which seems to last longer).

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Old 09-02-2005, 03:54 AM   #4
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Oh don't say that! I have to do my back tonight! I'm just hoping my "cardio" last night worked out the soreness that was planning to creep up today!
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Old 09-06-2005, 06:15 PM   #5
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Soreness is not a reliable indicator of the effectiveness of your workout. I mainly feel sore when I am trying a new exercise, or doing something I haven't done in a while.

A lot of trainees feel that if they are not getting sore and/or training to failure that they are not going to make progress. I am finally starting to accept that i can make very good strength gains without ever getting sore or training to failure. In fact the stronger you get the more you should "leave in the tank" on any given set.
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Old 09-06-2005, 09:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
In fact the stronger you get the more you should "leave in the tank" on any given set.

Why do you believe that?

I agree that once you get used to a workout, even if you are lifting increasingly heavy weights, you may not get sore. I also only seem to get certain body parts sore when I do completely new exercises.

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Old 09-07-2005, 03:35 AM   #7
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totally believe the "new exercise" theory! I did split squats for the first time, and now I'm having problems walking! I feel good though!
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Old 09-07-2005, 10:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel
Why do you believe that?
Mel,
The greater the intensity, the greater the risk of overtraining. I have found that, especially now that I am a bit older (40), I am much more prone to overtraining and that training to failure was the main culprit. With HIT schemes i make gains for a while and then stagnate as overtraining sets in. One solution is to cycle the weights down and build them up again, but you still tend to plateau at a lower strength level than if you avoid training to failure all together.

I am modeling my workouts more along the lines of the Soviet O-lifters who make strength gains year after without ever training to failure. The idea is to do multiple sets of 1-5 reps without ever reaching failure. The appropriate number of sets and reps was determined empiricaly and is summarized in "Prilepin's Table":



Percent 1RM # of Reps per Set Reps Per Workout Optimal Reps
70% 3-6 12-24 18
80% 2-4 10-20 15
90% 1-2 4-10 7

If the number of lifts deviates significantly from optimal, a decrease in training effect occurs. This information is found in Managing the Training of Weightlifters by Laputin and Oleshko.

All of the sets should be easily completed, but you should be pushing each rep as hard as possible to maximize "dynamic effort".

As an example my last heavy day of seated OHP I used a weight ~95% 1RM (one rep max) for seven sets of 1 rep. Even on the last set I could have done 2-reps, but that would have approached failure and been much more taxing on my recovery.

On a "light day" I would use the following scheme: weight=80%1RM for six sets of 3 reps. The weight is pressed much more quickly than on the Heavy workout.
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Old 09-07-2005, 01:05 PM   #9
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OK, but you are training vastly differently and with different goals than most people here. The rep/set schema you use is designed for maximum strength gains, not necessarily maximum muscle growth or endurance which are also conflicting goals. As you said, it is based on the success of Olympic power lifters. How long do you rest between sets?

I train chest that way when I'm prepping for a bench pressing contest. It is very effective for strength gains.

Most of the people posting on this board are lifting to gain muscle, burn fat, general fitness and aren't doing olympic lifts. I don't think that's the optimum training plan for that goal. But that's why this sport is so wonderful...whatever your goals are, there is a way to personalize and design a plan to meet them.

I'm not sure I agree with you though, that doing 95% of 1 rep max sets is any less taxing or less likely to lead to overtraining. Depending on the lift, that still heavy and the reason my hands constantly ache, I have tendonitis in both elbows and am currently taking an extended vacation from bench pressing!

Mel
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Old 09-07-2005, 01:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel
OK, but you are training vastly differently and with different goals than most people here. The rep/set schema you use is designed for maximum strength gains, not necessarily maximum muscle growth or endurance which are also conflicting goals. As you said, it is based on the success of Olympic power lifters. How long do you rest between sets?

I train chest that way when I'm prepping for a bench pressing contest. It is very effective for strength gains.

Most of the people posting on this board are lifting to gain muscle, burn fat, general fitness and aren't doing olympic lifts. I don't think that's the optimum training plan for that goal. But that's why this sport is so wonderful...whatever your goals are, there is a way to personalize and design a plan to meet them.

I'm not sure I agree with you though, that doing 95% of 1 rep max sets is any less taxing or less likely to lead to overtraining. Depending on the lift, that still heavy and the reason my hands constantly ache, I have tendonitis in both elbows and am currently taking an extended vacation from bench pressing!

Mel
I rest for as long as i think i need to to recover from the previous sets. When I am training at 95%1RM that is close to 5 min.


Yes, this is aimed at gaining strength. I am currently dieting severely enough (1,500 Cal/day), that I can't really expect to gain size, but I want to hang onto as much muscle as I can AND make some strength gains. My end of year strength goal is a bodyweight overheadpress, which is going to take some combination of strength-gain and weight-loss totaling about 60#.

There certainly is a big difference in the intensity experienced doing sets of 10-12 to failure versus 2-3 to failure. I just wanted to point out that you really don't have to train to failure to make good strength gains, and that you might actually progress farther without failure. My wife has experienced a dramatic improvement in her bone density and overall muscle tone from training with dumbells and machines at a very modest intensity level. She hasn't gained all that much strength, but the health benefits have been considerable.

IMHO, the best way to get started in bodybuilding is to build up a considerable base of strength before focusing on size and shape. It has sort of worked out for me that i started lifting a few years ago, without really dieting, and I dropped 30# of weight while putting on quite a bit of muscle. Now I am focusing on getting my bodyfat levels down while holding onto the muscle. It is pretty much impossible to add muscle AND lose fat at the same time.

One basic strength goal Stuart McRobert's recommends aiming for is working up to a RAW Class II Powerlift total in the "Big Three" (Squat, Deadlift and Bench); for a 198# man this would be 1200# or a 400# squat, 300# bench, and 500# Deadlift. For a 132# woman this would be a 600# total for the three lifts. Only after that strength goal is achieved through focusing on building strength on basic exercises does McRoberts' recommend focusing on refining the physique.

After I get my weight down I plan on working on a higher volume/lower intensity approach to try to make some size gains.

What are you doing instead of benching? I am currently doing OHP 3xweek, Incline press 1xweek and the pec-deck 1xweek, but not benching. I lack the recovery ability to really push the bench and OHP while dieting this severely.
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