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Dividing a Big Set

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Dividing a Big Set

Postby cheapo » Sat Jul 12, 2008 7:38 am

Where I cannot complete all the pull-ups in one set, I do sets of as many reps as I can. This usually results in a first set of considerably more reps than any of the others.

Take the 26 pull-ups from my last D3L5, for example:

My sets looked like this: 15, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1

After the first set of 15, my arms are very tired.
Would it be better to break it down into one set of 6 and 4 sets of 5?

If the goal to do 26 pull-ups in one set, what is the best way to get there?
Last edited by cheapo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby splint » Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:59 am

I had posted this question before and the conclusion I came to was that it was probably best to mix it up. On some days, try to get max number reps on the first set, on others, go into the workout with a specific plan and see what your results are.
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Postby ucffool » Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:18 pm

I usually try and do the most reps over the least amount of breaks... so instead of 15,3,3,2,2,1 do more like 12, 9, 5
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Postby cheapo » Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:26 am

On my last D3L5, I tried to do 26 pull-ups in sets of 8-7-6-5.
I managed: 8-7-4-2-2-2-1
Which conforms to your "most reps over the least amount of breaks" rule.

This leads to another question: how often do you actually try to go the other way? My result might have been 8-7-4-2-2-3? I've managed this the odd time, but even if the body is able, the mental drive to do one more rep rather than the same or one less is not always available!
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Postby zorg » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:03 am

cheapo wrote:This leads to another question: how often do you actually try to go the other way? My result might have been 8-7-4-2-2-3? I've managed this the odd time, but even if the body is able, the mental drive to do one more rep rather than the same or one less is not always available!


I agree - the mental part is sometimes more limiting than the physical one. I only get dedicated enough for this last push every few workouts - maybe once or twice per month, tops. Of course, that is when you set a personal record :D
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Kevin's Take on the Matter

Postby cheapo » Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:53 am

I just found Kevin's post on this subject.


Admin wrote:Rest:
Rest between sets if fine, I actually encourage it. You want to leverage rest so you can do the most work in the least time. If you can squeeze out 30 pull ups in a workout rather than 20 because you rested an extra 3 minutes total that is a big win. So if you can do level 6 rather than level 4 by addin a little rest by all means DO IT!

Failure:
Do not go to failure, stay 2 or 3 under failure, break up your sets.

Bottom line:
Do lots of small sets 2-3 under failure and you will see you numbers go up much faster.

Cheers

(my italics)
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Postby volleyball_man » Wed Jul 30, 2008 2:17 am

I have experimented - with some success - with focusing more on the rest time itself. Make note of how long you rest at each break and try to reduce that time. I usually would reduce by 5-10 seconds until I could add a rep or two to the earlier set.

Like this 5 rest 30 4 rest 30...
Becomes 5 rest 25 4 rest 30...
Then 5 rest 20 4 rest 30
Until it makes sense to go 6 rest 30 4 rest 30...

The rest times and rep numbers are up to you. You might find it beneficial to do this at more than one spot in your sets. Play around with it. I found that Kevin's 3 minute suggestion as a recovery time to be spot on. If I am "toast" I'll wait and see how I feel after 3 minutes before I call it.

Great progress cheapo - I imagine you are inspiring a lot of us!
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Postby cheapo » Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:03 am

Thanks VBM!

You know, now that I re-read it, I am not sure what exactly Kevin is saying.

Admin wrote:Rest:
Rest between sets if fine, I actually encourage it. You want to leverage rest so you can do the most work in the least time. If you can squeeze out 30 pull ups in a workout rather than 20 because you rested an extra 3 minutes total that is a big win. So if you can do level 6 rather than level 4 by addin a little rest by all means DO IT!


I can see that more work is better, but how would adding 3 minutes allow you to level-up (as they say in the video game world)?

    Day 1:
    Set the stopwatch for 23 minutes instead of 20 and use the extra minutes to rest?

    Day 2:
    easy -- longer rest between sets, if needed.

    Day 3:
    I don't think it applies here. But if we are talking about going up a level (or two!) this is the day where it has to apply, right?
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Postby volleyball_man » Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:32 am

I think the key to the 3 minute comment is in the context. It says "If you can squeeze out 30 pull ups in a workout rather than 20 because..."

If I am at failure or am gassed, then I'll take one more rep over totally quitting. If 3 minutes gets me that, then fine. On D2 the 3 minutes is part of the design.

On the detailed explanations page:

Day 2 (strength) - "5 rounds for time:"
2 pull-ups
6 push-ups
10 squats

Do 2 pull-ups, then 6 push-ups, and finally 10 squats to complete one round. See how quickly you can complete each of the 5 rounds, resting approximately 3 minutes between each round. Do not count the rest time in your total time.
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Postby cheapo » Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:50 am

So getting more work done is all that's really being discussed here right? Using this approach will help you move through the levels (by training better/harder), but there's no way to add 3 minutes to a workout and call it an L6 workout instead of an L4.
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Postby volleyball_man » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:10 pm

On a D1 that's irrelevant. 20minutes at L8 might get me 5 rounds. The test day is D3...
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Postby cheapo » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:59 pm

I feel like we're not getting each other.

I want to know what is meant by "So if you can do level 6 rather than level 4 by adding a little rest by all means DO IT!"

...

OK, I posted the above comment, and then I figured things out, I think.
What Kevin is saying is that if you hammer away at your D3 workout a little longer, doing more, smaller sets, with more rest, you might get as many reps as are required for a higher level. You won't be at a higher level, because you still need clock a sub-5-minute D3 on the level you're at, but you'll be gaining ground on that five minute mark.
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Postby volleyball_man » Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:16 am

From my own personal experience - I find that I sometimes can do 2 sets of 5 FASTER than 1 set of 10...

Depends on the movement and my ability to pace.
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