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Glycogen: Thoughts on Reps/Sets/Weights
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Default Glycogen: Thoughts on Reps/Sets/Weights - 08-03-2012, 10:00 AM

I know we all have to find what works for you/me and all of our opinions vary, but in light of things I've seen on logs lately, I wanted to share my theory on why maybe you'd want to do it different. Of course I'm open to discussion because I know my brain can get locked on things now and that's not always good.

What I am seeing is as sets are being completed, the reps are going down and the weights are going up. Is this good? I think it could be done in a better manner to increase your load. I'm throwing out some bogus numbers just for example...but loosely related to what I'm seeing.

And don't take this as "hey you're doing it wrong". I'm just throwing out an idea and what seems to work well for me. I got the idea from the STS scheme.

When you first enter the gym, you have a predetermined amount of glycogen and this is your muscle energy. As your glycogen stores are depleting in the gym, your strength goes down. Where I'm going with this is...when is the best time to have my heaviest set?

It is my theory that once you are getting warm and the pump is coming...it is time to get to the "meat". Don't save it for the last set because you may not be able to rep it as many times. Here's a sample of what I'm seeing:

Set 1: 185x 10 (glycogen stores are optimum/full)
Set 2: 195 x 8
Set 3: 205 x 6
Set 4: 225 x 4
Set 5: 235 x 2 (glycogen stores are used at least partially)


My bet is if you worked it like this....you could increase your reps and maybe even go heavier:

Set 1: 185 x 10
Set 2: 195 x 8
Set 3: 235 x ??? (my bet is you can get more than 2! Muscles are firing, still have plenty of glycogen and feeling good)
Set 4: 225 x ??? (After a decent break, you may be able to get more than 4)
Set 5: 185 x ??? (dropset. You are tired...but you still have some left....rep it out!

This is not the end all - be all solution. And it may not work well for you. But give it a try. Carry notes in and compare what your total work load is. And by total workload, I mean total the pounds lifted. Below is a hypothetical (but pretty realistic) comparison of the total pounds lifted just changing the format of your pyramid and where you place your heaviest set:




I hope if nothing more it helps you understand a little about glycogen and give you an idea to maybe toy around with. Again...this may not fit you physically or mentally...but maybe try it on your core compound movements (squats, deadlifts, bench, pull-ups).



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Default 08-03-2012, 10:48 AM

Very good thoughts Rick.

I see alot of this as well. This also comes with a lot of younger lifters who want to try and push as much weight as possible when they go into the gym and ultimately work against themseleves.

keeping reps in the higher range or using the term " time under tension " comes to mind.

In doing heavy weight for 2 reps your not incorporating enough ATP in the muscle cell to cause sufficiant hypertrophy to the muscle. Sure you will be sore but that is not deep tissue or fast twitch muscle fibers being worked. Unless you are a powerlifter and not concerned solely on just numbers. But then again even powerlifters train for added muscle mass because they know that larger muscle mass = stronger muscle = bigger numbers

I digress,

I make all my workouts even if I'm using Rest pause stuff to time under tension. Even when doing straight sets the scheme should be what the example you used. your warming up the muscle then working it to almost failure then flooding it with blood so it gets all then nutrients to it.
Quote:
The other, the one we can use to our advantage, requires resistance training. Contracting muscles under load causes GLUT-4 translocation in muscle tissue, independent of insulin action (an excellent review of the scientific literature is here48). So weight lifting has the same effect on GLUT-4s as insulin, which means we can make the muscles transport as much glucose during non-peak insulin-sensitivity hours (the evening) as during the morning. This is getting technical, but really, it means lifting makes your muscles absorb sugar whether there’s insulin or not, and whether your muscles are sensitive to it or not.
http://www.dangerouslyhardcore.com/3...nal-follow-up/

I'm still reading alot on this carb back loading and I'm really starting to see alot come to light. When I get the book and read it I think I'll know a little more.

Good thread.


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Default 08-03-2012, 11:08 AM

Great response and add on Mac! I wasn't even thinking of ATP in this as I mentioned I get locked on things and lately carbs + insulin + glycogen are where my targeted material is now, but I totally let ATP slip out of the equation.

There are tons of methods out there and I just hate seeing people go in there in a "zombie-like" state and just do the motions. I like a little method to my madness and think it helps you evaluate what works best for each of us.


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Default 08-03-2012, 11:34 AM

Rick, I love seeing you put methods to madness. I'm just getting my feet wet with learning about food timing now that I finally learned how to eat well.

I think you and mac need to team up and do some new articles, carb timing, insulin manipulation via diet, and the role carbs/glycogen and slin play in the body. ya know, a 101 and basic over view of manipulation


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Default 08-03-2012, 11:51 AM

Hell, I ain't that smart... I will however do a complete review on this site when I finish reading the carb back loading book. I see how carb manipulation has worked for Emeka and others who are trying to stay big and also loose fat at the same time.

but..... you hit on something you just said ouija.... food timing.

this is so important to us that are lifting heavy and trying to grow. normal people can at times get away with this...we can't timing is everything.

Thanks Rick..... It is funny you should bring this up because ask Daniel and Matt and I preach hard in the gym ( soap box here) about keep our reps in the 12-15 range and making sure the muscle has plenty time under tension. In time the weight will come. The heavier stuff that is because the muscle is primed for it.

One person I get on to all the time is Fed and I hope he reads this. I see him doing to many large heavy sets with low numbers then wondering why he tweeks his back or injurys something.

Let me say this lastly since I could go on all day about this.

90 percent of my injuries I've incurred over the past 6 years has had nothing to do with the gym. I've never had an injury in the gym. all my stuff came from wrecking bikes. 4 wheelers, fights at work or what not.

In my career in the gym. I've always kept reps in the 12 -15 range when I could. The heaviest I would go would if I was not competing would stay in the 8-10 range and that was heavy I mean really heavy stuff. The really low reps where few and far between when it was a max day and those where not used often because you used your competition for the max day.

I digress again. I guess I'm on a role these past couple of weeks and really taking off now. I just don't want it to stop I'm having so much fun.


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Default 08-04-2012, 03:49 PM

I updated the table so it was a little more clear to some that might not have understood the format. (located in original post)


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