I would recommend (off personal experience mostly, only a few articles or research read, 'it works for me') higher reps. 15 - 9. Usually scale is depending on how many sets (3-4, sometimes 2 even). Bodybuilders (from what I've read and seen) do higher reps and focus on the contractions and release. go down slow come up fast (but not sloppy). Sounds like you're already doing that. That just increase the rep size because it should create better hypertrophy (increase in muscle size). Strength workouts are usually associated with lower reps (6 - 8).
I personally respond better to higher reps (consequently, lowered weight). I think it just allows you to concentrate on the lift and getting that contraction and stretch better than if you were to struggle with 6 - 8 reps. I seated alternating dumbell curls with 30's and 35's for 15, 12 reps. I haven't seen an increase in my bicep size as good as this since I started lifting 5 years ago.
I won't tell if your split is good or not, I think that's extremely personal based. I don't do chest, tricep, or shoulders on the same day, or even within 2 days. I just don't like it. The muscles are too closely involved with the others in lifts, so I don't feel as strong. That's just me, and it's something you'll find out if you like. (most people do it like you do)
Ah sound cheers man. Also, I am having trouble doing squats - I don't know if this is a common problem. My technique is fine, and I never have a sore neck as I always position it right... and I always put the pressure on my heels but my problem is I cant squat low enough. It's like I physically cant go really low, so I feel like I am doing a half-ass squat. Don't get me wrong, I feel it the day after but I want my ass to grass. I just dont feel comfortable going really low.
Is smith machine okay for squats? I know barbell is better, but to feel comfortable going low, should I use smith first?
My opinion on muscle building is this: get strong first (low reps, high intensity). That way, when you do switch to high reps for muscle building, you're squatting, say 405, ten times instead of 225 ten times, and are thus bigger. Ronnie Coleman was a powerlifter before becoming who he became. He squats sets of 2 reps squats at 800 lbs every week. Steroids aside, he still trains strength.
As a rough, generalised scale you should think of it as
1-6 reps strength
Now its a continuum so even if you're doing 15 reps for stuff you'll gain strength etc. Personally i like a rep range of 5-8 but thats just me.
Smith machine is one of the worst machines to even have been invented. There is nothing functional about it, and you will gain nothing as your body has no idea how to stabilise itself if you lift something tracking along a fixed axis. As far as squats go, to 90 degrees is adequate.
might be some hip flexibility problems if you can't get passed parallel. Look at us and our youtube heroes! Smith machine is only acceptable if you have serious injuries, at an old age, or put the bar up top to do pull ups off of. I do upright rows on the smith machine, but so much other trap, deltoid, lat work I don't suffer from stabilizing issues.
@MF83, since you posted that video last time, I love the arm position he teaches. I still get numb or tingly arms a little bit though, so I have to work on it. But I definitely feel the difference in my traps. and thanks to that power lifters form on Bench, I can do 225 x 4 now. instead of 225 x 0. My chest is big and flat enough I just want to get it stronger, so I'm looking in to that 5/3/1 you drool over so much.
I actually just did hamstrings and got 250 x 6 on stiff leg deadlifts for 3 sets.
^^^ There's lots of hypertrophy templates for it as well. Boring But Big is the most famous but there a few more. Buy or "acquire" the second edition of 5/3/1 and then read Beyond 5/3/1 after. Even if you don't use it, it's got tons of good logical advice from a legend.
I tried the Spinal Tap variant for the first time today, actually, for my Overhead Press. The idea is to do a month's worth of work sets in one day, adding joker sets if you want along the way. Superset the whole thing with lat, rear delt, biceps type work and voila, I had one of the best workouts of my life today. Add 5 lbs to your training max every week for three weeks.
Training Max = 160lbs
45x8 | face pulls
65x5 | face pulls
80x5 | face pulls
95x3 | 10 neutral grip chin ups
110x3 | 10 chinups
130x3 | 10 pullups
145x3 | 20 Bent Lateral Raises with 5's
120x5 | 15 Bent Lateral Raises with 10's
135x3 | 10 neutral chin ups
150x1 | 10 chin ups
*Joker Set: 165! Tied PR! Shit flew up in the air too; could have gone for more but chose not to.
I've been going back to the gym recently, I am currently doing
Monday - Chest/Tris
Tuesday - Back/Biceps
Thursday - Legs/Shoulders
(I change the order of these on a weekly basis)
The thing I am asking is, although I am eating a good diet and cardio etc. I am not doing 2- 3 reps etc. I usually do 4 sets of 8 - 10 reps. Is that okay? I am trying to just get a good body, nice bit of muscle on there but I am not doing the whole push for 2 reps at the end thing, but instead slowly going with a weight I can just handle and on my last set, I push out on a weight I can just about hit 6 reps on.
You can always cycle reps aswell. For instance you could do 8 weeks of 8-12 reps, 8 weeks of 4-6 reps(look up a program like MAX OT when on this phase) and then do a couple weeks of 15-20 reps.
Now if you do something like pushups or bodyweight squats, afterwhile 20 reps will be easy, so those can always be done in higher rep fashion.
Also track your numbers on the big lifts and try increasing the weight weekly/bi weekly.
Or you can just do a program like 5/3/1 boring but big. You go heavy on the main lifts(squat,deadlift,bench,overhead press) and then you pick a few assistance exercises for whatever rep range you want. He has a program for hypertrophy, one for endurance and one for powerlifting.
I actually ran 5/3/1 about 2 years ago(holy shit, time flies) but I did add a 5th day for extra upper back/core and arm stuff.
Someone mentioned Rippetoe...dude is insane lol. I wish I could do a 5x5 program where you squat 3x a week but my lower back is like "nice try,jackass". Also most of those have you do Overhead press and deadlift on same day with the squats...my bad discs in my back would love that lol.
Full body beginner programs scare me at my level too but I'm testing them on the New Years Resolutioners at my university, for my own experimentation/their benefit.
I have them do a Monday/Wednesday/Friday week 1 ABA week 2 BAB split with
A: deadlift/press/(assisted) dips/(assisted) chins/abs & B: squat/bench/rows/back raises/abs (I think; off the top of my head).
My 5ft8 140 lbs girlfriend is borderline EXRX standards "Advanced" (132bw=220, 148bw=240) for deadlift (2 plates) after training for like a month without any kind of supplementation. Her squat best is 5x105. She could barely do a rep with the bar squatting and 95lbs was heavy for her first deadlift day. 30 lbs gains every week is fucking boggling. Dem noob gains harvested correctly, man. It's fucking magical. I train around noon then go with her (and whoever else) at night and foam roll/stretch/skip whatever and my body hasn't felt more recovered since I started lifting. It's win-win as hell, plus I get to test out this idea of me wanting to train people and do all the experimenting on guinea pigs.
Boring But Big and Wendler's other size templates makes people huge but it's awesome because you still do three strength work sets for your press/bench/squat/DL every workout.
5/3/1 is doing so much good for my lifts, except for bench, but that's my own damn fault for switching forms (and even then I'm figuring it out). I remember how I failed however many times in a row to hit a 405 Dl and finally did at the end of August. Joker setted 400x3 today, after my money set of 8x360. All the fucking gains. I love this shit.
started doing single leg squats on a bosu ball with a kettlebell in one hand (25 lbs) again. Literally only to impress a girl who was doing crossfity stuff nearby. Can't believe I can still do them so well. Even decided to do some old Turkish Getups They're still easy to me (at 70 lbs).