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  1. #1
    Registered User egsiue's Avatar
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    Strength and bodybuilding/physique related goals

    Hey, I’ve noticed that I have gotten a lot bigger over the last few years, but I’m not very strong. My lifts are going up but, but very very slowly, and there are guys much smaller than me that can lift more than I do. Could it be because I train with more volume and higher reps? I personally don’t care if I can ever bench x amount of weight, but I’m curious if my style of training could be hindering my ability to put on muscle mass faster than I’ve been since size and strength usually go together. Most people say to do 10-20 sets per muscle group but I tend to do a little more than that for larger muscle groups, if that makes a difference. Would it be better to reduce the reps for all my compound lifts to the 4-6 rep range (rather than 6-8) and maybe even drop a couple sets out of my workout to be at the 20 sets/muscle group? Or should I keep things the same since My goal is purely bodybuilding/physique related

    Sorry if I’m questioning myself over nothing, I tend to overthink things a lot.
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  2. #2
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    We adapt to how we train. Neural factors (how well the brain coordinates the firing of motor units in muscles) play a big part in peak strength. So if you do higher reps, you aren't going to be as attuned to lifting bigger weights. You probably find that people who focus on low reps and heavy weights have a "peaky" strength profile. What I mean by this is that their 1 rep maxes are impressive but if you ask them to do a 10 rep max, they probably have to reduce their weight for this by a lot more than someone who trains like you.

    Just measure your progress using 10 RMs or similar - and this is only a broad indicator. Some hypertrophy based lifters deliberately stop training certain movements to become less adapted to them (HST - strategic deconditioning) so that they can get back to a situation where they can get a growth stimulus from a lower weight.
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    Registered User egsiue's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    We adapt to how we train. Neural factors (how well the brain coordinates the firing of motor units in muscles) play a big part in peak strength. So if you do higher reps, you aren't going to be as attuned to lifting bigger weights. You probably find that people who focus on low reps and heavy weights have a "peaky" strength profile. What I mean by this is that their 1 rep maxes are impressive but if you ask them to do a 10 rep max, they probably have to reduce their weight for this by a lot more than someone who trains like you.

    Just measure your progress using 10 RMs or similar - and this is only a broad indicator. Some hypertrophy based lifters deliberately stop training certain movements to become less adapted to them (HST - strategic deconditioning) so that they can get back to a situation where they can get a growth stimulus from a lower weight.
    I haven’t tested my 1RM in a long time, I log my top set for each exercise with the set and reps, and then try and add at least one rep each time I workout. Obviously I won’t add a rep every week but I haven’t been adding reps for a while now and I’ve noticed that I’m very tired and sore all the time. I’ve also developed a hamstring injury which sucks. All of this combined is making me think that I’m doing too much. A deload is probably necessary, but I was just wondering if reducing my workload to help me recover would be a good idea
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  4. #4
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by egsiue View Post
    I haven’t tested my 1RM in a long time, I log my top set for each exercise with the set and reps, and then try and add at least one rep each time I workout. Obviously I won’t add a rep every week but I haven’t been adding reps for a while now and I’ve noticed that I’m very tired and sore all the time. I’ve also developed a hamstring injury which sucks. All of this combined is making me think that I’m doing too much. A deload is probably necessary, but I was just wondering if reducing my workload to help me recover would be a good idea
    It does sound like functional overreaching. You could take time off completely for 2 weeks. This is not long enough to lose any actual tissue (provided you eat roughly at maintenance) but you should recover from fatigue. You will also have reset your volume requirements to a lower level. So you could then come back to training doing less total sets - but you'll need to increase it over time as you become re-adapted to the lifts.

    Essentially, I think I know when I've done enough in a session because I feel the impact. A new weight makes a big difference to the stimulus (usually I start a new weight with less reps than I can actually do) and make small non-maximal increments to the rep count for some time before increasing weight again. I add sets if the whole thing doesn't feel challenging enough.
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    Originally Posted by egsiue View Post
    Hey, I’ve noticed that I have gotten a lot bigger over the last few years, but I’m not very strong. My lifts are going up but, but very very slowly, and there are guys much smaller than me that can lift more than I do. Could it be because I train with more volume and higher reps? I personally don’t care if I can ever bench x amount of weight, but I’m curious if my style of training could be hindering my ability to put on muscle mass faster than I’ve been since size and strength usually go together. Most people say to do 10-20 sets per muscle group but I tend to do a little more than that for larger muscle groups, if that makes a difference. Would it be better to reduce the reps for all my compound lifts to the 4-6 rep range (rather than 6-8) and maybe even drop a couple sets out of my workout to be at the 20 sets/muscle group? Or should I keep things the same since My goal is purely bodybuilding/physique related

    Sorry if I’m questioning myself over nothing, I tend to overthink things a lot.
    Sounds to me like you're right on track brother.
    I'm in your exact situation. There are guys in my gym who embarass me with weights but, literally, look DYEL. You'd never know these guys spent 1 day in a gym.

    It's a totally different mindset to train as a bodybuilder vs a powerlifter.
    That's why there are so many threads on this forum with guys saying "I've trained 5x5 for the past 2 years and my physique hasn't changed a bit. I'm stronger but nothing else has changed"
    You can't expect to look like a bodybuilder if you train like a powerlifter.
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