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  1. #1
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    Turns out there is a gym close to work that I can join for $20 a month. I plan on going over once a week during lunch and doing a quick work out. I plan on doing squats, leg exstenstions, and leg curls along with some things for upper body. My biggest question is how many reps and sets to do. My biggest weakness is hills and sprinting so I'm looking to do something that might help me in this area. Conventional wisdom back in high school was low reps(4 to 8 reps) high weight=strength. 8-10 reps=size and 12 reps and above were for muscle definition. I am not afraid of bulking up and gaining to much weight because my body does not naturally carry a lot of muscle. I am down to about a 158 now and by the end of summer at the rate I am going I will be at 150 which I don't think will look good on me. Any suggestions on reps and sets or any other lifts besides the ones listed would be appreciated.

    BTW I am doing hill repeats and I just got a Hill training spinerval that I am going to try out this week

  2. #2
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    If you want to get better at hill climbing and sprints, why not save the $20/month and get outside and climb hills and do sprints?

  3. #3
    slower than you Applehead57's Avatar
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    I'm a believer in low/medium weight & more reps. The emphasis on toning & flexibility. Provides "warm fuzzy" feeling all over and little pain. I'm 48 and that works well for me. If you are young, you may want to go with heavier weights, but you really don't have to.
    "Lack of opportunity does not constitute virtue". Diana Tickle.

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    I think I addressed that in my original post. I am doing hill repeats and I just got a hill training spinerval. If you will re-read my post I have a side goal of trying to put on a little muscle because I don't want to be to skinny.

  5. #5
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    For each specific exercise, I do 3 sets X 12 reps. Lower reps make you bulky and train your fast twitch muscles, meaning you can have big bursts of power but they won't last long, good for sprinting but bad for climbing hills. Higher reps are for endurance and toning.

    Of course everyone has their own style, but what works for me is increasing the weight every set, IE, start with say, 10lbs, then increase in whatever increment I deem appropriate for the exercise.
    Masochism is a training adaptation.

  6. #6
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weak
    Turns out there is a gym close to work that I can join for $20 a month. I plan on going over once a week during lunch and doing a quick work out. I plan on doing squats, leg exstenstions, and leg curls along with some things for upper body. My biggest question is how many reps and sets to do. My biggest weakness is hills and sprinting so I'm looking to do something that might help me in this area. Conventional wisdom back in high school was low reps(4 to 8 reps) high weight=strength. 8-10 reps=size and 12 reps and above were for muscle definition. I am not afraid of bulking up and gaining to much weight because my body does not naturally carry a lot of muscle. I am down to about a 158 now and by the end of summer at the rate I am going I will be at 150 which I don't think will look good on me. Any suggestions on reps and sets or any other lifts besides the ones listed would be appreciated.

    BTW I am doing hill repeats and I just got a Hill training spinerval that I am going to try out this week
    I personally believe that the absolute best exercise for legs (and the whole body, in that it stimulates everything) is 20 repetition squats. One need only do one work set preceeded by a warm-up set. You will notice great results with just one, or at the most twice a week efforts. The secret is to take two or three breaths between each set, and progress the weight every week - no matter how little. When you get to the point that it seems impossible to do 20, back off your weight 15% and commence the cycle again.

    Also, you need only do compound exercises - those that work multiple muscle groups. For example, bench press, barbell or dumbell presses, pulldowns or rows. It is a waste of time for anyone but an advanced bodybuilder to do non-compound exercises like tricep pressdowns.

    A great routine is:

    Ab work
    20 rep squats (one warm-up and one work set)
    Seated or standing calf raises
    Bench presses
    Overhead presses
    Rows or pulldowns
    Barbell or dumbell curls

    Typically one warm-up set and two work sets is optimum for the most amount of people. Do a minium of 8 reps, and when you can do 12, add some weight. The above is one of many tacks, but a quick and effective one.

    If you have the time you can divide your days up so you are doing pushing exercises one day (bench press, overhead presses), and pulling the next (curls, rows), followed by leg work on the third workout day. You should, however, be able to get through the complete routine in an hour.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member jennings780's Avatar
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    Chris Carmichael's book (the lance armstrong training program) has a chapter addressing weight training. He suggests various upper body and lower body weight training exercises and the rationale behind doing weight training.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bolo Grubb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydive69
    I personally believe that the absolute best exercise for legs (and the whole body, in that it stimulates everything) is 20 repetition squats. One need only do one work set preceeded by a warm-up set. You will notice great results with just one, or at the most twice a week efforts. The secret is to take two or three breaths between each set, and progress the weight every week - no matter how little. When you get to the point that it seems impossible to do 20, back off your weight 15% and commence the cycle again.

    Also, you need only do compound exercises - those that work multiple muscle groups. For example, bench press, barbell or dumbell presses, pulldowns or rows. It is a waste of time for anyone but an advanced bodybuilder to do non-compound exercises like tricep pressdowns.

    A great routine is:

    Ab work
    20 rep squats (one warm-up and one work set)
    Seated or standing calf raises
    Bench presses
    Overhead presses
    Rows or pulldowns
    Barbell or dumbell curls

    Typically one warm-up set and two work sets is optimum for the most amount of people. Do a minium of 8 reps, and when you can do 12, add some weight. The above is one of many tacks, but a quick and effective one.

    If you have the time you can divide your days up so you are doing pushing exercises one day (bench press, overhead presses), and pulling the next (curls, rows), followed by leg work on the third workout day. You should, however, be able to get through the complete routine in an hour.
    2 questions for you. on your "great routine" listed above is that once a week? every other day? Just wondering because I would like to try that routine.

    Second question. You said to stay away from non-compound exercises like tricep pressdowns, but isn't Barbell or dumbell curls a non-compound exercise?


    Thanks

  9. #9
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bolo Grubb
    2 questions for you. on your "great routine" listed above is that once a week? every other day? Just wondering because I would like to try that routine.

    Second question. You said to stay away from non-compound exercises like tricep pressdowns, but isn't Barbell or dumbell curls a non-compound exercise?


    Thanks
    True, curls is the only non-compound exercise that I do, but I have done them so long, they are just part of the group. The compond exercise you do for your back (rows, pulldowns, etc) will work the biceps, just like pressing movements work the tris. One of the best routines I ever did was the so-called Perry Rader Squat system. There is one out similar now. It was 5 exercises centered around 20 rep squats. I gained 7 pounds with it in about two months once when I was just into bodybuilding.

    I currently do the full body routine once a week, which is sufficient for most. If you break it up into three parts as I mentioned, then it can be spread over three much shorter workouts over three days. If you get a chance, read the book, Beyond Brawn by Stuart McRobert - probably the best book ever written on weight training -
    Last edited by skydive69; 06-06-05 at 01:55 PM.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bolo Grubb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydive69
    True, curls is the only non-compound exercise that I do, but I have done them so long, they are just part of the group. The compond exercise you do for your back (rows, pulldowns, etc) will work the biceps, just like pressing movements work the tris. One of the best routines I ever did was the so-called Perry Rader Squat system. There is one out similar now. It was 5 exercises centered around 20 rep squats. I gained 7 pounds with it in about two months once when I was just into bodybuilding.

    I currently do the full body routine once a week, which is sufficient for most. If you break it up into three parts as I mentioned, then it can be spread over three much shorter workouts over three days. If you get a chance, read the book, Beyond Brawn by Stuart McRobert - probably the best book ever written on weight training -

    Thanks for the info Skydive69, I will check out that book.

  11. #11
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bolo Grubb
    Thanks for the info Skydive69, I will check out that book.
    You might have to buy it on Dave Draper's site (do a google search) - he is based overseas, and sometimes the book is not easy to get. I have an extensive library on the subject, and it is the best I ever read by far.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

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    If you want to grain strength and mass, you have to lift lower reps (6-8, or 8-10) with heavy weights, and you have to eat. A lot. Read up on workouts and the incredible importance of proper nutrition at www.bodybuilding.com - it's an awesome resource for everything physical. Tons of articles and helpful people on the forums. You won't regret pouring over the information stored there.

  13. #13
    Bad Mutha Hucka CyniQ's Avatar
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    The 20 rep, so-called "breathing" squats are a great tool for total body conditioning. It's an old school technique (Arthur Jones I think) from back when people drank milk and raw eggs to bulk up. Most of you will not get big and bulky from any exercise routine. It's not really a legitimate concern. The monsters you see on TV are so medicated and chemically augmented, you couldn't reproduce their results in less than 5 years of total BBing devotion.

    Both sets posted are pretty good, except, forget the romanian (straight leg) deadlifts, and virtually any compound movement involving dumbells, they really have no place in such a compact routine. Stick to standard DL's, standard squats, flat bench, bent rows, and barbells loaded with lots of weight for a 5x5 routine. 5x5's are great. I swear by it, but use it in 8wk cycles, and use only big movements with big weights. By the way, that kind of workout has been proven to burn calories faster than any cardio workout, bar none.
    The fellowship of brothers of one mind is stronger than any fortified city. - Antisthenes

  14. #14
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    Indeed muscle size is increased most by 8-12 rep sets(Aim for 10, to failure of course.[Spotter!]) according to the encyclopedia of bodybuilding. Not an exact quote but thats the range for muscle size building.


    *Also, try to work opposing muscle groups in each workout like chest/back or triceps/biceps, it will help to maintain muscle balance: try one set for biceps then one for triceps, then bi, then tri, so one gets a short rest while the other is worked.

    *The first set only does a little, the last set, when the muscles are fatigued, stimulates the most muscle growth and strength.

    *Don't crank out the reps, the best rep is 4 seconds of work 2 seconds for return, slow in other words. Most lifters only do 2second 1s which is ok but not great, a few just give the old heave ho and throw the weight up, which does little, no matter what your goal(strength, mass, definition, etc.)

    These are well studied sports medicine facts, backed by more than one source, not just some thumb and eye estimate.
    "Data is not the plural form of annecdote."
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  15. #15
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyniQ
    The 20 rep, so-called "breathing" squats are a great tool for total body conditioning. It's an old school technique (Arthur Jones I think) from back when people drank milk and raw eggs to bulk up. Most of you will not get big and bulky from any exercise routine. It's not really a legitimate concern. The monsters you see on TV are so medicated and chemically augmented, you couldn't reproduce their results in less than 5 years of total BBing devotion.

    Both sets posted are pretty good, except, forget the romanian (straight leg) deadlifts, and virtually any compound movement involving dumbells, they really have no place in such a compact routine. Stick to standard DL's, standard squats, flat bench, bent rows, and barbells loaded with lots of weight for a 5x5 routine. 5x5's are great. I swear by it, but use it in 8wk cycles, and use only big movements with big weights. By the way, that kind of workout has been proven to burn calories faster than any cardio workout, bar none.
    The 20 rep breathing squat routine was published in a book by Perry Rader, the founder of Ironman magazine (before it became the usual glitz showcase for those pumped on on juice). Yes, it is old, but it is also the mainstay of a very modern book entitled "Super Squats" and the routine is still used by some seriously strength oriented folks. It is a rather hardcore approach however, because that approach preaches the following: Use a weight for which you can do 10 reps, but do 20! It is incredibly painful, and a great stimulus to the complete body.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  16. #16
    Focus on the future alison_in_oh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydive69
    The 20 rep breathing squat routine was published in a book by Perry Rader, the founder of Ironman magazine (before it became the usual glitz showcase for those pumped on on juice). Yes, it is old, but it is also the mainstay of a very modern book entitled "Super Squats" and the routine is still used by some seriously strength oriented folks. It is a rather hardcore approach however, because that approach preaches the following: Use a weight for which you can do 10 reps, but do 20! It is incredibly painful, and a great stimulus to the complete body.
    Hee. I was thinking of you Monday when I set out to do 2 sets of 12 squats (with laughably small amounts of dumbbell weight), but when I was mildly fatigued on the 12th one, I decided just to do one set of 20! The last one burned a little, and I got some nice DOMS the next day.

  17. #17
    Senior Member WJ13US's Avatar
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    FYI I have and live by the book Beyond Brawn. You can order a copy on the web site www.hardgainers.com. The guy who wrote it lives in like Cyprus or something.

    Alison: I've done the 20 rep squats for a long time (don't anymore I'm kind of too old). But the weight should be that you are fatigued after about the first five, suffer through the next five, in pain for the next five, then in another world all together for the final five. I was never sure why the cops never came to my house while doing my 20 rep squats with all the screaming and all. Do that once a week they see how your legs (and a lot of other parts of your body) get stronger. Couple that with a 15 rep dead lift (on another day) and you'll be unstoppable.

    If you bike competively I would suggest doing them on the off season.

    Bill

  18. #18
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    I think the best compact workout you can do costs as much as a couple of dumbells and plates.

    1) 2 x 8-10 lunges - works quads, hamstrings, glutes, and many supporting muscles... must do them correctly, with no more than 90 degrees of knee flexion and very controlled movements... take it easy at first and do a few reps with no weight, then build up from there - this is not an exercise you want to overdo! (your ass/legs will thank you)

    2) 2 x 25 crunches - twisting for one set

    3) 2 x 20 pushups - good not only for the chest/triceps, but for your supporting back muscles

    4) 2 x 10-12 curl/shoulder press - bring the dumbell up in a curl, then move right into a shoulder press... no need to get too agressive with the weights, as over-stressing the shoulder isn't worth it unless you have very Ahnuld-like objectives

    Those four exercises are quick, work huge amounts of muscle, don't create quad/hamstring or ab/hip flexor imbalances that can lead to injury, and promote excellent back health. Having a strong back, abs, and glutes will also make you more comfortable in the saddle in extended rides. *





    *Boogs is not responsible for heart attacks, strokes, multiple rib fractures, early-onset Alzheimers Disease, Type 2 Diabeties, Alien-Hand Syndrome, Scurvy, mild Schizophrenia, or any other physiological, psychological, or fiscal complications as a result of following this program.

  19. #19
    Focus on the future alison_in_oh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WJ13US
    Alison: I've done the 20 rep squats for a long time (don't anymore I'm kind of too old). But the weight should be that you are fatigued after about the first five, suffer through the next five, in pain for the next five, then in another world all together for the final five. I was never sure why the cops never came to my house while doing my 20 rep squats with all the screaming and all. Do that once a week they see how your legs (and a lot of other parts of your body) get stronger. Couple that with a 15 rep dead lift (on another day) and you'll be unstoppable.

    If you bike competively I would suggest doing them on the off season.
    Yeah, I'm totally looking forward to lifting heavy, especially squats, this winter. But since I'm racing and riding hard right now, working just to the point of a little burn seems like a good compromise.

    On a "gym rats" community I frequent, someone posted this link to how to get a stripper body. http://www.stripper-faq.org/tools.htm The site advocates 3 sets of 20 squats, and "The squats should be to failure, it should be VERY hard to hit 20. Like having a baby hard." For some reason that always cracks me up. (They also suggest SLDL in sets of 10.)

  20. #20
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alison_in_oh
    Hee. I was thinking of you Monday when I set out to do 2 sets of 12 squats (with laughably small amounts of dumbbell weight), but when I was mildly fatigued on the 12th one, I decided just to do one set of 20! The last one burned a little, and I got some nice DOMS the next day.
    Great Alison, DOMS means that you will return stronger on the next workout when those muscle fibers recruit some new pals to join the fray to combat your efforts! It will translate very nicely to your riding - especially on hills and sprints.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  21. #21
    Bad Mutha Hucka CyniQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydive69
    The 20 rep breathing squat routine was published in a book by Perry Rader, the founder of Ironman magazine (before it became the usual glitz showcase for those pumped on on juice). Yes, it is old, but it is also the mainstay of a very modern book entitled "Super Squats" and the routine is still used by some seriously strength oriented folks. It is a rather hardcore approach however, because that approach preaches the following: Use a weight for which you can do 10 reps, but do 20! It is incredibly painful, and a great stimulus to the complete body.
    I didn't mean to deplore the benefits of the "breathing" squats. As I stated it's a great exercise. I use it myself a couple of cycles per year. The "5x5" program is far superior for developing strength and power. The major disagreement I have with what has been stated so far is that there is some kind of "super" routine that you should learn and stick with. I would never stick with one particular style for more than 12wks and usually no more than 8. Your training goals should fluctuate throughout the year. Especially if you are training for a sport.
    The fellowship of brothers of one mind is stronger than any fortified city. - Antisthenes

  22. #22
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alison_in_oh
    Yeah, I'm totally looking forward to lifting heavy, especially squats, this winter. But since I'm racing and riding hard right now, working just to the point of a little burn seems like a good compromise.

    On a "gym rats" community I frequent, someone posted this link to how to get a stripper body. http://www.stripper-faq.org/tools.htm The site advocates 3 sets of 20 squats, and "The squats should be to failure, it should be VERY hard to hit 20. Like having a baby hard." For some reason that always cracks me up. (They also suggest SLDL in sets of 10.)
    Anything over one warmup set and one work set for 20 rep squats is a bit much - if done correctly. There have been times when I thought I was going to faint if I didn't rack up the barbell, and other times where I would have paid huge sums of money if someone would tell me, "okay, you've done the 20, rack up the barbell." Remember, it is a breathing exercise, and there is a pause with three to four breaths between each rep. I was always a hard gainer, and when I went on that program initially (many moons ago), I gained seven muscular pounds in a couple of months.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  23. #23
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyniQ
    I didn't mean to deplore the benefits of the "breathing" squats. As I stated it's a great exercise. I use it myself a couple of cycles per year. The "5x5" program is far superior for developing strength and power. The major disagreement I have with what has been stated so far is that there is some kind of "super" routine that you should learn and stick with. I would never stick with one particular style for more than 12wks and usually no more than 8. Your training goals should fluctuate throughout the year. Especially if you are training for a sport.
    I absolutely concur with that. I have always did numerous cycles in a year when I was simply body building, and would always swap all exercises among various compound exercises. Now that my main thrust is competitive cycling, I simply want to maintain my strength, and of course the cosmetic aspects cannot be denied. I find that I can accomplish that with one workout per week (I cycle 6-7 days a week). I no longer bother with progression with the weights, but progression is vitally important if one wants to grow. I even purchased some 1/4lb olympic plates for my home gym to at least be able to progress that much if nothing else.

    Anyway, I care about only three things right now: 1) Winning the state championships in both time trial events and two road races (age group), 2) Breaking the record for the 5K time trial, and 3) Qualifying for the nationals (first two places in the states).
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

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