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Thread: 3 sets of 20?

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    3 sets of 20?

    I have been weight training a lot this year, since it is my last year of high school and I am taking weight training second period. The coach is a football coach, and all he seems to care about is getting big (3 sets of ten! grunt! me strong!) However, I gain muscle really easily. I think that in the past few months since the end of out "classroom" instruction, I have gained about 10 pounds of muscle, and lost about 5 pounds of fat. I look noticably bigger, and I weigh about 180, and this is while doing 4 sets of 12. 180 is okay, but but it is kinda big for an endurance (real) athlete. I was thinking that I might scale back the weights a bit and pump up the reps to 3x20, so that I can maintain the mass I have but not get any bigger.

    the main question is, is this too many reps? will this do any good?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phatman
    I have been weight training a lot this year, since it is my last year of high school and I am taking weight training second period. The coach is a football coach, and all he seems to care about is getting big (3 sets of ten! grunt! me strong!) However, I gain muscle really easily. I think that in the past few months since the end of out "classroom" instruction, I have gained about 10 pounds of muscle, and lost about 5 pounds of fat. I look noticably bigger, and I weigh about 180, and this is while doing 4 sets of 12. 180 is okay, but but it is kinda big for an endurance (real) athlete. I was thinking that I might scale back the weights a bit and pump up the reps to 3x20, so that I can maintain the mass I have but not get any bigger.

    the main question is, is this too many reps? will this do any good?
    So basically your wanting strength without size. If there is a physique that opitimised strength without size, it was Bruce Lee. Circuit training, cardio, diet, genetics & metabolism all played a major part. Look into them. Lee was only interested in strength that could only be converted to POWER in the gym. Squatting 600lbs+ doesn't produce power.

    4 sets of 12 is a typical workout for a bodybuilder for all muscle groups. Do NOT train like a bodybuilder if you actually want to increase your functional strength. Bodybuilders have no explosive movement ability, very little functional strength and lots of mirror muscle. Athletes have maximal explosive movement and lots of functional strength. You shouldn't be training like a football player neither. Football...................... Cycling.............. Two different worlds.

    If your lifting weights, regardless of the reps & sets used, your probably going to put on some mass. People tell me, if you don't want muscle mass, train like a powerlifter...1. low reps 2. long rests between sets 3. pauses between reps (at least on some movements by some trainees) 4. infrequent training 5. few work sets (low volume of work). The thing is, Powerlifters weigh just as much if not more than your average bodybuilder, so it isn't really a good idea.

    I'm not one to give you advice on what will work in terms of reps & sets because everyone is differnent on how there bodies will react to weight training. I would reccommend though (without killing yourself) to lower your caloric intake if you seem to be putting on 2 much mass.

    I play soccer, so I'm in the same boat. Usually I go out in the morning riding, get back and without a single trace of fat, carb, protein in my blood stream I hit the weights. That is what I do sometimes and it works, if it kills you literally, I hope your parents don't blame me. I don't reccommend that to anyone but I do it.

    Remember, Circuit training, cardio, diet, genetics & metabolism will all play apart in adding strength without size...

    One more thing, 3x20 is a testament to muscular endurance, not strength nor power.........
    Last edited by Vitamin X; 01-05-04 at 05:46 PM.
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    Okay, you can gain strength without putting on mass. It's an equation of calories in vs calories out. However, it's a difficult balance. This site has a lot of really good sound advice http://forums.jpfitness.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi Good luck
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    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Here's a link you might be interested in. Doesn't answer your question, but talks about transferring gym strength to the bike.
    http://www.ultrafit.com/newsletter/january04.html

    Check out "Cyclists: Use the Force" and "Cyclists: Translate Gym Strength to On-Bike Strength"

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    VitaminX; Not all powerlifters are big.
    Powerlifting has weight divisions, like bodybuilding, and boxing and...

    No amount of training will may a fly weight a heavy. It's genetics.

    Pound for pound, the lighter athletes can be stronger. I've seen
    little women do nearly 3 times their bodyweight. It's interesting
    that cyclists fear the gym as much as bodybuilders fear aerobics.

    Popeye said it best, "I yam what I yam."

    Train what you have, not what you wish you had.

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    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Another article... this one might be more pertinant to your question.
    Strength Training for the Endurance Athlete

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    Basically high reps(above 15)/low resistence will build endurance in your red endurance muscle fibers(as will aerobic endurance activities) while low reps(below 6)/high resistence will build size and strength to your white speed/strength fibers.It is compatable for an endurance athlete to train for both these objectives but the midrange 8-12 reps you are currently doing add bulk to the red muscle fibers decreasing their aerobic/endurance capasity which is the reason you should not focus on this range.
    To expand on this if you genetically have more white fibers you have more potential as a speed or strength athlete while more red fibers increases endurance potential.Still individual muscle groups are predominately one type or the other or a mixture.For instance on the leg muscles calves are primarily red thus endurance,hams white for speed and quads a blend which facilitates strength and endurance.For training this means focus on high reps for calves 20 or more if you have a good burn going.For quads do high reps of around 20 plus low reps/heavy weight of 3-6 they are a large muscle so do well with more volume.For hams to focus on speed train explosively for around 6 reps lowering slow and controlled then exploding into the lift.
    Last edited by RWTD; 01-07-04 at 05:32 AM.

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    hmm, so those 12 reps were bad, eh? no more of them then...

    I worked out today with dumbells for my upper body...whew! that is so freakin hard! I was doing like 110 for 4x12...now I down to like 70...I feel so freakin weak.

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    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    i read where the olympic training center in boulder has cyclists do 50% of their max for 3 sets of 30 or 40 reps. they are after muscle endurance, not short bursts of power.
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

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