Under training ?

Discussion in 'Training Forum' started by Greek_beast95, May 30, 2019.

  1. Greek_beast95

    Greek_beast95 Member

    whats up guys quick question , so I lift 5 days a week , my split is 2 days back and bicep, 2 days chest and triceps , 1 day of legs . ( all muscle groups are being worked with 2-3 workouts for 3 sets of 8 reps.

    My question is am I doing enough lifting per muscle to effectively target it. I’m currently cutting but I’m trying to lose my stomach as fast as I can because I can just tell with my genetics I’ll be able to bulk real well but I know I need to wait until my body fat isn’t as prominent thanks
    The ole man likes this.
  2. LeoTC

    LeoTC Member

    How long have you been lifting and what does your overall volume look like?


    What does a typical chest / back / leg day look like?

    I can build a work-out around a 3x8 scheme and breeze through it like a leisurely stroll.

    You're not providing enough information.

    And if you can 'just tell' that you'll bulk real well, why not eat just above maintenance and recomp?

    Despite what people say it's very possible to put on lean mass while dropping fat.
    mr_meanor likes this.
  3. Perrin Aybara

    Perrin Aybara Member

    80% upper body and 20% lower body kind of jumps out at me.
  4. Agree with the above. I would add more work with your lower body. If it’s hard to do then maybe opt for a push/pull/legs split with some good ol meat and potatoes movements. 3 sets of 8 can absolutely be enough depending on your intensity within those sets. Say your first working set for bench press is 85% of your max. Next working set once recovered is 90% of your max. Now remember for both of those sets the second should be tougher than the first but neither should be taken to failure YET. You should still have a few reps in the tank. Last and your third working set your aiming to hit complete failure at the 6-8 rep mark. If you hit 6 drop the weight 15% and hit another set or do a drop set and hammer out a few more. If you go balls out and your 8th rep is complete failure then mark it up and go to the next exercise make a note of the weight you used to fail at 8 and add 5lbs to it for the next time you come back to it the following week. Progressive overload will always yield some good results when performed properly. Lower volume with the right intensity as stated above is absolutely enough and I would not consider that style of training using a 3x8 rep scheme to be “under training” having your one true set to failure preceded by the two sets leading up to it.
  5. LeoTC

    LeoTC Member

    If you're hitting 85-90% for 8 reps you probably need to re-evaluate your maxes to keep them relevant.

    I wouldn't, realistically, expect to see more than 4-5 at 90% unless you're at the tail end of a training block. Like right before you peak and calculate new percentages.

    Don't get me wrong, I totally understand where you're going with it. But I'm thinking just giving a one W/O example to build on might be a bit beyond old boy at this stage.
    Perrin Aybara likes this.
  6. Test_Subject

    Test_Subject Member

    4 upper body days to every lower day is pretty wonky. Unless you have Tom Platz leg genetics that's not enough to keep you balanced if you continue it long term.

    You'd have to give us a sample workout to really say if your intensity is adequate. Ultimately it depends on the number you're basing your 8RM off of. If you're doing 8 x 3 x 60%1RM, it's probably not enough. If you're doing 8 x 3 x ~85%1RM, you're probably not leaving much in the tank.

    You don't need to do a ton of exercises for each muscle group. Just make the ones that you do count.
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  7. Perrin Aybara

    Perrin Aybara Member


    Here's a chart with reps compared to percentage of max for reference.
    LeoTC likes this.
  8. D5FD9621-3F02-4551-92AE-60140DBC19EA.png

    This is basically what I was going off of. I’m sure there are a lot of different charts and etc I’m not saying there’s any right or wrong way I’m just giving my person opinion on how I train and what I’ve learned, been taught, etc and maybe or maybe not it’ll help or absolutely nobody could give a shit lol. Either way whatever haha. Everyone has a nitch thay works for them well. If Op is using 8 reps as his range for training then his 8th rep would be failure at 100%. Not 1 rep. That’s what i was going off of based off of the info he provided. If he was power lifting or using a 5/3/1 program then yes. 100% would be a 1RM
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
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  9. Perrin Aybara

    Perrin Aybara Member

    There's not gonna be a chart that's completely accurate for everyone anyway. Some will be better at higher reps and some better with with heavier weights. They're just a good place to start. I think it was with RTS that they recommended making your own chart. Never got around to making one for myself though. For someone that trains entirely for powerlifting I'm surprisingly good at reps.

    Personally I don't bother with percentages in training except for deload training with 50-70% normal weight. My own personal method I use RPE in combination with a rep max calculator app. Like say I've recently done a heavy triple at RPE 9 with say 500lbs and I'm looking for what weight to use for a 5x5 starting with about RPE 8 and ending with RPE 9. I'll plug in 500x4 (500x3 @ RPE 9) and figure out what my 7RM is because a 7RM would technically be a set of 5 at RPE 8. Then I'll use that weight for my 5x5. Or if I wanted it to be a little lighter 5x5 I'd use an 8RM based on 500x4. I call it my "RPE for Dummies" system and it's worked well for me the last few years. I admit I don't know a lot about bodybuilding, but it might have some use for someone that trains that way. If you're looking to hit failure on certain sets or rep ranges, I mean.
    LeoTC and FourOneDeuxFitt like this.
  10. No I absolutely agree with you. RPE of 10 is failure whether that be on a set of 8, 15, or one rep. I don’t use percentages much either. I use rep ranges and just levels of intensity. You could ask 10 people about this and your gonna get a handful of different answers.
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  11. LeoTC

    LeoTC Member


    Only problem I run into with an RPE scale is the level of subjectivity. If you're having a shit day and feel like ass, what's normally am RPE 7 might be an RPE 9.

    Biggest reason I avoid using it when working with others.

    I kinda see people using it as an excuse to go easy at times and it drives me nuts. Explaining an RPE scale can be an absolute chore as well.

    I'll usually reserve that for guys / gals that have some serious skin in the game and I know won't abuse the concept to cheat themselves.

    Anyone new to programming for usually has an easier time catching on with percentages. I'll hit them with a basic matrix and walk them through building a really simple DUP program for either 6 or 8 weeks.

    Then focus on movement selection and actually building routines that develope weak points. As they work through, most will start to understand why we did what we did. From there they'll have the skeleton of that program to build from.

    That's where I'll typically have them completely build their next block and then get with me for critique, revision, and so on.

    Programming is definitely a skill unto itself and, like anything, people need to walk before they run.
    FourOneDeuxFitt likes this.
  12. Greek_beast95

    Greek_beast95 Member

    Alright so basically I’ve been doing 3 sets for 8 reps for every workout and I constantly fight to lift heavier . What I do reps of 8 with is because I can’t get a single other rep out of them . I don’t do 8 with small easy weight , and always try to fight for higher weight

    My workout plan

    Back- barbell rows , rack pulls , deadlifts (only workout I do 3 sets of 5)
    Biceps - hammer curls and cable curls
    Chest- dumbbell press, dumbbell flys , machine flys
    Tricep- seats overhead dumbbell press, cable pull down, weighted dip machine
    Legs- calf curling machine , leg press machine , hack squat machine .

  13. LeoTC

    LeoTC Member

    Whoa boy, that's a recipe for all kinds of muscular imbalance.

    Why aren't you working anything in a vertical plain of movement?

    Why are you avoiding barbell movements on leg and chest days?

    Why the rack pulls and the overabundance of flies in the absence of pressing movements?

    I'm not understanding your thought process here at all. I know you're trying to drop some fat and assume you're looking to build overall strength based on statements made. But how did you land here?


    Not being a dick, but if you're working around physical limitations it's extremely helpful to know that before making any suggestions or giving advice.

    As it stands, my assumption is just that you're a very inexperienced novice that doesn't know any better. In which case I'd simply recommend getting with a coach to get the big five down, then run starting strength to drill them and build a solid foundation.

    Not a knock, we all start somewhere, but I don't like working off assumptions.
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
  14. Greek_beast95

    Greek_beast95 Member

    No limitations , just honestly a novice . I don’t take it as an insult . I’m not a professional and not pretending to be one, if there’s any advice I’ll gladly listen to it.
  15. What he’s talking about for back is there’s vertical pulling movements and horizontal pulling movements that work different areas of your back and both need to be incorporated for a well balanced physique. Same goes for chest. There’s flat, incline, and decline movements. All work different areas of the chest. I would look into incorporating both Barbell and Dumbbell movements. I’m assuming you go to a gym so I’m sure they have some decent plate loaded machines for back and chest as well that you should experiment with. Hammer strength makes awesome machines. For legs squats are an awesome exercises, a staple at that but aren’t a necessity. Not everyone does them but starting out they’re a meat and potatoes movement for legs. You can even use a smith machine for them if your not comfortable with a Barbell ya first. Romanian deadlifts for hamstrings are awesome as well. I love hack squats but my knees can only take them for so long before I need to swap them out for awhile. Honestly man I would just spend some time educating yourself and reading online about different training styles, learn about volume and intensity, and start to learn your body and figuring out what works well for you. I would recommend sticking to mostly compound movements and work on progressing through them before adding too much isolation work. Not that it can’t be used but you will greatly benefit from compound movements with correct form and most importantly the right nutrition to go along side it.
  16. LeoTC

    LeoTC Member

    I'd honestly recommend going the route above then and hitting Starting Strength. Investing in a coach for a few sessions, one each for BP / BS / OHP / DL at the very least is more than worth the cost.

    Then I'd just, keep it simple.

    If you've got three days a week If hit basically that basic 5X5 split, with a slight tweak.

    Pendlay Row
    Bench Press
    OH Press
    Pull Ups

    Stick with a basic linear progression scheme until you hit a wall. If you're stalling out for say 4-6 weeks, then I'd look into a slightly more advanced program like 5/3/1.

    But you should see some solid newbie gains, provided you're eating and recovering properly, for around six to nine months.
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
  17. Greek_beast95

    Greek_beast95 Member

    Thank you for all the advice man, would you recommend maybe something like a 5x5 for me then? I know I’m a novice and probably come off as a total rookie here but I do try my best in the gym and I work hard , I don’t half ass a single workout and I do have some decent results this far . Most people I know always comment that I look pretty buff, not that I use that as a measurement for success but I’d like to think that let’s me know I must be doing something right lol

  18. Greek_beast95

    Greek_beast95 Member

    Thank you man, so your saying do those workouts you listed 3 days a week and that’s it gym wise ? Also how many sets and reps for those workouts
  19. LeoTC

    LeoTC Member

    I'd literally go with a basic 5x5 set and rep scheme until you hit a wall. It's full body so you could get away with three days a week starting out or go every other day. Get in cardio / conditioning on your off days.

    Build the base first, then expand on it.

    Study different programming styles while you're working through it.
  20. Test_Subject

    Test_Subject Member

    Another very solid option is to start with the Greyskull linear progression program. I can't recommend it enough for starting out.

    It's simple and it works. You'll want to utilize linear progression as a novice because you can make the fastest strength gains that way. Leave the advanced periodization and rep schemes for later.
    FourOneDeuxFitt likes this.