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  1. #1
    Registered User bearondiet's Avatar
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    Am I too old, or does everyone do 8 sets of 8~12rm

    Am I too old, or does everyone do 8 sets of 8~12rm. I joined a small cheap weight lifting gym yesterday. There are not a lot of machines, but I have everything I need including pull up bar, shoulder press machine, leg press machine, pull down row machine, chest fly machine. I don't need anything else, and I am only paying about $150 for 6 months.

    My question is, I am lifting weights roughly 8rm (I think I can lift more than 8 on the first set), and I am doing 4 sets with 2 minute breaks in between. Then I am worn out. Maybe I can squeeze in more sets if I don't plan on lifting weights the next day from being too much sore but not 4 more sets. Yesterday, I did 8 rep shoulder press 6.5 sets. Today, a little heavier (the weight crate says 11, but it is not 11kg, the crates are numbered 1 to 21), I did 4 sets of 8 rep shoulder press today.

    Now, I am told the biggest muscle gains come when you do 8 sets of 8~12rm. Is everyone pulling off 8 sets per body part? Cause I did 6.5 sets yesterday. In the middle of 7th set, I couldn't do another shoulder press. Today, I went heavier weight for shoulder press (lifting up, I can lift heavier if lifting front), and all I could do was 4 sets. How do you manage 8 sets? If you can do 8 sets, maybe your 8rm is not really 8rm and you can do 15 reps with that weight? I am 35. I don't mind not recovering fast enough compared to other people. Now that I have access to a proper gym equipments, I will progress at my own pace anyway. Maybe not as fast as 8 set 8 rm dudes, but I will still progress. I am just curious if people usually pull off 8 sets.
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    Registered User Gandog's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bearondiet View Post
    Am I too old, or does everyone do 8 sets of 8~12rm. I joined a small cheap weight lifting gym yesterday. There are not a lot of machines, but I have everything I need including pull up bar, shoulder press machine, leg press machine, pull down row machine, chest fly machine. I don't need anything else, and I am only paying about $150 for 6 months.

    My question is, I am lifting weights roughly 8rm (I think I can lift more than 8 on the first set), and I am doing 4 sets with 2 minute breaks in between. Then I am worn out. Maybe I can squeeze in more sets if I don't plan on lifting weights the next day from being too much sore but not 4 more sets. Yesterday, I did 8 rep shoulder press 6.5 sets. Today, a little heavier (the weight crate says 11, but it is not 11kg, the crates are numbered 1 to 21), I did 4 sets of 8 rep shoulder press today.

    Now, I am told the biggest muscle gains come when you do 8 sets of 8~12rm. Is everyone pulling off 8 sets per body part? Cause I did 6.5 sets yesterday. In the middle of 7th set, I couldn't do another shoulder press. Today, I went heavier weight for shoulder press (lifting up, I can lift heavier if lifting front), and all I could do was 4 sets. How do you manage 8 sets? If you can do 8 sets, maybe your 8rm is not really 8rm and you can do 15 reps with that weight? I am 35. I don't mind not recovering fast enough compared to other people. Now that I have access to a proper gym equipments, I will progress at my own pace anyway. Maybe not as fast as 8 set 8 rm dudes, but I will still progress. I am just curious if people usually pull off 8 sets.
    Best to start off with what your doing.. Remember it takes time.. I do pull of 6-8 sets 4 days a week as well as 100 sit ups 5-6x20 days.. But I have muscle memory so building quicker then and experienced.. Keep at it, but dont over do it too quickly or you may hurt yourself, or over do the muscles which isn't wise..
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bearondiet View Post
    Now, I am told the biggest muscle gains come when you do 8 sets of 8~12rm.
    People are told a lot of things.
    Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
    Galatians 4:16

    You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm.
    Unknown
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  4. #4
    on probation weiss1967's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bearondiet View Post
    Am I too old, or does everyone do 8 sets of 8~12rm.
    Now, I am told the biggest muscle gains come when you do 8 sets of 8~12rm.
    Is everyone pulling off 8 sets per body part?
    How do you manage 8 sets?
    If you can do 8 sets, maybe your 8rm is not really 8rm and you can do 15 reps with that weight?
    I am 35.
    I am just curious if people usually pull off 8 sets.
    You asked same question like 3 times. Don't know about EVERYONE. I do 8, some times 10 sets. Depends how you count. Three days ago I was doing my usual tri-set. Upper shoulder, rear shoulder and front. 10 of those three sets, with 20 reps in each exercise. 600 reps total.

    How do I manage so many, the answer is simple. Lower the weight, and increase rest periods between sets. Breathe in and breathe out each contraction-extension. You should probably read up on "German Volume" training. I don't do GVT but the idea is same: weight should be adequate for you to be able to complete the routine. In other words, let the volume do the work. You target the level of exhaustion, more pain more gain. What you DON'T do is teaching yourself how to fail, because you will become better at failing.
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    I honestly believe that the stimulus you get from training is a moving target and that is why it's so difficult to come up with recommendations for everyone and why programs don't work forever.

    What you do next time should be an evolution of what you did last time, never mind what someone else is doing. Over time you have to do more - and if you can't continuously do more, at least change the parameters - e.g. increase weight but let reps drop. I also think you can 'reset' your tolerance to the stimulus with time off - in HST this would be called "strategic deconditioning"
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  6. #6
    Registered User bearondiet's Avatar
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    I don't want to lower the weight. I'm told 8~12 rep max is the ideal rep spot. 11 plates are not too heavy for me. I can lift 8 times in a row for shoulder press. (I can't do 8 sets like I was recommended to do, but I can do 4 sets.) When I adjust the bench and do the bench press with that machine, I can lift twice more weights (20 plates) 5 times in a row. If I did the bench press before the shoulder press, I can probably hit 8 reps with 20 plate bench press as well. But today I did shoulder press first then bench press after, and I could do 5 reps in a row for bench press with 20 plates. The point is that these weights are not that heavy for me. They are in the sweet spot. I think I will settle with just doing 4 sets then. I am still going to get stronger & bigger even if I am doing less than 8 sets per body part.
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    I don't think you are really reading the responses you are getting. It doesn't have to be 8-12 reps or 8 sets (thats total for a bodypart per week by the way), these are averages from a widely varying population of lifters. You are supposed to find what works for you by trial and error.
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  8. #8
    Registered User bearondiet's Avatar
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    Oh, I heard people saying it doesn't have to be 8 sets, but I thought it had to be 8~12 rep max to be optimal in muscle growth. I guess I don't have to get fixated even on the rep number then. (Still has to lift something reasonably very heavy though, right. Light weight and high reps don't really seem to work in general and also for me personally.) Anyway, I am doing only 4 sets, and I am progressing. For shoulder press, I am lifting 12 plates instead of 11 plates I was doing 3 days ago. For bench press, I am still doing 20 plates, but my max rep is now 7rm with that weight instead of the older 5rm. (So, yeah. 5rm isn't 8~12rm, but I am still growing muscles.) So, it is working out for me. I am not sure if it is the most optimal and the fastest and the most efficient muscle growing pace, but I am happy enough about my progress pace. Better to do something and get any level of progress happening rather than trying to figure out the "best way" of doing this.
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    Registered User dcourson's Avatar
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    I'm 50. I like 8-12 reps with certain exercises like Squats. I spent 2 months doing 5 sets of 10 at 235 squats twice a week and that was good. Sometimes I mixed it up and do 3 sets of 12 with the same weight. Lately, I've been working on 8 reps at 275, although that can be a strain on the back, just due to fatigue after a couple sets. I find I strain my back less with 6 rep sets at 275, but I'm going to keep working on it. A little strain now and then is part of the agenda.

    Other exercises for me, personally, are quite different though. I can gain muscle and strength with bench press better with lower reps. With barbell curls, I prefer 15 rep sets. That's obviously just me. I'd try mixing it up every 6-8 weeks to see if something worked better.

    It's a good idea to do a starting program like Stronglifts or something build your base.
    Last edited by dcourson; 08-15-2022 at 08:11 AM.
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  10. #10
    Registered User pondman's Avatar
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    Find a program you like and stick with it. Consistency is the key. 8 sets? Not for me. I'll do a total of 15-20 sets per workout. I'm a natty who tries to hit the big lifts 2-3 times per week. You must have been reading a Pros program.
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