“A champion is someone who gets up when they can’t”, Jack Dempsey.
The thing I like most about bodybuilding is. Everything, and I mean everything is customizable! Think about it. If you know what you want at the end of it, you can figure out what to do. right?
In the previous article, we called this ‘Instinctive Training Principle’.
What I want you to remember from that article is. A combination of low, let’s say 3 to 5, medium 6 to 14, and high 15+ reps, is more effective than the traditional 8-12 reps.
In this article, we turn the focus to sets.
Boiled down, what I am saying is. the greatest strength you have as a bodybuilder is flexibility. That means that. You don’t have to follow; you can chart your own path.
This is also where the problem lies, the BIG QUESTION is, how do I figure out what to do when there are no rules?
As a bodybuilder, it is important to keep an open mind. This will help you adapt to changes. You need a strong foundation, by that I mean, you must learn the basics of bodybuilding. The idea is, if you know the basics, you can craft a sets or workout routine that works for you.
Before we get to the meat of it, it is important to look at the reasons why you are finding it difficult to finish sets. the main culprit here is obviously muscle fatigue.
What Causes Muscle Fatigue?
That question has an obvious answer. You’ve worked your muscle to its maximum capacity.
Remembering what causes muscle fatigue is important in that it will make it easier for you to power through sets. there are several things you can do to delay the onset of muscle fatigue.
- Get enough sleep
- Eat more protein
- Drink plenty of water
- Give yourself time to recover
- Stop overtraining
reasons why you may be getting tired faster
- Conditions such as asthma
- Hormonal changes
- Some medications
It’s all about pacing. I know you are excited, but slowing things down is more beneficial than rushing through. We recommend you start with the bare minimum, spread out your exercise time, set intensity level, and most importantly find a balance between rest and exercise sessions.
The ‘sets Theories’
As mentioned above, bodybuilding practices or techniques are ever-changing. Because of that, flexibility or adapting to change is your greatest strength.
Theory 1: Higher Intensity Vs. Low Medium Intensity with High Reps
Do you know what HIIT is? let me enlighten you if you don’t. HIIT or high interval intensity training is one of the oldest bodybuilding techniques.
HIIT, as the name suggests, involves high-intensity training. The rule of the thumb is, the fewer the sets and reps the better. I am talking about short bursts of intense exercise that will make your heart rate go up, followed by low-intensity recovery periods.
Multiple studies have proven that HIIT has benefits such as:
- Reduce body fat
- Promotes better blood sugar regulation
- Burns lots of calories in short periods
You can apply the principles of HIIT to cardio and compound exercises to speed up weight loss.
HIIT Workout Suggestions
We recommend 15 seconds HIIT followed by 60 seconds rest low intensity exercise
- Jump squat
- Kettlebell swings
- Bodyweight squat
- Sprinting or jumping in place
- Jump rope
- Jumping jacks
Theory 2: Overloading System
Some people might tell you that “progressive overload is nonsense”. If you watch videos like this you will understand why I say proponents of that line of thought are full of manure.
In my opinion and speaking from experience, progressive overload is a very important factor in getting positive results from any workout, why?
Developed by Thomas Delorme M.D., the principle states. Quote “for muscle to grow or in order to increase performance, you must force your body to adapt to tension that is above and beyond what it previously experienced”.
In other words, you overload your muscles by adding resistance, reps, and sets.
This technique has been proven to result in greater gains in physical strength and muscular growth.
It’s worth mentioning that the overloading system often results in overtraining and that increases your risk of injury or a drop-in motivation or desire to exercise. The good news is the system prevents stagnation or plateauing.
How to Prevent Overtraining
Novice bodybuilders give up training for several reasons, the most common is the loss of desire to exercise.
Part of the reason for this loss of desire to train is. Bodybuilding is hard work, meaning if you don’t learn to pace yourself. You will wear it out faster. Oh! there is also the issue of pain, we already covered that here.
For this to work, we recommend:
- Learn to listen to your body: if you are in pain or if you feel something is wrong, find an alternative exercise.
- Record progress and plan your workout
- Take a break or do something different from your normal routine
- Drink plenty of water and keep an eye on nutrition
- Get plenty of sleep
It is also a good idea to get a personal trainer or workout buddy.
Theory 3: The Reverse Pyramid System
The main problem with progressive overload or pyramid system is that by the time you reach your heaviest set, your muscles may already be tired. What about doing the reverse? What if you start with the heaviest weight and reduce it progressively while increasing reps?
That’s what reverse pyramid system is.
Let’s face it. The first set is without a doubt going to feel heavy, but you will have more energy. What I like most about this system is, descending sets feel like warm downs thus easier than the pyramid system.
But that’s just me, you may find progressive overload more appealing.
All in all, what I am telling you is find a workout routine that works for you. In the second part, we ask the question, is there a perfect bodybuilding system?