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eatting like a mass gainer?

Nutrition discussion on eatting like a mass gainer?, within the Bodybuilding Forum; Originally Posted by Riddick2112 a lot of it is contingent upon weather you're just starting out or weather you're intermediate, ...


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Old 02-24-2010, 04:20 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Riddick2112 View Post
a lot of it is contingent upon weather you're just starting out or weather you're intermediate, advanced, etc. etc.

personally i think a beginner would do better in both areas with sets of 5's. its enough volume for most and the intensity will be a hell of a lot higher than sets of 10.

generally speaking though calories are the key to any bodyweight changes. a beginner can make good gains in both areas if they eat enough....as one advances, more specific types of training will need to be brought into the mix based on the trainees goals but calories will still be the key if bodyweight changes (or NO changes) are desired regardless of the training methods used.
generally, a calorie surplus helps drive progression (a tailwind as madcow puts it) weather you'r training purely for strength or are also looking to pack on some size.
Intensity would be a hell of a lot higher with sets of 5 compared to sets of 10.
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Old 02-25-2010, 09:52 AM   #12
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Yeah, as we all know the only choices a beginner has are either sets of 1 to 5 or sets of 10
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Old 02-25-2010, 01:45 PM   #13
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That sounded rather sarcastic
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:38 AM   #14
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Rather sarcastic? I was going for highly sarcastic

You can use various rep ranges to progress. You don't have to pick a static rep range. There is no use to doing very low reps right now as a beginner but you're going to get stronger no matter what you do.

The trick is not to worry about what magical combination of reps and sets are perfect for a beginner but to consider how you can sustain and not have to constantly back track OR end up with niggling injuries.

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If you act sanctimonious I will just list out your logical fallacies until you get pissed off and spew blasphemous remarks.
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Old 02-26-2010, 12:02 PM   #15
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ahhh I understand.
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:40 PM   #16
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Maybe I can put the 5 reps thing and the whole 3x5 or 5x5 for beginners things in perspective.

Let me prephase it though. The following is considering "progression" as more weight on the bar. It is not considering quality or anything else. We are looking at one parameter only for the puposes of argument. In reality there is more to progression than weight on the bar because it is possible to "progress" in that fashion in a way that limits you future progress, results in injury after the loading phase is done, or causes overtraining, etc...(all of which are related).

So anyway to put the 5 reps thing in perspective:

Say that by some stretch you can load the bar heavier in a shorter time period with a certain magical combo of reps..which is usually 3x5 since that is what everyone considers to be gospel.

So say that faster means that you get to a 225 pound squat (for example) one month earlier.

Do you think that one month makes a difference 5 years down the road? Or even two years, necessarily? Long term does that one month mean you will be stronger than you would have been otherwise?

Of course not. It doesn't mean shit in the long run.

You might think though that there are magical ways to continually shave time off that deadlift progression but if we take the hypothetical "load on the bar only" argument too far we are just engaging in academic discussion. Because there are many more things to progression than load on the bar and it's is nothing more than argument to pretend otherwise.


If you want a different and more indepth look at all this see my comments after the SDT article here I even use charts, lol.
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:27 PM   #17
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"Yeah, as we all know the only choices a beginner has are either sets of 1 to 5 or sets of 10 "

i hope that wasnt pointed at me!! i certainly said nothing of the kind.

"Intensity would be a hell of a lot higher with sets of 5 compared to sets of 10."

aint that what i said?!?!?!?

my turn:


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Old 02-27-2010, 10:17 AM   #18
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If it were pointed at you in particular I would have quoted you.

But you actually DID say that you thought a beginner would do better with sets of 5, didn't you?

I understand that you were comparing 5 sets of 3 and 3 sets of 10 but just because there are comparisons to make doesn't mean that a beginner will necessarily do 'better' with 5 reps as opposed to 6, 7, 4, 8 whatever. It depends.

With a beginner there are other things to consider besides if the intensity is higher. And if that is the only consideration why 5? There is a lot left unsaid isn't there. Five because it represents some mythical marriage between volume and intensity?

But I wasn't pointing at you in particular. It's the general gist of the response I was pointing it at which, all taken together, I think would look like what I said...

I've provided plenty of argument between here and what I linked. I think my sarcasm was well placed! If you want to get mad at me then your can join the list
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:43 PM   #19
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did the OP say 5 sets of 3? if so i misread it as 3 sets of 5, sorry.

yes i did say that i personally felt a beginner looking for size and/or strength would probably do better with sets of 5 reps than 10, i think it's as good a starting point as any and better than most. that doesnt mean i think those are the only 2 choices they have though.

i dont think 5's represent a mythical marriage of intensity and volume but i do think it represents a pretty productive range for both in the beginner stage. and it gives enough reps to get some quality time under the bar but not so many per set that form will crap out like it more likely would doing 10's.

believe me i have no intention of getting into a theoretical debate with you as i will readily concede i am WAY out of my league knowledge-wise and if someone said to me: Eric refuted every single statment you made, i would say then listen to what he says not me!
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:00 AM   #20
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The worst thing that could happen to a person with potential is to have everybody kiss his ass and laud every word he says without any critical thought. The second worse would be for him to like it.


I don't know how many trainees you've observed but 1.) it ain't hardly any time under the bar versus what a beginner really needs to hone in a lift and 2) it ain't "quality" time after the first couple weeks at most. It's more like crap time.


I understand. You thought he asked what's better, 3 sets of 5 or sets of 10.

The problem, however, is that you are looking at it on a workout to workout basis. AND I would think, assuming that beginners recover from that, again, by some magical means based on what Rippetoe says. So you say, well, it's a good range and they don't crap out on form. But the ONLY parameter they can use, since we've picked the sets and reps, is loading the bar. And if you read those comments I linked to (because I don't want to write all that again) you'll see where I said that form DOES crap out. This is not theory. This is observation. It happens. Why it happens would be the theory and I have plenty but more productive would be to observe what avoids it happening.

And the same thing would happen with any range if all they could do was load the bar day in and day out with that static volume.

People talk about how beginners instinctually progress and they say they will put a little more weight on the bar each time. But they say it as if it is the ONLY thing a beginner will do.

They will put a little more weight on the bar, 'instinctually'. They will also add reps to an established number of sets and reps 'instinctually' and they may even add a set 'instinctually'. They will do all of that because 'instinct' dictates that their body has certain capacities for recovery and progression and this fluctuates. It is NOT static.

I've said a billion times and I will stick by it. Loading the bar does NOT indicate progression if no other assessment is made.

There is no reason for form to go to crap based on rep range if appropriate progression if used. But the idea that form does NOT go to crap on 3x5 "just because" is completely erroneous. It does an it will. Not because of the rep range but because of the parameters of progression that do not allow for adjustment BASED on quality.

At GUS there are beginners progressing very quickly using a full range of reps depending on the placement and needs of the movement, and what's more they're technique IMPROVES as they go...instead of slowly turning them into a pile of crap with a bar on top. It's not a race and the fastest possible progression is not the best.

There are many other problems with that range given the average intensity one of the biggest of which is repeated exposure on a chronic basis. The simple and quite 'classic' fact is that a beginner needs more exposure to the exercise most of the time.

There is absolutely no reason to believe that a beginner can't squat, say 4x7 and still maintain quality. But if you told that beginner to only load the bar every time while maintaining that range you can bet quality would not stay constant. And it wouldn't matter what rep and set range you used. Becuase it has nothing to do with intensity per se but to do with how quickly the workload ramps up.

I doubt anybody ever really bothers to really look at the workload on these 3x5's like simple math. Look at the percentages.


Let me point out something that I think is most important card in this house of cards. The 'definition' of a novice or beginner as one who will recover from the workload on a workout to workout basis. There is not scientific definition of a beginning strength trainee and the idea that there could be one is ridiculous. I've posted so much stuff on this discussing different aspects of it but lets just assume that our beginner doe NOT recover on a workout to workout basis from this progressive increase in workload.

Do the math. Take out that card. The whole house of cards will collapse. It is shaky as hell. If you look at an argument that is built on ONE premise you could not consider it a valid argument. If that premise was furthermore itself an assumption rather than an established fact or observation, you'd HAVE to call bullshit.
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