Anvil or Hammer

It’s more than just reps

Posted in Gym Strength by Mike on May 19, 2007

Last eve I had my two hours at the gym. I thought I would try something new, well old but I haven’t done it in a while. I tried to do a bodybuilder type workout.

Warmup: I was running behind so I abbreviated this a bit
Power snatches with 40K

Pre bodybuilder part, just trying something different:
Deadlift 2 minutes 100K 37 reps
Push Press 2 minutes 60K 20 reps

Now I begin trying the bodybuilder stuff:
1 Pullup (not quite a part of the BB stuff)
Straight Leg Deadlift 80K 4X12
1 Pullup (not quite a part of the BB stuff)
T Bar Row 135lbs 4X8
3 chinups (not quite a part of the BB stuff)
Dip Bodyweight 5X5
1 chinup (not quite a part of the BB stuff)
Pulldown 100lbs 3X12
Decline Bench 135 20,15
Standing Dumbell Military Press 40lb 3X10
Standing Dumbell Curl 25lbs 3X12(Zott’s I think, where you twist your arm going up and down)
Tricep Pushdowns 50lbs 10,5 40lbs 5 30lbs 5 (I’ll explain in a sec)
Sumo Deadlift 60K 2X20
Seated Calf Raise 90lbs 30

KB Snatch 24K 2 minutes 55reps
KB Snatch 16K 2 minutes 65reps

During the tricep pushdowns it was pointed out to me that although my set rep scheme was closer to a bodybuilders, I wasn’t really lifting like a body builder, I was using my whole body through the whole range of motion. I wasn’t really cheating, there was no hip action or anything but I wasn’t isolating. That’s what those guys do. Also I wasn’t holding the rep at the eccentric (I think it’s eccentric, the lock out basically or just short of). The guy had a point. So then the debate starts.

What is valuable to me? I mean the whole reason I was doing this different scheme was really just to try to build a little endurance and burn some more calories. I don’t really give a crap about big guns or anything. Still, is there some kind of value in that kind of training, am I missing so training that I would find valuable? I have no idea. I’m thinking I may try to do a bodybuilder workout once a week just to see if it helps in any other areas. Try it for a month or two, if it sucks, well, move on. If not, maybe I’ll try to mix it in occasionally. This stuff is so simple but it can be so incredibly complex.

2 Responses to 'It’s more than just reps'

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  1. brent said,

    a lot of flack is given to how bodybuilders train but i think a lot of people don’t realize that there’s a lot of cross-training between “strength training” and “body building” … lots of successful powerlifters started out as body builders and vice versa, the training that makes you big is generally the same as the training that makes you strong … what’s the best way to develop your back, the answer no matter who you are is going to be “deadlift”

    like some people will tell you that bodybuilders focus much more on isolation work but i don’t think that’s the case … there’s a lot of vids on youtube and whatnot of professionals and amateurs in training and they do plenty of the “strength” movements, and they’re moving plenty of weight with them

    and a lot can be said about “1-3 reps for neuromuscular strength, 5-6 for muscle fiber, 8-12 for hypertrophy,” but if you add 5lbs every workout to whatever you do, you’re essentially training strength one way or another through progressive overload aren’t you?

    a bodybuilder might not actively try to post new PR singles a lot of the time, but that’s not what his training is about, and doing so puts him at unnecessary risk with injury

    bottomline i think: building muscle is building muscle

    the real issue with “body building” type training that is at odds with strength training is probably more about specific recovery needs; i.e. a weightlifter needs to train the competition movements more often so doing lots of leg extensions etc. in conjunction with the squatting would hurt his performance in the long run

  2. Mike said,

    Interesting philosphy. That was basically how I was going into this workout. I’ve never really done body building. When I started out, I did what was given to me and it was more of the higher rep stuff but I was pushing for PRs not for building muscle.
    I think I can easily justify a higher rep program to myself, I already have. Iguess when it was mentioned to me, I just thought of all that tempo stuff I have heard at different times and all the weird little machine exercises I have seen done and thought it sounded right.
    I just want to make sure I’m not going down the wrong path or I’m not totally missing the point. Sounds like I can do what I’m doing and do ok. Thanks

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