Some Questions About Sets and Reps

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Two quick notes, and then we'll talk iron.

1. The Dinosaur Files

We launched a monthly Dinosaur Files
newsletter last year, and for the first time
ever we made it available in PDF format
with electronic delivery.

If you missed them, you missed some great
training articles. But don't worry - they're
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You can find all the issues from last year
right here at our products page. Look in
the section for PDF products with immediate
electronic delivery:

Beginning in (I believe) April 2016 we began
offering each issue of the Dinosaur Files in
your choice of PDF or Kindle editions - so if
you prefer Kindle, we've got you covered.

2. The Iron League

John Wood's enormous archive of rare
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and magazines is going great guns -- and
it's a terrific resource for Dinosaurs. Go
here to check it out:

3. Some Questions About Sets and Reps

For some reason, I've been getting a lot
of questions about sets and reps. Here are
some of the most common questions -- and
my answers to them.

Q. How do I build up to doing heavy

A. Do 5 x 5 for 3 months, and then do 5/4/3/2/1
or 5 x 5 followed by 1 x 3 and 1 x 1 for three

Q. You always talk about 5 x 5 -- but
if I need to do more warm-up sets?

A. Go ahead and do them. If it turns out to
be 6 x 5 or 7 x 5, that's fine.

Q. Does 5 x 5 mean you do five sets with
heaviest possible weight?

A. No, it means you do a series of progressively
heavier warm-up sets followed by 3 working sets
with your top weight -- or 2 working sets -- or
one working set.

Some related points:

a. Over the course of a training cycle, you can
move from 3 x 5 working sets to 1 x 5. In
other words, you do fewer heavy sets as
the weight goes up from week to week.

You can do 3 x 5 in light weeks, 2 x 5 in
medium weeks, and 1 x 5 in  heavy weeks.

b. The stronger you are, and the heavier you
train, the fewer work sets you need (or can

c, Older trainees usually do better on one working
set in any exercise.

d. Squats and deadlifts usually work best with
one working set.

Q. Do heavy singles work well for all

A. They work best for squats, front squats, dead-
lifts, Trap Bar deadlifts, bottom position bench
press, bottom position squats, push presses,
military presses, cleans, snatches and the
clean and press or the clean and jerk.

Curls, shrugs, and lat exercises usually work
better with sets of five or six reps.

Gut work and neck work is best if you do sets
of 8 to 15 reps. Ditto for calf work.

Grip work varies depending on what you do.

Q. When you do heavy singles, do you lift
your maximum possible weight in your top

A. No, you do a series of progressively
heavier sets and work up to a weight that
is heavy, demanding and challenging -- but
not to your absolute max.

Q. Can I skip the warm-up sets to save

A. No, warm-up sets are important. If you
don't have time to do warm-up sets, you
don't have time to train.

Q. What is the best system of sets and

A. There isn't one. The best system of sets and
reps for YOU will depend on a variety of factors,
and it will change over time. It also will vary
from exercise to exercise.

Don't agonize over finding "the best" way to
train. Find a GOOD way, and work it hard.
You'll do just fine.

As always, thanks for reading and have a
great day. If you train today, make it a
good one!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. For more details on effective strength
training and muscle building workouts, grab

a. Strength, Muscle and Power

b. Chalk and Sweat

c. The Dinosaur Training Military Press and
Shoulder Power Course

P.S. 2. My other books and courses are available
right here at Dino Headquarters:

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "If you sweat
more planning your workouts than you do
when you train, there's a problem."
-- Brooks