Eryk Bui's training heavy
Many, How Much?
One of the most asked questions deals with not
what exercises to do, but how many sets and how much weight to use.
There exists a direct relationship between sets, reps, and the amount
of stimulus or weight. An equilibrium between the three will
produce the most desired effect, whereas too much of one over the
others will lead to a variety of ill-effects depending on which one
is more dominant. Too many repetitions and sets will
cause boredom and lead to plateaus.
Too much weight and sets will lead to muscular failure and injury.
You get the picture � too much or too little of anything is a bad
thing. The key will be balance. This article will show
you how to manipulate the three variables (reps, sets, and weight) to
effectively produce a desired product. What is a desired
product? It can be muscular size, muscular strength, muscle
tone or any other muscle quality. What ever it is, we can help
you achieve it.
If your goal is to gain size, then plan on
increasing the set and weight variables and decreasing the repetition
variable. In order to force or induce a change in muscular size
(growth) you have to give it a reason to do so. This is what
happens when you train heavy and continually increase weight.
The body part being trained will be broken down completely and thus
have to be repaired. The degree of muscular fiber breakdown
will be indicated through the amount of muscular soreness
Notice I said �muscular soreness�?
That�s because if you feel sorer in your joints than the
surrounding muscles, then you have done something wrong.
Usually joint pain is due to poor biomechanics. Don�t get me
wrong. Muscular soreness does indicate that the muscle fibers
have been damaged, but muscle fibers repair themselves all the time.
Muscular breakdown and repair is a normal process. Joint or
tendon breakdown and repair are not. In fact, joint and tendon
breakdown can be repaired only through surgical means. I have
worked with enough orthopedists and patients to know that once you
damage tendons or ligaments, they are never quite as strong or stable
So having said this, when you increase your
weight then decrease the number of reps, but not the number of sets.
Think of it in terms of relative volume. The increase in sets
will allow you to make up the total volume lost through the decrease
in repetitions. Although it will never be exact, the goal
should still be to restore as much balance as possible.
Keep in mind that other factors should be
included in the overall picture. Your diet will contribute to
muscular repair and subsequent increase. Please refer to the
article called �Bulls, Chickens, and Pigs: Which One Are
You?� Cardiovascular stimulation is not a vital component
when increasing muscle size and density is the objective. In
fact, 15 minutes of cardiovascular stimulation everyday or 30 minutes
every-other-day is adequate. Do just enough cardio to keep the
metabolism working. Think of your metabolism as a furnace.
Keep it stimulated or it will burn out. For more information on
cardiovascular conditioning, please refer to the article �To Cardio
OR Not to Cardio: That is the Burning Question�.
If your goal is to maintain bodyweight, then be
consistent with repetitions, sets, and amount of weight. The
idea here is to continue stimulating the body, but not to the point
of complete exhaustion. The degree of soreness should be
noticeable, but not over-bearing. Over-bearing soreness is best
depicted by stiff and achy muscles. Continue to emphasize
proper technique with each and every set. Repetitions per set
should be at least 10 and no more than 20. At least 3 sets and
no more than 5 total sets per body part. Please
refer to the article �Bulls,
Chickens, and Pigs: Which One Are You?� for more
information on how to implement a nutritional plan to support your
Although it is acceptable to change exercises
regularly, it is more important to keep the weight down and
repetitions high. Unlike those who are training for size,
cardiovascular stimulation is a necessary component in maintaining
bodyweight. At least 20 minutes of stimulation daily is
If your goal is to lose body fat or decrease
bodyweight, then light with occasional moderate weight stimulation is
the key. Repetitions and sets should also stay relatively high
with less emphasis on weight. Use weight that you can perform
20 comfortable repetitions with. Be sure to utilize proper
technique with each and every repetition and set. Muscular
soreness should be kept to a minimal because you do not want to
hinder your ability to remain consistent in any way. Range of
motion and consistency is the most important factors in determining
your success. Cardiovascular stimulation and proper nutrition
are equally important to your success as the weightlifting.
Cardio is important because it is a much more efficient means of
disposing excess body fat than weightlifting. At least 30
minutes of stimulation daily is required.
Obesity has a common trait ... a slow metabolism. Please refer
to the article �Bulls,
Chickens, and Pigs: Which One Are You?� for more
information on how to implement a nutritional plan.
What ever your goals, having a plan is essential.
Properly planning will stimulate, motivate, and keep you focused on
the long-term goal of fitness. A plan is more than a diagram.
It is your journal and will become your reference guide. So put
it on paper. Transfer your thoughts and feelings about this
change in lifestyle onto paper and keep it in a safe, but accessible
place. Ultimately, this journal will become a document of your
life-long commitment to health and fitness.
As you get closer to your goals, you will realize how this agreement
transcends you and becomes your commitment to your family and loved
ones. Your children and their children will become benefactors
of your decision. They will inherit your knowledge and
perseverance and pass it on down the line.
Since posting the articles about my heavy and hardcore training philosophy, I
have received many requests for a glimpse at my typical workout numbers. My goal
with each workout is to apply enough aggression to (1) move as much weight as
efficiently and safely as possible, and (2) to naturally stimulate my body�s
own production of testosterone. I utilize my power movements (squat, bench, and
deadlift) to force my body to kick out more testosterone.
I do have a training partner and have always stressed the importance of
safety. Make sure you have someone who is knowledgeable and capable of spotting
properly. Training heavy is extremely beneficial and vital to rapid muscle
I will list the poundage and repetitions for each individual set, set by set,
from all warm-up sets through all subsequent sets. I do have �off� days when
the strength just isn�t all there so the numbers posted below are from my
�good� days. The bold print is just there to help you follow the numbers
better. So with no further adieu, here they are:
FLAT BARBELL PRESS
225 X 20, 315 X 20, 405 X 6-10, 455 X 2, 475 X 1, 315 X 15-20, 225 X 20
INCLINE BARBELL PRESS
185 X 20, 225 X 20, 275 X 10, 315 X 8-10
INCLINE DUMBBELL PRESS
(Dumbbells only go up to 125LB at my gym)
100 X 20, 125 X 20, 125 X 15, 125 X 20, 125 X 15
60 X 12, 80 X 10, 90 X 10, 100 X 10, 110 X 10
225 X 20, 315 X 15, 405 X 12, 515 X 10, 600 X 5-8, 675 X 2, 700 X 1
I use leg press as a supplemental movement in addition to squats. I always squat
and never use the leg press as a primary movement. A single set consists of 10
reps with my feet together to hit my outer sweep, 10 reps with my feet shoulder
width apart to hit the medial portion of my quads, and 10 reps with my feet in a
sumo stance to hit my inner thighs. For this compound movement, my sets and
weights are as follows:
495 X 30, 585 X 30, 675 X 30, 675 X 30
FRONT MILITARY BARBELL PRESS
135 X 20, 185 X 15, 225 X 10, 275 X 5-8, 315 X 5-8
DUMBBELL OVERHEAD PRESS
80 X 20, 100 X 20, 115 X 15, 125 X 12, 125 X 12
DUMBBELL LATERAL RAISE
50 X 20, 65 X 15, 80 X 10, 80 X 10, 50 X 20
BENTOVER BARBELL ROWS
135 X 20, 185 X 20, 225 X 20, 275 X 15, 315 X 12, 365 X 6-8
ONE ARM DUMBBELL ROWS (REPS ARE PER ARM)
100 X 12, 125 X 10, 125 X 10, 125 X 10
95 X 15, 135 X 10, 155 X 10, 185 X 5-8, 225 X 2-4, 185 X 5-8
50 X 10, 65 X 10, 80 X 8-10, 90 X 4-6, 90 X 4-6, 65 X 10
CLOSE GRIP BENCH PRESS
225 X 20, 275 X 15, 315 X 12, 315 X 12, 225 X 20
LYING BARBELL TRICEPS EXTENSION
95 X 15, 135 X 12, 185 X 10, 185 X 10, 135 X 12
STIFF LEG DEADLIFT
135 X 15, 225 X 12, 275 X 10, 315 X 10, 405 X 10
SUMO STANCE DEADLIFT
(I prefer a sumo stance to a traditional one.)
225 X 20, 315 X 12, 405 X 10, 495 X 6-10, 585 X 5-8, 585 X 5-8
Written By: Eryk Bui @ http://www.erykbui.com/
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