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Thread: NLP bench question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    597

    Default NLP bench question

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    Hi All,

    Stats:
    BW 222lbs
    Age: 32
    Height 6' 2"

    I recently started failing the last rep of the last set or 2 of bench at 107kg. So from the last few sessions I did:

    105kg 3x5
    106kg 5,4 (failed 5th), 4
    107kg 5, 4 (didn't attempt a 5th as the last rep stopped and took probably 4-6 seconds to complete), 4, 2

    I have continued progressing the weight in line with Nick D's advice. My question is, what are the considerations for whether to do a top set and back off for 2 more sets or do what I did at 107kg and get as many reps as possible for each set as long as it adds up to 15. Nick mentioned the preference is to continue getting all 15 reps in with the same weight for weaker lifters and back offs for stronger but I'm not sure where I sit. As a note, I'm happy to continue as I am and experiment but I'm also curious about the recommendations based on actual experience.

    More stats if helpful:
    Squat 127.5kg 3x5 (coming back from a minor back tweak AND some knee tendonitis which has cleared up. was at 145kg 3x5)
    OHP 70kg 4,4,4,3
    Deadlift 165kg x 5

    Thank you for any help!

  2. #2
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    Jul 2007
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    597

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    All in order.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2023
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    My experience/thinking is that "less efficient" exercises like the presses benefit more from reducing the reps while keeping the weight heavy, while "more efficient" exercises like the squat and bench work better with topsets and backoffs. I would hazard this is because heavier weight on the lighter lifts does a better job at forcing more muscle mass into contraction on an exercise which naturally doesn't involve very much muscle mass. The "floor" below which stress is not sufficient to produce an adaptation is higher, and must be carefully avoided. By contrast, squats and deadlifts have a great deal of resources in play that you can "dig into" to get that fifth rep, even if it's sufficiently heavy. Not so for the presses. At these light weights, chose whichever path keeps more weight on the bar.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maybach View Post
    My experience/thinking is that "less efficient" exercises like the presses benefit more from reducing the reps while keeping the weight heavy, while "more efficient" exercises like the squat and bench work better with topsets and backoffs. I would hazard this is because heavier weight on the lighter lifts does a better job at forcing more muscle mass into contraction on an exercise which naturally doesn't involve very much muscle mass. The "floor" below which stress is not sufficient to produce an adaptation is higher, and must be carefully avoided. By contrast, squats and deadlifts have a great deal of resources in play that you can "dig into" to get that fifth rep, even if it's sufficiently heavy. Not so for the presses. At these light weights, chose whichever path keeps more weight on the bar.
    Thanks Maybach and it's always good to get a little reality check here when you workout in a commercial gym, very easy to start thinking the weights your lifting are 'heavy enough' when people gawp. This was also more for my curiosity as I don't mind experimenting within the general starting strength methodology parameters. I will continue as I was.

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