Does this combo of sets count? Does this combo of sets count?

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Thread: Does this combo of sets count?

  1. #1
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    Default Does this combo of sets count?

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    Iím 63 and after a long COVID-induced lay-off (gym closing) I restarted the novice progression after setting up a home gym. I had good progress and then stalled after 5 months of doing 3 sets of 5. I switched to 5 sets of 3 with good results. This was my bench press day today with 6 minutes between sets (including the lifts).

    First two sets of 3 no problem.

    Set three something happened and I just couldnít get the third rep up. I grinded as long as I could.

    Got furious with myself and got 3 good reps sets 4 and 5.

    Added 4 minutes to the usual 6 and got a solid set of 3 for a sixth set.

    Does that count as 5 completed sets of 3 even though there was a set of 2 in between and a longer wait between set 5 and 6?

    Do I just repeat 5 sets of 3 at the same weight next bench press day or should I go up in weight? Iím trying to get gains every w/o.

  2. #2
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    Not an expert, but this has happened to me a few times on the bench (and once on the squat). Unless it happens on my last set, I just call it an outlier, move on and see what happens. It has not failed me so far.

  3. #3
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    6 minutes is not enough between sets, which is why you failed set 3. It's also probably why you stalled with 3x5.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiny&mighty View Post
    Not an expert, but this has happened to me a few times on the bench (and once on the squat). Unless it happens on my last set, I just call it an outlier, move on and see what happens. It has not failed me so far.
    Thanks. I'll try to just muscle through with adding weight tomorrow then!

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ23 View Post
    6 minutes is not enough between sets, which is why you failed set 3. It's also probably why you stalled with 3x5.
    If 6 minutes has worked up to now, what would you recommend I go up to? 7 or 8?

  5. #5
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    Out of curiosity, did you rest 6 minutes prior to sets 4 and 5?

    Another point. It's easy to mis-groove pressing movements. More on the press, obviously, but I've had it happen on bench too. Experience will tell you whether a missed rep was a programming issue or a form issue. The fact that you got the reps in later sets suggests to me it may have just been out of the groove.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt James View Post
    Out of curiosity, did you rest 6 minutes prior to sets 4 and 5?

    Another point. It's easy to mis-groove pressing movements. More on the press, obviously, but I've had it happen on bench too. Experience will tell you whether a missed rep was a programming issue or a form issue. The fact that you got the reps in later sets suggests to me it may have just been out of the groove.
    Yes. I have been doing six minute rests routinely (which include the time taken by the actual set). I do believe that my failed set number 3 was a combination of faulty technique and just plain giving up prematurely. Sets 4 and 5 had the same 6 min rest.

    I barely got the last set of 3 up and I knew that if I wanted to do a fifth complete set more, I would need a longer rest. Therefore I took 10 minutes for that last set of 3.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt James View Post
    Out of curiosity, did you rest 6 minutes prior to sets 4 and 5?

    Another point. It's easy to mis-groove pressing movements. More on the press, obviously, but I've had it happen on bench too. Experience will tell you whether a missed rep was a programming issue or a form issue. The fact that you got the reps in later sets suggests to me it may have just been out of the groove.
    Mis-groove - that is so well said. It captures exactly how a missed rep feels when I bench. Thankfully my groove is much better on the press.

  8. #8
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    starting strength coach development program
    Try 8 minutes and stick with 3 sets of 5. You should have fully caught your breath between sets.

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