CrossFit Discussion Board  

Go Back   CrossFit Discussion Board > CrossFit Forum > Fitness
CrossFit Home Forum Site Rules CrossFit FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-26-2011, 09:09 AM   #1
Arturo Garcia
Member Arturo Garcia is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Santo Domingo  Dominican Republic
Posts: 1,875
De Vany's set/rep scheme; other methods.. which is the best?

I will not be able to be brief here. So please bare with me.

Lets say you don't compete in sports, and you're content with your size and strength. You can live with the strength and muscle you already have, maybe increasing it very slowly over the years, as you don't care to compete in anything. I imagine a lot of people are like this. For these people: what would be the optimal, less time-consuming method of training? (I have to repeat again that this hypothetical person isn't obsessed with getting bigger/stronger).

Over the years I have found way too many different methods. In here I will mention a few that I've read about, just to refresh your memory or in case you haven't heard about them.

1. Dante Trudel of DoggCrap fame (very popular BB method) has you repping a weight for about 8 to 12 reps (if memory serves me right), breathe for about 30 seconds, repeat an all out set (you might get, say, 4-5 reps), breath for about 30 seconds, and one third all-out set (of maybe 2 reps). And you're done with that muscle group. This looks attractive as it seems to take a short time. Sounds intense, though.

2. Reverse Pyramid Training, the way I've read about it, has you doing your first work set as the heaviest set (say a set of 5 reps), resting about 3 minutes, then a set ofaround 6 reps with 10% less weight, rest about 3 minutes and then a set of about 7 reps with 20% less weight than the first workset weight. This is advicated by Martin of LeanGains. Takes longer than method 1 but lets you use higher weight relative to your max.

3. Art de Vany's method... I found a 4 year old copy I printed long ago titled "Evolutionary Fitness". I re-read it and found Art's primary method interesting. He says it moves up the hierarchy of muscle fibers and taxes all of them (slow, intermediate, fast twitch). He says: start with a light weight for 15 reps, rest 10-20 seconds, a heavier weight for about 8 reps, rest 10-20 seconds, and one last set of about 4-5 reps with heavier weight. The 10-20 seconds, he says, is enough to change the weight and restore something in the muscles (can't remember). He said he tries to increase speed of the reps which every set. This method, just like method number 1 (Dante's), seems to be the shortest one.

4. The popular 3 sets of 5 like in Starting Strength. These seems to require 5-7 minutes rest between sets for many movements.

5. 3 sets of 10-12 like many guys do in gyms.... had to throw it out there, as it seems to work for some?

Soooooo..... sorry for typing all that. I hope someone's still reading. If I want to maintain size/strength or increase it ever so slowly.... what would be the best method to use on different moves? Obviously some seem WAY more time-efficient than others. I mean, constantly attempting 3x5 with huge rests between sets may provide great results, but if doing Art's method (which seems to take about 90 seconds, at least the work sets) is gonna provide similar results.... then over the years I will have saved a TON of time.

This would apply to many movements. Lets say I'm content with my pull-ups and just want to maintain strength/size. What do I do? 3 sets to failure 2x/week with full rest between sets? (a total of maybe 20 minutes a week), or Dante's method of rest-pause which takes maybe 2 minutes a week?

I hope you understand why I'm asking this. I'm not seeking elite performance, but the most time-efficient method of keeping and possibly gaining (even if slowly) some size/strength. I hope nobody finds this to be a silly question. Thanks for reading so much!
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2011, 10:40 AM   #2
Robert Fabsik
Member Robert Fabsik is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Kildeer  IL
Posts: 2,233
Re: De Vany's set/rep scheme; other methods.. which is the best?

I'll say the goal of maintaining is typically a road to nowhere and usually you begin to lose something. If I can bench 225 for 10 reps, and do that week after week to maintain, after a while the body may adapt and soon I might lose some brute strength as I've become more efficient. So don't settle for maintaining, unless you are maintaining one domain of fitness while chasing another--so let your bench remain the same while you focus on getting your squat up. Or try to maintain strength while you go for a marathon record for you.

Now when you get older, sometimes maintaining is all that is possible, but you want to do it with the mindset of that in which you got there and not sit back thinking the muscle will stick around.

If you are looking to minimize time in the gym, typcially the answer is increase the intensity to balance the lower amount of volume. Unfortunately, I don't think there is one method of efficiency that has blown all the other methods out of the water. Sometimes when you overdo it with intenstiy its tough to recuperate.

There are some guys who train HIT--"High Intenstiy Training"--some form of Arthur Jones/Nautilus work. They'll train intenstly two times a week and can have workouts that last as little as 20 minutes up to an hour--tops. Their basic premises seems sound, but in the end the results outside of a local gym seem limited--not a ton of professional athletes dominating the world with a HIT model.

So maybe I have a boring answer, you might want to try a few of the quicker methods and see where you are 2 months out.

My overall experience has been slow and steady wins the race. Get in the gym, work hard, but don't always beat yourself into the ground. I feel the guy that can go to the gym 3-4 times a week and bring 90-95% all the time is better off then the guy who brings 100% but can then only bring 80% for the rest of the week.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2011, 10:49 AM   #3
Matt Haxmeier
Member Matt Haxmeier is offline
 
Matt Haxmeier's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Arvada  CO
Posts: 1,619
Re: De Vany's set/rep scheme; other methods.. which is the best?

It's hard enough actually seeing consistent progress when you're trying to. So overall I wouldn't advocate trying to just maintain. Always try to make progress and lots of time you might end up maintaining anyway.

But if I were trying to do something akin to it, I'd probably suggest doing either 5/3/1 and just doing the main lifts (jack **** method). Or doing something similar to Conjugate (1 ME upper/1ME lower per week, switching frequently, and peppering in DE & Assistance when you can/feel like it.)
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2011, 12:06 PM   #4
Andrew N. Casey
Banned Andrew N. Casey is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Abilene  KS
Posts: 2,590
Re: De Vany's set/rep scheme; other methods.. which is the best?

the stuff you have listed is all good and will all work. and there are lots and lots of other good programs out there too. plenty of people have gotten big and strong doing whole body workouts 2 to 4 times a week. it's very common to gain size and strength training that way. diet is still key. also, training for size and strength are not the same thing. many programs will work ok for both, but optimal for size is not optimal for strength and vice versa. my suggestion would be to not pick any one program and force yourself to do it all the time, especially since you are ok with slower improvements and are mainly wanting to maintain. switch up what you do often will keep it fun and allow for new challenges. check out Dan John's articles on Tnation, he has lots of stuff similar to what you are looking for and enough different things to keep you busy for quite some time.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2011, 04:47 PM   #5
Michael Burke
Member Michael Burke is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Raleigh  NC
Posts: 60
Re: De Vany's set/rep scheme; other methods.. which is the best?

I think for the type of person you describe, whatever they want to do and actually be motivated to do would be the best. Motivation and consistency would be the biggest factors regulating improvement in that scenario I would bet...
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2011, 09:39 AM   #6
Arturo Garcia
Member Arturo Garcia is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Santo Domingo  Dominican Republic
Posts: 1,875
Re: De Vany's set/rep scheme; other methods.. which is the best?

Thanks for the replies folks.

The person I described is not really me. I do want to keep improving, but I reckon I will get there eventually.

The thing that gets me is this. I could use any exercise to make an example. Lets use the Bench Press, since it's actually a move I stopped doing recently (not one of my favourites for sure). But lets say I love to bench and wanna keep doing it forever.

With DeVany's method, for example, I'd do little warm-up, and then, say, 135x15, 185x8 and 215x4 with 20 seconds rest in between. (I just made that up).

While another guy maybe just works up to 195x12 x3 sets and just does this, with 4 minutes rest between sets.

Lets assume, just for the sake of discussion, that both guys maintained the same musculature and strength with their methods. My only worry is, that the second guy could find out, 20 years later, that he could have cut his time devoted to Benching by at least 1/2 and still have gotten the same results. This is, in part, why I asked all of this. It doesn't have to do with lack of motivation.

By the way, I don't know if DeVany can be taken 100% seriously in this Evolutionary Fitness article I printed and saved, but he specifically says "after I discovered this technique I went to 11 to 6 percent bodyfat". You can see why it's also attractive in this regard.

But my main interest is time. Some methods are just longer.

To use comparable numbers to the two examples above... Dante's methods (doggcrap) would also be short: in that Bench, say the guy warms up some, and does 195x12, breathes 15 times deep, 195x6, breathes 15 times deep, 195x3. Done with benching.

Put this in contrast with the guy that feels that working heavy is best. After warmups, he does 225x5, rest 5 mins, 225x5, rest 5 mins, 225x5. This obviously takes much longer, as anyone who has done SS can attest to. So this is why this quicker methods seem very attractive to me. Could I really be reaping the same benefits of a movement while only spending half the time I'm currently spending on it? This is my big question, I hope it's clear.

It doesn't even have to do with trying to increase or maintain. For the sake of arguing lets say I will always increase weight whenever I can. Still... I could be doing Devany's sets/reps and try to increase, or the 3x5 with 5 minutes rest in between and try to increase. But one will be much shorter than the other.

And if you think I'm overthinking this, don't think of it as just 1 movement. Think you're doing 3-4 compound lifts a day. Using these different methods could result in either a 90min session or a 45 minute session. I gotta be honest, if I'll see similar results on both.... you can be sure I'll choose the shorter one. I like to lift, but I wont lift just for the sake of... lifting?
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2011, 12:22 PM   #7
Matt Haxmeier
Member Matt Haxmeier is offline
 
Matt Haxmeier's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Arvada  CO
Posts: 1,619
Re: De Vany's set/rep scheme; other methods.. which is the best?

That's why I felt 5/3/1 would work nicely. The jack **** method only has you doing 4 lifts. BS, BP, SP, DL. And the numbers are figured out for you ahead of time which takes out all the guesswork. Each lift has only 3 working sets. 5-5-5+, 3-3-3+ or 5-3-1+. Plus a built in deload week every 4th week. And you can do it in two days (two lifts on one day and two on another).

Either you hit your goals and increase weight as recommended. Or you don't and do a reset. You can increase weight in as small an increment as you desire. If you keep having to reset then you're doing something wrong.

You can print out sheets and basically fill them out months in advance. Doesn't get much easier really. And only doing 3 working sets of 4 lifts in a week doesn't have to take very long.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2011, 04:57 PM   #8
David Meverden
Member David Meverden is offline
 
David Meverden's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Charleston  SC
Posts: 2,802
Re: De Vany's set/rep scheme; other methods.. which is the best?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Haxmeier View Post
That's why I felt 5/3/1 would work nicely. The jack **** method only has you doing 4 lifts. BS, BP, SP, DL. And the numbers are figured out for you ahead of time which takes out all the guesswork. Each lift has only 3 working sets. 5-5-5+, 3-3-3+ or 5-3-1+. Plus a built in deload week every 4th week. And you can do it in two days (two lifts on one day and two on another).

Either you hit your goals and increase weight as recommended. Or you don't and do a reset. You can increase weight in as small an increment as you desire. If you keep having to reset then you're doing something wrong.

You can print out sheets and basically fill them out months in advance. Doesn't get much easier really. And only doing 3 working sets of 4 lifts in a week doesn't have to take very long.
I agree with this. I think a two day per week 5/3/1 would be quite efficient for maintaining strength or building it slowly over time. Do the main lifts with 2 or 3 minutes of rest in between, then call it a session or do 1 or 2 quick lighter sets afterwords. Pretty quick, either way. I would personally try that before doing the other rep schemes you mentioned just because I trust Jim Wendler to know how to make me strong more than the other guys you mentioned.

Westside type workouts done 2 days per week, just two Max Effort days, could probably also work for maintaining strength or slowly building. That would be very time efficient and would be constantly varied which would keep it interesting.
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Rep scheme: 4, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1 Brian Negrotto Workout of the Day 3 08-17-2010 03:48 PM
question regarding rep scheme Chris Sinagoga Fitness 0 03-24-2010 10:13 PM
rep scheme Edd Collop Workout of the Day 1 06-07-2009 10:22 AM
Rep Scheme 1s 3s and weight used ???? Dean Rodgers Workout of the Day 6 04-29-2009 07:13 PM
Snatch rep scheme Jeffrey Thorn Exercises 0 07-29-2008 09:50 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:19 AM.


CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.