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Two on and one off? Or three on and one off?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning' started by kestrou, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. kestrou

    kestrou Pin Member #4

    Jul 3, 2000
    In The Pocket
    OK - this is the thread where you tell me to just slow down and let time take it's course! ;f

    I've been doing some barbell lifting for a couple months now. Was originally doing a lighter weight and did two sets of 20 reps; then, in an effort to build some bulk, upped the weight and now do two sets of 12 reps. I'm doing this routine three days a week (Monday/Wednesday/Friday) and that's it.

    Well, I don't know how fast muscles are supposed to "sprout" ( ;f ) but I'm really not seeing any results :(

    I'm not ready to buy some roids or anything, but don't know what my expectations should be, or if I'm really on the right schedule for my goals. ^8

    I understand I have to "break the muscle fibers down" in order to effect any bulk - so I'm wondering if only three quick workouts per week (routine takes less than 30 minutes, including both sets) isn't enough?

    As a medium-distance runner (average 30 miles per week and am fairly slim at 165 pounds and 5' 10" ) perhaps I'm not getting enough nutrition or protein?

    Lots of possible factors, so thanks for any advice!

  2. Chevytuff19


    Apr 25, 2002
    You must ingest A LOT of protein if you are running that much. 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight should probably be good for you. Try the Whey protein powder if you like to make protein drinks. It has really helped me.


  3. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

    Aug 2, 1999
    I agree with Wes. To put on weight, whether musuclar or fat, you need to eat more calories than you expend. So eat more. You also may need to cut back on your running.

    I'm not huge by any stretch of the imagination, but what got me to put weight on was 5 sets of 5 reps; 2 progressively heavier warmup sets followed by 3 worksets. I did a squat, a push and a pull compound movement for each three times per week.

    Good luck,
  4. c5367

    c5367 Esq.

    Aug 1, 2003
    In addition to the nutrition angle, it doesn't look like there is enough volume. Ideally, 10-16 sets for larger body parts (chest, back), 8-14 for smaller ones (bi, tri). Those are general guidelines and will vary by your own recovery rate. Also, you may have to go a little heavier. Bodybuilders and powerlifters rarely do more than 10 reps a set. Even thought the number of reps is low, the intensity should be high. Sets to failure have given me great results in the past, and now that I'm getting back into the game, they're working great now.

    Chevytuff gave some good info on protien intake. I'll just add the the hour or so after the workout is the best time to ingest protein. The workout has "primed" the muscles to grow, but like a primed engine they need fuel and materials. One more thing is to take in protein every few hours.
  5. Sunwolf Enemy

    Sunwolf Enemy

    Apr 22, 2005
    Colorado USA
    It all depends on what you want to accomplish with your lifting. Either way, the *vast* majority of people lift too damned much and it slows down their progress. Why?

    Well, you're right in having to break down the muscle fibers. But then what? They need to repair themselves. And they repair themselves at a much slower rate than they break down. You *need* to rest your muscles if you want them to develop.

    I'm into overall fitness and without knowing your specific goals, I'll just tell you what I do.

    Mon--lower body lifting. Calves, quads, glutes, hammys, and abs.
    Teus--cardio. Usually intervals for fat burning, then something fun, usually mountainbiking or running.
    Wed--upper body lifting. Bis, Tris, shoulders, lats, lower back, pecs, etc.
    Thurs--cardio. See above.
    Fri--lower body lifting. See above.
    Sunday--lounge around and eat pizza and drink beer and scratch my ass so I don't burn out.

    Then on monday I start off with upper body lifting to continue the cycle.

    Varry your lifts. For instance, for biceps, do standard dumbbell curls (locked wrist, full range of motion from straight arm to full curl, squeeze at the top of the rep) one week, then do half dumbbell curls (starting at full extention, hold the bar with your fingers, with fingers and wrist relaxed. Lead up with your wrist and stop when your arm is at a 90 degree angle, squeeze at the top of the rep)

    This works wonders with the right nutrition. You need a balance. Low fat (NOT no fat--you need fats for hair, skin, etc.), roughly equal ammounts of *quality* protein and *quality* carbs. Too much of one and not enough of another will hurt you. Eat smaller, more frequent meals over large, spread out meals. I usually eat 6-8 times a day.

    --edit-- This is based on Bill Phillips' book Body for Life which is worth every penny. Sorry for forgetting to credit. :)
  6. .264 magnum

    .264 magnum CLM

    Dec 5, 2002
    Dallas TX

    1. Try working each muscle group 2x per week. Later as your ability to lift hard comes around try one work out per group per week (most people must lift VERY hard for this scheme to yield increased mass as quickly as two workout per group).

    2. California Jack's thoughts about fewer reps per set using more weight are valid. I do the 2 warm-up and 3 work sets thing too. Only I aim for eight reps. save the last set which usually works out to 4-5 reps. I'd move from 2 to 4 or 5 sets per group too; then more as your body allows. I do 9 sets of chest most workouts (3 sets lower pecs, 3 sets middle, and 3 sets upper-I tend to do the middle first).
    Back 3 sets lats, 3 sets lower, 3 (sometimes 4)sets upper back.

    3. My back routine takes 50 minutes-chest about 45 min.-legs about an hour. I can work my legs harder than back or chest so I rest more. And I work my legs 1x per week. Everything else 2x.

    4. I'd cut back on the running. If you are not working your legs hard in the weight room-start now. Tough leg workouts seem to help the rest of the body-esp. squats and very deep leg presses (feet placed wide and high).

    5. Eat more.

    6. Move the weight up SLOWLY using only the muscles you are exercising (i.e.-don't move your butt or elbows as your perform straight bar biceps curls).

    7. Contract your muscles at the "top" of every exercise.

    8. Allow the negative to take longer than the positive.

    More weight, fewer reps., more sets, fewer weekly workouts.
    Maybe less running? Certainly more food. Work legs very hard. Lift with careful attention to form.
    I think your current lifting regime, food intake and running is generally contrary to adding mass.
  7. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

    Aug 2, 1999
    To paraphrase Paul Kelso's recommendation........... 20 sets per body, not per body part.
  8. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

    Aug 2, 1999
    .264 mag,

    Still doing the dumbell snatches?

  9. .264 magnum

    .264 magnum CLM

    Dec 5, 2002
    Dallas TX
    How have you been? And yes although not as often as in the past. To many ESs and my elbows hurt afterward. Every-time I do a set of ESs I can't help but think about you.