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Finish sets for single exercise before moving on, or rotate?


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Hi everyone,

 

For the past couple months I've been rotating all my exercises once to complete a set and doing three sets total.  In this way, I could do 12 chin ups each time.  Today I decided to do all three sets of the same exercise back-to-back before moving on to the next ones.  In that fashion, I could only do 12, 6, and 4 chin ups.  Quite the dip!!

 

I know people say it comes down to preference, but am I still getting as much out of my workout if I'm doing so many fewer reps?  I don't know if I feel as worn out tonight as I usually do (I was able to push harder on other exercises, so I don't really know what the "net effect" is).

 

Thanks for your input!

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Bump this to get some other opinions......Frankly I think it's going to come down to what you're looking to accomplish. I'm in the same boat as you.

 

Right now I'm right around 15 straight chin-ups for a 1 set max. I've been a little higher but haven't been focusing on them. If I were to do 15, I'd have to wait awhile to be able to get more done. Per Grease the Groove, you shouldn't go to failure with those types of exercise as your workload will be drastically reduced. As we've both noticed.

 

But killng your back like that has to have some benefits right?

"I've torn a hamstring tendon and re-injured my knee, lower back, and upper back while doing yoga. Don't get me started on shin splints. You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't, so might as well be strong." - Some guy on the SS forums.

"Heavy is dangerous, but light is no fun." - Mark Rippetoe

"Squats are a good assistance to bring up your curl, as a bonus you can do your squats while your are still in the curl rack." - SJB

 

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I found increasing overall workout volume to be a big benefit for chins/pull-ups.  That is, getting as many chin/pull-ups as possible in during a workout worked much better for me than "going to failure" for 3 sets in a row and then moving on to some other movement.  So, supersetting (which you were doing, if I understand your original post correctly) or circuit-style training worked better for me.  Qualifier - I'm talking specifically about chin/pull-ups here.  I have no idea if that would fly with big compound barbell lifts...

 

Also, when I say "worked better for me", I mean I saw more improvement in my 1-set rep max (body-weight only).

What you do, and what you don't do, matters.

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That makes sense, I've found the same thing. I usually try and do pullups/chins everytime I'm in the gym and that usually involves doing a set everytime I walk by. I think I'll switch my training around and shoot for a number everytime I'm in the gym. 30-40 chins should do the trick.

"I've torn a hamstring tendon and re-injured my knee, lower back, and upper back while doing yoga. Don't get me started on shin splints. You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't, so might as well be strong." - Some guy on the SS forums.

"Heavy is dangerous, but light is no fun." - Mark Rippetoe

"Squats are a good assistance to bring up your curl, as a bonus you can do your squats while your are still in the curl rack." - SJB

 

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Thanks for the input - I've been coming to similar conclusions.  I think I'll go back to supersetting specifically for chinups/pullups, and will try to leave a little more in the tank per set in order to get more reps overall.  I appreciate the insights!

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