starting with heavy weight sets and moving down in weight versus starting lighter and increasing weight...

  • TxGrunt

    Posts: 71

    Nov 24, 2010 3:38 PM GMT
    i know the two schools of thought and im simply interested in more feedback.

    historically, after stretching and warm up, for most exercises i have started heavier and moved lighter (regardless 3-4 sets at 6-8 reps). now im considering reversing that approach and starting lighter and moving heavier.
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    Dec 01, 2010 1:14 AM GMT
    I go from lighter to heavier, more reps to less.

    No idea if it's more/less effective a way to go - it was the approach taken by my personal trainer when I very, very first started at the gym around 4.5years ago, and so it's just kinda stuck for me.

    But I'm getting results that I'm relatively happy with, so it's not completely ineffectual at least! lol
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    Dec 01, 2010 11:05 AM GMT

    I do the lightest set first. It gets the muscles firing in the proper split-second sequence to accomplish the particular movement--like reestablishing a mind-body connection that you haven't used since the last time you did the exercise. Just in case the initial firing sequence is slightly off, the fact that you are on the lightest set can help avoid injury.

    I do the heaviest set next and then ratchet back a bit for a final set to move the muscles further toward exhaustion--that's the set that actually builds muscle bulk. In theory, you couldn't complete that all-important last set at the heaviest weight because the muscles are already too close to exhaustion, but you can still complete it by ratcheting back a bit on the weight.
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    Dec 04, 2010 1:26 PM GMT
    Every trainer I have ever had, started me out with a light cardio just to get the heart pumping a bit more. Each one told me never to stretch before. Started with lighter weight, and gradually moving up to the heaviest weight, unless I am testing for max weight. Or, unless it is a drop set, but drops are usually done towards the end of the workout just to get you completely to muscle failure. Then, after lifting, hit cardio for at least 20 min.
    But, either way, it's good to shake it up a bit to keep your muscles confused. I would recommend that if you want to go heavy weight first, do it for only a few weeks. Just my opinion...
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    Dec 09, 2010 8:05 PM GMT
    I prefer starting lighter then going heavier with less reps. Usually a 10, 8, 6, 4 rep scheme.
  • allatonce

    Posts: 904

    Dec 10, 2010 4:24 AM GMT
    I start the workout with a few mins of cardio and stretch. For weights I like to do heavy first and then light. I generally do as many as I can at a certain weight, and when I max out I keep going at a lighter weight, then when I max out again I call that a set. I find it really effective, just hard to do when the gym is full.
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    Dec 10, 2010 4:33 AM GMT
    The logic behind starting with a lighter weight and then going heavier with each set is that it acts as a warm up and stretch for the muscle, thereby reducing the risk of injury. I think that if you are properly warmed up and the muscles are loosened up, it is fine to start heavy and then go light.