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Author Topic: counting reps is weird  (Read 2352 times)
Al Doggity
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« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2017, 01:58:03 PM »

I make "progress" all the time, in that i learn how to warm up a little better, hurt myself a little less, waste a little less time, or sometimes even get a little stronger. I don't need numbers for these things, and the outside observer would probably just laugh at me and say "okay


How do you gauge if you're getting stronger or wasting less time without keeping track of numbers? Maybe you're not counting reps, but if you are working out with the intent of making progress, you are keeping track some type of numbers.

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if you're lifting hard, and you get to rep 6 and feel like the next rep is gonna snap your spine, why would you go for your planned ten reps? conversely, if you get to the end of your last set and feel like the muscle isn't very stimulated, why not do another set or two?

Who are these robots strictly following rep counts? Who are these people who don't do fewer reps when their body demands it and more reps/sets when their body is capable?
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ratherbebig
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« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2017, 02:16:03 PM »

i count reps and i only stop when i reach the magical total no of 666

then i scream at the top of my lungs 666 THE NUMBER OF THE BEAAAAAAAAAST

and leave the gym
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TonyAlva
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« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2017, 02:32:41 PM »

Too dam hard to count reps when you high as f*ck.  Undecided
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ESFitness
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« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2017, 02:55:29 PM »

Let's say last Tuesday you had a day full of meals got all your calories in all your carbohydrates and fats and proteins then Wednesday you had an awesome back workout. Now this Tuesday your calorie count was a little low because you had shit to do and you didn't get the carbohydrates in that you got last Tuesday or the fats or proteins or whatever let's say you got 50% in and the following day your back workout was subpar your energy stores were lower and while you got 315 for an easy 15 reps on the deadlift last Wednesday this Wednesday because your energy stores are lower your maximum effort was only 11 reps. Despite putting in 100% effort both days. Your body doesn't know that it's not going to grow if you don't hit some magical number. Your body doesn't know if it's lifting 315 lb or 405 lb it only knows resistance and effort. And my shit 23 years now of training experience tells me hitting 315 on and off day for 11 will get it the same results as hitting 3:15 4:15 on a great day.

(Those #'s I just made up. Substitute 225 lb if you like or 465 lb or 505 lb whatever)
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thatrandomguy#7
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« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2017, 02:59:39 PM »

Go by feel.

Blasting away for that one extra rep when I'm already spent already cost me a bicep tear ans super ducked up vertebrae in my neck.

County reps and wait to gauge progress is okay and cool and all when you're starting out but I've been training since 1996, after a while learn what feels right and what feels necessary

counting reps and using good judgment when lifting don't have to be mutually exclusive. 
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chess315
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« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2017, 04:06:29 PM »

counting reps and using good judgment when lifting don't have to be mutually exclusive. 
yes you should at least no what your best on your favorite compound movements is so you can attempt to progress other than that it doesn't matter
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thatrandomguy#7
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« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2017, 05:46:37 PM »

yes you should at least no what your best on your favorite compound movements is so you can attempt to progress other than that it doesn't matter

well that too but my point to the guy who said he got hurt going for one more rep even when he knew he was spent is this: whether you are counting reps or not you can still have the sense to stop short when you feel like you are about to blow something out. his injury had nothing to do with counting reps it was from being stupid. 
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ESFitness
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« Reply #32 on: December 30, 2017, 07:30:09 PM »

well that too but my point to the guy who said he got hurt going for one more rep even when he knew he was spent is this: whether you are counting reps or not you can still have the sense to stop short when you feel like you are about to blow something out. his injury had nothing to do with counting reps it was from being stupid. 

I don't count reps or I rarely count wraps however if somebody else is counting my reps or I videotape asset my reps are almost always in the 7 to 11 range, if not 7 to 9 4 sets number three or four of a given movement or 9 to 11 for assets number one or two. * edit correction the first set is usually 15 to 17 4 certain movements, especially isolation movements such as pushdowns or curls
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Disgusted
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« Reply #33 on: December 30, 2017, 08:36:34 PM »

I always did 9 1/2 reps for upper body and 15 1/4 for legs.
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cephissus
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« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2017, 01:49:19 AM »

Let's say last Tuesday you had a day full of meals got all your calories in all your carbohydrates and fats and proteins then Wednesday you had an awesome back workout. Now this Tuesday your calorie count was a little low because you had shit to do and you didn't get the carbohydrates in that you got last Tuesday or the fats or proteins or whatever let's say you got 50% in and the following day your back workout was subpar your energy stores were lower and while you got 315 for an easy 15 reps on the deadlift last Wednesday this Wednesday because your energy stores are lower your maximum effort was only 11 reps. Despite putting in 100% effort both days. Your body doesn't know that it's not going to grow if you don't hit some magical number. Your body doesn't know if it's lifting 315 lb or 405 lb it only knows resistance and effort. And my shit 23 years now of training experience tells me hitting 315 on and off day for 11 will get it the same results as hitting 3:15 4:15 on a great day.

(Those #'s I just made up. Substitute 225 lb if you like or 465 lb or 505 lb whatever)

^ see even renowned trainers agree with me Grin
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cephissus
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« Reply #35 on: December 31, 2017, 01:54:16 AM »


How do you gauge if you're getting stronger or wasting less time without keeping track of numbers? Maybe you're not counting reps, but if you are working out with the intent of making progress, you are keeping track some type of numbers.

i wouldn't be surprised if people trained and got big before numbers were even invented.

Quote
Who are these robots strictly following rep counts? Who are these people who don't do fewer reps when their body demands it and more reps/sets when their body is capable?

me, for one. but think of a less extreme case: imagine you actually couldn't count reps and sets. do you think you would lift in the same or even a similar fashion?

what your "body demands" isn't always so clear...
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« Reply #36 on: December 31, 2017, 08:29:39 AM »

So if you needed to count reps for "progressive overload" in order to "bodybuild"..............


Someone who started doing dumbbell bicep curls 20 years ago should theoretically be able to do 100 reps at 200lbs a piece now?

As apparently counting reps was the only way they could accurately track progressive overload and thus get bigger/stronger?


-- What exactly is a "Rep"? How does your muscle/body/CNS even know you did a 1/4 rep, 1/2 rep or full rep?...
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« Reply #37 on: December 31, 2017, 09:19:21 AM »

Counting reps makes perfect sense if you are a strength athlete and have a certain amount of reps at a certain percent that you don't won't to exceed for CNS reasons. If you are a bodybuilder - not having a reason to count reps is the least of your problems.............. jk  Grin

This^^^

Regardless if itís strength athletes or bodybuilding hypertrophy is usually in the 10-15 rep range anything above that falls into muscular endurance
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Al Doggity
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« Reply #38 on: December 31, 2017, 09:59:42 AM »

So if you needed to count reps for "progressive overload" in order to "bodybuild"..............


Someone who started doing dumbbell bicep curls 20 years ago should theoretically be able to do 100 reps at 200lbs a piece now?

As apparently counting reps was the only way they could accurately track progressive overload and thus get bigger/stronger?


-- What exactly is a "Rep"? How does your muscle/body/CNS even know you did a 1/4 rep, 1/2 rep or full rep?...


I didn't see one person in this thread say  that you CAN'T get bigger or stronger without counting reps. But the thread is titled "counting reps is weird", so most of the responses to the contrary have addressed why it isn't. If you don't want to count reps great, but there is no getting around the fact that keeping track of weights, sets, reps, time is the best way to keep track of your training progress in a goal-oriented routine.

 i'm going to ignore your example because being able to curl 200 pounds is not the inevitable or logical result of training after 20 years, whether you count reps or not. A more reasonable question that would be relevant to the topic is this: If you have two people traing with the goal of being able to do 30 curls with a certain weight after 30 days, which one is more likely to reach that goal- the one counting reps and sets or the one going solely by feel. It's possible they could both reach the goal, but the one counting reps definitely has an advantage. As long as they both train consistently, they'll both get stronger and in better shape, but the one keeping track is making progress towards a clear goal.

I don't know who these people training like robots are, though. If you're thinking that you have to hit a certain number of reps even at the risk of serious injury, then counting reps definitely isn't for you. In fact, serious weight training probably isn't for you. Counting reps during an exercise shouldn't be an excuse not to exercise common sense.
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El Diablo Blanco
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« Reply #39 on: December 31, 2017, 10:03:25 AM »

I thought this was about a getbigger named countingreps
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Al Doggity
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« Reply #40 on: January 01, 2018, 01:15:48 PM »

To drag this nonsense up again, I hit the giym this morning for the first time in about 2-3 weeks. I did cardio for  about 42 minutes.  I split my cardio into 7 minute segments. Anyway, I always try to ignore looking at my timer until it beeps, but occasionally I'll look and will be surprised that more time hasn't elapsed. Even if I'm not particularly tired, sometimes I'll wonder if I didn't actually hit the start button.  That's the nature of  human perception. We always assume we've worked longer hours, exerted more energy, eaten healthier, spent less, etc. if we're not accurately keeping track. So, on top of keeping track of your progress, counting sets and reps is just a much more efficient way of making sure you actually do the amount of work you intended to do.

If you were to hire someone, and you gave them the options of either A)staying until they completed a set amount of work B)staying until a certain amount of time had elapsed or C)staying until they felt they felt like leaving, most people would probably agree that C would  result in the smallest amount of productivity. 
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« Reply #41 on: January 01, 2018, 01:27:47 PM »

I thought this was about a getbigger named countingreps

Hahaha
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Conker
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« Reply #42 on: January 01, 2018, 01:58:13 PM »

i always count reps . i never set a set amount ,i usually have a rough expected amount in my mind i'll likely reach for the weight/stage of workout. i generally work to a rep before failure. sometimes i meet/surpass the expected amount sometimes not. if nothing else counting reps helps focus the mind and concentrate on the movement being done.
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cephissus
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« Reply #43 on: January 01, 2018, 02:38:47 PM »

To drag this nonsense up again, I hit the giym this morning for the first time in about 2-3 weeks. I did cardio for  about 42 minutes.  I split my cardio into 7 minute segments. Anyway, I always try to ignore looking at my timer until it beeps, but occasionally I'll look and will be surprised that more time hasn't elapsed. Even if I'm not particularly tired, sometimes I'll wonder if I didn't actually hit the start button.  That's the nature of  human perception. We always assume we've worked longer hours, exerted more energy, eaten healthier, spent less, etc. if we're not accurately keeping track. So, on top of keeping track of your progress, counting sets and reps is just a much more efficient way of making sure you actually do the amount of work you intended to do.

Try this experiment: don't work out for a week, take no stimulants. Now have a little caffeine, hop on the treadmill and don't look at your watch until the timer goes off.

Then imagine, if you had planned to run for 45 minutes and hadn't set a timer... do you think you would have stopped earlier or later?

What if you hadn't set a 45 minute limit at all?

Quote
If you were to hire someone, and you gave them the options of either A)staying until they completed a set amount of work B)staying until a certain amount of time had elapsed or C)staying until they felt they felt like leaving, most people would probably agree that C would  result in the smallest amount of productivity. 

So who benefits in this scenario? The employee or the employer? As long as we're imagining, let's say "most people dislike their job". So who are the numbers helping out, in this case?

Then ask yourself, is working out like a job? Is "progress" only possible if it's unpleasant?
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cephissus
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« Reply #44 on: January 01, 2018, 02:49:15 PM »

And apart from all this, notice how many assumptions you make in the quoted paragraph. Assumptions and numbers go hand in hand... I've noticed I'm very quick to put faith in the equality of countable things: "well my workout felt horrible but I still did 225 for 8 reps". I went on for years like that, even being aware that I was no longer staking my values on things like "how I looked" or "how I felt" or even how strong I thought I was, but numbers and "progress".

If you think this is unusual, just look at how many people in the gym work out for years and never even learn to perform a basic movement correctly. How are they able to maintain their delusion so long -- maybe through faith in numbers?
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« Reply #45 on: January 01, 2018, 02:57:38 PM »

Well, after training for 22?23? Yrs? I have a pretty good estimate of how many reps i'll get for pretty much every exercise with glycogen stores full, maybe 1/2, and fucken empty... In addition to how many ill get with 10hrs sleep, 8hrs, 4hrs, 2hrs... Etc... And these things are independent of each oth
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Al Doggity
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« Reply #46 on: January 01, 2018, 03:05:58 PM »

Try this experiment: don't work out for a week, take no stimulants. Now have a little caffeine, hop on the treadmill and don't look at your watch until the timer goes off.

Then imagine, if you had planned to run for 45 minutes and hadn't set a timer... do you think you would have stopped earlier or later?

What if you hadn't set a 45 minute limit at all?

How does the experiment you describe differ from what I said I did this morning? Like I said above, I almost always over-estimate how much time I've spent on cardio, even if I am not particularly tired.

Quote

So who benefits in this scenario? The employee or the employer? As long as we're imagining, let's say "most people dislike their job". So who are the numbers helping out, in this case?
If the employee isn't maximally motivated, it prevents maximum productivity. More often than not, that will be the case. More often than not, those working out won't be maximally motivated.

Quote
Then ask yourself, is working out like a job? Is "progress" only possible if it's unpleasant?
Yes, working out is like a job. That's why it's called working out. For some it is pleasurable, but even for those of us who like it, the pleasure is in the hard work. It's effort exerted. It defies what our bodies naturally want to do, especially as we get older.
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Al Doggity
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« Reply #47 on: January 01, 2018, 03:09:18 PM »

And apart from all this, notice how many assumptions you make in the quoted paragraph. Assumptions and numbers go hand in hand... I've noticed I'm very quick to put faith in the equality of countable things: "well my workout felt horrible but I still did 225 for 8 reps". I went on for years like that, even being aware that I was no longer staking my values on things like "how I looked" or "how I felt" or even how strong I thought I was, but numbers and "progress".

If you think this is unusual, just look at how many people in the gym work out for years and never even learn to perform a basic movement correctly. How are they able to maintain their delusion so long -- maybe through faith in numbers?

The assumptions are for the sake of brevity. To make a concise point quickly, without it depending on back and forth over several posts. If you disagree with the assumptions, feel free to say so and explain why you think my assumptions are wrong.

I have to say, your adherence to numbers sounds stranger the more you explain why they don't work. You're willing to follow a set/rep scheme to the point of injury and  now you're saying that for years it was the most important aspect of your workout at the expense of everything else, including how you looked and felt? To me the concept of this thread is off because I consider a workout plan a guide. Follow it as closely as possible, alter it if you start looking worse or feeling worse or might injure yourself.  From my perspective, there is a problem if you're not able to combine all of these aspects into some sort of gauge that most people would define as common sense.


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cephissus
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« Reply #48 on: January 01, 2018, 08:05:59 PM »

How does the experiment you describe differ from what I said I did this morning? Like I said above, I almost always over-estimate how much time I've spent on cardio, even if I am not particularly tired.

Because I suggested resting for a week, first. Maybe you're always tired, even when you think you're "not particularly tired"?

Quote
If the employee isn't maximally motivated, it prevents maximum productivity. More often than not, that will be the case. More often than not, those working out won't be maximally motivated.
Yes, working out is like a job. That's why it's called working out. For some it is pleasurable, but even for those of us who like it, the pleasure is in the hard work. It's effort exerted. It defies what our bodies naturally want to do, especially as we get older.

So working N hours no matter what is the best way to maximally motivate an employee, and get out of him the most product?
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cephissus
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« Reply #49 on: January 01, 2018, 08:57:19 PM »

I have to say, your adherence to numbers sounds stranger the more you explain why they don't work. You're willing to follow a set/rep scheme to the point of injury and  now you're saying that for years it was the most important aspect of your workout at the expense of everything else, including how you looked and felt? To me the concept of this thread is off because I consider a workout plan a guide. Follow it as closely as possible, alter it if you start looking worse or feeling worse or might injure yourself.  From my perspective, there is a problem if you're not able to combine all of these aspects into some sort of gauge that most people would define as common sense.

I didn't say "numbers don't work", just that our fixation with them is strange. You think it's weird that I would follow a workout plan to injury, but how could I do something so stupid? By following reasons not so different from your own: "left on my own, I won't work out hard enough". Hmm... maybe I just have an unusual lack common sense?

What dulls your senses more, though, than plans and numbers? Do you wonder how a lack of sense is so common in gyms? Could it be proportional to the craze for workout plans, programming principles, and rep schemes?
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