Proper weight for 4th set?

  • Hi,

    I am one week away from completing my first challange. I have followed the original BFL book and used the Success Journal, which, I must say, has been a phenomenal, help. I have lost 15 pounds (210 to 195) and I am back two notches on my belt. I feel great! There is still a little fat covering my six pack though. My first few free days were a little to free and I struggled to get that 6th meal in. It has taken me most of the 12 weeks to get things sorted out. The good thing is this isn't just about 12 weeks it is about a lifestlye and building a body for life.

    I do have one question and if anyone could share their experiences and thoughts I would greatly appreciate it. My male brain wants to push the heaviset weight for 6 reps on the fourth set. The BFL book says this set should be at a level 8 intensity. So if after pushing 6 reps and dropping 10 pounds for the set of 12 if I fail at 4 or 5 reps should I be lowering the weight for my 6 rep set? Previously, when this occurred, I lowered the weight for the sets of twelve by 20lbs instead of 10 and still reached muscle failure, but I don't think this is right. Does anyone have any thoughts?




  • I believe that you should not drop weight on the x6 if you are able to achieve all six reps without maxing out. I think you are supposed to drop weight for the superset (x12 plus x12)  you need to at least be able to do the first half of the superset. I believe it is okay to reach failure before you complete all twelve reps on the seconed half of the superset.

  • congrats on your progress!!  keep working long after the challenge has ended to get the results you want.

    following a set plan is great, but listen to your body.  as long as you are reaching muscle failure, and i mean absolute muscle failure, you have worked that muscle to its limit, and will see results.

    use a spotter to help you get a few extra reps if you want to meet the rep scheme of your plan.

  • Thanks for the input. If anyone else has had a similar experience or has any thoughts it would be a great help.


  • Being a BFLifer, I can see where you might not have the energy to meet your needs on that last 2 or 3 reps. Hows your carb intake before exercising? In the book Hard-Body plan, Men's Health, it says," If you pick a weight and you do 3 repetitions and you're fatigued, then you drop down in weight. If you pick a weight that you can do 12 to 15 times, then you increase the weight."  It also says If you train on an empty stomach, for example, you train in the morning you will have lost a significant amount of carbohydrates from fasting over night. This can cause low blood glucose, eating carbohydrate-rich food beforehand will give you more energy, and it's a key part of your eating plan. Remember it's just as important to replace those carbs after your work out along with protein for  muscle repair. John

  • Thanks for the reply John. I have a meal, usually 5 egg whites wrapped in a whole wheat  tortilla and 2 glasses of water around 5:30 or 6:00am and my work out starts between 8:30 and 9:00. After my workout I have a shake. I use Usana powder and add a scoop of EAS protien blended together in water. I feel good and feel strong in the gym but sometimes my set of 12 immediately following the set of 6 just isn't what I feel it should be and I am not sure if I should lower the weight on my set of 6 or lower the weight on my set of 12. I have been lowering the weight on the set of 12 and ensuring I reach muscle failure. I am seeing results, good ones, and I am just looking to get the most from the effort I put in at the gym.  

  • I do it the same as you.  I push the most weight I can on the 6 rep set.  If I hit all 6 reps I know to up it the next time.   If I hit failure on that set that's okay.  I just drop the weight and move onto the sets of 12.   It's worked well for me.

  • Thanks for letting me know. I am less than a week away from finishing my first challenge and I am still figuring some things out.

  • I hear you!  I'm in the second week of my second challenge and learn something new everyday it seems!