I am new to BFL; just started day 1 today and I'm excited about the challenge. I'm not necessarily "new" to the gym, but I've never been consistent.
I understand the set/rep/intensity schedule, but I'm a little confused if I should be selecting a single weight and using it until complete failure or increasing weight each set up to the last 2, in which case the weight would be decreased.
I'm not very strong/muscular in my upper body and for example, when I began the chest exercises (dumbbell bench press) today I thought I'd start out by doing the following sets/weights: 30lbs, 35lbs, 40lbs, 45lbs, 40lbs...and then 12 reps of dumbbell flys at 35lbs. That did not happen. Here's what happened instead: 25lbs, 30lbs, 35lbs, 35lbs, 25lbs...Flys: 15lbs.
The rest of the log looked much worse; I'd start with one weight and barely be able to increase.
So my question is, should I be focusing more on completely burning out by the very last rep regardless of weight, or should I still try to burn out but making sure I'm consistently increasing the weight? Or, being that I'm not conditioned to weight training should I just pick a weight that I can use to train my body the proper form but still burn out, or just start with a much, much lighter weight?
Thanks for any input you can provide.
Greetings, I think your motivation is correct but you might have to , intially, start with lighter weights than you might have thought and slowly work your poundages up as you progress through the 12 weeks. It all looks easy on paper until you actually try it out and that first workout is kind of an experiment to find out what you can safely handle with out injury. (too less is also not a great thing to do constantly but you do have to find a starting point in each routine on which to build). Be patient and be careful with not overdoing it right away and suffering from burnout later. . Weights in Bills book are his examples and not necessarily your starting weights. Best of wishes to ya and Keep Moving Forward!
Looks like you were doing it right. The idea of pyramid lifting is that you start with a low weight and high reps, then move to high weight and low reps (top of the pyramid) then you go back down in weight for one more set.
Ideally this would be your routine using your info above:
30 lbs x 12 reps, 35 lbs x 10 reps, 40lbs x 8 reps, 45 lbs x 6 reps, 40 lbs x 12 reps
35lbs x 12 reps
In your case above, if 35 is your absolute max, then I would suggest starting a little bit lower in weight. You can always increase your intensity a little by doing burns (reps to failure) for your superset (the flys. or you could even do burns for the flies and the last set of 12 bench press if you are feeling strong) So in your case you would do as many flys as you can after your bench press. I always make a little note when I am lifting if I think I need to go up in weight or stay the same because its really hard next time so I remember how I felt and can start off at the right point.
Another suggestion is to get a partner to help spot you for those last couple of sets. Just a teeny little push is sometimes all you need to get an additional rep out and can really help you keep good form when it gets tough.
The amount you lift will be going up in no time if you stick with it. My biggest suggestion is to never do less (at least once you get going, its a little hard to know where to start in the beginning). If the weight was heavy, then try to lift the same amount next time but maybe squeeze out some more reps during your burn sets. This will ensure you are always moving forward!
Quality over quantity too. More weight / more reps doesn't help if it is compromising good form. Progressively increasing weight & reps is good, remember to pay attention to form too!
What your experiencing is perfectly normal for somebody who has not been consistently active in the gym. As you progress you will find your strength and stamina increasing, most likely having bigger increases in subsequent sets. If I told you my starting weights when I first started BFL and what they are now you wouldn't believe it, keep going strong!!!!
Bottom line, you're doing it, take great joy that you are in the right direction!!!
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