Frank, what advice do u have for naturals in regards to training? . . like how many sets and stuff. I can’t do 30 sets like IFBB pros. u know what I mean.
It takes time to find what type of training works best for you and what your body responds too. For me personally, I use a more Blood and Guts approach – the Dorian Yates philosophy of lifting. A quote I often refer to is, “You can tap a stick of dynamite all day with a pencil, or smash it once with a sledgehammer.” I prefer the sledgehammer.
The goal in any workout is to stress the muscle and fatigue it so that it stimulates muscle growth. Once that point is reached there is no need to keep going. Like you, I can’t do 30 sets per muscle group.
I prefer to do a few all out intense sets where I am putting every ounce of energy into every rep to reach a goal and when the muscle fails, then I am done.
In terms of sets, for larger muscle groups – chest, back, legs – I will do 4-5 sets total. I will usually pick 2 or 3 exercises and that is it. For smaller muscles – shoulders, biceps, triceps – I will do 2-3 sets total, sometimes 4. For those groups I generally do only one or two exercises.
There is one thing to consider about weight. Weight is irrelevant. When I talk about intense sets I am not just considering the weight. Each workout program I do is designed with a certain number of reps in mind. The total weight on a given exercise when trying to force out 10-12 reps may be considerably lighter than the weight on the same exercise when my goal is only 4-6 reps. However, the intensity and focus is the same. Choose a weight that will give you the fight of your life in any given set. It doesn’t matter if it’s 10 lbs or 1000 lbs. The weight is a tool to reach a goal and regardless of how much weight, the amount of energy and work to complete each set should be the same.
That’s my philosophy anyway. It works for me though it has taken years for it to evolve to this point, and continues to do so.