Zig-zagging

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by Sikanauta, May 22, 2007.

  1. Sikanauta

    Sikanauta New Member

    I just calculated weights for my next HST cycle and noticed that there's going to be awful lot zig-zagging because my RMs are so close each other. For example my squat progression looks like this:

    15s: 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65
    10s: 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75
    5s: 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85

    So I'm actually doing a half microcycle with smaller weights than previous one. Not very linear progression...

    How bad thing zig-zagging is, should I avoid it? And is there any way to "fix" it?
     
  2. RUSS

    RUSS Member

    Zigzagging is good and doesn't need to be fixed. [​IMG] using the search function will reassure you as to the whys and wherefores...
     
  3. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Zig-zagging is my friend. However, if you'd rather not have quite so much you could always do something like this:

    15s: 50, 50, 55, 55, 60, 65
    10s: 60, 60, 65, 65, 70, 75
    5s: 70, 70, 75, 75, 80, 85

    (NB. I've also changed your 15s as I think you were starting too light with 45 compared to your 5RM of 85. You want to be kicking off with around 50% of your 1RM. Your 5RM is probably around 90% of your 1RM so you can use that as your guide.)

    Don't forget that it's all about the overall progression in a cycle and staying ahead of RBE. Once you are up to your 5RM loads you will be continuing with those loads or pushing them up even further over the next few weeks. The zig-zag from earlier on in the cycle will then be no more than a distant memory. [​IMG]

    Zig-zagging can really help to avoid fatigue accumulation but this applies more as you get stronger, when even the 15s are heavy (eg. Steve Jones, Liege and others here can lift obscene loads during 15s. I think SJ was squatting with around 450lbs for 15 reps! [​IMG] ).
     
  4. Bulldog

    Bulldog Active Member

    I also prefer to keep the zigzag in my cycle. I think in your case I would adjust it as Lol suggested to minimize it as I think your zigzag was a bit on the extreme end.
     
  5. Sikanauta

    Sikanauta New Member

    Of course I could use smaller increments (2,5 kilos) and then start with bigger weight and have less zig-zagging. But maybe 2,5 kilos are too small increments for lower body.

    So it seems that this sufficient starting weight + sufficient increments + no repeating weights (in a microcycle) equation is impossible to accomplish... [​IMG]
     
  6. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with repeating weights for a few workouts. It's the overall progression for the cycle that matters most.
     
  7. ar_chi

    ar_chi New Member

    I've also found zigzagging frustrating specially when changing the repetition range. If the starting weight of 10s is smaller than the 15RM it feels like the exercise is just a waste of time.

    I'm now in the 2nd week of fives with my 2nd HST-cycle, the 5s being spread out for 4 weeks, after which I'll raise the weights and see where the 5RMs can be pushed.

    Now I've used the same weight if the increment would have been too small (less than 5%), e.g.

    leg press
    15: 150, 160, 170, 180, 190, 200 (too light)
    10: 200, 210, 220, 230, 240, 250 (quite ok)
    5: 250, 265, 280, 300 (so now it's the 265, so far so good)

    barbell biced curl
    15: 12,5; 12,5; 15, 15, 17,5; 17,5
    10: 17,5; 17,5; 17,5; 20, 20, 20
    5: 20; 22,5; 25; 27,5 (22,5 going fine)

    The 10s of the bicep curl should probably have been like 15, 15, 17,5; 17,5, 20, 20 since the 15RM was se too high.

    Compared to the last time, the 15s and 10s have felt like training from the first week on. Specially now that I did a sufficient amount of reps during the "15s".
     
  8. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    <div>
    (ar_chi @ May 24 2007,19:24)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">If the starting weight of 10s is smaller than the 15RM it feels like the exercise is just a waste of time.</div>
    You might think that but it's not. What it feels like is pretty irrelevant to your muscle tissue and as long as you aren't deloading too much you can still produce a growth stimulus while also giving your body a little more time to recover from the previous session's all out effort. It's a way to manage fatigue which can and will accumulate over the cycle.
     
  9. navigator

    navigator New Member

    <div>
    (Lol @ May 24 2007,14:19)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE"><div>
    (ar_chi @ May 24 2007,19:24)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">If the starting weight of 10s is smaller than the 15RM it feels like the exercise is just a waste of time.</div>
    You might think that but it's not. What it feels like is pretty irrelevant to your muscle tissue and as long as you aren't deloading too much you can still produce a growth stimulus while also giving your body a little more time to recover from the previous session's all out effort. It's a way to manage fatigue which can and will accumulate over the cycle.</div>
    And the same goes for warmup sets--they may seem light, but they add to the total workload without being counted strictly as worksets. Consider the &quot;ramping&quot; sets of Madcow's 5x5 for example.
     
  10. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Good point nav. Another thing that often gets overlooked is that using a load you know you can easily handle for the required reps is a great opportunity to work on your form. Once the loads get heavy, even a slight deviation from your groove can make the lift seem much more difficult. Every bit of practice helps.
     
  11. SweetDaddyPatty

    SweetDaddyPatty New Member

    I used to worry about zigzagging but I have found that a deload at the beginning of each two week cycle may be good. This cycle I worked too close to my maxes (in order to avoid zigzag) and my strength hit a wall and I wasn't able to raise my 5 rm from the last cycle. From now on I won't be afraid to zigzag or work with lighter weights some of the time, because at the end of the cycle it produces better results.
     
  12. ar_chi

    ar_chi New Member

    <div>
    (SweetDaddyPatty @ May 25 2007,20:50)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">This cycle I worked too close to my maxes (in order to avoid zigzag) and my strength hit a wall and I wasn't able to raise my 5 rm from the last cycle. From now on I won't be afraid to zigzag or work with lighter weights some of the time, because at the end of the cycle it produces better results.</div>
    And this is something you'll see in the long term after you (I) have more experience. I can only compare this and the first cycle, and this feels now a lot heavier.

    I have two raises to go to the original 5RM weights, so after a month (or hopefully more) I'll know how much the 5RM raised.

    Anyway, perhaps the zigzagging (or the lack of) is to be considered if I hit the wall soon post-5RM.
     
  13. choco

    choco New Member

    when may caclculator says the following:

    <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">15s: 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65
    10s: 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75</div>

    im changing things like this:

    15s: 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65
    10s: 65, 65, 70, 70, 75, 75

    i avoid zig zagging ...
     
  14. faz

    faz Active Member

    <div>
    (choco @ May 28 2007,14:01)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">when may caclculator says the following:

    <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">15s: 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65
    10s: 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75</div>

    im changing things like this:

    15s: 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65
    10s: 65, 65, 70, 70, 75, 75

    i avoid zig zagging ...</div>
    technicaly you still are zigzaging the 2 workouts of the 10s using 65, are less than the last workout of the 15s because even though you are using the same weight you are doing less reps so it is easier but thats the point [​IMG] the load is still the same but less work so it gives a bit more recovery time. [​IMG]
     
  15. choco

    choco New Member

    i see what you mean !
    but normally I don`t use the same weight 3 times, 2 times are ok but three is to much. but the threadstarter has a to low difference between his rm weights so it would be useful to make it like i said.

    but in the weeks when doing 5reps i think you can longer use the same weights before the rbe sets in. so at the end of the cycle you should be okay !
     

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