Clustering, Myo-rep, Varying Rep Ranges Barbell Plan

Long ramble: I couldn't figure out how to change the title of the thread, so it's not very accurate. Better description is 6x/week A/B/C full body 1 set myo-rep inspired log.

"Diet" kicked off today. I know I'll never track calories, so I'm doing one meal a day. Large part of the decision was based on convenience. There are a bunch of buffets (2 Thai, 1 Indian, 2 Chinese, 2 Italian/pizza) near my office, so we usually hit those for lunch because they're quick and convenient. It's easier to just skip.

I'm using this cycle to find my rep maxes for 25, 15, 10, and 5s. Basically, really light weight for the 25s. Once I hit 24 on the activation set, I'll stay at that weight for the other exercises to catch up. Reminding myself consistency is key for the next 6 months. So, the 25s might take a week...or 3. Then, drop the activation set to 15, so I'm still progressing the weight most workouts, thinking it's better if I'm not going close to failure every workout. For the 15s, once I hit 14 on the activation set, lower the activation set to 10, etc.

Dumb "aha" moment: I've always used a log for my HST cycles, but I never reviewed the old log(s) to setup the new cycle. Duh, that's one of the main advantages of using it. I think that's one of the main advantages of using a spreadsheet instead of just printing out the HST calculator. More room for notes. I've also learned that it's way easier for me to use pen and paper instead of trying to update it on my phone.

A (gym) workout:
  1. Machine Horizontal Row
  2. Leg Curls
  3. Lat Pull Down
  4. Squat
  5. Deadlift
  6. Machine Chest Press
  7. Cable Lateral Rows
  8. Single Arm Modified Cable Upright Row/modified face pull? (not sure what this would actually be called. I haven't seen anyone do it before, but it hits my rear delts really well, and seems to keep my shoulders healthy)
  9. Rope press downs
Exercise selection may look a little odd, but most of it was based on what I can do at home vs. gym. The exercise order may also look a little odd, but I like leg curls before squatting. It seems to help with kind of a warmup for squats. Rows after deadlifts don't work every well. If the lat pull machine is taken, I put that after chest press. Squatting before deadlifts isn't a big deal, but deadlifts before squats jacks up my lower back. I really like how the chest and row machine fits me at this gym. Normally, I would just do barbell bench press, but it's hit or miss on when it's available.

B (home) workout:
  1. DB Chest Supported Rows
  2. Goblet Squat
  3. DB Slight Incline Bench Press
  4. DB RDL (not pushing this heavy, long history of back problems)
  5. Chins
  6. DB Upright Rows (always had problems with barbell, but these feel good, don't hurt)
  7. Band pull aparts
I prefer single DB rows, but like the minimal time savings with chest supported. Slight incline DB bench seems to work better for my lower back. No clue why.

C (home) workout:
  1. DB Shrugs (these seem to work well for a warmup for everything)
  2. Arnold Press (may switch to shoulder press when it gets heavy, not sure)
  3. Pull Ups
  4. DB Split Squat (I hate these)
  5. Inverted Rows (not sure how I'll progress these later)
  6. Pushups (banded when in lower rep ranges)
  7. Glute bridge raises (more prehab than anything)
  8. DB Incline Curls
I've done each workout once so far, and I like it. Initial thoughts: this is probably too much volume once I get into working with closer to rep maxes. But, for now, it's a good mix. A lot of it will be muscle memory, so I think the higher frequency will be good for me. The next cycle (definitely putting the cart before the horse here) will probably be more of an upper/lower a/b split. Or, I've enjoyed lifting at home, so I may do a cycle for 6 weeks with just dumbbells at home. Then after that, gym focused once the summer rolls around and we're not as busy with kid's sports (3 boys). We usually currently have Sundays off, but all the other days have games/practices, as early as 4:30pm during the weekdays.

Starting bodyweight is...265 lbs. Absolutely Ridiculous. I need to get to 205 before I think about trying to add muscle and start throwing the fun weights around in the gym.
Jester, very similar! Main difference is that I'm standing upright and the weight stack is perpendicular to the arm I'm using. Cable is going across the body. The pin location is at the floor. They seem to hit my rear delts better than face pulls and feel more comfortable.

I added those at some point when I initially had shoulder problems around 2003. They seem to help more than rotator cuff work. They feel somewhat similar to a leaning dumbbell upright row.

I'm dropping DB RDL. Even with light weight, that movement still flares up my back (a little radiating pain in my hip). The middle school coaches had us doing straight leg deadlifts, and I think that's what initially started the back issues. Nothing major until I was doing single leg RDLs around 2007. Sciatica/bulging disc issues after that. Regular deadlifting doesn't seem to be a problem though.

So, I may get some furniture sliders or something and add in hamstring slides (if that's what they're called). No hurry on that though.
Weight clocked in at 250 lbs this morning. "Goal" weight is a lean and mean 200 lbs. Going from memory, but the DEXA scan I did two years ago, and assuming I'm not losing muscle, would put me around 11-12% bodyfat.

I ended up changing the split (again) last Wednesday as going to the gym isn't very feasible until this summer. Kids will be out of school, so I'll be able to drop them off earlier. Currently, if I go to the gym after dropping them off at school, I get into work too late.

So, now doing a kind of random looking A/B split on Mon/Tues and Thurs/Friday. I started it last Wednesday because I wanted to get into the 15s quicker (started with 25s initially). OCD = starting a new rep range on a Monday. I ended up finishing the 25s by working out on Wed/Thurs/Friday/Sunday. I'm going to start incline walking on the treadmill on Wednesdays as I tend to wake up at the same time everyday.

All from home, so basically all exercises with dumbbells. All myo-reps/clusters:

A: (do group "a" twice, then group "b" twice, then group "c" once)
group a:
Pull/chin up (clusters with total reps increasing each workout)
Slight Incline DB Bench
Goblet Squat

group b:
DB banded pullovers
DB Lateral Raises
DB reverse hyper-ish

group c:
DB skull crushers
DB inline curls

B: (group "a" twice, etc), a.k.a "unilateral day."
group a:
DB rows
DB split squat

group b:
DB one arm press
DB rear elevated leg DL

"group" c:
DB Suitcase carries

More misc. ramblings:
I bought/read Borge's Myo-Reps e-book ~2 years ago, so I'm probably misapplying a lot of the concepts. But, for the 15s, I'm still increasing the weights a little each workout (some repeating weights on the 25s on some exercises to keep the rep ranges the same), but today and yesterday, I still did an "activation" set to 15. So, it's not a true activation set, as it's at the beginning of the cycle. So, maybe some "junk" reps, but my joints are feeling healthy.

Excited that dumbbell rear elevated deadlifts aren't wrecking my back/sciatica. It's a similar good soreness the next day to doing regular deadlifts. I've never been a volume guy on direct arm work, but thought it would be good to go ahead and include those. I'll switch to DB close grip press if my elbow hints at flaring up. I've never used a reverse hyper machine, but I'm just using adjusting my bench to a slight incline and holding the dumbbell with my feet. The movement isn't fun, but feels therapeutic. May start using a resistance band instead. I added the dumbbell pullovers because I didn't start with 25 reps per set on pull/chin ups. I haven't done pullovers since the late 90s with "Super Squats."

I'll know in 4 weeks, but I'm thinking about going straight back to the 25s (with higher weights) after the 10s. Sets of 5s with dumbbells doesn't sound fun. I'm thinking about adding a resistance band for goblet squats, as my dumbbells go up to 120lbs each. Either that, or at type of dumbbell front squat? Jump squats seem like a recipe for an injury.

It's been years since I consistently worked out for more than 3 weeks in a row, so it has been a fun month!

Here's a weird idea (I'll post it on the main thread): a ~9 day fast during SD??!?!? That would still be 8 weeks away, so plenty of time to think about it.
I was travelling for work, so paired down the exercises, and I liked it, so sticking with a bare-bones A/B split:

Pull/Chin ups
DB Slight Incline Bench (may switch to dips)
Goblet Squats

DB Shoulder Press
DB Rows
Kettlebell Swings

First set is a normal set, 2nd set is myo-reps style. Casual "super set" through each of the 3 exercises.

Changed weekly weigh-ins to Fridays, as the weekends aren't very strict.

Thought process: "Ideal" weightlifting plan doesn't really matter for me, as I haven't already added a significant amount of muscle. I'm basically a new-beginner. I'm thinking consistent stimulus will hold on to current muscle while staying injury free. Trying to recomp is harder work. But, progressing the weights HST-style may add a little muscle.

The plan is to cut down to 210lbs, then reassess.
Rambling update:

I wasn't prepared at work for the Covid shutdown (setting everyone up to work from home, etc), completely avoided working out, ate whenever and whatever our kids were eating (home with virtual school). Fast forward almost 2 years later to Jan 1, 2022, and I clocked in at 270lbs(!). Ouch, the heaviest and worst shape I've ever been in.

I've been working out at home since the beginning of the year. Every morning, Monday through Friday, and generally once on the weekends.

With habits, I realized I either do them daily or not at all (and then never). So, every morning is easier for my brain than Mon/Wed/Fri, and definitely easier than trying to do the perfect split.

For the rep ranges, I'm doing 25/15/10/5, linear progression.

I don't have each rep range weight set in stone, so some take ~4 workouts (25s, my lungs!), and some ~9 (the 10s. I probably started too light, or maybe muscle memory, or maybe that rep range is my sweet spot, and I should have extended the 10s back when I used to lift consistently?).

I played with the exercise pairings a lot the first week. My shoulder is grinding/clicking with overhead pressing (old injury), and my lower back/sciatica (burning in calf/hip) flare up with lunges and split squats (old injury, or hip flexibility), so those were dropped.

I also switched to a circuit (I like the built in rest breaks between lifts and can knock it out quicker):

Neutral grip pull ups
Goblet squat
DB bench press
DB chest supported rows (30 degrees, I think)
DB upright rows
Kettlebell swings

It takes about 30 minutes. I go through each lift at least once with a few (usually slow) reps as a warmup, then get to it.

For this next cycle, to keep closer in line with the total reps per workout, I'm leaning towards adding one more circuit for the 10s and 5s.

Pull ups are rest-pause/clusters, increasing the total reps a little each workout. I'll likely start weighted pullups in the 5s this go around. Goblet squats and kettlebell swings have stayed in the 20+ rep range. My kettlebell goes up to 80lbs, but I've left it at 50 for a while. I've stayed with the higher reps with the kettlebell/goblet squats because my back is feeling good, and I would rather leave some gains on the table than reinjure anything.

Other than for pullups rep count, I didn't take notes, or keep a log.

For the weights, I just guessed on a light weight for the 25 rep block. I have two sets of adjustable dumbbells. I'm using one set is for bench/rows, and the other for upright rows. I just leave the weights how they are (without tracking the weight), and add 2.25-5 pounds for tomorrow's workout based on how today's workout went, but some repeat workouts. Bench/rows are kept at the same weight for that day's workout, and increase in line with each other (reps vary though). I currently don't have any interest in changing out the weights between lifts. Same deal for goblet squats and kettlebell swings.

I've just finished the 5s, and will rinse/repeat with slightly higher weights at least once more.

Results so far?

I clocked in at 240lbs today. So, 30lbs lighter in the past 41 days is some improvement. Earlier this week, I started taking one or two random 10 minute walk breaks at work. Kids' outdoor practices start soon, so I'll walk at those.

Diet is generally one meal per day (large dinner) during the work week (mainly convenience, not diet). Once weight loss slows (hopefully at 10% bodyfat! hah!), I'll track calories lower carbs. And/or start tracking calories after this cycle. I'm hoping to be down at least another 10lbs after this next cycle.

I'm taking this weekend off (out of town), but Monday starts my next cycle with the 25s. I'm starting with those instead of 15s because I'm not doing negatives, and while I hate doing higher rep, I like them afterwards (joint health mainly, but do like the burn at the end).
Nice start to a turnaround.

My suggestions for your consideration are;

Drop fat as a macro before carbs. Going low carb will make working out that much more psychologically challenging and cutting is hard enough as it is. If you ever acutely overeat on carbs in a low-fat deficit, it will just go to glycogen anyway.

Keep yourself accountable by tracking scale weight and reviewing a weekly average; up, down or stable? etc. I don’t other with macro tracking, other than knowing where my protein is at.

Go easy on daily workouts once you’re down to low 20% bf range, your recovery has a lot less to give compared to 30-40% starting point.

10min walk after every meal will do wonders for weight loss, general fitness, all around health etc. Great for the kids too.
Thank you Jester!

I assumed I would need to watch the frequency/volume/total work load in a few months, because of the increased weights. I hadn’t heard the recovery aspect with regards to lower body fat percentage. Interesting.

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I had some blood work done last week. I was kind of hoping I could get on HRT for those sweet gains, but my T levels aren’t too terrible. Bottom half though. My cholesterol was a little high, but I assume that will improve over the next 6 months. Really the only troubling thing is that my Vitamin D levels are super low (winter and I tan really easily so I probably need more sun than most people), so I started taking vitamin D/K2 in the mornings. I’ll get that tested again, but I’m not sure how long supplementing with vitamin D makes a difference.

Training notes:
I did one workout of the 25’s, and then decided to just start back with the 15’s, but actually tracking the weights this go around.

I’ve noticed with light training every morning that I tend to move more throughout the day. If I set for very long at work, I randomly stand up and stretch a little.

After this cycle, I’m either going to keep the same exercises, or clear some room in my garage so I can add back squats and dips.

I’m also throwing around the idea of doing a week of one 25 rep myo-rep set per exercise for a kind of deloading week between cycles.

Having fun so far!
I had some blood work done last week. I was kind of hoping I could get on HRT for those sweet gains, but my T levels aren’t too terrible. Bottom half though. My cholesterol was a little high, but I assume that will improve over the next 6 months. Really the only troubling thing is that my Vitamin D levels are super low (winter and I tan really easily so I probably need more sun than most people), so I started taking vitamin D/K2 in the mornings. I’ll get that tested again, but I’m not sure how long supplementing with vitamin D makes a difference.

Training notes:
I did one workout of the 25’s, and then decided to just start back with the 15’s, but actually tracking the weights this go around.

I’ve noticed with light training every morning that I tend to move more throughout the day. If I set for very long at work, I randomly stand up and stretch a little.

After this cycle, I’m either going to keep the same exercises, or clear some room in my garage so I can add back squats and dips.

I’m also throwing around the idea of doing a week of one 25 rep myo-rep set per exercise for a kind of deloading week between cycles.

Having fun so far!
What was your D level? A few years ago my wife was tested and she was at like 6, the doctor was like omg, never seen anyone that low before.
I didn’t write it down when I talked to my doctor, but it was something like “ideal range is 40-60, and you’re at 20.”
It'll come up with extra D my wife got hers into the high 30's in 6 months and hers was super low, so many people in non sunny areas have low D I guess
(feel free to ignore, lots of rambling thoughts so I can revisit/learn/apply later). NWlifter, thank you again for the comments!

Still plugging along, but my weight has appeared to hit an initial plateau at 240. I'm pretty sure my belt is one notch smaller than it was when I first hit 240 a couple weeks ago. Wedding weekend for a friend (tons of junk food/alcohol/little sleep), plus lots of pizza and buffets, so I'm refocusing on eating "healthy" (i.e. real food, and not processed stuff) until I hit the next plateau. I'm not looking forward to tracking calories, but know I'll need to at some point. 200 pound bodyweight is where I'm going. I'm guessing the last time I was around that weight was 2007 or 2008 before a back injury (sciatica/pinched nerve)?

I'm still doing the same exercises (neutral grip pull ups, goblet squat, dumbbell bench, chest supported dumbbell rows, dumbbell upright rows, and kettlebell swings), but the weights are getting harder. At least for now, I prefer daily (at least Monday-Friday) for the mental part of reinforcing daily habits, so I've started repeating each workout so the weights aren't ramping up too quickly. The weight progression looks like a normal HST progression, but an extra day with repeat workouts in between the normal workouts. I'm guessing I'm not wasting my time (but maybe?) with the repeat workouts (either way, I'm enjoying the mental part). I'm pausing at the bottom of the lift for the repeat workouts, so it's a slightly different stimulus, and is a nice mental break before the weight increases. Pullups are still clusters, adding two total reps every other workout. Goblet squats/kettlebell swings are sets of 15s. I'll get drop the weight some once I'm through the 15s for the other lifts, and go back to 30s for squat/swings with higher weights than the previous block.

I'm butchering the correct terms, and I'll look again later, but I can't find the post talking about muscle is built after protein synthesis/muscle repair, then the hypertrophy starts. If repair(?) is 24 hours, and the muscle building is after that, then I'm not helping things with repeat workouts, if I read/understood that correctly. There's probably a reason I didn't take science class in college.

For vanity, I'm thinking about adding in one set each of chest supported incline rear delt raises, incline DB biceps curls, and DB skullcrushers. I have one week left of the 15s (approximate - I'm extending each rep range block as I get stronger), so I'm thinking an HST progression, but doings 20s/15s, while I'm doing the 10s/5s phases with bench/rows/upright rows.

Thinking about exercise selection for my next cycle has kept me motivated. I still have my old barbell set and rickety squat stand (no clue how much it can actually hold, it was cheap from Academy) from middle school, so I'm going to set it up in my garage once the temps are a little nicer (cold air constricts and is bad for my life long asthma). I'm thinking a standard "simplify and win" split of 3x week:
  • Dumbbell chest supported rows (don't like barbell rows with my lower back injury history)
  • Barbell back squat (I miss this)
  • Deadlift (this has never been a focus, so would be nice)
  • Dips (skip bench for a while, and I can do that in the colder months inside)
  • Angles90 grip pull ups (I assume better for my elbows)
  • Barbell shoulder press (never been a focus, so nice to build it)
  • Maybe lateral or rear delt raises
Lift on M/W/F mornings, and walk on Tues/Th (podcast junkie, so that's a good time). Is there a consensus on adding sets as the rep range gets lower? Something like 2x15, 3x10, 4x5 for the "simplify/win" plan? I like starting with a higher rep range block, so it will likely be 1x25, 2x15, 2x10, 2x5, or 1x25, 2x15, 3x10, 4x5, or maybe a Myo-Reps/cluster version of something like 1x25+myo, 1x15/1x15+myo, 2x10 (both myo), and 3x5 clusters. I bought Borge's Myo-Reps e-book/spreadsheets whenever it came out, so I'll track that down.

At some point, I'd like to add some blocks to put under my bench to copy Jester's seal rows. That would likely hit my back better than the 30 degree incline rows I've currently been doing. I prefer that vs one arm rows because they take half the time.

Duh moment: I've learned that going from memory is not very accurate. I found an old email/note I sent myself with a picture (attached) from 2010 (one of the countless times in the past dozen years that I had planned on getting back into shape). I was 235 in October, 2010. So, I was out of shape back then too (social drinking most nights of the week, with minimal sleep, for several years certainly didn't help things):

I also found my notes from the DEXA scan I had done in August, 2018 (wow, time flies!). I wish I would have made a digital copy of the full report, but I had emailed myself the following notes:
"Total Mass: 246.9 lbs
Lean Mass: 163.4 lbs
Fat Mass: 75.8 lbs.
15% is healthy, so: 192.235, I need to lose 54.6647058 pounds of fat!"​

Once I'm at 220-225, I'd like to have another DEXA done to compare, and then another one at 200. I'm curious to see if I end up recomping (lose a bunch of fat/add a little muscle), or losing both fat and muscle.


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I think repair and hypertrophy all happen at the same time, but if there is significant damage, the whole process can take a lot longer.
but unless your really killing your muscles, after your trained you shouldn't even have any damage to worry about. Studies show usually after a few weeks, PS=Growth since there isn't any significant damage any more.

on sets, I remember some people on here, years ago doing 1x15, 2x10, 3x5 which I think is a good plan if you can recover ok from it.
After thinking about it over the weekend, I'm starting a new HST cycle on Monday.

I've played around with the weights, guessing 42+ out of the previous 50 days (usually skip at least one of the days on the weekends), so I feel like I've reestablished my mental block on consistency ("this needs to be perfect, or doesn't get done" vs "just do something") and building morning habits/routine. I never realized I was such a head case. I know a lot of successful people that use a daily journal, and I've never had one, so maybe they're onto something?

I'm going with lifting 3xweek MWF, and Tues/Th either easy walk on treadmill (wife usually calls "dibs" on it), exercise bike, or walk around the neighborhood if the weather is decent.

Rep ranges for each block are 1x25, 2x15, 3x10. I've never tried increasing the sets as the rep ranges get lower. Not sure what I want to do with the 5s (might skip) on a dumbbell program.

[Angles90 Pullups (clusters, increasing total rep count)
DB front squat
DB bench
DB chest supported rows
DB rear delt raises
DB upright rows
Kettlebell swings]
[DB incline curls
DB lateral raises
DB skullcrushers]

Brackets show the two slow circuits. I use to always group 2 or 3 exercises together, but working out at home offers more flexibility on exercise pairings.

It's a shoulder focused split. Yay, vanity, but I'd like to get bigger shoulders.

I like the rear delt raises right before upright rows to make sure my shoulders are moving well, and that's why I don't have shoulder work at the beginning of the workout even though I want that focus. I'm kind of thinking front delts get hit enough from bench? No clue, but I've had injury issues with shoulder pressing in the past. I'm really liking dumbbell upright rows.

Kettlebell goblet squats have become a bear with anything over 65 pounds (at 15 reps), so I'm trying out dumbbell front squats for more loading on my legs.

I had several shoulder injuries in high school (and after), and never really hit those hard, but the coaches were also dictating our workouts at the school of:
Mon: Bench/Squat
Wed: Hang Clean/Incline Bench
Friday: Box Squat/Board Press.

No clue why they ignored more than half of the body.

I have to tweak it a little (bad habit?), so I'll extend each rep range during each block if the weights are still going up. I'm hoping to get 3 weeks each out of the 15s and 10s.

I'm also leaning towards back to back days with the 25s, as they seem easier to recover from. So, maybe knock most of that block out this week?

Assuming it goes well, I'd like the next cycle to either A) repeat the above with higher weights, B) A + be myo-reps focused, or C) get my old squat rack setup in the garage and add dips/change exercises a little.

Without warming up, I did some neutral grip pullups, and did 8 without going to failure (but close). Not impressive, and I'm not as heavy as I was, but I could only do 2 or 3 at the beginning of the year.

"SLOW and steady progress for 2022!" is the name of the game. This is way different than when I tried a month of 3xweek HST, twice a day (repeating the AM workout in the PM) ~18 years ago. If I recall correctly, the 2x15 wasn't bad, but the 2x10 sucked, and I didn't make it through the 5s. The soreness was real. The weird observation? The PM workouts we're easier to get through, even though they were the same weights as the AM workout.
I used 50lbs dumbbells to try out the DB front squat, and it hits my quads well, but will get real tricky to power clean once the reps get lower and the weights get heavier, and even with the lower weight, I hit myself in the head multiple times, so I'm switching that to dumbbell deadlift. Dumbbells more on the side, so it looks like a hex-bar squat/deadlift.

I also decided to bro out on the shoulders, and added DB shoulder press (thinking they would be nice and greased up after the other lifts). I was feeling the DB skulls more in my elbows than triceps, so switched that to a dumbbell french press. My triceps/lats/shoulders are a little sore from yesterday, but everything else feels good. So, the routine is:

Angles90 Pullups (clusters, increasing the reps each time). I was surprised I feel these a lot more in my lats than normal pullups or chins, so nice improvement.
DB Deadlift
DB Bench
DB Chest Supported Rows
DB Rear Delt Raises
DB Upright Rows
DB Shoulder Press
Kettlebell Swings
DB Incline Curls
DB Lateral Raises
DB French Press

Each exercise gets one work set, currently in the 25s, and since I love to change everything, also doing myo-reps as I don't like waiting around (and picked too many exercises). I'll likely cut the exercise list down (drop direct arm work) once I get to the 5s to do more sets.

Weight clocked in at 236 lbs this morning, so still going in the right direction. I need to spend a weekend cleaning out my garage to add barbell squats. I'd also like to drop bench press for a while and work on dips. I'm still in the sales pitch phase with my wife on adding a lat pull down attachment (, but looking to add that at some point.

Warmup has worked out to be a couple easy rounds of:
inverted rows (I have something kind of like this:
"teardrop squats" (These are great for warming up my knees - from the "Knees Over Toes Guy" with Mark Bell around the 4 minute mark: )
goblet squats
Kettlebell swings
I wouldn’t bother with a DB deadlift as an imitation of a front squat or trap bar deadlift. The movement patterns are night and day. Especially when you get fatigued or heavy.

A DB split squat would be better for quads and upright positioning, or zercher, and then do a sinfle leg Romanian deadlift with DBs if that’s where your equipment permits you to go.
Newb question! I couldn't find a discussion on fractional weights.

Does anyone do HST with 1 lb (upper) and 2.5 lb (lower) increments each workout?

I'm thinking this would allow me to extend each rep range training block from 2 to 4 weeks.

I've been doing 2 week blocks of:
25 reps (one mild myo-reps set-basically 25+3+3)
15 reps (one myo-reps set-basically 15+3+3+3)
10 reps (one normal set, one myo-reps set-->10 reps activation set, plus however many I feel like of 3 reps)
5 reps (two cluster sets, with 5 reps as the activation set --> usually 5+2+2+2).
Then 2-4 weeks of DUP with new higher weights. For the different days, I've been doing A: 25 reps, B: 5 reps, C: 10 reps. Anywhere from 3-5 days per week. I like Mon/Tues/Thurs/Friday, but the final week is almost always MWF as I'm pretty worn down by then. Other than the 15s, this gets my new training rep maxes. Then I take 7-14 days off.

Basically, slow and steady 10-12 week cycles (final 2-4 weeks aren't slow and steady though). and then 6 months go by, and I'm considerably stronger and lighter.

Training Split has varied from 3x week vanilla to a few 6x week A/B splits. Direct arm work has been in about 1/3 of the cycles. One cycle was push (w/ squat)/pull (w/ hinge), but I definitely prefer antagonistic supersets (not true supersets, with 1-2 minutes between exercises). I ended up buying a squat rack and a functional trainer.

I'm now down to 215 lbs. I would like to continue getting stronger and keep holding on to muscle (or add, of course), while I get to a lean and mean 200lbs (at 6'). So, guessing 20+ weeks?

I'm taking this week off, and starting back on Monday with the 25s. Should I keep doing what's working, or double the training blocks with smaller weight increments?

Also, I decided to wait on spending the money on another DEXA scan until I hit 200 lbs.
I asked Claude if anyone is interested:

I couldn't find any studies specifically examining the effects of using very small weight increments (e.g., 1 lb or less than 1%) in linear periodization. Most studies on linear periodization use larger increments, typically ranging from 2.5% to 10% of the 1RM (one-repetition maximum) (Fleck, 2011; Kraemer & Ratamess, 2004).

However, some insights can be drawn from the available literature:

1. Progression is a key factor in resistance training adaptations. A meta-analysis by Rhea et al. (2003) found that untrained individuals experienced greater strength gains with a weekly progression of 7-10% of their 1RM, while trained individuals benefited more from a 2-5% weekly progression. This suggests that smaller increments may be beneficial for trained individuals.

2. The optimal rate of progression may depend on the individual's training status and the specific exercise. For example, a study by Coelho et al. (2015) found that a daily undulating periodization model with daily load adjustments based on perceived exertion led to greater strength gains compared to a linear periodization model with weekly load adjustments in bench press and leg press exercises among resistance-trained men.

3. Using smaller increments may allow for more frequent progressive overload, which is essential for continued adaptations (Kraemer & Ratamess, 2004). This approach may be particularly useful for exercises where the smallest available increment is relatively large compared to the total load (e.g., 2.5 lbs for dumbbell exercises).

In conclusion, while there is a lack of research specifically examining the effects of using very small weight increments in linear periodization, the available evidence suggests that smaller increments may be beneficial for trained individuals and certain exercises. The optimal rate of progression likely depends on individual factors and the specific exercise. More research is needed to determine the effectiveness of using "micro-adjustments" in linear periodization.

Coelho, C. W., Hamar, D., & Araujo, C. G. S. (2015). Daily undulating periodization with different daily load adjustment methods: Effects on resistance training outcomes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 29(12), 3389-3397.

Fleck, S. J. (2011). Non-linear periodization for general fitness & athletes. Journal of Human Kinetics, 29A, 41-45.

Kraemer, W. J., & Ratamess, N. A. (2004). Fundamentals of resistance training: Progression and exercise prescription. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 36(4), 674-688.

Rhea, M. R., Alvar, B. A., Burkett, L. N., & Ball, S. D. (2003). A meta-analysis to determine the dose response for strength development. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 35(3), 456-464.