Gauge Your Poundages with the Starting Weight

"Hey James, I have some question about your article on ectomorph training:

1. As I decrease the reps (10-8-6-15), do I have to add weight? How big is the increase in term of percentage?
2. I know this sounds cliche, but how long can I expect to see some growth in my overall appearance? Purely for motivational purposes, hehe!
3. If the answer to question #1 is yes, then how much weight I should use in my last set (the 15 reps set)? I mean is it gonna be lighter than the weight I used for the first set (the 10 reps)?

Thanks for your help,"


My Answer: Yes, you do have to add weight with each set. Here are the official percentages.

HOWEVER, I don't have much faith in percentage based lifting, because

1) Your strength levels fluctuate from day to day, hour to hour.
2) Percentages vary from individuals. So while one person might be able to do 20 reps with 60% of 1RM, another person might only be able to do 12 reps.

To me it is much better to gauge your strength levels for the day by your starting weight. In other words, choose a weight for the 10 rep set. How you perform on the 10 rep set determines how much weight to add or subtract for the next few sets. Increase by small increments of weight for smaller body parts (like arms, shoulders, calves) and larger increments for large bodyparts (thighs, back, chest).

As far as results on your appearance, obviously it depends on the individual and how well you're eating. If you're brand new to weightlifting, then you won't see much of anything. If you've been lifting CONSISTENTLY for awhile and are switching from another program, then you should see some muscle in 2 weeks.
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