Dude, totes didn't expect that amount of replies. I'll get to 'em in a minute, but first...
I f'ing hate the number 12.
Like, I hate hate it. I want to find out whoever invented the number 12, go back in time, and light their parents on fire.
12's a twat. 12 is the dude that shows up at your party 2 hours early without booze and wants to play Risk. 12 is the mom that lets her eight year old daughter wear Juicy shorts in public. 12 is the Love Happy of the Marx Bros movies.
See a few months ago I was happy, perfectly freaking content, sitting at around 265 and doing really heavy sets of 5 - 8 reps. Sometimes when I felt frisky I’d do an even heavier set of 1 – 3. Life was good. But then, dude, it was like, “Hey, Nic. I thought you wanted to look all pretty with abs and obliques and shit. You know you can’t keep up this strongman workout. You gotta switch things up, dudestack.” And that voice in my head (which surprisingly sounds a lot like Andrew Lincoln) was right. So my workout changed. The exercises stayed the same but the weights and reps changed. Now instead of pulling 8 sumo deads followed by 6 SLD’s, I’m pulling 12 and 12. Bench press? What used to be 9x5’s is now 6x12’s. Heavy snatches? 12.
It’s gotten so bad I now chew my food 12 times before swallowing.
So what’s the big deal? It’s just a number, why does it matter?
Look at it this way (using squats as an example). 1-5 reps I hold my breath. My heart rate may spike for a second, but remains relatively level. 6-10 reps takes 2 maybe 3 breaths. Each time also involves a slight readjustment. My heart rate spikes, but due to the short duration my breathing is not affected. 11+ reps, my breathing becomes erratic towards the end, my heart rate is through the roof, I’ve readjusted 5 or100 times stretching out my time under the bar to about 7 hours. I get angry, sweaty, and more than likely I’m going to puke.
And then afterwards it’s no fancy fairytale picnic either:
1-5: No recovery time needed.
6-10: About 90-120 seconds rest needed.
11+: There is no recovery, we’re all going to die, oh my god I have 5 more sets of this?!
Since I’m ultra-competitive and hate going down in weight I usually keep about 75%-85% 1RM on the bar for my sets of 12. This means that it doesn’t matter if I’m squatting, curling, or doing Bulgarian deads, I still feel like I’m going to die.
So there you have it. Fuck 12.
I hate that number.