T Nation

Adding Different Rep Ranges to Workout


#1

Hi Guys

I'm currently doing TBT (total body training) 3 days a week as it gives me the complete workout I'm after. I pick 1 movement per major body part and 2 extra movements focusing on minor or isolated parts i.e. tri's/bi's or dips/lateral raises. Now at the moment each part is trained 3 sets x 6-9 reps with good results so far.

I've read that mixing the reps up can bring even better results as you work the different muscle fibers so my question is if I was to incorporate this to my current workout how should I do it? 1 week 6-8 reps, the next week 13-15 reps etc or in a single week day 1 is 3-5 reps, day 2 is 8-10 reps and day 3 is 13-15 reps OR should I stay with my standard 6-8 reps until I plateau and then change it?

Below is my actual workout:

Day 1
Military Press
Barbell Bent Over Rows
Barbell Bench Press
Squats
Tricep Pushdowns
Barbell Curls

Day 2
Barbell/Dumbell Inc Bench Press
Shrugs/Upright Rows
Deadlifts
Leg Press
Cable Crossovers or Dips
Seated Lateral Raises

Day 3
Seated Chest Press (Hammer Strength)
Seated Pulldowns
Dumbell Shoulder Press/Arnold Press
Dumbell Lunges
Rope Pulldowns or Skull Crushers
Dumbell Hammer Curls

Cheers

Baz


#2

Waving the reps during the course of the week can certainly work well if you know anything about the results of the Big Beyond Belief program.

It starts out at 3x13-15 moves to 10-12 and ends at 8-10 or 10-12,8-10 and 5-7 in the supergrowth.
What you can do is maybe do someting like 13-15 on day 1. 8-10 on day 2 and 5-7 for day three (two days off after day 3 for added CNS recovery etc.) Maybe adapt the same way of lifting as well where you start with the heaviest weight for the required rep range and lower about 10% for each succeeding set to keep hitting the rep ranges.

Now doing this 3 times a week can be a bit much for many so I would suggest fewer sets for smaller muscles on certain days of the week.

I would also have a look at what exercises I do for each day and thus rep range. Deadlifts would be good for day 3. Squats can be fine for day 2. Etc. Always keep the strain an exercise has on the joints and tendons and also the motoring skills in mind when selecting in what rep range to perform them. Also remember lower back fatique during the course of the week.

Extensions for high reps for example, close grip bench for basically all rep ranges, deadlifts low reps to medium reps, squats-well basically all rep ranges etc. Your exercise selection can be improved upon when I look at your current template: Cable cross overs????, Upright rows and laterals in the same workout?, Rows before bench (prevents proper scapular stabilty during bench press). Don't you train calves? Maybe give triceps or shoulders a rest on one or two of the days and add calve work etc. Also work in some hamstring work in the same manner...

Feel free to post up modified routine for critique...


#3

Personally, I'm not a big fan of TBT. However, I've used it quite many times in the past. Especially if my main goal was eiher high motor learning or losing weight.

What I found to work best for me was to follow a heavy, moderate, light approach. I did a TBT with 4 execises only on Mondays and made this my heavy day. Working with low reps and a fairly high volume of sets. E.g. Bench Presses, Dumbbell Rows, Squats and some sort of hip-dominant movement for 6-10 sets of 3-4 reps for each execise. Ramping the weight up every set.

Wednesdays were moderate days. Like 5 exercises with 4 sets of 6-8 reps each.

Fridays were light days. 6 exercises with 3 sets of 10-12 resp.

This worked fantastic for me.

If I want to learn a new exercises I apply a slightly diffrent approach. E.g. front squats. I didn't do them until 4 years ago or so. I would then work on this exercise 3 times a week. Hitting the weights hard on Mondays (8 sets of tripples rampimg up to 440 pounds). On Wednesdays I'd do the same, but cut the weight of each set by 50 pounds or so. Fridays: same, cut weights by 100 pounds and sometimes do some higher rep work.

Cheers,
para


#4

Thanks for the feedback guys.

Grinder the reason why i don't include calves is it's one muscle part that has grown strong well from doing cardio, ie cycling, elliptical machine etc so there's no need to add a workout for it.

Cable crossovers were thrown in to further develop my outer/inner pecs as that and my delts is where i'm lagging. i could always swap crossovers with traditional flat bench flyes or dips. Also I've always struggled to do lateral raises after shoulder press because shoulder pressing works your delts alot where as doing it after shrugs or upright rows hasn't given me that issue seeing as they're worked secondarily

Also wouldn't you do your heavy day first like Para has mentioned, otherwise if you leave it until last your muscles will be fatigued and you won't be able to lift at your maximum, especially something like deadlifts. I could be wrong :slightly_smiling:

Here's a mod routine, I haven't moved some workouts around based on what day they fit in and I've swapped some movements for others

HEAVY DAY - 3-5 reps
Flat Barbell Bench Press
Deadlifts
Military Press
Leg Press
Close Grip Bench press
Barbell Curls

MODERATE DAY - 8-10 reps
Barbell/Dumbell Inc Bench Press
Barbell Bent Rows
Shrugs/Upright Rows
Hamstring Curls
Flat Dumbell Flyes or Dips
Seated Lateral Raises

MODERATE DAY - 13-15 reps
Seated Chest Press (Hammer Strength)
Seated Pulldowns
Dumbell Shoulder Press/Arnold Press
Dumbell Lunges
Rope Pulldowns or Skull Crushers
Dumbell Hammer Curls

Cheers
Baz


#5

There is no such thing as isolating the inner or outer pecs... do dips instead of flyes for now.

If you wanna do heavy day first it's fine-stressing about such minor details will only hold one back...

Recovery will be your main concern and any stall in strength will be because of diet and sleep. I would advise an extra off day when you feel beat up...go by feel-3xweek full bodies can be too much for many lifters as I have already stated-especially if you get to higer levels of strength...

Some hack squats or leg press or even reglar squats on the 13-15 rep day also do alot for size for many people-lunges are ok, but squats or leg press are better for size...I would really like to see some form of squatting somewhere in the program for now...


#6

Ok dips it is..

I was meant to replace lunges with squats, that's a typo

yep rest and diet is key and i always make sure i'm getting enough of it otherwise it ends up affecting my workout and end result so i aint doing myself any favors if i neglect it

thanks for the advice