T Nation

Benefit of Really High Reps?

Is there any benefit to really high rep ranges? I’m talking here of fifty to a hundred reps.

Calves. Definitely Calves.

Some drop sets might bring up into the 40-50 rep range as well.

It’s good for recovery. I’ll often do a 50 rep set of bench or leg press if I’m feeling sore. Works like a charm.

It’s also recommended as a technique to flood a muscle with blood and nutrients at the end of a workout, and I think this has a lot of merit. I’ve also heard of people using it to work on form.

abs, lower back
Basically, muscles that are used to long work loads, stabilizing muscles.

I’ve read that muscle is made up of 2 basic parts: the part that exerts force and all of the tubes and such that gets rid of all of the waste products that the functional muscle produces.

Working with low weight in a very high rep range would build a ton of the tubing part of muscle, adding both size and endurance, but not much functional strength, if I understand correctly.

[quote]steven alex wrote:
Is there any benefit to really high rep ranges? I am talking here of fifty to a hundred reps[/quote]

Maybe for 1 set every couple months to shock the muscles a little.

[quote]Brant_Drake wrote:
It’s good for recovery. I’ll often do a 50 rep set of bench or leg press if I’m feeling sore. Works like a charm.

It’s also recommended as a technique to flood a muscle with blood and nutrients at the end of a workout, and I think this has a lot of merit. I’ve also heard of people using it to work on form.

[/quote]

Definitely agree Drake. I’m pretty sure it has the same effects as doing some type of cardio post workout. Doing light weight, with super high reps will definitely increase the blood flow in the target muscle groups increasing oxygen, vital nutrient uptake and waste disposal. Which, in return, should greatly aid in recovery.

I was wondering this as well recently after seeing some of Scott Abel’s recomendations.

I couldnt really find a clear answer on this one, but im assuming its good for establishing a base, and metabolic conditioning.

Similarly would be having a sprinter perform longer duration stuff to build up the conditioning to be able to recover from their higher intensity work better.

IMO, its great for bodybuilding, and even strength athletes can benefit, but it shouldn’t be a large part of training, and shouldn’t be on technical exercises.

Im gonna try this soon for pullups with the assisted pullup machine, because I feel endurance is whats holding me back for pulling movements.

Heres the protocol ive been using for leg press: (its basically how Abel recomneds it, but i never saw his exact program.)

Moderate heavy weight 2 x 20 Recover as long as you want between sets.

Strip down the weight 2x40 recover as long as you want between sets.

The goal would be over time to either add weight or move up from 2x20 and 2x40, to 2x40 and 2x80.

But I would assume upper body would need lower volume than lower body.

I don’t like high reps with the upper body but I’ve found them useful on leg exercises, particularly the leg press.

My general thinking is low-medium reps for the upper body and medium-high reps on lower body.

[quote]Artem wrote:
abs, lower back
Basically, muscles that are used to long work loads, stabilizing muscles.

I’ve read that muscle is made up of 2 basic parts: the part that exerts force and all of the tubes and such that gets rid of all of the waste products that the functional muscle produces.

Working with low weight in a very high rep range would build a ton of the tubing part of muscle, adding both size and endurance, but not much functional strength, if I understand correctly.[/quote]

That is a very strange piece of information you have heard. The tubes to which you refer is called the lymphatic system and is all over the body, not just “in” our muscles, and low weight and high reps DO NOT construct new lymphatic “tubes” or nodes etc.

A muscle is made up of millions of “parts” but if you wanted to go basic… muscle belly and tendon, or power and displacement (ie width and length), or muscle fibres and motor units…

Not trying to be a smart arse, just saying that what you heard is mistaken and kinda incorrect… so you may not want t repeat it :wink:

Joe

Alright, thanks for the correction. I just read it on some forum a while ago.

[quote]steven alex wrote:
Is there any benefit to really high rep ranges? I’m talking here of fifty to a hundred reps.[/quote]

Builds endurance; but does not build strength or muscle size; if endurance is what you are looking for, then that might be a good rep range; but if your looking at increasing strength and size; your wasting your time with this rep range … it may still make you look more toned though…

What are you trying to accomplish?

Really high reps will hypertrophy slow twitch muscle fibres, and they do give some size just not as much as faster twitch fibres. If you never train high reps, even 20 or so, you will notice some hypertrophy from that style of training. It is known to create a more aesthetic look than a bulky, blocky look - i remember reading somewhere… Dunno if i agree with that though but i believe it has a place in a bodybuilders arsenal.

The muscular endurance that ds77 mentioned is good to increase your lactic acid pain threshold for some of the more anaerobic/lactate system exercise you may do… say 8-12 reps.

And ds77, muscle tone comes with most exercise, specifically strength training; it is a state where the muscle is in a permanent state of semi-contraction, as it is used to being used regularly, it stays in a state of “ready for action” consistently.

Joe

[quote]Joe Joseph wrote:
Really high reps will hypertrophy slow twitch muscle fibres, and they do give some size just not as much as faster twitch fibres. If you never train high reps, even 20 or so, you will notice some hypertrophy from that style of training. It is known to create a more aesthetic look than a bulky, blocky look - i remember reading somewhere… Dunno if i agree with that though but i believe it has a place in a bodybuilders arsenal.

The muscular endurance that ds77 mentioned is good to increase your lactic acid pain threshold for some of the more anaerobic/lactate system exercise you may do… say 8-12 reps.

And ds77, muscle tone comes with most exercise, specifically strength training; it is a state where the muscle is in a permanent state of semi-contraction, as it is used to being used regularly, it stays in a state of “ready for action” consistently.

Joe[/quote]

Charles Poliquin I have read is a big believer in low rep heavy weight for the fast twitch type of muscle. The example he gave was hamstrings, He advocates no more that 8 reps per set and now more than like 8 to 10 sets.

“Charles Poliquin I have read is a big believer in low rep heavy weight for the fast twitch type of muscle.”

Isn’t EVERYONE a big believer in Low Rep Heavy Weight for Fast Twich muscle fibre??

J

I am wondering how HSS-100 programme fits into all of this?

Most seem to believe that it’s a great body building routine and obviously it advocates the use of a 100 rep set at the end.

Here’s what Thib says,

Exercise 4: 100-Rep Set

The final exercise of the workout is a “flushing” set of 100 repetitions. Ideally you’d complete the 100 reps without any rest, but at first, while you build up your work capacity, it’s okay to take a few 3-5 second pauses during the set.

The purpose of this set isn’t to stimulate hypertrophy directly, but rather to enhance recovery from the previous workload. The very high rep/low intensity set will increase muscle flushing which will help bring blood and nutrients to the muscle group as well as the tendons.

It’ll also help get rid of the metabolic wastes accumulated during the workout. Plus, systematic use of very high rep sets can increase muscle capillary density (more blood vessels going to the muscles) which will further enhance recovery capacity as well as work capacity.

There will still be a minimal hypertrophy effect from such sets, mostly in the slow-twitch muscle fibers. While athletes don’t want that, bodybuilders who are only interested in size will accept any added hypertrophy they can get!

You answered your own question - or rather CT did. All this is right. And valid. I think this thread is done!! lol

*** Hypertrophy (I’m talking from my own experience) ***
I like high-rep squatting (as in tabata squats, for instance) and have gained some muscle from it. Three months ago I took a fixed weight (242 lbs) and increased my reps from session to session. I started at 14 reps and worked my way up to 39 reps within 3 weeks.

After that, I took some time off of direct leg and lower back stimulation and gained about three inches on my legs within another 3 weeks. My lower back seemed stronger and thicker, too.

These gains might be attributed to the fact that I began direct leg training in January 2008, ‘newbie gains’ (as far as my legs are concerned), so to speak.

*** Fat Loss ***
High-rep lower body training with low to medium weights (in relation to one’s 10 RM) helped lots of my friends to get rid of stubborn fat without much compromising heavy lower body training. I guess you’ll need quite a big work capacity to pull that off.

[quote]Joe Joseph wrote:
Isn’t EVERYONE a big believer in Low Rep Heavy Weight for Fast Twich muscle fibre??

J[/quote]

No but they should be…

Nothing added more mass to my thighs than 30-rep full squats done 2x per week.

Does TUT account for anything? :wink:

Lee Priest has done 50-100 rep calf raises since he began lifting (according to an old interview I read elsewhere online).