T Nation

Doing Lower Body w/High Reps?

So this has been bothering me for a while, basically every time I try to do a high rep scheme (like GVT) I get a totally different reaction from my upper body workouts than my lower body workouts.

Basically, my upper body workouts seem to work in that by the end of the sets, the muscles are fatigued. I’ve either gone to failure or I feel like I easily could have. With the lower body, it seems like I never stress the muscle because it always turns into cardio-vascular exercise.

The subjective experience is that the lower body workouts are infinitely harder, because of how much more uncomfortable it is to be oxygen deprived vs. muscle fatigue/lactic acid.

Now since the lower body is so much stronger in absolute terms and must require much more energy, I would guess that this must be common. However, I’m usually the only one sweating like crazy and out of breath that I see in the squat rack. The other people seem to experience more of what I experience when I am doing upper body stuff: working the muscle and not their lungs.

To make this more of a mystery, my cardio-vascular system is actually well developed; I routinely run for over an hour at an 7.5 minute mile pace.

Up the weight in the set you fail at a lower number.

Up the weight in the set you fail at a lower number.

[quote]kfol wrote:
With the lower body, it seems like I never stress the muscle because it always turns into cardio-vascular exercise.

The subjective experience is that the lower body workouts are infinitely harder, because of how much more uncomfortable it is to be oxygen deprived vs. muscle fatigue/lactic acid.

To make this more of a mystery, my cardio-vascular system is actually well developed; I routinely run for over an hour at an 7.5 minute mile pace.[/quote]

To me, it’s not a mistery: your cardio-vascular system it’s not developed enough to allow you to fully stress your legs. Running and squatting (even high-reps) are differents animals. Abel Scott wrote an article on high-reps legs traning:

I’m doing GVT with squats today myself and the last time I did them I experienced basically what you describe… I think it’s totally normal… and that doing it will just make you more badass.

Keep it up.