T Nation

Heavy Reps All The Time?

Hi every one I was just wandering what some opinions are on the subject of heavy weight all the time on every thing. I absolutely hate high or even medium reps. Any thing over 4 reps I dont like the way it feels. I always lift in the 1-3 range even for curls, Tricep extensions, and even pull ups alot of times. If I want more tension time I just lower the rep cadence and weight but still for only around 1-3 reps. It just seems to me that when I use higher rep numbers my form slips and my joints(elbow and shoulder mostly) give me problems. Whats your opinion.

Just a sample upper body workout

Military Press:4warmup sets of 1-4 reps,1-2 work sets of 1-3
Barbell Rows Under Handed:Same as Military Press scheme.
Shrugs:1 warmup set 4-6 reps,1-2 work sets of 2-5 reps.
Barbell Preachure:Same as Shrugs scheme.
JM Press:Same as Shrugs scheme.
Core and Grip Work

[quote]im_the_truth_ wrote:
Hi every one I was just wandering what some opinions are on the subject of heavy weight all the time on every thing. I absolutely hate high or even medium reps. Any thing over 4 reps I dont like the way it feels. I always lift in the 1-3 range even for curls, Tricep extensions, and even pull ups alot of times. If I want more tension time I just lower the rep cadence and weight but still for only around 1-3 reps. It just seems to me that when I use higher rep numbers my form slips and my joints(elbow and shoulder mostly) give me problems. Whats your opinion.

Just a sample upper body workout

Military Press:4warmup sets of 1-4 reps,1-2 work sets of 1-3
Barbell Rows Under Handed:Same as Military Press scheme.
Shrugs:1 warmup set 4-6 reps,1-2 work sets of 2-5 reps.
Barbell Preachure:Same as Shrugs scheme.
JM Press:Same as Shrugs scheme.
Core and Grip Work

[/quote]

If it works for you, and low reps make you more likely to work out, then do low reps. I also have fewer elbow problems if I keep chin-ups below 5 reps per set.

I agree that low rep sets for the main moves allow less form detioration .

I also believe that low reps/high weight for the main moves builds strength faster than the mid-range (5’s) and high-rep range .

one thing I do different than you is a higher rep range on assistance work . pull-ups,lat pulldowns , rows ,DB’s I’ll work from 5x10 up to heavy 5’s , depending on whether it’s ME or RE day. although I’m not too sure on the rows yet . iso-type movements feel better in the high-rep range .

one thing that I’ve noticed since I began Westside is that I feel tired more often . so I’m stirring around the idea of doing a high-rep meso-cycle (3weeks) every once in a while . and getting more sleep .

and one very strange observation when focusing on singles in the 95% to 100-plus range is very little DOMS , as long as all the sets leading up to the heavies are low-rep. kinda backward . any thoughts on that ?

I agree with everything you say marlboroman except for the higher rep assistance work even on those exercises I stay in 1-4 rep range 90% of the time. Just feels much better and natural to me.

I did westside for awhile and absolutley loved it and still do and plan on going back to it very soon. I also felt tired when doing it which is a clear 100% sign of overtraining but, I was able to remedy it with a extra hour of sleep anight and the days I took off I was damn near vegtable except for some GPP, and I uped food intake I up everything protein and complex carbs and lots of peanuts. Didnt gain any fat and kept energy high.

With the DOMS I also noticed this as well I have no idea why it is. My best guess though would have to be because of the tension time for the muscles. There is alot less time for the muscle to build up lactic acid and to get those microscopic tears. But I always feel the DOMS deep in the muscle from the power involved. Thats my best guess but, I am not exercise scientist by any means.

Are your lifts increasing all the time, sticking with these rep ranges?
I know for my to maximise gains I’d love to just lift heavy with low reps all the time, but I know I won’t keep progressing.
For example for improving my DL, I do heavy(-ish bout 75% of max) rack pulls for at least 5 reps, but will pull for as many as I can.

Sounds like a good way to get injured. To me anyways.

Yes all my lifts consistently increase every week in either the form of increased weight or more reps with a given weight. When I start doing higher rep sets anything over 6 at maximum I no longer make any progress. It just seems like I start to over-train very quickly with high rep sets.

I do basically the same thing you are saying I pull and press a weight for no more than 3-5 reps usually if I hit 3 or 5 easily depending on the exercise I will consider it a warm-up set and up the weight till I fail in the prescribed rep range. Its worked for me so far.

I am 17 5’6" at 190lbs(15% bodyfat I would say)
Deadlift:365 lbs x 1 rep
Squats:370 lbs x 1 rep
Bench Press(Reverse Grip):245 lbs x 1 rep
Push Press:205 lbs x 4 reps

You might be what CT describes as an easy-hard gainer. According to his article they tend to do well at lower rep ranges and fewer sets, but each set has to be nearly an all-out effort.

That prescription has worked well for me, though I do add a high rep follow-on set for joint health due to my age. Seems to fill in the gaps when I start missing reps on the heavy weights too.

I’ll use some higher repetition work the day after a ME workout to decrease recovery time, eg. DB bench press or machine leg press depending if it was an upper or lower day. something around 20 medium-cadence reps.
but I don’t consider it a “workout” any more than foam-rolling though.

[quote]skidmark wrote:
You might be what CT describes as an easy-hard gainer. According to his article they tend to do well at lower rep ranges and fewer sets, but each set has to be nearly an all-out effort.

That prescription has worked well for me, though I do add a high rep follow-on set for joint health due to my age. Seems to fill in the gaps when I start missing reps on the heavy weights too.[/quote]

care to elaborate on the “high rep follow-on set” ?

15-30 reps after my heavy top sets.