T Nation

High Reps for Strength


#1

so, hi everyone, I got this question from quite a while.
I am not sure if this is the right forum to post it in.
My goal is generic strength more than maximal.

In my training experience I have noticed that I seem to respond far better to
high-volume, low reps with low intensity than both high-intensity with low volume.
I have noticed this especially in this last period when I used to do a lot of bodyweight stuff:
tons of pull ups, dips, push ups(my bench improved drastically), handstand push ups(they improved my military as well) one leg squat etc..

So it got me thinking: what if I use low loads in the squats and deadlifts but I do a lot of volume?
Low intensity I mean very low (50-60%) and a very high volume and frequency as well (meaning everyday) with a lot of jump squats/depth jumps and plyometrics. Basically treat squat/bench/deadlift as if they were Bw exercises.
How would that affect my strength in the long term?

I know that in the short I will not be able to manage very high loads, but I think that this would build a solid base, wouldn't it?
Note: I play contact sports so I cannot burnout myself with powerlifting programs because I do not think that with all the conditioning I would not recover.


#2

As long as there is progressive overload it is hard to not make strength and size gains, regardless of the rep range.


#3

I train in higher rep ranges than most other lifters I know, I just started doing it about 2 years ago because I felt it would keep me from being injured. If you check out George Leeman on youtube or facebook hes a proponent of high rep range for strength and I agree with most of what he says.

When I first started out lifting after I would bench or overhead press I would do things like as few sets as possible to reach 100 reps of dips or pullups. Or after I squat up to a couple heavy sets of 5-8 Id do maybe one set of 15-20. Deadlift is something I’ve never liked doing in reps higher than 8-10, and I hate seeing bounced deadlifts. High rep DB and BB rows are great also, someone smarter than me that gave me advice my first year of lifting told me to do upper back every day I lifted and I think that has paid off a great deal.


#4

This is just a guess, but I’d venture to guess that if you transitioned from lifting heavier or with more volume to doing more bodyweight stuff and felt you got more “gains” on the bodyweight stuff, it was because you’d finally given your body the rest it needed to supercompensate for the loads you’d been putting it under previously. Again, just speculation.

That said, there’s plenty of research out there that says that for hypertrophy specifically, doing sets of 30 with something like 50% of your 1RM is optimal. That does not, however, speak to the issue of actual muscular strength. In terms of training for a high maximal strength, your training will dictate your strength functionality: if you build a capacity for high volume and low intensity, don’t expect to be improving your capacity to raise the maximal intensity level optimally.


#5

If wanting to gain strength with weights never exceeding such as 50-60% 1RM, I’d be concerned more with lifting with strong acceleration, thus actually loading the muscles with more force, rather than going to very high volume.

However, hypertrophy from such work will, on accumulation, provide greater strength as well. Though hypertrophy would be better if at least sometimes using the above approach rather than always using moderate acceleration.


#6

I like this table since there is no rep number : it all depends on tempo obviously, but high reps+low % isn’t going to affect your strength directly


#7

thanks everyone for the replies, I appreciate all your inputs.

probably I need to specify: I am not seeking for hypertrophy, more speed/strength and muscular thickness because I also play sports, so I don’t want to be too big (note: I am not huge but I am still 95kg x 178 cm)
So my goal is to be able to train with these goals in mind but without overdoing, since I noticed that if I go too heavy I burnout quickly (since it would mean training at least 9x week and I am not a pro, so I got everyday duties…)

Speed is a good goal for me to reach, so doing squats for example with 50-60% would mean for me to do heaps of jump squats, pause squats, etc… always going atg and exploding from the bottom and maintaining good form.

As MinusTheColon was saying, I thought so, but as I was doing the Bw stuff I was still working with high weights/low reps, so I would exclude the fatigue thing… even if, I have to admit I am pretty fatigued now and I am taking a break. having said so, I actually think that sometimes taking periods of only bw stuff would be good on my body… maybe using low loads would be a good trade-off?
opinions?


#8

[quote]tontongg wrote:
I like this table since there is no rep number : it all depends on tempo obviously, but high reps+low % isn’t going to affect your strength directly[/quote]
The table is misleading to the point of being worthless. Total volume means more than most of that stuff combined.


#9

If basic physiology is misleading, then I dont know what to answer…


#10

[quote]tontongg wrote:
If basic physiology is misleading, then I dont know what to answer…

[/quote]
That’s not basic physiology, its someone’s misguided opinion. Are you saying that maximum strength can’t be built in less than 4 seconds or in more than 10? Or the fine line definitions of sarcomere vs sarcoplasm hypertrophy.


#11

[quote]Ecchastang wrote:

[quote]tontongg wrote:
If basic physiology is misleading, then I dont know what to answer…

[/quote]
That’s not basic physiology, its someone’s misguided opinion. Are you saying that maximum strength can’t be built in less than 4 seconds or in more than 10? Or the fine line definitions of sarcomere vs sarcoplasm hypertrophy. [/quote]

Strongly second this. Trying to attach a hard line definition on most of this stuff is pretty silly.


#12

Voila…


#13

The idea that there is one approach that will produce perpetual results over the long haul is short sighted at best and seems to contradict adaptation. I have no issue with high rep. training and have used the protocol often; however there comes a time to change if progress is to be continued. The same applies to low rep/high intensity protocols. Lifters that don’t know when a change is required are just as foolish as lifters that change routines frequently; before the benefits have been realized.


#14

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]Ecchastang wrote:

[quote]tontongg wrote:
If basic physiology is misleading, then I dont know what to answer…

[/quote]
That’s not basic physiology, its someone’s misguided opinion. Are you saying that maximum strength can’t be built in less than 4 seconds or in more than 10? Or the fine line definitions of sarcomere vs sarcoplasm hypertrophy. [/quote]

Strongly second this. Trying to attach a hard line definition on most of this stuff is pretty silly.
[/quote]

Agreed.


#15

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]Ecchastang wrote:

[quote]tontongg wrote:
If basic physiology is misleading, then I dont know what to answer…

[/quote]
That’s not basic physiology, its someone’s misguided opinion. Are you saying that maximum strength can’t be built in less than 4 seconds or in more than 10? Or the fine line definitions of sarcomere vs sarcoplasm hypertrophy. [/quote]

Strongly second this. Trying to attach a hard line definition on most of this stuff is pretty silly.
[/quote]

Agreed.[/quote]

x4.

Just because it’s a table, doesn’t mean it’s science.


#16

I’m saying this, nothing more

[quote]tontongg wrote:
Depends on tempo obviously, but high reps+low % isn’t going to affect your strength DIRECTLY[/quote]
Which means that hypertrophy is good for strength but this is NOT what OP talks about

And for some reason I trust this guy. I dont see 30@50% for maximal strength here ?? Nor any long duration effort/lactate in the first 2 parts ?

Anyway, as TUT and cycling must have been discussed a million times already no need to derail thread further implying things I didnt even think about. Indeed I see how misleading it seems to be for some


#17

[quote]tontongg wrote:
I’m saying this, nothing more

[quote]tontongg wrote:
Depends on tempo obviously, but high reps+low % isn’t going to affect your strength DIRECTLY[/quote]
Which means that hypertrophy is good for strength but this is NOT what OP talks about

And for some reason I trust this guy. I dont see 30@50% for maximal strength here ?? Nor any long duration effort/lactate in the first 2 parts ?

Anyway, as TUT and cycling must have been discussed a million times already no need to derail thread further implying things I didnt even think about. Indeed I see how misleading it seems to be for some[/quote]

Oh but he is…

He is just confused because people keep referring to sacroplasmic vs myofibrillar hypertrophy as if one can exist without the other by doing some magical rep range.


#18

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:
The idea that there is one approach that will produce perpetual results over the long haul is short sighted at best and seems to contradict adaptation. I have no issue with high rep. training and have used the protocol often; however there comes a time to change if progress is to be continued. The same applies to low rep/high intensity protocols. Lifters that don’t know when a change is required are just as foolish as lifters that change routines frequently; before the benefits have been realized. [/quote]

This!!


#19

[quote]tontongg wrote:
And for some reason I trust this guy. I dont see 30@50% for maximal strength here ?? [/quote]

I think if you take 50% of your 1rm for squats and squat it for 30 reps you will find that you get quite strong from it.


#20

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]Ecchastang wrote:

[quote]tontongg wrote:
If basic physiology is misleading, then I dont know what to answer…

[/quote]
That’s not basic physiology, its someone’s misguided opinion. Are you saying that maximum strength can’t be built in less than 4 seconds or in more than 10? Or the fine line definitions of sarcomere vs sarcoplasm hypertrophy. [/quote]

Strongly second this. Trying to attach a hard line definition on most of this stuff is pretty silly.
[/quote]

Agreed.[/quote]

x4.

Just because it’s a table, doesn’t mean it’s science.[/quote]

So a magical switch doesn’t flip in my body when I do the eighth rep of a set (or, since the table references time and not a rep range, when the set goes from 10 seconds to 11 seconds because I took an extra breath before the last rep) that turns it from a “strength” set into a “hypertrophy” set?

Damn. Mind = blown.