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Higher Reps = Less CNS Fatigue, More Workouts


Hello all,

Lately I have been experimenting with using sets of 10-25 reps for my training. I have found that I am able to train 5-6 days a week using this approach rather than a lower rep approach of say 1-8 reps. Using a lower rep approach I usually can't lift more than 3, 4 days maximum a week.

Then I got to thinking. I remember when I used to wrestle I would do pullups and pushups every single day. I would add weight to these exercises but never really went below 15 reps for each. I could do these exercises all day this way.

I may just be the type of person that responds better to more rep work than lower reps and more sets. I remember reading an article by Charles Poliquin called "The Five Elements". I think that I fit into the type that responds better with higher reps. When I usually go heavy on squats and deads I really feel it the next day in my joints. Using a higher rep approach I can train more often and longer on these movements.

But then again, maybe it's just me getting older.


You can do higher rep workouts in-between low rep training, just to break it up - this is pretty standard periodization (higher rep training is more metabolic, and less straining on the NS). This is how people can train body parts three times a week (because they do a different rep range each session...if they didn't, they'd "burn out")

Don't know about THAT high rep range though. Try going as high as 15 reps or so...although you can do more for legs/back.

And yes, you can train more frequently doing this. But bear in mind that calories would need to be increased.

Oh, and you don't necessarily just respond better to high rep training per ce, it's just that you've been training with a low rep range for that long that higher rep training has become more responsive (his happens to everyone - changing rep ranges every now and then triggers more growth). Don't give up low(er) rep training altogether, your progress will stagnate within no time if you do...


are you getting bigger though?

sounds great and stuff. but if u're not getting bigger, what's the point?



A few questions for you.
Are you training to failure when you lift in the 1-8 rep range, and are you training to failure when you do your higher rep days?

You can train pretty damn frequently in the 1-8 rep range or 1-5 if you don't go to failure and lift weights that may not be your max, but allow you to get in good quality sets. This will not burn out your cns, but you certainly would burnout going to failure in the 1-8 rep range routinely.


Yeah if you look at some of Thibs stuff he's training everyday around 3 reps. It's all about how you set it up.


It isn't a coincidence that all the old school bodybuilders trained 6-7 days a week (sometimes twice a day), and almost always stayed in the 8-12 and 12-15 rep ranges.

If you guys would stop trying to train like powerlifters peaking for a competition, you wouldn't need to waste so much time "deloading" and periodizing your volume and all that other crap.






this guys small ey?



he is the fucking Yokeasaurus



You've always got the guts to say what everyone else's too afraid to say.

You can never win on here; you get guys complaining that they aren't getting as big as they'd like; they get told to train like a bodybuilder...then the people telling them this get jumped on by all the power-building crowd


The thing is, I never really trained to failure using the lower rep ranges either. For example, I would do power cleans and presses and then back squats in a workout, never going over 3 reps for either and never coming close to failure. I would try to accelerate each and every rep using %60-70 of RM. By the end of that workout I would feel really drained for some reason though.

This past workout I did this:
A1. Weighted Power Ring Pushups - 30 reps, 25 reps, 20 reps, 15 reps,12 reps, 10 reps
A2. Cambered Bar Curls - 25 reps, 20 reps, 15 reps, 12 reps, 10 reps
B1. Bench Press - 12,12,12
B2. Close Grips Chins - 12,12,12

Was I tired by the end of this....yes, but not the same tired as after the end of the other workout. It was like my muscles were fatigued and not my CNS. I slept really well after this workout, but after a workout of cleans and squats I wouldn't really sleep too well at all.


Thing is, you've gone from one extreme to the next. Where is the middle ground that most bodybuilders do? E.g. 6-15 reps per set?

You've done a pretty decent low rep routine whereby it's necessary to "pull back"/reduce stress relatively frequently (typically every 2-4 weeks)...to a routine where you are simply active recovering/pumping the muscles. Those workouts pull more blood/volume into the muscle, and you are probably simply rebounding from your lower rep training - this is where your "gains" are coming from, but they will slow down within several weeks.

You probably didn't do enough deloads/lighter training with the low rep training, THAT'S why you feel better now with the high rep training. As soon as your system has recharged, you wouldn't feel like crap and find it hard to sleep.

Also, your big lift volume/workout was pretty high, most bodybuilders only do one (maybe two) big lift/s per workout, followed by a few "smaller" multi-joint lifts. Most people would feel drained doing all those lifts (especially the power clean). Split your routines up more (e.g. legs/push/pull done 5-6 times a week) and don't do exercises that over-lap so much.

You don't need to go to failure with low rep training, in fact, do this too often and it'l hold you back...so what you were doing was fine (as long as you did some sort of "light"/low volume training to rebound). But with medium to high rep training, you need to go to failure (or very close) to get a good growth stimulus.

This isn't complicated, do a medium rep range, and your training "cycles" will last longer (muscles will get more stimulus compared to systematic fatigue). If you insist on doing low rep training, then de-load often enough (like every 2-3 weeks) or break it up with high rep training.

If you insist on doing really high rep training like 20-30 reps/set (pointless in my opinion...unless it's one rest pause style set like widow maker squats/kroc rows), then only do it once/twice a week as a means of active recovery (to recharge CNS), not to stimulate growth.

All this is pretty pointless in my opinion though, if you stick to a 6-15 rep range then you won't need to worry about "burn out" (apart from the odd pulling back/autoregulation when not feeling great).


Is he small? No.

Would he make a great bodybuilder? No.

So I don't see your point... and that is besides the fact that Konstantinov has stated in interviews that he trains instinctively.

You could find me a picture of a big buff olympic weightlifter too, but that doesn't mean we should all drop what we're doing and start training our snatches and cleans when BODYBUILDING is our goal. (sidenote: the most impressive looking oly lifters and powerlifters usually do some bodybuilding training on the side... Matt Kroc was the perfect example of this)

99.9% of bodybuilders have trained a certain way for decades now, and they are the best at what they do. Why everyone seems to be trying to take the long road around to achieve bodybuilding goals is beyond me...


Yeah when you guys are bigger and stronger than me I won't say a word, but I think the best advice is do what works for YOU. There is no right way, and talking shit about someone elses program that works for them but isn't "traditional" is just stupid.


x 2

It's easy to say that doesn't look "normal" or that's not what bodybuilders normally do, but if it works, then it works.


Bodybuilding training is not some narrow minded tradition that may only work for 20% of the population, it's logical lifting that came about via trial and error over the years. I wouldn't want to "force" something on others if it was THAT questionable.

As regards the mature "I'm bigger than you" comment: what matters most is progress (from A to B), not how big/strong someone is just now. Although I do admire your progress and don't want to take anything away from you.


Nah I just felt attacked that's all.

I train completely by instinct except for keeping a few basic principles in play.

I'd venture to say KK is more developed than anyone on these boards muscularly.

Sure he doesn't look like Ronnie, but nobody here will look like Ronnie either and he's probably on half the drugs.

He competes in "tested" shows but that doesn't mean much these days.


Sorry if that's the way it came across.

I was just sort of giving a heads up for newbies. I used to train more-so with strength focus in mind, but didn't keep to the basic principles very well and ended up overly fatigued with not much muscle to show for it...if hypertrophy is your focus, there are "easier" ways around this.

Power-lifting takes more control compared to bodybuilding...and if newbies are on a bodybuilding forum getting bodybuilding advice about the powerlifting routine they've adopted - that's a recipe for disaster. Typical comments from bodybuilders are that "you don't need off days", "you don't need deloads", "you need to go to ball busting failure every time"...all this is terrible advice and very confusing for someone new doing a powerlifting/powerbuilding routine.

Can't say I know much about KK, other than that I wouldn't like to get on the wrong side of him lol


I think I get pretty good results from changing rep ranges when I start to lose my motivation mentally and physically (platau , stalling progress). Lifting in the 3-6 rep range on the basics usually gives me the strength and ability to use heavier weights when I push the reps back up to 8-12 reps.I agree everyone responds to different methods, the trick is for you to be able to "assess" yourself and training while understanding that your body changes as you get stronger and older. This takes a lot of patience, being honest with yourself, and being dedicated to all of the factors involved with growing muscle.