T Nation

Low Reps and Assistance vs High Volume

Recently I’ve thought about different types of training and two main ideas are:

  1. Working up to a heavy set (low reps but can be higher) and then a ton of assistance after
  2. Something like 5x5 on the lift or whatever else, volume is on the main lifts.

What are your thoughts on these differences and what can work better?

For quite a while I’ve favoured #1. I’ve felt that you want to go heavy (90%+) on lifts because it teaches you how to really go for a single on the platform but then you do all the assistance work to build the muscle and work weaknesses/strengths.

Not really done #2 apart from very early on. I know there’s a lot of things like 5x5, Smolov, Sheiko which are more focused on volume and lower intensity.

Sometimes I feel I’ve shied away from #2 because reps can be harder on the main lifts. Going for a massive 10 rep max is harder than a 1 RM on squat I’d say. Although does that really help much? I mean, could you not do that 1RM and then kill it on assistance?

A lot of contradictions just because I don’t know myself how I feel towards all of it.

Why don’t you just go out and try it?