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Lowering Rep Range?

I have been doing sets of 10-8-6 for a long time now on every exercise I do. I’m considering lowering to 7-5-3 for about 8 weeks or so. However I have a few Q’s. One is will lowering reps cause me to lose muscle mass (my main goal is to continue to build mass)? And also should I lower reps on all exercises or just compound ones and leave the assistance exercises in the higher rep range?

Thanks and I appreciate the help

Just compound ones! The point of lowering reps is that the load is increased (under the assumption that if you can lift a weight cleanly for 6 reps, you can lift a heavier load for 3) - but when working muscles in isolation, pushing for the max is not important.

Keep higher reps (6-8) and focus on the quality of the muscle contraction and form, slowly adding weight. Seeking to hit your max weight (in isolation movements) can put undue stress on the joint/s used in the movement. For example bicep curls. The elbow joint isn’t designed to curl huge weights. The result over long-term will be inflammation, and possibly injury.

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
will lowering reps cause me to lose muscle mass (my main goal is to continue to build mass)?[/quote]
No, you won’t lose muscle mass. You have absolutely the right idea about increasing the weight for a while. Don’t be a form nazi during this period either. As long as your form is safe, increase weight at all costs. The forced increase in strength is what you’re after, and the only way to do it is to push your limits.

Understand that there is some risk involved, though. Moving away from the pastel, cushiony comfort of the yoga side of the gym is a big boy move.

Increase the weight on your main lifts. They could be compound or iso, doesn’t matter. That’s not saying only one lift per session, either. Say you’re doing a push/pull/legs, go heavy on the first two (in different planes) and then use the rest as accessory work.

Just use good sense and don’t outrun your capacity to recover.

[quote]yarni wrote:
Just compound ones! The point of lowering reps is that the load is increased (under the assumption that if you can lift a weight cleanly for 6 reps, you can lift a heavier load for 3) - but when working muscles in isolation, pushing for the max is not important. [/quote]
Pushing for more weight is ALWAYS important. There are times to back up and focus on clean reps, and there are times to add weight to the bar (form and rep schemes be damned). If you are always anal about perfect form, you will never get where you want to be.

Stress is the name of this game. You are stressing your body to force an adaptation. It is not comfortable or painless or easy. There is nothing cushy or safe about having 500lbs on your back. Be a man and get over it, and you get strong. That’s why we make fun of guys who squat using the manpon. If you expect lifting to be comfortable, you belong in yoga class. If you expect to get big without ‘undue stress’, you’re delusional.

Which is fine, just quit preaching that bullshit to others. Go read the “blind leading the blind” thread. And please understand: that thread is about you as much as it is about anybody.

[quote]JayPierce wrote:

[quote]yarni wrote:
Just compound ones! The point of lowering reps is that the load is increased (under the assumption that if you can lift a weight cleanly for 6 reps, you can lift a heavier load for 3) - but when working muscles in isolation, pushing for the max is not important. [/quote]
Pushing for more weight is ALWAYS important. There are times to back up and focus on clean reps, and there are times to add weight to the bar (form and rep schemes be damned). If you are always anal about perfect form, you will never get where you want to be.

Stress is the name of this game. You are stressing your body to force an adaptation. It is not comfortable or painless or easy. There is nothing cushy or safe about having 500lbs on your back. Be a man and get over it, and you get strong. That’s why we make fun of guys who squat using the manpon. If you expect lifting to be comfortable, you belong in yoga class. If you expect to get big without ‘undue stress’, you’re delusional.

Which is fine, just quit preaching that bullshit to others. Go read the “blind leading the blind” thread. And please understand: that thread is about you as much as it is about anybody.
[/quote]

LOL, you’re right, I’ve just gogled ‘Skull-Crusher Max out’ and found literally thousands of video of people doing sets of heavy doubles and triples … NOT

The funny thing is that there is literally a list of reasons not to (under normal training circumstances) push isolation movements to the max, and I know you’re not a complete idiot (but maybe enough of one to not see how clearly evident your bias is here), so it’s sad that you must even go to the point of talking crap to contradict me. Feel better now? haha

Is it the name of this website which sometimes encourages the users to drop the cerebral response and go straight for the hormonal answer? The emotional response? Flee, FIGHT or freeze - or think maybe? Maybe not.
Funny thing is, most people here (in line with not using there brains) assume their muscles are like (for ex.) a doctorate diploma in advanced physics (i.e. proof of special knowledge) - if not more, most people here think there muscles put them far above Dr’s because they ‘built the muscles themselves’ and Dr’s only ‘theorise on the process’ blah fucking blah. Let’s face it, most of the insecure people with big muscles here (not referring to all BIG users at all) probably got that way by training and eating their way through their own damn insecurities, and then dress it up as science years later when they’ve reached their goal.
Whoops, I said it, rant over, won’t be coming back here to lower my intelligence further.
Maybe if I really need advice from big dudes with no real clue as to why they’re big, I’ll go to a local building site and speak to the labourers. At the least the conversation might be fun

[quote]JayPierce wrote:

[quote]yarni wrote:
Just compound ones! The point of lowering reps is that the load is increased (under the assumption that if you can lift a weight cleanly for 6 reps, you can lift a heavier load for 3) - but when working muscles in isolation, pushing for the max is not important. [/quote]
Pushing for more weight is ALWAYS important. There are times to back up and focus on clean reps, and there are times to add weight to the bar (form and rep schemes be damned). If you are always anal about perfect form, you will never get where you want to be.

Stress is the name of this game. You are stressing your body to force an adaptation. It is not comfortable or painless or easy. There is nothing cushy or safe about having 500lbs on your back. Be a man and get over it, and you get strong. That’s why we make fun of guys who squat using the manpon. If you expect lifting to be comfortable, you belong in yoga class. If you expect to get big without ‘undue stress’, you’re delusional.

Which is fine, just quit preaching that bullshit to others. Go read the “blind leading the blind” thread. And please understand: that thread is about you as much as it is about anybody.
[/quote]

Having 500 lbs on your back is clearly a compound exercise. Something Yarni DID recommend going heavier on. Perhaps read more closely before overreacting.

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
If you expect to get big without ‘undue stress’, you’re delusional.
[/quote]

And just another quick note, ‘undue’ means excessive - or TOO MUCH.

Your argument on paper is that a lifter should (to progress) do more than is physically necessary. Errrm, blind leading the blind?

Nobody even mentioned “maxing out”, so why don’t you guys just simmer down a bit.

We were discussing the OP going from 10-8-6 reps to 7-5-3 and pushing for more weight for a few weeks on his main lifts. Why would he use skull crushers as his main lift?

“Moving away from the pastel, cushiony comfort of the yoga side of the gym is a big boy move.”

Haha that is a good way to put it. Fortunately I already have gone to the other side of the gym and have no intentions of going back. So I guess I’ll go with lowering the reps for my main lifts of the day. So for my push do I’ll do that for the bench press and shoulder press and for pull I will have to settle with heavy chin ups and barbell rows. (I usually squat on push day and deadlift on pull day but i just had surgery that inhibits lower body work for a bit).

Only problem is I don’t have a weight belt for chins… I am doing 3 sets of 10 right now and I have been stuck at that for awhile (pretty pathetic). Thanks for the input though guys. Lastly is it okay if I keep my volume the same besides the main lifts? I normally do 5 accesory exercises per workout in an attempt to put on some mass. Thanks again

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:

So for my push do I’ll do that for the bench press and shoulder press and for pull I will have to settle with heavy chin ups and barbell rows. (I usually squat on push day and deadlift on pull day but i just had surgery that inhibits lower body work for a bit). [/quote]
Perfect

Gripping a DB with your feet works. A rope or chain attached to a weight belt works too. Anything to hang weight off you will do, just get creative.

That can be counter-productive if you’re not careful. Most programs that run volume that high only do so for short amounts of time, and usually not during a strength phase. You don’t want to outrun your recovery capacity for an extended amount of time, and recovering from heavy work takes a lot of resources.

Find the amount that works for you, though.

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
Nobody even mentioned “maxing out”, so why don’t you guys just simmer down a bit.

We were discussing the OP going from 10-8-6 reps to 7-5-3 and pushing for more weight for a few weeks on his main lifts. Why would he use skull crushers as his main lift?[/quote]

That is not what the OP asked. He asked if he should lower reps on main lifts AND assistant lifts. He got told to lower reps on main lifts only and for some reason you felt the need to attack that advice because it didn’t sound hardcore enough?

I had no intentions of attacking. I got all the advice I needed and then some. I’m looking forward to seeing the results from lowering the reps on my main compound lifts. I was just curious as to wether or not the volume would lengthen recovery time or be counterproductive. Im gonna try to maintain the volume at this point though and see how I feel. Would it be correct to assume the volume is okay if I’m not sore for the next workout?

[quote]MytchBucanan wrote:

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
Nobody even mentioned “maxing out”, so why don’t you guys just simmer down a bit.

We were discussing the OP going from 10-8-6 reps to 7-5-3 and pushing for more weight for a few weeks on his main lifts. Why would he use skull crushers as his main lift?[/quote]

That is not what the OP asked. He asked if he should lower reps on main lifts AND assistant lifts. He got told to lower reps on main lifts only and for some reason you felt the need to attack that advice because it didn’t sound hardcore enough? [/quote]

I was the one that told him to increase weight on his main lifts only. Yarni told him ‘compounds only’. I hope you understand the difference. I also wish you would read and understand the posts before chiming in.

Staying in a certain rep range and making sure you use picture-perfect form on every rep of every lift is no way to gain strength. That’s what I ‘attacked’.

Did you learn how to throw insults from your mom? Your little ‘hardcore’ comment sounds exactly like something she’d say.

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
I had no intentions of attacking. I got all the advice I needed and then some. I’m looking forward to seeing the results from lowering the reps on my main compound lifts. I was just curious as to wether or not the volume would lengthen recovery time or be counterproductive. Im gonna try to maintain the volume at this point though and see how I feel. Would it be correct to assume the volume is okay if I’m not sore for the next workout? [/quote]
Use strength gains to judge how well you’re recovering, not soreness.

Quick and Easy guide:
1)strength and body weight going down: eat more.
2)weight staying the same, strength not budging: eat more.
3)gaining weight, strength not budging: lower the volume.

Don’t forget the importance of water and sleep.

@JayPierce Thanks man I’ll def use that to monitor my progress. I did my push workout today and I’m already loving the lower rep range. Def a different feeling and I feel like I can make pretty good gains over the next 8 weeks. Today was kinda a pain though cause it took some time to “feel out” how much weight to use for each set. Ill def be good to go next workout though. Can’t wait.

P.S. I hit 185 5 times for my last set. My goal is to get to 225lbs for 3 reps by the end of these 8 weeks. Just posting to keep myself accountable.

[quote]JayPierce wrote:

[quote]MytchBucanan wrote:

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
Nobody even mentioned “maxing out”, so why don’t you guys just simmer down a bit.

We were discussing the OP going from 10-8-6 reps to 7-5-3 and pushing for more weight for a few weeks on his main lifts. Why would he use skull crushers as his main lift?[/quote]

That is not what the OP asked. He asked if he should lower reps on main lifts AND assistant lifts. He got told to lower reps on main lifts only and for some reason you felt the need to attack that advice because it didn’t sound hardcore enough? [/quote]

I was the one that told him to increase weight on his main lifts only. Yarni told him ‘compounds only’. I hope you understand the difference. I also wish you would read and understand the posts before chiming in.

Staying in a certain rep range and making sure you use picture-perfect form on every rep of every lift is no way to gain strength. That’s what I ‘attacked’.

Did you learn how to throw insults from your mom? Your little ‘hardcore’ comment sounds exactly like something she’d say.[/quote]

To most lifters a compound lift is a main lift. I don’t consider things like leg curls, triceps extensions, calf raises or laterals as main lifts. Even Christian Thibaudeau recommends lowering reps (going heavier) on compounds only. It’s not like Yarni’s advice was THAT out of left field. Go back and read your first response to Yarni and tell me you didn’t overreact. If you want to jump on someone, at least have ammunition.

Hey man I guess I’m gonna be the first person to tell you differently than the posts thus far.

You said your main goal was to continue to build muscle. The way I see it, you’re messin up by decreasing your reps. When you get into that 3-5 range you’re building strength, which I (as a powerlifter) think would be great. But you didn’t say your goal was to increase strength man. You said you wanna build you some muscle.

Stick with 8-12 reps for muscle building I say. You gotta keep in mind that some of the people givin you tips will have different weight lifting goals than your own.

@csulli, Thanks for the advice man. I knew lower reps are better for strength, which like I said isn’t my goal. However, I’ve been stuck in a rut for some time now and would like to boost my strength. I plan on going back to higher reps after 8 weeks which means I will be using more weight for higher reps than before.

Therefore an increase in both strength and muscle mass (thats the plan). Also keeping assistance exercises at higher reps will be my attempt at maintaining and adding size during this lower rep phase as well. I like your point though, different people do have different goals and sometimes its hard to see through that.

[quote]MytchBucanan wrote:

To most lifters a compound lift is a main lift. [/quote]
I do Reverse Lunges and Walking Lunges as accessory lifts. They are compound.

I do straight barbell curls as a main lift on arm day. They are iso. I go heavy for triples sometimes.

Compound does not mean Main. Main does not mean Compound. Again, I was hoping you already understood that difference.

[quote]csulli wrote:
Hey man I guess I’m gonna be the first person to tell you differently than the posts thus far.

You said your main goal was to continue to build muscle. The way I see it, you’re messin up by decreasing your reps. When you get into that 3-5 range you’re building strength, which I (as a powerlifter) think would be great. But you didn’t say your goal was to increase strength man. You said you wanna build you some muscle.

Stick with 8-12 reps for muscle building I say. You gotta keep in mind that some of the people givin you tips will have different weight lifting goals than your own.[/quote]
I’m not so sure. I know a lot of PL guys who are packing a lot more mass than some of the guys I know that BB. I mean, strength is strength no matter if we’re talking about 3 reps or 8. A lot of the difference I’ve noticed between BB and PL development seems to be due to exercise choice rather than rep range. I myself gained a good bit of mass in the lower pecs and glutes from chasing strength.

There is a lot to be said for lowering the weight and focusing on flexing a muscle to move the weight, though, rather than just moving sheer mass.

Regardless, like BulknCut posted, sometimes it’s good to force a strength adaptation to bust a rut.

I think both have their place in bodybuilding.