T Nation

More On High Reps vs Low Reps

RickJames wrote:
“I rarely ever go over 8 reps, but I’m significantly larger than any time I did “bodybuilding” training.”

But 8 reps is pretty much a bodybuilding range. I’m not trying to rationalize training with high reps like that without heavy training. Whenever someone has sets above 10 reps, they MUST also do sets below 6 reps or their strength is finished.

Here’s what I’m saying. CW’s 100 pushups, Christian Thibaudeau’s OVT, TBT, Endur. Hypertrophy Paradox, ABBH2 - they all work. What else is there to say. Some people have spite towards certain rep ranges or have their specific preference. Non the less there’s something to gain from high reps whether someone chooses to use them or not. Just ask Zeb about the benefits of high rep pull-ups.

[quote]Shotgun wrote:

But the same is true with someone who trained heavy for most of his training life. Once he performs higher rep training, hypertrophy ensues since the CNS is no longer in a rep range that’s neurologically efficient. Ed Coan is a perfect example of this phenomenon.


I’m not sure I understand… if you do higher reps you stimulate fibers that are stimulated by low reps anyways - type 1s and type 2as since their recruitement threshold is lower and the intensity is high -, so what does it change? Maybe the CNS is less effective in that range but what matters for hypertrophy is just that the fibers be stimulated to receive a TUT.

What’s more, you increase the TUT of the type 1s and type 2as, but at the same time you decrease the load very much. So how can you be sure that those fibers are more damaged in the end?



Valid questions you asked. In fact, I was going to delve into what you mentioned, but I was pressed for time. Here goes.

First off, heavy training primarily recruits FF motor units that possess Type IIB fibers. FFR motor units that possess Type IIA fibers also come into play (as you mentioned). But the primary focus is on Type IIB muscle fibers when you perform heavy, short-duration (<10s) sets. But, if a trainee primarily stimulates these fibers through his training life, hypertrophy gains will be subpar. Why? Because Type IIA fibers also have growth potential. Since they aren’t preferentially recruited with heavy, short sets, then they don’t get maximum stimulation. For maximum stimulation of Type IIA fibers, you must also hit the higher rep ranges.

This phenomenon isn’t solely based on “muscle damage,” instead it’s based on preferential recruitment of various motor unit pools for complete hypertrophy.

I mentioned Ed Coan because he experienced newfound hypertrophy once he switched over to higher rep training. The reasoning is based on my explanation.

Thanks Chad for the answer.

Concerning the recruitement of the fibers, it was my understand that it worked by threshold, meaning that it’s impossible to stimulate the 2A before the 1 and the 2B before the 2A and 1s. The exception to this being explosive movements.

This is basically why in HST there is no range for hypertrophy to stimulate different fiber types.

I’d be curious to know what you think of that.


[quote]Chad Waterbury wrote:
Therefore, heavy training is no longer a viable option. But you can be sure that he build his initial physique with such low-rep, heavy-load parameters. [/quote]

Batista was on a local radio station this summer and when asked about his being ginormous and all he said he used to powerlift and do a little bodybuilding, back before I got recruited by the WWE. So at some point he was working low reps/high loads. He also used to bounce at a couple bars in DC and Alexandria, where he still lives.