I’ve been reading a few different programs and one thing they have in common is 4 week blocks of going up in in a percentage range of your 1 rep max.
Could some one explain why its better to do 70 percent of your 1 rep max for 5 x 5 sets or 7x4 etc instead of just lifting as much as you can then decreasing the reps and increasing the weight?[/quote]
This is actually a pretty complex question and for a number of reasons.
You see doing 5 sets of 5 reps at the same weight is very different to doing 1 set of 5 reps at the same weight.
If you ramp up (use lighter weights then build up to top weight) you will always lift a higher maximum weight. But what if your goal wasn’t to lift the most weight but to get more hypertrophy?
Well then 5 sets of 5 reps at the same weight would make more sense. Obviously you couldn’t go as heavy. It is just not possible so somewhere along the line percentages come into play. Just how much weight can we lift for x amount of reps over x amount of sets.
So this is how percentages come into it.
Getting the right weight for the right number of sets and reps is important to lifters who have been at it for a number of years however if you are just starting out then percentages are the last thing you need to worry about.
If you are a beginner then forget about percentages and just think in terms of reps.
Common rep schemes are 3-5 for strength. 8-10 for hypertrophy and 15-20 for strength endurance. This is a generalisation but works well on beginners programs.