T Nation

Reduction of Reps or Sets


When deloading or when reducing weight for an explosive phase for sports training, is it better to reduce the volume by taking away sets or reps to maintain strength? Does it matter if I do 3x4 vs 2x6?


For me personally, I drop an assistance lift and reduce my main lift and assistance to 75% of my 3 rep max, aiming for 3 to 5 reps.

You can go either way with what you described above. Not black and white, so give both a go and see which one works for you.

Generally the rule of thumb I use is, my heaviest set's final rep should be fairly easy to get up. That is just me though...

And overall I should be leaving the gym feeling worked, but not exhausted.


do as many reps in a set as you can but still maintain the same speed for each rep. do as many sets as you can still maintain the same speed for each rep.


I take a different approach than most. I actually plan out my deloads. For example, if I have enough time for three deloads before a meet, the first one will consist of only lifting 50% of my competition maxes for 6-10 sets of 1, 2, or 3 reps and then limited assistance work (usually only 30% volume of what I normally do). The second deload is bumped up to 60% with the same sets and reps. The third one is 75% for the same sets and reps about 2 weeks before the meet, the sunday before I drop it to 50% and do all the competition lifts in the same workout, then drop it to 30% the wednesday before.