T Nation

Training Reps Range


Just found a thread on T-Nation:

So what I don't get, is, lets say I pick a range of 6-8.. Strength and size gains are equally. But don't i gain strength with my Thaibox training?

And is it best just to shift around between all these reps ranges? Or is it better with a particulair body to stay in a particulair rep range?


Don't worry about the whole rep range thing TOO much. Your body doesn't know it's only supposed to do a specific function when working in a specific rep range. That said, it's still a pretty good guideline. Focus on being explosive though.

As for strength from thaibox training, what do you mean? Your thaiboxing will mainly build endurance and explosiveness, but it won't build strength in the traditional sense no.


So i will build endurance and explosiveness with thaiboxing, and I need to build my strength and size in the gym?

So to train explosive, i probably need to be in the 13-15?

I understand by reading some of the T-Nation articles there isn't any magic program, but is there a rep range i have to focus more on then the other?

to me it seems logical to do 13-15, since it build up my size + the muscle endurance (altough, hm, maybe not? since the endurance I already do a lot in the thaibox lessons myself, maybe I only make myself tired by going for training endurance in the gym too?). I am not a small ecto kind of guy, so I don't think 16-20 is the way to go for me. Why? because I am more towards big then small, and I will never hit the fastness like the smaller guys at my thaibox gym (well, never say never, but atleast not soon). I rather focus on mass and strength, with ofcourse some endurance! but like you said, endurance i will get by just doing thaiboxing.

I am also really excited about the 6-8 and 9-12 rep range (i understand its just a range and I shouldnt focus to much on it, but i just try to understand this good .. so I can leave it for good), it will make me stronger and give me some size gains which wouldn't be bad at all.


Training "explosive" isn't just about rep range. It's also about how you lift. Picture how you throw a punch. Now lift your weights the same way. When you bench press for example, try to throw the bar through the ceiling (without letting go, of course). You can be slow and controlled on the negative (again, to use the bench as an example, the down portion).

As a beginner any weight lifting you do is going to be better than none at all. You're going to see size and strength gains for a while, just because you're starting near 0. Find a professionally designed program. Any program. I like 5-3-1, but there are plenty of programs out there. Then just do it. A lot of things work if you'll just do them. When they stop working, do something else, but that shouldn't be your problem for a while.

As for endurance: if you do Muay Thai after lifting I guarantee your endurance is getting worked. If you're still gassing you can add some road work in but remember: 1) if you're fighting, it's never going to be 30 minutes of steady state effort. So why run that way? Intervals. 2) strength first, THEN cardio. Your cardio work will hurt your strength training. Rarely will your strength training hurt your cardio.



I am doing 3x15 at the moment, but do you mean that are professionally designed programs to be found on internet ?
How can I find those?


the rep range thing is not very useful if made so complicated.

low rep: strength
high rep: endurance

size is something in between, what "high" and "low" constitutes varies from exercise, bodypart and individuals.


i just read the whole thread 'how to train', long story short, nobody really knows?


Use the google on the internet machine


this is a stellar strength program. Its done wonders for my strength.

are you trying to build KO power? That comes more from technique than muscle. Of course muscular endurance is what any combat athlete focuses on but if you are trying to gain strength, 531 is the best program I've been on.


Just to be clear, you're doing 3 sets of 15 reps on every exercise? That's lifting the same thing 45 times, every time, for every motion? If you were working out with the powerlifters I used to train alongside, you'd get laughed at for doing aerobics with the weights.

I'm willing to bet your 40-45th rep of the same exercise is not a shaky, near failure rep either, so I think it's safe to say that you're not exerting yourself to maximal effort during your lifting.

Yes, there are free programs out there. You can also look at the training logs of some of the guys on this site and piece together what they're doing. Or you can pay a little money to a guy like Jim Wendler, get a program that is well liked and respected, and use it forevermore.

As to "how to train," people do know. People here have been training successfully for years. We may not know exactly what works better, but make no mistake doing something in an organized fashion is going to produce better results than picking a rep range, walking into a gym, and doing a few random exercises in that range without a plan.

For the record, I fight at 185-205 lbs (roughly 91 kg). I also bench in the 300s, and squat and deadlift in the upper 400s with PR's in the 500's. I got there by finding heavy things and picking them up until I puked, then eating some protein. It's not rocket science.


[quote]devildog_jim wrote:That's lifting the same thing 45 times, every time, for every motion? If you were working out with the powerlifters I used to train alongside, you'd get laughed at for doing aerobics with the weights.


I'm gonna quote that.


You have to go from what you know, right? And what you know, is most of the time pretty far from the truth if you are going into the rabbit hole

I am not sure about the 'not exerting myself to maximal effort', maybe not, all I know is how I am feeling afterwards. And that can never be a very good indication of a good or bad work out

So i am here to learn

thanks for some hints in the right direction, altough it feels like i am getting further and further away from what I want to accomplish i am sure it will lead to something. It's kind of frustating though to find a good answer, and with everything you do in the gym hearing its not the right way or even aerobics.

I might aswell only do thaiboxing since what I do in the gym is never good, or just way off


Is what you know working?

if yes, keep doing it.

If no, time to change.

3x15 is a pretty clear indicator that you arent working to gain strength. If strength is what you are after, keep the reps low, less than 8, and keep the weight as high as you can manage, and do more sets...ie 6+. But since you're giving up, I will do the same with trying to help you.


I am not giving up, i am saying its frustrating

and I don't know if its working. I lose weight but that could be because of thaiboxing only

thats why I say I might try only thaiboxing, see how much progress I make and then decide how bad or good it was what I was doing in the gym

this site gives me the idea my work out at the gym aint shit while I am training my ass off 3 times a week + 2 times thai boxing


fair enough.

so what are you trying to do?

get stronger?

burn bodyfat?

these questions need answering before anything else. By the way, you aren't training your ass off. Sorry, had to be said. All you need to get what you want is in this thread already.


Seriously, how do you know I am not training my ass off?

Most i hear in this thread is that I am not doing enough, but nobody explains me why they say that

what I want to do is get stronger while burning bodyfat, getting a bit bigger wouldn't be a problem for me, but i am def not training to become a bodybuilder, obviously


no one is going to spell it out for you here in the forums, but if you use the handy search function in the top right, I betcha you'll find what you are looking for.

here's an idea of what "training your ass off" is:


AM - cardio, HIIT 1-1.5 hours
PM - skill work/Muay Thai conditioning 2 hours

PM - strength training 1-1.5 hours

Wednesday, repeat monday

Thursday, repeat tuesday

Friday, off

AM - cardio, HIIT 1-1.5 hours
PM - skills and conditioning 2 hours

Sunday, off

The 531 covers all you need in terms of strength training. Keep the reps low, increase the sets, and lift close to as heavy as you can. If you can get 13 reps, the weight is too light.

If you can do all that for 3-6 months and not make any progress, I'll be very surprised.


I am not able to do an AM in midweeks =/


You'll get stronger with low to moderate reps (e.g: 3-5, 5-10, 10-15 etc). It's about progression and diet. For the former, you should strive to put weight or reps on the bar whenever you can. As for the latter, if you don't eat enough you won't grow (or support your strength gains).

As a beginner you'll likely put some size on and get leaner after a few months, even with a sub par diet (undereating, crappy food etc). Your strength will shoot up as your body gets used to the lifts. This won't last forever, and eventually you'll have to eat to support your goals (muscle gain, fat loss).

Teach yourself the lifts, get on a nice, simple program like 531 (love it, slow steady progression in the moderate reps), eat enough food for your goals, and don't run yourself into the ground. The last point is important, especially for someone practicing a physically taxing sport like MT, or in my case BJJ. There will be days when your body isn't playing nice; accept it, do what you can, and kickass when you can. Wendler's E-book talks about this, I recommend you pick it up.


The thing with lifting explosively is that you need to be lifting enough weight so that you don't have to "brake" the weight as you reach the end of your range of motion. If you were lifting in the 13-15 rep range, you would likely be using too little weight and thus wind up inadvertently teaching yourself to brake/slow down towards the end of your movements. Either that or you need to add bands to the bar.

I'd suggest doing a search for "dynamic effort workouts" or "band resisted lifting" if you are really interested in learning how to lift explosively. Christian Thibaudeau of this site has written several good articles about utilizing maximal acceleration/explosiveness while lifting as well.


... actually, no. If you read enough articles on this site, and enough threads from guys who know what they're talking about (the one's with results), you quickly realize that most do a lot of the same things. The basics weight training don't change; the details do, depending on your goals.

These forums have a lot of information for weight trainers. Don't be shy of the bodybuilding, CT, powerlifting or OL forums. Professor X's request thread has a lot great stuff in it, as does ACTrain's and Waylander's. Just keep in mind, that their goals are very different from your own (the three mentioned want to hulk over the rest of us).