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What Makes Low Reps Better for Strength?


Why are low reps considered better for strength? In my experience it is always easier to progress in terms of weight when using more moderate reps (6-12) which would lead to greater strength in the long run. But then again I'm referring to a one top set approach to lifting, so maybe low reps are better when doing multiple sets like 6x2 or 3x3 or whatever? Any input is appreciated.


Strength=ability to produce maximum force against a resistance

CNS adapts to heavy load... person gets stronger.

CNS adapts to high volume... person gets more enduring.

Pretty simple, no?


I've had great success in increasing my squat strength thru higher reps... 6-12's like.


real raw strength increases come from muscles getting bigger
heavy lifting improves skill at displaying strength


Lower reps have always helped my strength the most, anymore than 6 doesn't do much for my strength


We all agree that lifting heavy things makes us stronger. We can also agree that heavier things = more strength (no pink dumbells here).

With this in mind it makes sense that low reps would be best for gaining Strength (not running parallel with size gains) because the heavier the thing you try to lift, the fewer reps you'll be able to do.

Also the obvious recruitment of so-called fast-twitch muscle fibers and CNS conditioning are maximized by lifting heavier.


It depends on where the person is in his training career. I only go under 5 reps to peak, I gain best strength at 5-7. And I wouldn't have my brother do anything under 12 reps, while the 800pound raw squatter probably doesn't go over 5 reps very often...


Can you go into a bit more detail please?

If you don't mind that is.


Obviously 10-15 reps don't help a 1 rep max.

The rationale behind low reps for strength is a greater rate of force development.

Then there is absolute strength vs relative strength.

It depends on what the definition of is,,, is.


A 1RM Pr and a 10RM Pr is still a PR. PRs mean you got stronger than you were last time.

Look at Kroc and his Kroc rows. Hes doing high reps on DB rows and i'm sure he wouldnt do it if it wasnt improving his 1RM.

But every powerlifter does low reps too.

So is low reps better than high reps? In my opinion its yes and no. They both have their own time and place. For example, lets say your abs the weakpoint and its fucking up your squat and your goal is a bigger squat. You wouldnt start working up to 1RM on ab movements would u? No, normally u should be doing higher volume(6reps at the lowest is what i'd do). And that improved ab strength will improve your squat.

In addition, not everyone is the same. Some require more high reps and some require more low reps. I've improved alot on 5/3/1 and havnt done anything close to my max.

Lol idk if i even actually helped answer any questions bec i kinda went into a rant. I'm hungry.


i alway prefer to stay between 4-6 reps and maybe upto 8


That kind of generalization is pure BS.


That is some good "ranting" right there. Some low rep training is obviously needed if the maximum strength is wanted in the long run, but I think high rep training is good for muscle balance in different movements and improving the work capacity and all that stuff...


I agree. Bodyweight press ups help my bench so much. I stick them in at the end of a workout and go all out to failure (usually 30-40) for about 3 sets. Works a treat.


it all depends on what strength your looking for i mean if your competing in a powerlifting meet your not gonna do 4 sets of 12 on all lifts that would be fucking stupid!


K well when I was doing DC from October or so '08 to Jan '09 I did the following squats;
170kg x12
180kg x11
200kg x5
210kg x6 w/ wraps
207.5kg x4
220kg x5 w/wraps

20 rep widow maker at the end of each, also did Hammer Strength leg presses for 8-12 and 1x20 on my other leg day, and used front squats (5-8) plus Hacks (for 20) on my final leg day.

Lots of reps, and a bit squat increase (272.5kg in comp in July 2008 to 305kg w/10kg to spare in April '09)



what ya going to aim for,for the nationals?


Shite Hanley, that tops 3XBW in the squat according to your profile. You fekking BEAST.


Too early to say at this stage... And it depends whether I go back to 110kg or stay at 100kg. 320kg+ anyway. If I stay at 100 I wouldn't be happy doing any less than 320/215/280


Thanks! It's in single ply gear tho. It's not hugely insane or anything!