T Nation

Workout Question

I have been reading CT’s stuff as of late as well basic training for beginners (issue 130) both recommend if your a beginner or starting a new phase (base or structial) to do reps in the 10-12 range.

My question is when doing deads or squats is it ok to keep the reps down to 6 and maybe do 5 sets, in order to get strength and a little muscle growth, but keep upperbody stuff at a rep of 10? Would this create an imbalance in my training?

the premise behind beginners doing rep ranges between 10-12 is because if you are someone who has been training for several years, doing rep ranges of 10-12 will do pretty close to nothing in terms of strength gains. However, for beginners, doing this rep range is very beneficial as they will most certainly get great results in terms of strength and hypertrophy, not to mention it tends to be less taxing on the CNS. You just have to keep in mind, that doing the same rep/set ranges for any significant amount of time will lead to adaptation and less progress, so it is always a good idea to “mix things up”, know what I mean?

As far as doing deads and squats in the lower rep ranges, I see no issues with going that route. Deads and squats are two of the best compound movements and will hit the entire body for the most part, so by all means hit em hard my man!!! As for imbalances, well…I guess that all depends on your goals. I for one am glad to see someone who wants to go balls out on deads and squats as opposed to hitting the “beach” muscles hard (ie…chest, bi’s, tri’s)…haha. All in all, I see no issues with getting any imbalances.

Confucious says:

Purchase CT’s two books and all will be revealed Grasshoppa.

where can one get CT’s books? I know t-mag offered his first book in its online store, but I see that it isn’t there anymore! Also, as far as his second book is concerned, where can one purchase it? I don’t want the e-book and thought that this was the only way it was available?! Care to point me in the right direction.

What Tony G said. And wouldn’t you still be able to purchase CT’s books via Biotest if you called their customer service?

roc, if you need any help in regards to form on either the squat or dead, just holler.

I believe that deadlifts and squats are best done at lower reps (6 or less) in order to keep better form.

Thanks for the replys everyone. I did do sets of 10 with deadlifts and it was a good workout but I feel my form was shacky plus my knee was hurtin afterwards. Thats why I like to stick to 5 or 6 reps, which I have done, (5x5 before). I’m just worrying that I will create an imbalance which I do not want.

I think the reason beginners are told to do higher reps is because their nervous system isn’t conditioned to lifting heavier loads. Let me explain myself:

If a beginner does a 3x10 workout of squats, they may be able to use 200 lbs. If they try to do a 5x5 workout, they may only be able to use 215 lbs., which isn’t a whole lot more. If you do the math, you’ll find the total work output to be:


Granted, these are all just hypothetical numbers, but the take-home message is that a beginner will reach a higher work output using higher reps. As your training progresses, your nervous system will adapt to handling higher training loads, and will be better able to access the higher-threshold muscle fibers.

CT himself may have a better explanation for you, but I should mention that you’ve already done yourself a huge favor by realizing and admitting you’re a beginner, and you’re willing to start at the bottom and work your way up. Congratulations, and good luck.