Low Rep Training

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Low Reps for Strength and Size

If you are training for increased muscle size then you will probably know the saying ‘train heavy or go home.’ Although this type of training is not going to add quality muscle in the long-term without ever doing high reps it certainly will increase the amount of muscle that you carry on your frame.

Low rep training is designed to increase your strength and lifting weights that are very close to your 1RM. Muscle size comes from increased strength but hypertrophy occurs when more reps are done with a heavier weight that you worked with last time you trained that body-part.

In order to maximize your gains that you get from hard training you are going to need to train with high reps for quality muscle hypertrophy and low reps for strength. Strong muscles are big muscles so we need to always make sure that we are getting stronger by always lifting more weight to continue gaining muscle.

High reps will build connective tissue strength and low reps build CNS (central nervous system) and neuromuscular efficiency. If you are training correctly then you will be doing both high reps like 8 to 15 reps as well as low reps like 3 X 5 or 3 X 3 on alternative days and not at the same time.

If you plan your workouts correctly and make sure that you train one day with high reps and the next time you train that body-part you train with low reps then you will be gaining strength as well as muscle. Below is an example of how you should plan your low rep training sessions.

Week 1: 4 sets of 5 reps @70% of 1RM
Week 2: 5 sets of 5 reps @80% of 1RM
Week 3: 4 sets of 3 reps @75% of 1RM
Week 4: 3 sets of 5 reps @85% of 1RM

Training on a split routine where you train one day with high reps and the next time you train that same body-part will be low rep training you should be training your low rep days using only 3 to 5 reps. If you use the above variation of your training intensity you should gain strength fast. Below is an example of a good low rep chest and arm workout.

Chest & Arms:

Bench Press 3 X 3 and 3-8 x 1
Incline Dumbbell Press 5 x 3
Barbell Curls 3-8 x 1
Close-Grip lockouts 3-8 x 1

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