1

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Favorite Rep ranges for Paleo lifters

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 24, 2012 at 1:53 AM

So for those who lift weights on this site-

What rep/set ranges have you found to be most effective for you for gaining strength, how about size? 5x5? 3x10? Fast? Slow? Super-slow...do you do 1 set to failure?

I know the conventional wisdom but really just want to hear people N=1 experience.

Anything that surprised you? Tips? Tricks?

Anyone lift on a Standard Ketogenic diet with no refeeds?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 19, 2012
at 04:54 PM

Come again?????

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 25, 2012
at 10:03 PM

If your looking for strength give this a shot....I like the whole attitude of HIT resistance training. Train hard to failure FOR STRENGTH in the safest manner possible....then train in your particular field to utilize that strength. It isn't about learning technique...like oly lifts or kipping pullups or whatever else....

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 25, 2012
at 09:56 PM

Very good. I've increased either weight or TUL almost every single week. I have done just about everything in terms of strength training. This is definitely working for me right now. I'm 34 and my goals are strength and improved metabolic function (more and better functioning mitochondria). I'm not actively attempting to lose or gain weight, but I have gained about 12lbs since beginning the protocol. Probably 12-15% body fat. I've been weight training on and off for over 20 years....can't say much more than ....this works.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 25, 2012
at 07:22 PM

How has your progress been?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 25, 2012
at 07:21 PM

Not looking for advice, looking for what YOUR favorite is.

06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on September 25, 2012
at 05:16 AM

@LikeLardinMayo, The first thing I noticed was the burn, muscle pump, and then the DOMS(couldn't believe how bad it was for the perceived small volume). I haven't done enough quanitative analysis to determine exact growth, I have noticed less bicep fatigue during back training and the amount of weight for the eccentrics has increased. To the last point, I don't know how much is muscle hypertropy or just neuromuscular adaptation, its still too early. I do know that I haven't felt DOMS like that in a long time!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 25, 2012
at 12:29 AM

I did a starting strength linear progression for about six months. You warm up to three working sets of five reps each. After I exhausted that I switched to Wendler 531. They're both wonderful.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on September 24, 2012
at 04:29 PM

You need to find what kind of lifter you are and train that pathway. There's no good way to get a blend of activation, you're just short changing yourself on both: http://talktomejohnnie.com/lifting-weights/ft-vs-st

3a9d5dde5212ccd34b860bb6ed07bbef

(1782)

on September 24, 2012
at 04:10 PM

You've left out the rep range between 8 and 15, which is what people train for a blend of muscular strength (fast twitch fiber activation) and muscle endurance (slow twitch fiber activation).

4e98420c55180862f3a3815339749ed4

on September 24, 2012
at 03:28 AM

yeah I agree with PhysiqueRescue, 5x5 was awesome whilst I was learning form and adding basic muscle structure, now I use 3x3 for taxing lifts like deadlifts, 5x3 for squats, cleans etc, and 5x5 for pressing movements and back work. assistance lifts are normally something like 3x6-8. Anymore reps than about 10 and I'm simply too fatigued to make progress!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 24, 2012
at 02:46 AM

Have you found either hypertrophy or strength increases with the tempo training over just a normal controlled eccentric or does it just burn more and lead to more DOMS?

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13 Answers

2
06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on September 24, 2012
at 02:42 AM

I've had great success with a simple, heavy, compound weight protocol (5x5) including the following exercises: some form of horizontal press (bench, incline bench, etc.), vertical press (military press, etc.) horizontal row, pullup, dip, squat, and deadlift.

Two things I've been focusing on lately: eccentric training (conctraction followed by 6-10 second lowering of the weight) OMG! It will absolutely toast your muscles.

The second is a full body suspension circuit which has really pushed my metabolic conditioning!

Matt PhysiqueRescue.com

4e98420c55180862f3a3815339749ed4

on September 24, 2012
at 03:28 AM

yeah I agree with PhysiqueRescue, 5x5 was awesome whilst I was learning form and adding basic muscle structure, now I use 3x3 for taxing lifts like deadlifts, 5x3 for squats, cleans etc, and 5x5 for pressing movements and back work. assistance lifts are normally something like 3x6-8. Anymore reps than about 10 and I'm simply too fatigued to make progress!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 24, 2012
at 02:46 AM

Have you found either hypertrophy or strength increases with the tempo training over just a normal controlled eccentric or does it just burn more and lead to more DOMS?

06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on September 25, 2012
at 05:16 AM

@LikeLardinMayo, The first thing I noticed was the burn, muscle pump, and then the DOMS(couldn't believe how bad it was for the perceived small volume). I haven't done enough quanitative analysis to determine exact growth, I have noticed less bicep fatigue during back training and the amount of weight for the eccentrics has increased. To the last point, I don't know how much is muscle hypertropy or just neuromuscular adaptation, its still too early. I do know that I haven't felt DOMS like that in a long time!

2
Ae79a4cc9f9b155ded65f10ab8395a6d

(229)

on September 24, 2012
at 02:35 AM

I find that its not the reps/sets you do but in fact the tempo you use. Most of your gains come from the eccentric motion (the lowering of the weight)

My current tempo for most of my exercises is 4111 starting with the eccentric first. Bench Press: - Lowering the bar for 4 seconds - hold for 1 - Lift for 1 - Hold for 1

That is 1 rep.

You will see nice gains by switching your tempo around every few weeks :)

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 19, 2012
at 02:14 AM

Generally higher reps builds denser muscle while lower reps builds denser muslces more info here

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 19, 2012
at 04:54 PM

Come again?????

0
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 24, 2012
at 10:30 PM

I do superslow compounds (10s/10s) for a time under load of 60-90s on Bench, Weighted Pull Ups, Shoulder Press, Compound row....and time under load of 120-150s for Leg Press. Essentially a BBS approach. I will change the TUL's by a 30s interval every once in a while. I do this 1x/week with no breaks. Consistent strength gains since the starting this program bout 10 months ago.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 25, 2012
at 09:56 PM

Very good. I've increased either weight or TUL almost every single week. I have done just about everything in terms of strength training. This is definitely working for me right now. I'm 34 and my goals are strength and improved metabolic function (more and better functioning mitochondria). I'm not actively attempting to lose or gain weight, but I have gained about 12lbs since beginning the protocol. Probably 12-15% body fat. I've been weight training on and off for over 20 years....can't say much more than ....this works.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 25, 2012
at 07:22 PM

How has your progress been?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 25, 2012
at 10:03 PM

If your looking for strength give this a shot....I like the whole attitude of HIT resistance training. Train hard to failure FOR STRENGTH in the safest manner possible....then train in your particular field to utilize that strength. It isn't about learning technique...like oly lifts or kipping pullups or whatever else....

0
8aca5729b702caf4c95bcf47bb49f041

on September 24, 2012
at 04:49 PM

1-3 reps based on Oly lifting program for strength, 5-12 for bulk (but who needs it).

0
9adbf19e76ac38da796f29302c4be90a

on September 24, 2012
at 03:23 PM

I second the heavy compound lift suggestions, but don't endorse tempo lifting. Keep it simple and consistent, get under a barbell and lift big weights. As a middle aged lifter I find that reps of 5 or less are best for me. High reps, while muscle builders, are killers on old joints. Use proper form and low reps with heavy weights is plenty safe. I refer back to the two links below frequently as general guidelines for my programming. The Berkhan thread (leangains) always makes me laugh.

http://www.muscleandstrength.com/expert-guides/strength#8

http://www.leangains.com/2011/09/fuckarounditis.html

0
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on September 24, 2012
at 02:05 PM

It depends on what your goals are. Generally though, when carbs are kept low, I've found low volunme work most effective, with rep ranges between 2 and 6 reps, alternating workout A and workout B. With these workouts I focus on increasing strength in MAIN lifts like incline bench press, weight chin ups, weighted dips, front squats and overhead press. Every 3 or 4 days, when I do carb refeed at 1g/lb of desired body mass, I kick up the volume and do longer workout (1.5 hours consecutive) with reps between 10, 15, and even 20. For this workout I add in more things to each, like leg press, bulgarian split squats, laeral and rear delt raises, seated cable rows, etc. This has worked well for me as I am pretty much continually improving. WHen I hit a plateau, I just switch up the main lifts for a couple weeks and then go back (like switching to flat bench, weighted pull ups, back squats, and seated dumbbell press). I've been doing something like this for the past year, and find it highly compatiable with the type of carb cycling diet I adhere to.

0
B41cdb2253976ba9b429dd608d02c21f

(1495)

on September 24, 2012
at 01:26 PM

I'm following Max Effort Black Box, which is 5x5, 5x3 or 5x1. Working pretty good so far. I like that it doesn't leave me completely wiped out or feeling like I overused muscles and tendons.

0
59fa7cd87fb9d669adf21e5cf3e7ada5

on September 24, 2012
at 01:00 PM

I've used pretty much everything at some time or another, currently I am focusing on time under tension, trying to get in really long slow sets.

So long as you give it all you've got I don't think it matters much.

I agree with the theory that higher reps = lower risk of injury

0
2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on September 24, 2012
at 10:50 AM

if you want to builder muscle, 3x10\ if you want to get stronger 5x5

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 25, 2012
at 07:21 PM

Not looking for advice, looking for what YOUR favorite is.

0
429e01b74c31847aed3af35ef9973256

(427)

on September 24, 2012
at 03:29 AM

For pure strength I like the "rule of ten" with normal cadence.

2x5, 5x2, 3x3, 5,3,2, 6x1, 1x10, whatever, etc. Added about 60 pounds to my squat (235>290 1RM) in three months time just using that template.

5x5 works pretty good too, but mostly for the powerlifts.

-1
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on September 24, 2012
at 04:01 PM

Who are you and what are your goals? There's no magic bullet that will make you great at everything. The only thing to know is that conventional wisdom is wrong yet again:

Bodybuilders spend most of their time on low weight, high rep sets. 3x20 or greater. This gives them more "bulk" which is what they're after.

Strength athletes spend most of their time on high weight, low rep sets. 5x5 or so. This is where you can build up a ton of strength without the bulk.

Power athletes spend more most of their time on high weight, very low rep sets. 3x3, 5x1 or so. Here's where you learn to build that fast-twitch muscle.

These are not complementary work, one comes at the expense of the others, so you need to pick where you want to go and start working in that direction.

3a9d5dde5212ccd34b860bb6ed07bbef

(1782)

on September 24, 2012
at 04:10 PM

You've left out the rep range between 8 and 15, which is what people train for a blend of muscular strength (fast twitch fiber activation) and muscle endurance (slow twitch fiber activation).

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on September 24, 2012
at 04:29 PM

You need to find what kind of lifter you are and train that pathway. There's no good way to get a blend of activation, you're just short changing yourself on both: http://talktomejohnnie.com/lifting-weights/ft-vs-st

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