The Same Old Question

I was asked a very loaded question this morning.

“What is the best rep range for (Insert exercise)”
Now the most common answer will always be ‘it depends based on your goals’. This is pretty much true for most questions, however there are plenty of options you can use to help guide you.
When it comes to training any of the big lifts – Squat, Bench, Deadlift, Press you will find these rep ranges work well for them for your Work, Speed and Back Off Sets (could also be called building sets).
Deadlift – Reps
Working – 1-3reps – max 6-10 heavy working reps*
Speed – 1rep – max 15 reps
Back Off – 3-5reps
Squat – Reps
Working – 1-5reps – max 15-25 heavy working reps
Speed – 2reps – max 24 reps
Back Off – 4-7reps
Bench/Press – Reps
Working – 2-3reps – max 15-25 heavy working reps
Speed – 3reps – max 30 reps
Back Off – 4-7 reps
Assistance work would fall in tot he 10-12 rep range for most exercises that are not major compound lifts.These are only simple guidelines for strength and hypertrophy and can be adapted toy our own specific goals. Your assistance lifts are likely to be movements such as Lunges, Good Mornings, Flies, Rows etc, these will work well in super sets, tri-sets and other such tiem saving methods. I would suggest tracking your progress and seeing what yields the most progress as there will be some degree of individual difference.
*I have given a suggested max rep total for heavy working sets because you will only want to focus on getting out crisp form. You will also find that grinding out heavy reps is very taxing both physically and mentally. The same goes for the speed reps/set Use the back off sets to get/increase your desired volume, not the working or speed sets.
Your daily workout might be planned like this:
Main Lift – Working
Main Lift – Speed
Main Lift – Back Off
Assistance Lift 3-5×10-12
Assistance Lift 3-5×10-12
Assistance Lift 3-5×10-12 – optional
A deaddlift day might look like this:
A1 – DL – 2RM – 3×2 – Rest as needed
B1 – DL – 60-70% of top weight 10×1 speed reps – 15 seconds rest between reps.
C1 – DL – 80% of top weight 3×3-5 – 3min rest
D1 – Bent Over Row 3×10-12
D2 – Reverse Fly 3×10-12
E1 – Bicep Curl 4×10-12
The options are plenty, just take sometime to think about your goal and plan accordingly.
Enjoy,
Ross
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