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Higher Rep To Failure Sets?
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CD51

I typically use 8-12 reps in a single set training. I see benefit from 50% percent sets, I seem to respond to the extra volume. Has anyone done higher rep single sets for movements other than squats, calves and abs?

I am considering doing a cycle using 20 rep, single sets for squats and all upper body movements as well. Something big like -
A
Squat x 20
BP x 20
Shrugs x 20
Sit-ups

B
Squats x 20
OHP x 20
Pull downs x 20
Calf raise x 20

Worst case is I spend 12 weeks getting stronger in that rep range. Just curious if anyone else has seen a hypertrophy advantage over lower rep sets?
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StuKE

CD51 wrote:
I typically use 8-12 reps in a single set training. I see benefit from 50% percent sets, I seem to respond to the extra volume. Has anyone done higher rep single sets for movements other than squats, calves and abs?

I am considering doing a cycle using 20 rep, single sets for squats and all upper body movements as well. Something big like -
A
Squat x 20
BP x 20
Shrugs x 20
Sit-ups

B
Squats x 20
OHP x 20
Pull downs x 20
Calf raise x 20

Worst case is I spend 12 weeks getting stronger in that rep range. Just curious if anyone else has seen a hypertrophy advantage over lower rep sets?


I havw dabbled but as usual, not consistantly to be able to gibe feedback. I would not be surprised to see some hypertrophy. I think 20s could work well
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Resultsbased

Adding sets with reps as high as 30 and sometimes 50 triggered growth, but recovery was the issue for me.
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StuKE

Resultsbased wrote:
Adding sets with reps as high as 30 and sometimes 50 triggered growth, but recovery was the issue for me.


I would have thought recovery was easier with higher reps, eccept maybe with squats etc. One thing with higher reps, it is harder to know where failure is, whdreas witj a set of 5 to failure. It is usually pretty clear cut wjen uou absolutely can't get another rep.
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Gainz

Look into some of Doug Brignole's stuff with regard to high rep training.
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Nwlifter

I think that could/should work really well. I always think about athletes with really great muscular development, then consider what they do, and equate that to 'reps'...
Sprinter - How many 'rep's (steps) per leg for a 50 or 100 yard dash?
Speedskater - REALLY high 'reps' for a race or practice
Same with bike racers, gymnasts, etc.

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Resultsbased

StuKE wrote:
Resultsbased wrote:
Adding sets with reps as high as 30 and sometimes 50 triggered growth, but recovery was the issue for me.

I would have thought recovery was easier with higher reps, eccept maybe with squats etc. One thing with higher reps, it is harder to know where failure is, whdreas witj a set of 5 to failure. It is usually pretty clear cut wjen uou absolutely can't get another rep.


Yes, it largely depends on the exercise, but I'm talking big movements. Squats and deadlifts for 20-30 reps are effective, but have a draining impact. Chins and dips are harder for me to recover from when performing higher reps...could be an individual thing.

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Nwlifter

StuKE wrote:
Resultsbased wrote:
Adding sets with reps as high as 30 and sometimes 50 triggered growth, but recovery was the issue for me.

I would have thought recovery was easier with higher reps, eccept maybe with squats etc. One thing with higher reps, it is harder to know where failure is, whdreas witj a set of 5 to failure. It is usually pretty clear cut wjen uou absolutely can't get another rep.


True, although... failure is more of a variable point depending on many factors, so in reality, going 'to failure' is really just making sure you pushed the set really far. Since studies and anecdotal show close to or 'to' failure are the same, I would think just pushing the high rep set as deep as possible is plenty good enough?

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HeavyHitter32

In some cases, high reps can also require some conditioning to get used to.

Right now, I'm using a moderate to high volume CTF approach and literally not taking more than 15 seconds between sets and exercises...sometimes only 10 seconds or less. There are also some supersets involved on some moves.

Years back, this would have wiped me out when I used heavier weights and long rest periods. However, these workouts feel great.
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Bastion

HeavyHitter32 wrote:
In some cases, high reps can also require some conditioning to get used to.

Right now, I'm using a moderate to high volume CTF approach and literally not taking more than 15 seconds between sets and exercises...sometimes only 10 seconds or less. There are also some supersets involved on some moves.

Years back, this would have wiped me out when I used heavier weights and long rest periods. However, these workouts feel great.


Looks like a great set up!. How are you structuring these workouts, frequency, split etc?.
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sirloin

Kinda liked 3-5 rep cluster sets with 10-15 second rest pauses between each cluster. Build up to 8-10 clusters.

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hit4me

Florida, USA

for me personally, when I go high reps (15 to 25) with the same cadence (4/4) as 8-12 reps, then the workout takes too long, lose size and strength.?.so I have to reduce the cadence to 1 and 2 and when I do that I feel like the movement gets sloppy.....so I always resort back to 8-12 reps with a 4/4
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

I go as high as 100 reps. Obviously this is done in a rest-pause fashion, with 3-5 gasping breaths per 'group' of reps (until reaching the target). It's a good way to beat the hell out of a muscle within 5 minutes (or less), since each time you need that brief break you're getting close to fatigue, which means reaching near that point multiple time while increasing workout density.
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PTDaniel

CD51 wrote:
Worst case is I spend 12 weeks getting stronger in that rep range. Just curious if anyone else has seen a hypertrophy advantage over lower rep sets?


I gained muscle most of my last 20 pounds of muscle or so using mainly rep schemes over 20 in my 40's. Higher reps are a different form of stress than lower reps, so they provide an additional pathway to hypertrophy.

Another advantage to high reps is that you can perform more set techniques to even further alter the stress. Techniques like Zones, cluster sets, and rep challenges, etc don't work as well nor have the potential to be as varied as with lower rep schemes.

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Average Al

StuKE wrote:


One thing with higher reps, it is harder to know where failure is, whdreas witj a set of 5 to failure. It is usually pretty clear cut wjen uou absolutely can't get another rep.


Agree 100% with this - failure is much more obvious when the weight is heavy enough to keep the reps in the 5 to 10 range. High rep squats (which implies moderate weight) turn into breathing squats or rest/pause squats, and are grueling from a conditioning standpoint.

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Crotalus

I've tried high reps of 20 -30 at times with certain things but for me it always felt that if I picked a weight that would make the last ten of a 30 rep set a challenge, the first twenty were a waste of time and effort.

Early on I used to try 20 rep squats because that's what you were supposed to do but I had a really hard time progressing. If I started at 15 with a goal of 20 , it would take forever to get even close to the 20 target number. I did better with about twelve. When I'd get beyond 15 in squats, my form and concentration would go to hell.

But I do find higher reps or 20-25 effective when I do them as break-downs ; 5 reps , reduce , 5 reps reduce , etc until I hit or get close to the target number. I guess it depends on what you call a 'set' - some guys would call this four or five sets, some would call it an extended break-down set.

I especially like doing it with leg extensions and calf raises but also some other things on equipment with a weight stack I can get to quickly.

For me it seems a weight has to feel significant right from the start or I don't focus on it well. But that's just me and might be just psychological .... ???



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Jesse Lee Otis

Brian Johnston wrote:
I go as high as 100 reps. Obviously this is done in a rest-pause fashion, with 3-5 gasping breaths per 'group' of reps (until reaching the target). It's a good way to beat the hell out of a muscle within 5 minutes (or less), since each time you need that brief break you're getting close to fatigue, which means reaching near that point multiple time while increasing workout density.


=============================

Brian --

One hundred reps is amazing. What exercise(s) do you do in that?


Jesse Lee




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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

Average Al wrote:
StuKE wrote:


One thing with higher reps, it is harder to know where failure is, whdreas witj a set of 5 to failure. It is usually pretty clear cut wjen uou absolutely can't get another rep.

Agree 100% with this - failure is much more obvious when the weight is heavy enough to keep the reps in the 5 to 10 range. High rep squats (which implies moderate weight) turn into breathing squats or rest/pause squats, and are grueling from a conditioning standpoint.



For those who actually have done sets of 50 or more (even with sets of 20-30), you know where failure is, particularly with the higher rep stuff (upward of 50 or more). Muscles begin to seize up and even shut down... unable to contract even further. They feel like dead weight.
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HeavyHitter32

Bastion wrote:
HeavyHitter32 wrote:
In some cases, high reps can also require some conditioning to get used to.

Right now, I'm using a moderate to high volume CTF approach and literally not taking more than 15 seconds between sets and exercises...sometimes only 10 seconds or less. There are also some supersets involved on some moves.

Years back, this would have wiped me out when I used heavier weights and long rest periods. However, these workouts feel great.

Looks like a great set up!. How are you structuring these workouts, frequency, split etc?.


Right now, I use a 3 way split (legs/push/pull) with about two exercises per muscle group. It ends up being 4-6 sets per exercise.

For a week here or there, I just use a two way (upper/lower split) training twice a week with a bit less volume especially with upper body...but will go a little heavier.
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

Jesse Lee Otis wrote:
Brian Johnston wrote:
I go as high as 100 reps. Obviously this is done in a rest-pause fashion, with 3-5 gasping breaths per 'group' of reps (until reaching the target). It's a good way to beat the hell out of a muscle within 5 minutes (or less), since each time you need that brief break you're getting close to fatigue, which means reaching near that point multiple time while increasing workout density.

=============================

Brian --

One hundred reps is amazing. What exercise(s) do you do in that?


Jesse Lee






Many... I did that today with squats, calf raises, wrist curls and reverse wrist curls. Keep in mind they are not 100 reps without stopping... otherwise, the weight would be too light. It's a weight that may permit me 20-30 reps tops (performed in a steady-state and rhythmic manner, such as 1-second-up-and-1-second-down). After those initial reps I'm getting close to fatigue, but stop short and take 3 quick breaths of recovery... then resume. I keep going like that until I reach the rep goal range.

Some may consider that light training, but I call it deep inroad training. In under 5 minutes I will reach a point of fatigue that prevents me from lifting 15 pounds (for example) whereas if working with 25 pounds for a briefer set my level of fatigue would be that I could no longer lift 25 pounds.
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Turpin

TBH I see no point in excessive rep sets IF your fibre type is not conducive to such. Most have an abundance of slow twitch fibres in the lower body , BUT few have such fibre type in upperbody that would necessitate the rep ranges you are advocating.


T.
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Nwlifter

I really really don't think fiber type has any bearing...
Muscle studies show most people are very similar, with slight variances, then logically, it's not that people have variable levels of fiber type, it's still type 1 and II, so each would still have 'its range' it liked. If a person had 60% FT, then those would like low reps and the other 40% would like higher, if another had 45% FT, then those would still 'like lower reps', and the other 55% would like higher, hope that makes sense, but also...

Regarding the quads' fiber type composition, it varies significantly per head. The VMO is slightly slow-twitch dominant, the vastus lateralis is approximately 57% fast twitch, and the rectus femoris, the center of the thighs literally and metaphorically, is a 65% fast-twitch powerhouse.

There is a general trend that more type I fibers (54-73%) are found in various individual back muscles, in- cluding longissimus, iliocostalis, and multifidus

On the topic of the lats' muscle fiber type composition, the lats on average have an equal amount of slow and fast twitch fibers


So people are so mixed up with fiber types anyway that when do squats, there would be no rep range that fit all the quad muscles for example.
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Nwlifter

Brian Johnston wrote:
Jesse Lee Otis wrote:
Brian Johnston wrote:
I go as high as 100 reps. Obviously this is done in a rest-pause fashion, with 3-5 gasping breaths per 'group' of reps (until reaching the target). It's a good way to beat the hell out of a muscle within 5 minutes (or less), since each time you need that brief break you're getting close to fatigue, which means reaching near that point multiple time while increasing workout density.

=============================

Brian --

One hundred reps is amazing. What exercise(s) do you do in that?


Jesse Lee






Many... I did that today with squats, calf raises, wrist curls and reverse wrist curls. Keep in mind they are not 100 reps without stopping... otherwise, the weight would be too light. It's a weight that may permit me 20-30 reps tops (performed in a steady-state and rhythmic manner, such as 1-second-up-and-1-second-down). After those initial reps I'm getting close to fatigue, but stop short and take 3 quick breaths of recovery... then resume. I keep going like that until I reach the rep goal range.

Some may consider that light training, but I call it deep inroad training. In under 5 minutes I will reach a point of fatigue that prevents me from lifting 15 pounds (for example) whereas if working with 25 pounds for a briefer set my level of fatigue would be that I could no longer lift 25 pounds.


I think that fits more how muscles would be naturally worked 'in the wild', and thus probably fit the stimulus for hypertrophy better. IMO, hypertrophy is about adding more 'workers' (fibrils) to prevent that deep of a survival threatening inroad if this occurs again.

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hit4me

Florida, USA

Brian Johnston wrote:
Jesse Lee Otis wrote:
Brian Johnston wrote:
I go as high as 100 reps. Obviously this is done in a rest-pause fashion, with 3-5 gasping breaths per 'group' of reps (until reaching the target). It's a good way to beat the hell out of a muscle within 5 minutes (or less), since each time you need that brief break you're getting close to fatigue, which means reaching near that point multiple time while increasing workout density.

=============================

Brian --

One hundred reps is amazing. What exercise(s) do you do in that?


Jesse Lee






Many... I did that today with squats, calf raises, wrist curls and reverse wrist curls. Keep in mind they are not 100 reps without stopping... otherwise, the weight would be too light. It's a weight that may permit me 20-30 reps tops (performed in a steady-state and rhythmic manner, such as 1-second-up-and-1-second-down). After those initial reps I'm getting close to fatigue, but stop short and take 3 quick breaths of recovery... then resume. I keep going like that until I reach the rep goal range.

Some may consider that light training, but I call it deep inroad training. In under 5 minutes I will reach a point of fatigue that prevents me from lifting 15 pounds (for example) whereas if working with 25 pounds for a briefer set my level of fatigue would be that I could no longer lift 25 pounds.


brian?.couple questions if you don't mind
is that the same as your latest e-book with the 50 reps squats with 225 or is this something different you are trying?

how often are you training each bodypart and how many exercises for that body part?


do you increase the weight when you reach 100 for a particular weight?


thx in advance
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Crotalus

Couple more for Brian ;

- When you do the 100 reps squats is the grouping of reps the about the same from start to finish or are you doing as many as you can early and reduce the number in the groups as you tire out ?

- Are these free squats or using a Smith machine ? I remember you liked squatting in a Smith Machine.

- Are you racking the weight between groups or are you shouldering the weight the entire time? Can't imagine that if you are !
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