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Low Reps and High Tension for Strength

Jeremy Hay, [03/12/2022 16:18]

This is for anyone with experience or insight. I have been pretty influenced by Pavel when it comes to the idea of building strength. In the clip I shared he explains how in order to train for strength, one must utilize low reps and high tension. Beyond that it becomes "something else".

My question is, could we benefit from utilizing this type training in exercises like the reverse squat (which in Standards has a rep assignment of 20), or step-ups, which also usually have a higher rep assignment. Is there a reason why they are usuly done with higher reps?

We want good time under tension, so maybe step ups with lower reps (assuming no pain) and really slow eccentrics? Or maybe a similar format for reverse squats?

Ben Patrick, [03/12/2022 16:44]

Jeremy all reps work, but I’d think more in terms of time under tension. 15 reps in a 6” step up is not as high of reps as it sounds and you could easily go less reps and more weight on anything. But the more intense a movement becomes on the tendons, the safer it is with less weight and more reps

Nothing beats experience, I’ve tried it all. 👍You can even use a low cable pull in with two legs up and one leg down. Meaning literally beyond your single leg strength, supramaximal hip flexor loading.

Load, reps, tempo, the size of the range of motion, form, volume in a session, frequency of sessions, all factors for a coach to use for the given client. But they all work to varying degrees.

20 rep breathing squats, for example, ass to grass, remains one of the most successful beginner squat programs I’ve seen to jack up strength. Meanwhile, “Klokov” style single reps with 6-10 second eccentrics and 2-6 second pause at bottom, also works! So from 1-20 reps, I have seen significant strength gains. A superior coach can think with all the variables rather than blindly adhering to one aspect.

Based on sport, my top “strength” protocol would vary greatly. Beginner basketball: 20 repper VMO squats on slantboard = transforms your squad. Football: heel elevation, ass to grass, CHAINS, moderate reps, lots of sets. Both great methods, very different sets and reps. Hope that helps!

So YES, you are right: low reps and high tension works. But there are many variables based on your client.

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