top of page

Variations in Reps for Strength Development

Jeff@BarbellPerformancecoaching, [29/11/2022 21:28]

Would you say it's ok to have larger variations in reps depending on the client? Since some lifts are just better in high reps like Cable Reverse Squats etc

Ben Patrick, [29/11/2022 23:10]

Jeff@BarbellPerformanceCoaching absolutely!!! Rep is one factor. On a full range Nordic 5 reps feels like high reps! Theoretically anything 1-20 can work for strength development, but… Tempo, muscles being trained, etc., vary greatly.

A great Poliquin squat routine was 10 seconds down on front squat, rack, duck under, 10 seconds down on back squat, only 2 reps total, but actually a high time under tension. Possibly my favorite squat routine. But I also love 20 reppers on Slantboard to get those knees moving and trusting and into tougher positions

Beginner basketball players 3-4 sets 20 rep VMO squats my fave routine. Intermediate 5-10 sets of 1 rep front and back 10 seconds down. Just random examples of how reps can work.

Poliquin was amazing at teaching TOOLS not absolutes. 1 x 20 sounds like a cool program but would miss all sorts of amazing stuff. Rep is just one factor. Use the best tools at the best time you can for clients. Each exercise is a science, programming is an art. For example, two ATG coaches could each coach someone to great form on same exercises, with wildly different set and rep schemes. I personally like to live out my programs myself and see what myself and others actually like in the real world. I use a big variety of reps based on the actual user experience rather than “science”. Example: VMO is most fast-twitch of quads, so VMO Squat should only be low reps right? Well, it could be but most people need high reps to get the bloodflow to get into good positioning, and sport itself contains the highest impact. So I’d be the only elite basketball strength coach to choose 20 repper VMO squats on a slantboard for a team of basketball players. Grow some VMOs and knee tendons and ligaments and meniscus… + hoops! Incredible combo compared to thinking with “absolutes” about programming. Unprecedented basketball knee-jump results from… unprecedented differences to the most used lifts and programming.

bottom of page