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  1. #1
    Registered User AD1985's Avatar
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    High rep sets / fast bar speed and my form isn't as tight. Big deal?

    Saw an old thread here where someone was asking about 15 rep sets and I was surprised to see near unanimous agreement that they feel good and get results too. So I've been trying them out (also liking them as I try to find the exact working weight, we'll see once I dial in correctly).

    But I notice the bar speed is so fast on those early reps, especially the first 5-7, that I catch myself not using ideal form. For example I did the overhead press the other day and my stronger side (for most lifts) had the bar up an inch higher for most of the rep.

    Thing is when the set starts getting heavy these wierd aberrations go away and I go back to what I do during a standard set.

    And before that, the weight is so light I have to wonder if imperfect form is really even doing much negatively. It feels like bad form while hauling the groceries to the fridge, not a big concern (or is it?)

    What do you guys think, is slight form degradation as a result of light weight / fast bar speed not really a big deal? Or should every rep be treated as a single in terms of tightness?
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  2. #2
    Registered User MrNismo's Avatar
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    Every single rep should be treated as a chance to perfect form IMO. If there is a single thing I could go back some 9+ years ago and change it would have been not allowing myself to add a single pound to the bar until my form was perfect.

    If the weight is so light that you flail around, slow down! A warmup is not just to get the body warmed up, it's also to get the mind - muscle connection or proprioception working right. And what better time to ensure proper tightness than when the weight is still 'easy'.
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  3. #3
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    Originally Posted by AD1985 View Post
    High rep sets / fast bar speed and my form isn't as tight. Big deal?
    yes
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    Keep your squats low and standards high.
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  4. #4
    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    If your after development you should be doing good reps.
    When form/technique deteriorates that's when you open up the possibility of getting hurt.
    You either need to lighten the weight or work up to the higher reps progressively over a period of time.
    You didn't mention what exercise/movement you were doing?
    Watch a video of Tom Platz's high rep squatting,he maintains fairly good technique throughout his set.
    I personally think high rep as far as muscle building is better on some areas than others.
    Leg absolutely IMO.
    In my prime i was able to eventually work up to 10 sets of 20 reps with 225 lbs on the squat.
    That was a goal for me and my only quad work when doing it.
    It took a few months to get there.
    I would only do what i could get with fairly good form each set.
    I might of get 20 reps on the first three sets then maybe 18 reps the next and then 16 reps and so on and went until all 10 sets were done.The last set could of only been 10 reps but i added reps every session to all the sets i didn't get 20 reps on.
    Eventually i hit them all but not over night.
    You can move at a good pace during your set but don't sacrifice good technique.
    The more you get fatigued the more form degrades.
    Focus on the muscle your working during your set and block everything else around you out.
    Good luck.
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  5. #5
    Registered User AD1985's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Garage Rat View Post
    Watch a video of Tom Platz's high rep squatting,he maintains fairly good technique throughout his set.
    I personally think high rep as far as muscle building is better on some areas than others.
    Leg absolutely IMO.
    I've seen that guy, he has freakish legs. Whatever he does works.

    How are high reps for upper body growth?
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  6. #6
    Registered User uksenior's Avatar
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    I never waste a set,after warming up I choose weight I feel comfortable with that day, I never try and set weekly monthly goals, I just use what I can on a particular day.
    I start my set and if it feels easy then I slow it down and rest pause and contract the muscle and try and make it as difficult as possible
    I dont set out to hit a certain number, I set out to fatigue the muscle as efficiently as I can.
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  7. #7
    Registered User drkelly74's Avatar
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    Never move fast. The weight/bar should always move slowly with proper form.
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    Registered User OldFartTom's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by drkelly74 View Post
    Never move fast. The weight/bar should always move slowly with proper form.
    I believe there is a time and a place for tempos like more slowly down and faster than usual up - especially during high volume periods, example GVT (German Volume Training).
    There's also a time for explosive reps.
    But agreed that neither of them should be the norm.

    None of this shouldn't be at the expense of good form, if you can't do fast reps with form, don't do them.
    Faith in Jesus first and faith in squats second.
    Then other details will start to slot themselves into place.
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  9. #9
    Bored drudixon's Avatar
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    Actually, form needs to be modified for up tempo. Take care not to hyper-extend joints. That means either cutting the rep short, ie on bench, or adding runout, like on squats where you may let your heels lift instead of having the energy directed at your locked knees.
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  10. #10
    Registered User OldFartTom's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by drudixon View Post
    Actually, form needs to be modified for up tempo. Take care not to hyper-extend joints. That means either cutting the rep short, ie on bench, or adding runout, like on squats where you may let your heels lift instead of having the energy directed at your locked knees.
    I was doing this (especially knee at top of squat) on squat and bench, but not aware I was, until you wrote that. Thanks!!
    Faith in Jesus first and faith in squats second.
    Then other details will start to slot themselves into place.
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  11. #11
    Registered User drkelly74's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by drudixon View Post
    Actually, form needs to be modified for up tempo. Take care not to hyper-extend joints. That means either cutting the rep short, ie on bench, or adding runout, like on squats where you may let your heels lift instead of having the energy directed at your locked knees.
    The first year or two after I started, I occasionally did some 'explosive fast reps' and I believe I did what you describe as mild hyper-extension. Joint pain followed. I now only move slowly. I may be missing out on some gains, but I feel safer and like I sustain fewer mild injuries. I might be missing out on some slight gains, but I am OK with that considering I feel I am keeping my joints safer for the long term.
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