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  1. #1
    Registered User 905letters's Avatar
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    Arrow PPL: High Reps vs Low Reps?

    I'm in a bit of a pickle right now because I'm creating a PPL routine but I'm hesistating between these 3 scenarios:

    For compound movements:
    - Only low reps / heavy sets (Eg. 3x5 for bench, squats, deadlifts, OHP)
    Benefits:
    Better strength gains, easier progression? Increase weight 2.5kg every week
    Drawbacks:
    Maybe less hypertrophy gains? Also harder on joints / recovery because heavy every workout

    - Only high reps / bit lighter sets (Eg. 3x8-12)
    Benefits:
    Better hypertrophy gains, easier recovery
    Drawbacks:
    Harder progression? Increase reps by 2 per week, also less strengths gains and maybe more plateau

    - Half low / half high: (Eg. Monday 3x5 for bench, then Thursday 3x8-12 for bench)
    Benefits:
    Good mix of hypertrophy/strength gains
    Drawbacks:
    Harder pgreossion, since only doing 1 heavy workout per week so would be impossible to increase 2.5kg per week

    I'm thinking only low reps / heavy sets would be the best option due to the progression being easier to manage but what do you guys think? What do you do? I've seen all 3 kinds of PPL routines
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  2. #2
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Hypertrophy is not as strongly affected by changing rep range as many think. Generally anything between 3 and 20 reps is probably fine.

    Usually a choice of rep range is more for practical reasons. High reps don't suit some exercises (e.g deadlifts, cleans etc), low reps don't suit others - especially isolations.

    A sensible strategy is to use lower numbers like 5-10 for main compounds (with 1-2 reps in reserve each set) and higher numbers for isolations like 8-15 (closer to failure).
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  3. #3
    Registered User 905letters's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Hypertrophy is not as strongly affected by changing rep range as many think. Generally anything between 3 and 20 reps is probably fine.

    Usually a choice of rep range is more for practical reasons. High reps don't suit some exercises (e.g deadlifts, cleans etc), low reps don't suit others - especially isolations.

    A sensible strategy is to use lower numbers like 5-10 for main compounds (with 1-2 reps in reserve each set) and higher numbers for isolations like 8-15 (closer to failure).
    Yeah for deadlift I agree, probably would only keep it in the low rep range.

    What about Bench and overhead press though, it's commonly done in both ways? It's gotta make a signficant difference if you exclusively train in the 5 rep range vs the 12 rep range no?
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  4. #4
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 905letters View Post
    Yeah for deadlift I agree, probably would only keep it in the low rep range.

    What about Bench and overhead press though, it's commonly done in both ways? It's gotta make a signficant difference if you exclusively train in the 5 rep range vs the 12 rep range no?
    The main difference it will make is how good you get at benching/overhead pressing in that rep range - SAID principle - specific adaptation to imposed demand.

    If you mean hypertrophy - then probably not, as I said a wide range of reps will work. Perhaps high or low might suit you better but that comes with experimentation.
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    Registered User 905letters's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    The main difference it will make is how good you get at benching/overhead pressing in that rep range - SAID principle - specific adaptation to imposed demand.

    If you mean hypertrophy - then probably not, as I said a wide range of reps will work. Perhaps high or low might suit you better but that comes with experimentation.
    Do you have any sources or studies that back this up? I'm just curious to read more about it because from what I've seen this contradicts most of what I find on the internet.
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    Originally Posted by 905letters View Post
    Do you have any sources or studies that back this up? I'm just curious to read more about it because from what I've seen this contradicts most of what I find on the internet.
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