ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ready to kick up my strength training a notch. Do I increase weight or reps?

Updated on June 16, 2010


Okay, general rule of thumb here, as far as reps go; strength training is basically teaching the muscle to endure contractile force over a period of time. This is half-way between power and endurance. Both fast and slow twitch fibers (white and red) are trained equally. As many people, even those in the "industry" don't know, there are intermediate twitch fibers, too. These fibers are essentially a combination of both, and are capable of using various fuels.

The ideas behind strength training are:
1) Work 'til exhaustion (failure or near failure) setting it apart from power. Power is speed! Power training will sometime utilize sets to failure, but this may become counterproductive.

2) Rep range shouldn't exceed twelve, but generally around five to ten (even eight). Powerlifters often do speed work in sets of threes, but these sets are rarely to failure.

Higher repetitions can be reserved for the latter portion of the workout. While this will invoke red fibers, the perfusion of blood, due to lactic acid buildup, will shuttle nutrients, growth factors, as well as hormones to the stimulated muscle groups.

3) Minimal warm up reps, but enough sets to be completely warm. What I mean by that is warmups should taper off in reps (ie 10, 10, 8, 6, 5- while the weight gradually increases) 'til you're warm enough to execute hard sets.

An example of that would be my deadlift warmups outside peak training:
135 x 10, 135x 10, 225x 8, 315x 5, 405x1, 455x 1 and the workout consisting of sets of 365-385x 6
I'd do as many sets as I could while maintaining that rep range, but working to failure- the last rep being the last rep possible. If my reps fall, my weight drops. So 385x 6 , 385x 5, 365x6 for 1-2 sets. My glycogen (stored carbohydrates in muscle {but mostly} the liver) stores are nearing depletion, so more muscle fibers (or different muscle fibers) are called on to complete the set.

With proper diet this will cause muscle growth. This is very similar to what a bodybuilder would do during a bulking phase (but eating like a fat bastard). These cycles must last much longer than the typical 4-6 weeks if you're trying to remain lean.

If lean mass alone or simply strength are the goal, your caloric intake must remain steady, and quite near your BMR, with protein and fats being the primary macronutrients. Both can be transformed into glucose by the body (liver) through gluconeogenesis.

Complete proteins and monounsaturated fats are your best friends here, but fibers such as soluble fiber must be incorporated (apples, chick peas --also high in branched chain amino acids, but a shit source of protein igeneral)and oatmeal are the best foods for those fibers)-- while meats (eggs are meat!), fish, poultry are the better protein sources. They also contain the necessary cholesterol for androgen production, as well as saturated fats for cholesterol and prostaglandin production.

Now, if joint pain becomes an issue, replacing some of the saturated fats with omega 3&6 fatty acids may help. These EFAs can help offset the arachidonic acid cascade, thus limiting prosataglandin production (very minor cell growth concession, but pains sucks! And pain outside the training halls isn't altogether needed). Muscles generally need to grow to gain strength (strength IS NOT power).


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • joecseko profile imageAUTHOR

      Joe Cseko jr 

      8 years ago from New York, USA, Earth

      Thank you, sir. Best to remember, there are many, MANY levels of fitness. People often say to me "Joe, I'll never look like you". I ask, "do you really want to?". Of course many answer no. I still have the same respect for someone who remains dedicated to a sensible exercise program, no matter what the reason. I satisfy my own ego by my accomplishments, not by crapping on others.I still have SO much to learn about my fitness, the sport I compete in, and my music, even after twenty six years of solid dedication to each, respectively. Each one of those are endless!

      Thanks again for the kind words.

    • ehern33 profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow, this is to much work for me..LOL, probably why my weight training was never very successful in the past. I love your dedication and knowledge of weight training. Great work and good luck with this aspect of your training.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)