Alternate Your Rep Range for Better Results
For many years, I have alternated my repetition range from week to week with outstanding results. The main objective for my approach is the stimulation of the muscle fibers by exposing them to different types of stresses from week to week. Each week of the month consists of a different approach such as Week 1: 30 repetitions, Week 2: Supersets, Week 3: Drop Sets, and Week 4: Heavy.
In Week 1, I use a weight that is lighter but will still create stress on the muscle fibers, usually by the 20th repetition. It provides a severe stress to the muscle bellies without the stress being dissipated to tendons and ligaments.
In Week 2, I’ll superset using a rep range of 15 repetitions and 15 repetitions divided between two different muscle groups. For example, I’ll do 15 pull-ups supersetted with 15 lateral deltoid dumbbell raises, and repeat for two rounds.
In Week 3, my rep range is performed in a drop set of seven repetitions each, totaling 21 repetitions, dropping down from the heaviest weight to a medium weight, to a lighter weight.
In Week 4, I will generally keep a 3-6 repetition range for heavy, power movements such as deadlifts, squats, bench press, and clean and press.
There are several advantages to my approach. Alternating the rep range exposes the fibers to a variety of stresses. It prevents the muscles from adapting to a continuous routine that may, in time, feel like one is “going through the motions.” It benefits the joints, tendons, and ligaments with rest on the higher rep range weeks, while preparing and conditioning the muscles for the stress of heavier lifts. Finally, it makes exercise less monotonous and more interesting, presenting the body and the mind with challenges and stimulation.
I have also trained my clients with this approach for many years. They have seen great success and improvement as well, while reducing risk for injury by allowing proper rest for their joints, tendons, and ligaments. Most have expressed that they have their favorite week and enjoy the transition from week to week as well. I’ll be honest, most clients dislike 30s Week because of the severe burn from the high rep range, but I put them through it anyway! Give my approach a try for a month to see how you feel. Alternating your rep range may give you the results that you are looking for, while keeping your workouts interesting!