with Anita Ramsey CSCS, CFT, CSN, SPARQ
1990 NPC Western Cup Heavyweight & Overall Champion
1998 NPC Southern States Heavyweight & Overall Champion
2003 IPA 165 Class Sub-Masters World Record Bench
2008 & 2009 4th place NPC Masters Nationals Light Heavies
2009 ranked top 10 in the world bench only 148 lb class & 165 lb class
Repetitions and Endurance
Intensity is the key to gaining muscle. Furthermore, intensity comes in various forms and levels. But we all know that. And just like there are many different levels of intensity there are also many methods of training; all used to increase strength and size. Even though there are various different training methods still many people make the mistake thinking their way is the only way of training. Tunnel vision is fine for the week minded. I utilize several training methods. I train using the dynamic method, which builds explosiveness and speed strength, the maximal effort method, which builds absolute strength, and strength speed, and I also use the repetition method or what some call Lactic Acid Tolerance Training.
The repetition training style promotes a high degree of growth hormone production. But, why do some individuals still assume high rep training will get you ripped? Who knows, other than they are still stuck in the ice ages. And, I’m sorry to say, if high rep training did get you ripped well then my husband would be on stage at the Nationals and trust me he is FAR from that. But, alas, this seriously old school thought. Again, these are my opinions and knowledge based on years of experience.
During my workout cycles I combine all the above methods of training to maximize my strength and size. After years of using the periodization methods I found that after 3 weeks of training with maximal weights in the 90% range caused a negative training effect for not only myself but for several others. So, to help you in your battle to overcome the negative factors of training at near max percentages week after week try the repetition method to failure for a good pick me up.
Did you know that in the 1970s when Vasili Alexeyev was tops in Olympic lifting he did some really odd things in his training? Try these out; doing power cleans non-stop for 2-3 minutes or how about throwing a 220 pound bar over your head 100 times, and lets not forget about doing snatches for a couple hours and then sit in a pool for an hour worth of leg lifting 100 times. That’s what Alexeyev did. I’d need a lifeguard to help me out of the pool, and an EMT to revive me after all that. Does this sound new to you? Doing high reps isn’t new but I’m talking high reps with exercises that are not common in the gym, does that sound new? Of course it is because everyone does cable crossovers but you don’t just see anyone doing Split Jerks or Push Presses anymore.
I’ve outlined some routines below. Here are a few examples of the repetition method that I incorporate into my training regiment and so should you.
- Do light deadlifts for 1 minute at a slow tempo; again do not so much count the reps as you do them by time. If you have a partner then your partner can count for you. Follow the deadlifts by doing AB work for 1 minute.
- This is one of my favorites. If you can handle this, do light good mornings for a minute. If you have bands they can be used instead of a bar. Do this exercise for 3 minutes. Follow this with “spread-leg” stiff leg dead lifts with a 25, 35, 45 or 100 pound plate for 1 minute. Grueling!
- Pick up a 2-kg. Or 5 kg. Medicine Ball and throw it over your head behind you. After throwing if just walk over to where it landed and do it again. Do this for 100 reps! This is only to be done if you have a large aerobic room and medicine balls are available to you. This is a great whole body workout.
- Do Clean-hang high pulls or Snatch-hang high pulls with lightweight for 1 minute. Whew! Your Traps will hate you the next day.
- Try this. Grab a pair of light dumbbells or use about 30% of your max bench on an Olympic bar and lie on a Swiss (Stability) ball do presses for 1 minute or longer. I’ve done 30s for 2 minutes. You think you’re strong? Or think you’re in shape? We’ll see.
- A great one for the legs is do seated leg curls for 100 reps then immediately do leg extensions for 100 reps. Killer! Or 100 reps on the leg press and immediately do 100 reps on a seated leg curl. I do this sometimes at the beginning of a leg day workout.
High reps with very light weight are stated as being beneficial in the rep range of 100 to 200. That’s what Thomas Kurz said in the “Science of Sports Training.” Though performing 100 reps is not easy to do and I couldn’t even think about doing 200 reps on something. The great benefit of incorporating the repetition method into your training is an increase in endurance strength, which is always beneficial to any training method. The use of endurance or repetition type training will not only increase strength but also aid in muscle restoration. It is a simple and effective way of training for an increased level of fitness and for adding volume to your workload. So, give me 100. That’s 98, 99, common on, FIVE more!