What Rep Range Gets You Strong?

Create: 09/04/2006 - 07:07
Mike Pelosi asks what rep range works for others when they want to gain strength.

Some are advocaters of singles to get you strong, while others advocate doubles, tripples, or sets of 5, and some even believe sets of 10 build up enough strength for the big lift. So, what works for you?


All of em Smile Other than singles, anything that build a high amount of muscular tension in less than 1 minutes continous tension builds strength to me, so possibly up to 30 reps. I am a big fan of singles though, that and sets of 10-20

In genaral, this is what I have found: sets of 5 build muscle sets of 3's and 2's build strength sets of 1 train the CNS for maximum output. Combine all three in a program for success.

singles if ur not used to them and don't over-do it (worked for me when i first started powerlifting) triples if ur not used to them (worked for me) 5s if ur not used to them (also worked for me)

i like anything below 6 smile.gif mostly triples though

singles for deadlifts and speed singles for squats 2 reps for speed singles for bench 3 reps for speed westside style.

Singles(although not maximum singles each time)

For me, the best rep range seems to be 3-5 when I want strength. 8 reps or more does nothing for me but make me tired. And big, but that's not my goal.

anything over five reps is cardio.

i'll range from singles to sets of 20

This is an issue I have been thinking about a lot recently. For me, the only time I have gained strength from low-reps was this summer, when I was deadlifting 3 times a week, every week, for 60-100 reps per workout, in sets of 3 or 5. Heavy, 5 minute rests. Whenever I mention this to people they tell me I shouldn't do it, and need to deadlift once a month, with 1 set of 2, then go home and sleep for 48 hours. Ive been lifting for 3.5 years and have tried lots of different approaches to low-rep training. Nothing ever works. I seem to improve only with high-reps in the past. I started 10-rep deadlifts for the first time recently, and have been improving rapidly, while my low-rep deadlift continues to decline. Regarding my DL specifically, for me it is quite a skill-lift and perhaps the very frequent practice allowed me to improve, while the actual set/rep/frequency scheme was suboptimal. I continue to try low-reps in my training, because EVERYONE promises it is the way to go for strength. I should probably just do what seems to work for me, though.

I think you have to keep an open mind as to what makes you stronger. I don't think Andy Bolton deadlifted 800x8 as cardio work. He did it because it makes him stronger.

Reps make you damn strong, that is for sure. Andy is not only immortally strong, but he is smart enough to realise you have to practice with heavy weights to get strong @ it....not just for singles either.....


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
i found the westside method to help the most, max effort day choose a workout and work up to an all out single, then switch to a different workout the next week. dynamic effort and rep days alternate in 3 week waves. i did this training for 3 months and my total went up about 200 lbs unequipped.

Submitted by nick (not verified) on
for bench i use 10 then next session i use 6 then next session i use 3. then back to 10 with added weight. my squat is the same idea. i use 8, 5,3. i think most rep ranges have some value. i use this scheme most of the time. with this i don't worry about peeking for a meet. i go lift what i can and i've always gotten stronger.