For the last several months I have been extremely focused on growing stronger and putting on extreme mass. In my researching adventures I read a lot of information on this topic from power lifters. The advice from mostly all of those was ” Find the heaviest weight you possibly can, lift it once, and eat a lot of food” That didn’t work… at all. In fact, when I would perform a one rep max weight set, my muscle group would be broken down for weeks and it would take me forever to recover.
I figured I needed to stop looking at bodybuilders training programs if that was the body style I was looking for. I found a particular training program from Kai Greene. Kai Greene would set up a bar for the bench press, and would do 15 reps at very light weights, and would step up weight until he couldn’t do 15 reps anymore. At that point he would drop a little weight so he could do several sets at 15 reps each. I tried this and this was very good for burning out my muscles, but I was never able to get very high in weight. About a month ago I decided to customize this new program.
Here is what I did
I started with squats but the same pattern followed for dead lifts. I started with the bar, 45 pounds-8 reps. Add 50 pounds. 95 pounds-8 reps. Add 40 pounds. 135 pounds-8 reps. Add 50 pounds. 185 pounds-8 reps. Add 40 pounds. 225 pounds-6 reps. Add 50 pounds. 275 pounds- 6 reps ETC… Once you can not do 6 reps, you drop down to the last weight and do 3 sets.
Why is this supposed to work?
“The first thing you need to know is that each body part is different. That means it’s compromised of varying degrees of fast and slow twitch muscle fibers.
Fast twitch fibers are for high performance and respond best to low reps, lower overall training volume, more rest between sets and lower overall training frequency. These muscles have the greatest potential for growth.
Slow twitch fibers are more for endurance and respond better to higher reps, slightly more volume, less rest between sets and a bit more frequency. These muscles have less potential for growth.”- http://jasonferruggia.com/how-many-reps-to-build-muscle/ complied the data but those blue statements will take you to the research articles if you want more advanced reading. Also that website has a lot of fun lifting information.
Overloading your fast twitch muscle fibers is the quickest way to get the muscle growth I want. For Kai Greene, his 15 reps would be extremely similar to my 8, he is a lot bigger than I am obviously.
It is always advised to mix up workouts to avoid ruts and keep your gains rolling. Although, finding a program that gets you closer to your goals is always a good plan to follow.
Why I stop at 6.
I am sure the though crossed your mind, Why not drop down to 4 reps? In my opinion, partially backed by science, When you drop to 4 reps, at the heavier weights, it puts a lot of stress on tendons. Tendons, attaching your muscles to your bones, do not grow like a muscle, Also, they don’t heal the same way either. I do not fully understand tendons, but I do know that I don’t want to take any chances.
The link above has a lot of good information on tendons if you are interested. There is an interesting chart showing how a tendon will respond to any weight placed upon it, until it is to much weight and then it will very quickly drop. Although, one way to strengthen tendons is to perform a full range of motion with a lighter weight. Congruently, it is not good to use heavy weight at a full range of motion. Stop your rep motions before you put undue stress on your tendons.
I hope this was informative to at least one person. If you have any questions feel free to contact me or leave a comment!