Vary the reps ranges?


Apr 15, 2007
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I have been thinking about integrating all reps ranges in my training. Somebody here (graedy) proposed to alternate 3x3, 5x5 and 5x10 duting one workout, each with a different exercise, like this for example:

Day 1:
3x3 heavy squat
5x5 medium press
5x10 light deadlift

Day 3:
3x3 heavy press
5x5 medium dead
5x10 light squat

Day 5:
3x3 heavy dead
5x5 medium squat
5x10 light press

with 1 day rest between each

this got me really interested, I've been doing the 5x5 starting strength for some months now, and although I'm seeing good progress and not quiting it right now, such a porgram seems to me to be quite good, because it incorporates different rep ranges. Does anybody
have experience with this? My main question is: would it impair strength and power development for the sake of more muscular endurance, or quite the contrary boost it with more balance? I really have no experience.

Also, I would like to incorporate something in the 15 and 20 reps range, in order to get
conditionning and muscular endurance with the main lifts as well. So I was thinking doing something like this:

Day 2:
5x15 squat
5x20 press

Day 4:
5x15 dead
5x20 squat

Day 6:
5x15 press
5x20 dead

This *would* be well balanced, but I fear it is way too much. Also I was thinking about ncorporating Urban's complexes...

Thoughts? Ideas? Any experience with such a routine?
are you meaning that days 1-6 would all be in the same routine? Because that is way too much volume me thinks
Good... God...

Do not do that! You'll kill yourself the first week if you in fact made it a week. You'd be bench pressing, deadlifing, and squatting FIVE times a week?! I don't know about varying rep ranges. I've also heard it's a good idea but what you're proposing is too much volume to say the least.
Yes, that's what I'm meaning, and yes, I do fear this would be too much volume too... but this is more brainwork than an actual routine. I'm trying to find a routine that would focus on strength and power, and use the 3 main lifts for conditionning as well on non lifting days.

Also, the way I present the days is maybe misleading. I'm not following a weekly schedule. Actually, I'm not following any schedule because my work doesn't allow me to. Basically I just do day 1, and as soon as I can I do day 2, and then as soon as I can I do day 3, etc. Some weeks I got all days done, some I got only 2 or 3, and some weeks I don't get any workout done at all. So in this regard, the volume is less of an issue, but still... maybe I should do two separate cycles for the "conditionning" sessions, or just wait 3 days instead of 1 between 2...
Mmm ok, so maybe something like this :

Day 1
3x3 heavy squat
5x5 medium press

Day 2:
5x15 light squat
5x20 light press

Day 4:
5x15 light dead
5x20 light squat

Day 5
3x3 heavy press
5x5 medium dead

Day 6:
5x15 press
5x20 dead

with an average of 4 of those days every week.
You're going to need someone else to post on that routine and any others from now on. I'm too much of a noob at this.

I wouldn't deadlift three times a week. In fact, some guys on this forum only deadlift twice a month.

Since you're on SS, are you a novice lifter?
Yes, totally novice. I'm only benching and squatting 90kg, barely deadlifting 130kg.
Right now, I'm benching, squatting and deadlifting from 1 to 2 times a week, depending on weeks, and still making progress. But I'm assuming that lifting in the 15-20 reps range is not affectinf the CNS as much as the energy producting processes, and so that it maybe is possible. But I might be totally wrong, that's why I'm asking here. I guess Urban will be knowleagable about it, after all complexes are a bit the same idea.

Anyway, I'm not changing my routine until I squat at least 100kg, but this should come soon I hope...
I was wanting to vary my reps and posted a similar thread a while back. I wanted to get into doing higher reps as I'd been doing 5's and 3's for a while. However, I did want to get back to lower reps eventually. Someone recommended an Ed Coan cycle:
Powerlifting Heads-Up Ec Coan Peaking Cycle Calculator
You can check my log for what I'm doing if you'd like, but I'm only on the first week. Basically, I'm following the cycle for Bench, Deadlift, Power Clean, and Front Squat (substitute for back squats as I don't have a power rack). In the first weeks, I'm in the high reps for these lifts so I counterbalance with low reps in other lifts/assistant lifts for that day. My deadlift day for the first week was as follows:

Deadlift: warmup set x 10, 2 x 10
Bent Over Rows: 3 x 5
Weighted Pullups: 3 x 3
Barbell Curls: 3 x 5 or 3 x 8

When I got into week 10, it would look something like this:
Deadlift: warmup x 10, 2 x 3
Bent Over Row: 3 x 5
Pullups: 3 x max reps at bodyweight
Barbell Curls: 3 x 8

The way I'm doing the cycle mixes high reps and low reps each day. Week 1 has actually killed me with the high reps on deadlift and front squat. The weight seems really light, but my body is not used to the high reps.
Hopefully what I posted makes sense. I'm sure it's not ideal for some people, but it seems like something you may be looking for.
I don't think volume is a problem, just don't use exactly the same exercises during the week. E.g. you could use RDLS or SLDs for the reps over 5on deadlift exercises. You could alternate front and back squats. You could do DB presses if the reps are over 8, etc.