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Old 03-11-2010, 01:14 PM   #13
BendtheBar
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Louisiana
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Training Exp: 20+ years
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The body definitely goes through some unique phases the first year of training. The first month is a shock period, where soreness can be brutal and form needs to be mastered. I don't see much of a need to go over 8 to 10 reps during this period, as the point is more to grasp form.

When form is reasonable, progression begins. I can see working within the rep ranges of 6 to 12 for compound lifts and 8 to 15 for isolation exercises. The lifter is still learning form, and may still be struggling with lift stability.

At some point, and this time frame varies, when the lifter has made noticeable progress and lift stability is not an issue (stabilizer muscles are much stronger), I think it is ok to work with the 4 to 6 rep range. But this is a case by case basis.

If a young lifter has been squatting for 2 years, and can't do more than 135 pounds for several reps, I don't think that the 4 to 6 rep range is necessarily helpful.

On the other hand, I was squatting 315x4 reps after 6 months of squatting. A lifter that mirrors my progress should be doing some work in the 4 to 6 rep range.

I respect Sean's diligent research on this topic, but I don't like it sliced and diced out as a generalized statement. Lifting is such an individual thing. I don't think a lifter "needs" to go under 6 reps, but if they have a good work ethic and have shown good progress, 5x5 systems are perfectly fine. It's only a rep, after all.

I think we're splitting hairs on some level with this discussion. I assume that the hesitancy to recommend rep ranges under 6 is more a caution against the 1 to 4 rep range when you're still a beginner. And I don't believe that Sean would necessarily consider 6 reps to be the tipping point. If so, do a 5x6. No big whoop.
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