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Old 03-10-2010, 01:43 PM   #1
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Default Beginners and Rep Ranges

A quote from bodybuilder Sean Sullivan, who trains 100 to 150 lifters a year.

Novices do not have the nerve innervation needed to be productive in the lower rep ranges, or the skill level with the exercises. As you train the body becomes better at firing the muscle fibers. People starting out or have less then a year training have poor ability to fire at optimal with less then 8 reps. This is why so many top coaches dismiss many studies, the participants are novice trainers so the results are off. As your training age goes up you develop better pathways and can move increased loads and fire more muscle fibers with fewer reps.
For a novice you NEED to stay in a slightly higher rep range. There is little value in going under 8 or over 12 the first six month. As training age goes to 6 months to a year start adding some sets in the 6-8 range. After 3 years you need more variety and also base most of your volume on your known fiber dispersion. The above ref by Hatfield was for the average trainer. If you notice a greater response to slightly higher or lower reps then shift as needed. I respond best to lower reps- 3 to 5 on upper body, 6-9 on tris, and legs +15 but heavy 15! So as your progress from novice to intermediate add some variety to your sets, 4-6 rep sets and some 12-15 rep sets. By the time you have 5+ years you will have it figured out.
Thoughts? This flies against 5x5 routines...

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Last edited by BendtheBar; 03-10-2010 at 01:57 PM.
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