Originally Posted by BendtheBar
When am I ready to start using lower rep sets, in particular heavy singles, doubles and triples? At what point in strength training should a lifter consider using lower rep sets?
Generally I want to see a lifter getting the sets/reps and overall volume in as a beginner. Something like a Starting Strength approach but with higher overall volume. It's only after a solid foundation has been built that I'd move a guy on to lower rep sets. So what's a solid foundation?
1) A good level of form on all of the main lifts, you need to be able to do these intensively without hurting yourself. Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press, Overhead Press, Chins and Rows.
2) A good degree of strength on the above. Something like 100 for sets of 10 on the Squat and Deadlift and 80kg for sets of 10 on the Bench Press.
3) A good handle on diet, no excessively unnecessary bodyfat and/or losing weight to normalise bodyweight.
4) A good handle on rest and recuperation.
Once a guy has accomplished the above. The introduction of lower rep sets would be a good idea. Probably for a heavy day, while still maintaining a decent level of volume for the other days.