Read this quick post and remember it so you don’t make a mistake on the following 2 occasions.
And both these occasions WILL apply to you at some point.
(1) When you’re new to lifting
(2) When you’re coming back after a lay-off
By a lay-off I’m not referring to the scheduled week off training we all take in THT training. I mean that for some reason you can’t train for a few weeks, or you deliberately chose not to train for an extended period of time (if the latter, I’m shaking my head at you in disappointment).
Both of the occasions above require a period of ANATOMICAL ADAPTATION.
1. Basically we need to increase our neuromuscular efficiency i.e. have our nervous sytem learn the movements, speed up motor reactions, improve coordination, and optimize efficiency in general.
If you’ve ever seen a newbie trying to do overhead dumbbell presses for example, they’re wobbling all over the place on the positive and negative parts of the rep. Their coordination is pretty terrible until they ‘learn’ the movement.
2. Furthermore, you’ll need to give the muscle tissue, ligaments, and tendons time to develop in preparation for more and more training.
Yes, just like muscle fibers, tendons and ligaments can also increase in diameter.
This means we’ve less chance of hurting ourselves now and in the future by working in this rep range.
3. However, we still want to train to stimulate growth in the muscle tissue. We can strike a great balance here: All of these requirements are best facilitated with lighter loads and higher reps.
So the ideal rep range here is 8-12 reps.
As a nice bonus this is probably the rep range where most muscular hypertrophy/growth is stimulated for reasons I outline in this article, “how many reps per set for muscle growth‘.
So this fits nicely into the THT picture 🙂
Remember that other phases of THT training are ‘Strength’ and ‘Mixed’ (where you use different rep ranges), which you can read more about here in this article: ‘Reps & Sets‘. The end result is CHRONIC or CONTINUOUS hypertrophy, which is rather nice if you ask me 😉
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