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Author Topic: Why are higher reps needed for legs than other bodyparts?  (Read 1925 times)
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« on: April 18, 2007, 03:10:34 AM »

I have read several times on here, particularly from GH15, who seems to know his shit, that higher reps should be used for leg training rather than upper body? So, sets of 8-12 for upper body, and sets of 12-25 for legs. Does anybody know why this is, (the science behind it)? Leg day today so gonna give it a blast
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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2007, 03:44:11 AM »

I have read several times on here, particularly from GH15, who seems to know his shit, that higher reps should be used for leg training rather than upper body? So, sets of 8-12 for upper body, and sets of 12-25 for legs. Does anybody know why this is, (the science behind it)? Leg day today so gonna give it a blast

Depends.

If you have a lot of Type II fibers, you would want to stick with a lower reps, like 6-8.

Hammies have more fast twitch, so have triceps. So those should be hit with fewer reps.

Biceps and quads have more ST generally.

So do more reps for them, if you want to get big quick.

-Hedge
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« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2007, 03:49:19 AM »

Depends.

If you have a lot of Type II fibers, you would want to stick with a lower reps, like 6-8.

Hammies have more fast twitch, so have triceps. So those should be hit with fewer reps.

Biceps and quads have more ST generally.

So do more reps for them, if you want to get big quick.

-Hedge


So what would you say then? 3 sets of 20 of squats and leg presses and extensions with moderate weight, 3 sets of 12 on hammies? Whats the situation with calfs?
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2007, 04:13:22 AM »

I'm not sure that you can generalize. Keep the reps at least moderate 6-12, and experiment within that range or with higher reps up to 20 or more, and decide on each muscle which works for you based on the feel and on injury potential. For example, on triceps extensions i find moderate-higher reps work better both in terms of burn AND are far less strain on the joints. Generally speaking, increase the reps when there are joint problems and/or shorten the rest periods.

Experiment with different ranges for each muscle. And of course you can change the ranges from time to time to keep the muscles off-balance.
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2007, 09:58:49 AM »

I'm not sure that you can generalize. Keep the reps at least moderate 6-12, and experiment within that range or with higher reps up to 20 or more, and decide on each muscle which works for you based on the feel and on injury potential. For example, on triceps extensions i find moderate-higher reps work better both in terms of burn AND are far less strain on the joints. Generally speaking, increase the reps when there are joint problems and/or shorten the rest periods.

Experiment with different ranges for each muscle. And of course you can change the ranges from time to time to keep the muscles off-balance.


It's why I never go below 10 reps unless I'm trying to blow through another weight plateau.
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« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2007, 10:40:58 AM »

can Hedge or anyone else suggest a rep range for each muscle group please? i know it will vary between people but what do you guys go with?
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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2007, 12:26:37 PM »

Well have just got back from leg session, did sets of 15s on squats, hacks, leg presses, calfs, hams and extensions with approx 80% of weight i would usally use for 10 reps. Burnt like hell on the last few reps, especially the presses and squats. Gonna run with that for a while and see how it goes
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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2007, 12:34:33 PM »

when I first switched to DC training one of the things I found most challenging was the concept of Leg Training as described in the dog logg.  I don't remember what I was leg pressing before I started but I decided to cut my weights down and do sets of at least 20, sometimes I'd go as high as 50 depending on how I felt, adjusting the weight as needed.  Now I'll never be confused with a national level guy but my legs responded like crazy to this type of training.  In fact everytime I rotate in a new leg movement I stick with 20 reppers until I can't possibly get 20 anymore and then the reps slowly come down as the weight goes up.  Right now I'm doing 20 reppers on the hack squat which I've never really done and I'm up to about 245lbs-including the cariage-for 20, ass to the grass and it's brutal as hell.
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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2007, 12:40:04 PM »

when I first switched to DC training one of the things I found most challenging was the concept of Leg Training as described in the dog logg.  I don't remember what I was leg pressing before I started but I decided to cut my weights down and do sets of at least 20, sometimes I'd go as high as 50 depending on how I felt, adjusting the weight as needed.  Now I'll never be confused with a national level guy but my legs responded like crazy to this type of training.  In fact everytime I rotate in a new leg movement I stick with 20 reppers until I can't possibly get 20 anymore and then the reps slowly come down as the weight goes up.  Right now I'm doing 20 reppers on the hack squat which I've never really done and I'm up to about 245lbs-including the cariage-for 20, ass to the grass and it's brutal as hell.

Cheers Al, might give sets of 20 a go next week then, i have no doubts it will burn like hell after those 15s  Kiss
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« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2007, 12:56:30 PM »

Cheers Al, might give sets of 20 a go next week then, i have no doubts it will burn like hell after those 15s  Kiss

I train DC so it's a little different for me, it's one all out set...trust me 700lbs on that legpress for 20 reps is kinda shitty.  Even now I'm pumping out 920lbs for 4-6 reps, resting and then doing a 20 rep widowmaker on an icarian machine and that 20 reps is hard as hell.
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« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2007, 12:59:28 PM »

I train DC so it's a little different for me, it's one all out set...trust me 700lbs on that legpress for 20 reps is kinda shitty.  Even now I'm pumping out 920lbs for 4-6 reps, resting and then doing a 20 rep widowmaker on an icarian machine and that 20 reps is hard as hell.

While you are here, could you sammarise briefly DC training for me and how it works? I did read through the section on it a while back but found myse;f getting quite confused as to exactly how it works?
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« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2007, 04:38:59 PM »

can Hedge or anyone else suggest a rep range for each muscle group please? i know it will vary between people but what do you guys go with?

The make up of muscle fibers is pretty logical.

In muscle groups that you need for long periods of time, eg calves, you have mainly slow twitch (ST).

So hitting them with higher reps seems like a good idea. Arnold may have been onto something with his 100-reps...

Triceps and biceps are an interesting situation. Triceps are more explosive, because humans have been using that muscle to stop when falling, to push, et al. Biceps are used when carrying foods and other things.

Try 4-6 reps with the triceps and 10-15 reps with the biceps. Keyword is "try". I'm not saying this is ideal, but there is actually a difference in fiber make up throughout the body, so it would be stupid to hit all muscles with the same kind of reps.

Yet we often do just that, don't we? Cheesy

The rest of the body, use your best judgement.

-Hedge
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« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2007, 06:11:20 PM »

The make up of muscle fibers is pretty logical.

In muscle groups that you need for long periods of time, eg calves, you have mainly slow twitch (ST).

So hitting them with higher reps seems like a good idea. Arnold may have been onto something with his 100-reps...

Triceps and biceps are an interesting situation. Triceps are more explosive, because humans have been using that muscle to stop when falling, to push, et al. Biceps are used when carrying foods and other things.

Try 4-6 reps with the triceps and 10-15 reps with the biceps. Keyword is "try". I'm not saying this is ideal, but there is actually a difference in fiber make up throughout the body, so it would be stupid to hit all muscles with the same kind of reps.

Yet we often do just that, don't we? Cheesy

The rest of the body, use your best judgement.

-Hedge
I never thought of that.  Thanks Hedge.
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« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2007, 06:33:55 PM »

While you are here, could you sammarise briefly DC training for me and how it works? I did read through the section on it a while back but found myse;f getting quite confused as to exactly how it works?

I'll PM you some links tomorrow, if you still have questions after reading these hit me up and I'll do my best to help ya out.  Seriously, the links I'm gonna give you explain it better than I could.
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« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2007, 08:34:59 PM »

This is what you folks are looking for- fiber ratios of various muscle groups:
http://www.abcbodybuilding.com/anatomymuscle.php?id=18&subId=47
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« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2007, 08:42:50 PM »

This is what you folks are looking for- fiber ratios of various muscle groups:
http://www.abcbodybuilding.com/anatomymuscle.php?id=18&subId=47
Thanks man.  That is a big help.
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« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2007, 01:03:49 AM »

I'll PM you some links tomorrow, if you still have questions after reading these hit me up and I'll do my best to help ya out.  Seriously, the links I'm gonna give you explain it better than I could.

Ok thanks
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« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2007, 05:04:24 PM »

The legs are the biggest and strongest muscles in the body and can take a lot of reps.......also the increased time under tension created by doing high reps is a big plus as far as growth goes.

3-5 rep squats are tough,but they are over fast,20 or more reps with a weight that makes you work hard to squeeze them out, lasts much longer, and is gruelling.
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« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2007, 09:24:36 AM »

I've always kept this idea in mind, since starting to train with serious intent years ago. Three reps will do for you what  20 reps will not and vice versa. 20 reps can do what 3 reps can not. 6X3's can build size as well as 5X20's reps can for others. And both these rep ranges can build strength. TUT (time under tension) is not always gained by a higher rep range of 20 or so. It can be accomplished very well with a moderate range of 6 to 8 reps, when the weight used is slower and controlled, in both the positive and negative movement. (one rep only of 30-60 seconds, if you follow the Art Jones method...example..the pull-up or dip...a true killer that most men can not accomplish or would not care to) That is the whole idea, TIME under tension. As far as a workout goes, it's not the number of reps in one set for any muscle but the total number of reps in the entire  workout for that muscle group.

No offense to any one but most of the type I or II muscle fiber protocol really does not apply to everyone. Fast twitch or slow twitch training does not cover the whole scope of lifting a weight. Weither the goal is muscular development or strength increase. A planned leg building focus for 6 to 12 month should be considered. Too many guys just think of 3 or 4  weeks down the line when trying to work a certain muscle group (example: they want to get ready for summer...instant muscles). Training is a long haul undertaking, not a quick fix.

So it might be advised to mix up the rep scheme from 4 to 6-8 weeks, of say 5X5's (excellent muscle mass builder for thousands of men over the years). Than change to 8 to 12 reps too (moderate weight with attention to TUT) the next 4-6 week cycle. The final cycle being 15 to 20 reps. After that, repeat the 5X5 cycle again. May want to take at least a week away from training after each cycle ended. The idea is not to become too stagnant with the rep range, if a full potential for results is desired. This is not a true periodization system for BB'ing but somewhat similar. The exercises done and set's selected will be a personal choice here. Keep in mind that, for the most part, less is better when it comes to set's per muscle group.

I assume most guy's here have a working knowledge of diet, meeting the daily  quality calorie (fats, oils, protein & carbs) requirements and more to add pure muscle mass and gain strength. Enough said about that than. Good Luck.
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« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2007, 04:26:56 AM »

I have read several times on here, particularly from GH15, who seems to know his shit, that higher reps should be used for leg training rather than upper body? So, sets of 8-12 for upper body, and sets of 12-25 for legs. Does anybody know why this is, (the science behind it)? Leg day today so gonna give it a blast

I know that in the 90's at West Side Barbell Club (where they had at least 6 800lb squatters) they trained legs 2 times every 9 days and the second day was all high rep stuff.  20 reps minimum for squat, etc., on progressively lower squat boxes...this sort of thing.  Even if you had to rerack, it was 20 or none.  I got into this for some time and I think that it has it's benefits.  I would say though that during the set if you are going for quad size pay attention to burning through the set without letting the work shift to the hips/lumbar area, keep it on the quads.  That would be key.
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« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2007, 02:09:30 PM »

Good post JPM !!
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