High Reps or Low Reps?

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Let's start the week with a training
question. This one is from Blake
Rosenbaum -- and it's a fairly
common question:

"From what I understand,  you put
all of your focus into very high
weight and low reps. But I was
curious if the strength gained
from low rep high weight exercises
carried over to high rep exercises.
Example: you have gotten to the
point of being able to do a rep
or two of dips with 200 pounds
strapped on, would that strength
carry over to being able to do,
say, fifty reps of bodyweight
dips? etc.

I absolutely love the idea of getting
dinosaur strong but I also would like
to be able to do these motions all
day at lower weight if I needed to.
For example a farmer wouldn't be worth
much if he could carry a 500 pound
"weight" in each hand, but couldn't
carry his five hundred 50 pound bales
to his  barn.

So if I want both types of strength,
would just the super heavy training
carry over well enough, or would it
be better to train HARD with heavy
weight one week and train HARD to
the point of absolute failure the
next? Or more clearly, what is the
best way to achieve both?

Thank you for your help,
Blake Rosenbaum"

Blake -- Thanks for your question.
I'm sure many readers have wondered
the same thing.

The answer lies in something called
the specificity principle.

If your goal is to be super strong
for low reps -- or for single rep
efforts in competition -- you need
to perform low reps with heavy weights
in your training.

If your goal is to do be able to
high reps with lighter weights --
or to perform high reps in bodyweight
exercises -- then you need to focus
on that kind of training.

In my experience, there's little
carry-over from low reps to high reps
and vice-versa. If you train for X,
you develop X -- and if you train for
Y, you develop Y. Training for X does
not develop Y.

The more difficult question is how to
achieve both the low rep strength and
the high rep strength (which is better
described as "muscular endurance").

You have several possible options:

1. Alternate between low rep workouts
and high rep workouts -- for example,
low reps on Mon, high reps on Wed, and
low reps on Friday. This works well for
many trainees.

1A. Do NOT try to do three heavy, low
rep workouts and three high rep workouts
in the same week -- that's way too much

2. Train on low reps (or on high reps)
exclusively until you've achieved a
high level of success, and then train
exclusively on the other. Some trainees
prefer to do this -- and it works well
for them.

3. Build low rep strength with heavy
training, and finish your workouts with
finishers -- such as the farmer's walk
and the sandbag carry. This will help
you build high levels of strength and
muscular endurance at the same time.
This is the approach I detail in my
books and courses, and it works great.
See Dinosaur Training, Strength, Muscle
and Power and Gray Hair and Black Iron
for details.

To everyone -- thanks for reading,
and have a great day -- and a great
week. If you train today, make it a
good one!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. For more about those Dino-style
workouts, grab these power packed training




P.S. 2. My other books and courses are right


P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Set your goal,
plan your strategy, and do the work."
-- Brooks Kubik