When digging a little deeper into what it takes to get stronger, we run into the question of how many repetitions does it take to make us stronger? This is perhaps one of the most often debated and misunderstood parts of strength training. Repetitions first and foremost are the most important parameter in a well-designed strength program outside of resistance or intensity.
The amount of time and resistance under which the muscular system has to perform ultimately dictates what the training response is. Those training responses include changes in size, strength and/or endurance. The closer to a 1 Rep Max (RM) or the maximum weight a person is able to move under control for a single repetition, the greater amounts of strength we see. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if we lift with lower weights, we can either train strength endurance or hypertrophy. Before you categorize yourself into what you want to do and where you want to go, understand that all of them are important.
One of the fundamental pieces of strength training is intensity. Intensity is the number of repetitions that you can perform in a single set in relation to your 1 RM. The higher the number of repetitions with a lower weight, the lower the intensity. Our recipe to build strength is to consistently lift above 70% of our 1 RM, or in other words, lift with a relatively high level of intensity. One of the ways we help you achieve intensity is by adding tempo.
This formula of tempo, intensity, and rep ranges comes together so that in a given rep range, say 5-7, we dial how much weight you will use. With this, you will lift with a weight that you can achieve at least 5, but no more than 7 reps. Your final repetition, so long as it is the range of 5-7, will be a near maximal effort and will be in the right intensity range for that phase of your training. This is incredibly important: you are not just going through the motions, you are continually lifting with INTENSITY.
We use rep ranges in moveSKILL so that everyone develops high levels of strength, strong connective tissues, and significant work capacity. Marry these concepts up with great mechanics and you will build amazing levels of strength and resilience. Enough sitting around, get up and move!
James Hein- moveSKILL.com