View Full Version : Why higher rep ranges for beginners?

05-24-2005, 07:37 PM
One of the recurring pieces of "wisdom" is that beginners have best results from higher rep ranges (eg 10) and that more experienced lifters have better results with lower reps (3-6)?
Is there a rational explanation for this "observation"? Can/should HST be tweaked to accomodate?

05-24-2005, 08:27 PM
read the FAQ's/this site.

05-24-2005, 08:33 PM
HST is already setup to accomodate this.

While beginners may see more growth during 10s, they will still see some growth during 5s anyway. 5s should help them build strength faster than they would if they just did 10s too. Just my opinion from what I've read so far...

05-25-2005, 08:13 AM
Quote[/b] (wimp_yee2 @ May 24 2005,6:37)]Is there a rational explanation for this "observation"?

should HST be tweaked to accomodate?
No, because it's not true. Beginners see growth from any rep range, high or low.

No, as it's not true.

05-25-2005, 09:11 AM
Okay, Bosox. I read the FAQ's again and found something relevant.
Is this what your citing?

Quote[/b] ]
People often make the mistake of overthinking this. It doesn't take much time for a given (effective) load to trigger signals inside muscle cells to start growing. In a sufficiently deconditioned muscle, only 1 set of 10-12 reps is sufficient to cause measurable anabolic changes.
However, the more you train, the more resistant your muscle becomes to the training stimulus. We've know this for years, and recently we have some good research to demonstrate it by measuring signaling molecules in trained and untrained exercisers after a single bout.
So, the first solution to the problem of becoming resistant to the lifting stimulus is to create a more potent stimulus by lifting more weight. You can do this until you reach your strength limits.
Another solution is to lift the same amount of weight a bit longer by doing more sets and/or reps. This works to a point, but soon (2-3 weeks) will fail to produce growth once again.

Perhaps it would be helpful in the future to provide a pointer to the relevant FAQ. That would be more constructive than assuming that people haven't looked.

05-25-2005, 03:04 PM
IMO, the main reason why it is recommended for beginners to use higher rep ranges is for safety. Going from not lifting at all to lifting heavy weights can be dangerous, especially if you don't have your form down. Lifting in the higher rep ranges when you first start out helps to safely prepare your body to be able to lift heavier weights in the lower rep ranges. Also, light weights are good for when you're trying to develop proper form because you're less likely to hurt yourself with a light weight than if you are maxing out.

Another point is that beginners don't need to use much weight to grow, since they are so deconditioned. Plus, when you're first starting out your poundages will increase rapidly as you get more accustomed to the movements. So even if you stay in the same rep range, you should still be able to increase the weight relatively frequently.

05-30-2005, 04:10 AM
Safety is part of the issue yes.

This has alot to do with motor learning and the learning cure. If the movement is fairly new the more time spent doing the movement with a resonable intensity will ensure proper learning. It can take us a short amount of time to adapt to something, however it takes us twice that time to learning how to fix something. This was stressed to a high degree in olympic weightlifting. If the lifter doesnt learn proper technique in the beginning it may be detrimental to his overal development and strength. They cant spend 4 months working on how to properly pull when all their competition is making progress during the 4 months.

Not only does it help with motor learning it will also elict a hypertrophy response no matter what.


06-01-2005, 12:28 AM
What Fortified and savagebeast says. *If you're a true novice, you don't need the heavy stuff to see a lot of growth. * But you probably should do at least 2 sets per exercise to learn the movements more quickly.