So You Want To Be Strong

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So you want to be strong. Being as strong as a horse and moving mountains is the thing for you, then you’re in the right place. Welcome to the Powerhouse!!! Here in the PowerHouse we explore the aspects of strength and how to get stronger! Weather you’re a bodybuilder, powerlifter, sports athlete, or just interested in building for yourself, we will have something here for you. Learn new workouts, techniques, and or exercises here!

Strength and the Rep Range:

When you get into training for strength it goes beyond just going to the gym, picking up some weights, doing some reps and going home. The one thing you must know about training for strength is it has to be done in a specific rep range. Training in different rep ranges will provide much different effects on muscles. The way someone trains can be the difference of if they look like a runner, bodybuilder, or strength athlete. Depending on your method of training, it will either affect your neurological system or your metabolic system or both. Since this is an article about strength we want to focus on the rep range that will help provide us with the most "bang for our buck" strength wise.

When your training for strength you want to focus more on the neurological effect your muscles will get from training. By focusing more on the neurological response you get from training your muscles will learn to recruit more muscle fibers to do work. By recruiting more muscle fibers to do work you also create more coordination between muscle groups. However because your working the neurological system more the response comes more from adaptation of the nervous system. This means there is less metabolic response in muscle cells, so they do not enlarge. This is why if you ever watch Olympic weightlifting or some strength events, the athletes don’t "look" as strong as they are.

So the question is, what rep range will give us this effect? Well technically there is not a distinct number for where one training stimulus ends and the other begins. On certain rep schemes training responses even overlap so that is why we try to work in a rep range. The best rep range for developing strength and power is the 1-5 rep range. This rep range is the best for developing strength and power. This rep range however will also produce the least amount of muscle hypertrophy (enlargement). If you are looking for a little more hypertrophy then you should be working in the 5-7 rep range. In this range you will still develop some good strength and a little more muscle hypertrophy. If you start doing reps higher than this however you start moving in the bodybuilding range of repetitions. This will start to focus the response away from strength and more towards muscle hypertrophy because the response becomes less neurological.





Strength Rep Range Chart

Rep Range:1-5

Percent Max Poundage:85-100%

Rep Range:5-7

Percent Max Poundage:80-85%

Rep Range:6-8

Percent Max Poundage:75-85%

Rep Range:7-9

Percent Max Poundage:70-80%

Strength & Power, little hypertrophy

Training Effect- Neural

Strength & some Power, some Hypertrophy

Training Effect- Neural & Slight Metabolic

Strength & Hypertrophy

Training Effect- Neural & Metabolic

Hypertrophy & some Strength

Training Effect- Metabolic & Slight Neural

Wrapping things up:

A strength and power training program consists mainly of highly complex exercises because of the "central" nervous system adaptation. All of these training factors together cause a cumulative effect on the muscle fibers. This effect causes the fibers to have a characteristic transformation to fast twitch. These adaptations all go together to cause some serious changes in the force/velocity curve and the resulting strength and power changes in the lifter.

Strength and power come mostly from neurological response to training. The higher the neurological response that is produced the more strength and power that can be developed. The best rep range for producing this response is the 1-5 rep range. If you are looking for a slight increase in muscle than a strength training range of 5-7 may be more appropriate for your goals. Just remember, less reps and higher weight load equal more strength.

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All articles on this site are authored or co-authored by Jarueba Taylor. They are the copy written  property of Taylored Nutrition.