"Surf the Strength Curve to Greater Gains"

Surf the strength curve and enjoy all the benefits of strength and hypertrophy training.

High Reps Rock

A few posts ago, we talked about how lifting heavy all the time can be a "Highway to Hell," often leading to stalled progress, overtraining and injury.

We also showed how these roadblocks are easy to navigate when you lighten the load and switch-up your rep ranges. 

In short, high reps rock.

Not only will they help you increase the time your body spends under load, but they do something else really useful too: they help you surf the strength curve.


Surf the Strength Curve

But why would you want to do this? Why not just continue cranking out all your sets in the 6-10 rep range? 

Well, you could. In fact, you can't go far wrong by sticking with this range (you will continue to make gains).

But before you do, you should consider a couple of things:

  • Boredom is often the number one reason folks quit weight training. This is why switching things up every so often is a good thing as it helps avoid mental and physical staleness.
  • As we mentioned earlier, different rep ranges contribute to maximal growth. This is one primary reason why programs like 20-rep squats are so darned effective - not only do they target your muscles in a big way, but they also induce some serious metabolic stress!


Simple Surf Tips

So what's the simplest way to surf the strength curve? 

That's easy. Following your heavy set, switch gears and lower your load. 

By doing this, your body gets to enjoy ALL the stimuli of both strength and hypertrophy training. 

If you're searching for inspiration, then look no further than legendary lifter Tom Platz. "The Golden Eagle" used to squat with 400 pounds for 50 reps on his "heavy" leg day, then would squat with 225 pounds for 10 minutes straight!


Now, there are a handful of ways you can take advantage of this strategy. But here are two of the easiest you can try: 

    1. Simply drop your weights by 20% after your heavy set like we mentioned above. This will put you in the 15-20 rep range for your following sets.

    Or, 

    2. Alternatively, you can train one workout "heavy" and your next workout "light". For example, if you currently train 6-10 reps for your legs, next training session lower your load by 20% and ramp your reps to 15-20.



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