Rep Range For Power Vs Density
by Steve Holman, Iron Man Magazine
Q: I just got the e-book Size Surge and am anxious to start Phase 1’s three-days-per-week program. I have many of your other e-books, and you talk about getting both power and density to max out size—but the Size Surge Phase 1 workout has all exercises in the seven-to-nine rep range. Don’t I need higher reps for density too?
A: The true power rep range is four to six. With the seven-to-nine range you’re getting some density effects for a bit of stimulation in the sarcoplasm. That said, you’re still primarily emphasizing the power component, as you pointed out. Nevertheless, that can work amazingly well for a four-to-six-week phase, as Jonathan proved on the original Size Surge program, gaining 20 pounds of muscle in 10 weeks. [Find his before and after photos at www.SizeSurgeWorkout.com.]
If you want to try it with a more balanced power-density approach, try this: At one workout for each bodypart you do straight sets too emphasize power more. You also include end-of-set X-Rep partials to push growth-fiber activation higher. The delt routine looks like this:
Dumbbell presses (X Reps) 2 x 7-9
Dumbbell upright rows (X Reps) 2 x 7-9
Then at the next workout for that bodypart during the week you do drop sets and multirep rest/pause—20 seconds between sets—for a density effect:
Dumbbell presses (R/P) 1 x 9(6)(4)
Dumbbell upright rows (drop) 1 x 9(6)
To perform a drop set, you do a set that takes you to exhaustion at around rep nine, then reduce the weight and immediately perform another set to exhaustion—reaching it around rep six.
For multirep rest/pause, a.k.a. DoggCrapp training, you do a set to exhaustion, failing at rep nine; rest 20 seconds, and then do it again to exhaustion, failing at rep six; rest 20 seconds, and then do one last set to exhaustion, getting three to five reps. Notice that all three sets are to exhaustion with only 20 seconds of rest between them, which is different from 4X, in which only the last set is all out.
Doing power-density-mix training three days a week is a great way to get a blast of new mass.
Editor’s note: Steve Holman is the author of many bodybuilding best-sellers and the creator of Positions-of-Flexion muscle training. For information on the POF videos and Size Surge programs, visit www.X-Rep.com for information on X-Rep and 3D POF methods and e-books.