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Old 08-06-2011, 08:33 AM   #6
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 9
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Default Re: Strength training questions

Originally Posted by MrSmall View Post
Weighted or not weighted doesn't magically mean you have to change the rep ranges to get benefit.

The OPTIMAL for strength training is 1-5 reps, but does that mean you can't get very strong doing 6-20 reps on some things? Of course not. If you can do 20 one armed pushups with 20kg on your back, will you not get strong? Should you only do 5 because that's "strength training"?
Don't get caught up too much in the reps. HOWEVER, there should be a good chunk of your training time taken up by heavier, lower rep work. It is lower rep because you can't DO more reps, not because you are just doing less because your plan says so. So in response to your questions, add some weight and see how you go. When its bodyweight stuff, and similar movements its difficult to overload them too much, hence why dumbells and barbells are very useful in this. What's easier - to load up 100kg on the bench press, or balance 40kg on your back in an evenly distributed manner for pushups? That's why most bodyweight stuff is higher rep. But as I said, if you are doing 20 knuckle decline pushups, and in 2 months you can do 20 of them with a 20kg backpack on, you will be stronger. But on the pullups, for example, since they are easier to hang some weight off you, and nail something HEAVY that you can't do more than 5-6 reps with, that will be a great strength builder. Plyometrics are also a good way to get stronger and more explosive using bodyweight and without resistance.
A struggle is not necessary for you to get stronger, but if you are getting tired and have to work for it, do so, why not! But you don't have to AIM for that or think you are wasting your time.
Anything else, let me know, not sure if I was a bit vague.
Cheers for the reply, vague or not you've raised some very good points. I do agree with you in that strength gains are not dependent on smaller rep ranges. However, although most bodyweight exercises are done in the higher rep range, is it not more useful and efficient (at least i think so, I may be misguided) to do say 5 chin ups with a 20kg dumbell added weight or 20 bodyweight chin ups? (Time saving is one of the main reasons I am considering upping the difficulty with added weight, since I can get more done in a shorter amount of time)

You mentioned the one arm push ups. I have always thought about training in order to do the one armed variety of chin ups and push ups, but was afraid that too much time would be spent on trying to learn a new skill that could be spent on increasing reps or difficulty for the two armed conventional types. Would you recommend learning how to do them?

And I do agree with you on the advantages of efficiency and safety of weight training (if done properly of course). I do aim to join a normal gym to work on strength training as soon as my uni work slows down, however in the meantime, it is just more convenient and cheaper to work out at home.

In relation to the pylometrics, I do burpees, clap push ups, jump squats and step jumps in intervals (I'm assuming that is the best way to perform them). Are there some other exercises that you might be able to recommend? Oh and should pylometrics be performed to failure (whilst not sacrificing form)?

Once again, thanks for reading my post and giving a reply
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