Will lifting @ 6 sets for 5 reps for extended periods due to increased volume develop more muscle size rather than strength?
Should 6 sets be used rather cautiously therefore?

Depends on the exercise, intensity and density. In general, there will be greater non functional hypertrophy than with 2/3’s.

dave w, what about clean pulls or snatch pulls do you advise going with slightly higher reps?

Thanks David,

I’m thinking 3-4 exercises: Squat, Deadlift, PCleans etc.
With 120 secs rec. x3 a week

I wouldn’t do high reps with pulling movements. THe lower back will fatigue b4 the hips and with the cleans form will deteriorate.

I always prefer to increase volume through sets. In strength training circles certain set/rep schemes are quoted as gospal, e.g. 4x8r, 5x5r, 6x3r. Don’t restrict yourself. Providing intensity and density are manipulated accordingly you can generate great stimulae with much higher sets, e.g. 8x3r, 12x2r, 15x1r. Volume is then attained at a a decreased relative intensity but a higher absolute intensity which leads to greater functional and neural adaptations. Overtraining through increased volume is actually extremely difficult to induce. I think Westside have acknowledged these points in their program design.

Interesting post,
I must try the 12x2 scheme sometime!

High reps for pulling movements would be anything over 5?

At the minute I move between 6x5 and 3x5

I get worried about going below 3 reps though because I feel generally my form goes out the window and that is a worry if you’re squating with 120 on your back!

i enjoy the 5x5r David suggested to me, its improved my strength 2 fold, with a 3 minute min rest between.

Max Respect David :-):karate:

Yes I think 5’s are the maximum you should do for any pulling movement from the floor. Note that unless you pause for >4s all reps apart from the first will benefit to some degree from a SSC.

Re: Lower reps

The restrictive assumption you’re making is that lower reps must mean greater loads. Lets consider two training programs:

A. 5x3r @ 100k off 3min
B. 12x2r @ 100k off 90s

What would you consider to cause most deterioration in technique? Even the bicep boys in my gym could get the answer to that. Strictness of form decreases with increased load or increased reps. Additionally cross over to maximum strength decreases as form deteriorates therefore by achieving volume through sets you reduce injury risk and maximise cross over to maximum strength. Often it is fatigue in synergistic muscles e.g. erectus spinae rather than the prime movers, that cause a breakdown in technique (this is why you don’t warm up with sit ups or crunches).

Lets also consider markers of training stimulus:

A = (5x3)x100 = 1500k
B = (12x2)x100 =2400k

A = 1500/(4x3) = 125k/min
B = 2400/(11x1.5) =145.5k/min

Of course I’m overlooking one vital point: Relative intensity increases with each rep in a set. THerefore:

(Assume 100k = 90%)

A. R1 = 90%, R2 ~ 92.5%, R3 ~ 95%
B. R1 = 90%, R2 ~ 92.5%

Therefore, as we would intuitively expect, A is more intense.

However, and this is much more difficult to quantify, relative intensity has a postive relationship with no. of sets and a negative relationship with length of recovery. Therefore:

A. S1, R1 = 90%, S5,R5 ~ 92%
B. S1,R1 =90%…S12, R1 ~ 95%