Increasing reps each workout instead of weights? Beginner.

Discussion in 'Basic Training Principles and Methods' started by OzWoden, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. OzWoden

    OzWoden New Member

    Dear Bryan,

    I want to know if I would be achieving a 'progressive load' by increasing repetitions each workout with a constant weight for say 2 week blocks (instead of the other way around) then after 2 weeks increase the weight drop the reps and increase each workout again etc (and if not why not)? Also, if it would, would there be any cons to this scheme versus the original?

    I guess I don't quite fully understand (even after reading the FAQ e-book cover to cover and all the articles on the main site) all the principles (I think it could be more the specific meaning of terms being used), particularly with respect to applying them:
    • Progressive load --- not quite sure about
    • Training volume --- not quite sure about
    • Training frequency --- makes complete sense
    • Conditioning (Repeated Bout effect)/Strategic Deconditioning --- makes complete sense

    Secondary question; almost everyone (and yes I know science is a democracy) suggests All Pros as the best beginner routine/program if hypertrophy is the goal (it is mine). For all intents and purposes I am a beginner.
    Should I use HST or All Pros or something different altogether for my first program? Again my goal is hypertrophy, in the fastest possible time whilst limiting fat (and yes I realise the fat issue is more of a nutrition thing and I have that sorted).

    Thanks in advance for any help and advice you can give.
  2. Sci

    Sci Well-Known Member

    If you are a beginner, do a full body workout three times week. Do as many sets as you can handle, but not too much were you burn out. Something like 3 sets of 10. When you can do all three sets of 10 reps, add weight next workout. Keep doing this until you stall out. When you can't add any weight to the bar for three workouts straight, you are no longer a beginner. Take a week or two off to deconditioning and then start a regula HST cycle, the way Bryan has it set up.
    Increasing reps is not the same as increasing load. LOAD = weight. Reps = volume = time under tension.
  3. OzWoden

    OzWoden New Member

    @Sci: Thanks for your input Sci. I think it was the definition of the various terms that was confusing me.
    Can I get some more input from others too.

    I had already planned to do a full body workout (hence considering HST & All Pros, and others) because the training frequency principle of HST makes so much sense (obviously due to the science backing it).
    My secondary question probably should have said "Should I use HST or All Pros or something different altogether for my first program and why?" Keeping in mind my goal is hypertrophy and I wouldn't mind either way if strength was a by-product or not.

    @Sci: I may be wrong, but the 3x10 increasing weights when I can suggestion seems to be strength focussed? Could I not use HST with more sets? Why wouldn't I want to use HST as a beginner?
  4. Sci

    Sci Well-Known Member

    If you are a pure beginner, you need to neurally learn how to lift, and regular linear strength progression will be superior to HST for at least a couple of months. As a beginner, your rep max will change almost every workout, or at least every week. HST is great for any level of training, but a novice needs to do at least a month or two of just learning lifting form and adding weight to the bar, before doing a periodized program like HST.

    After the novice phase, HST is the best program possible if your goal is muscle growth.
  5. OzWoden

    OzWoden New Member

    Thanks for replying again Sci.
    So basically I would just be doing the 10s every single week for a while first?

    What do you mean by 'periodized'?

    Also I have spent the last half hour looking through other threads, some other expert members don't appear to be objecting to complete beginners using HST.
  6. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    HST is fine for a beginner, but basically as a total beginner, you will make gains on anything. The thing about HST is the SD that is included. SD is probably not necessary for you since you are beginner. Likely, you could keep making gains and keep pushing for new PRs at the end of a cycle for weeks before you would need to rest.

    What the heck is All Pros? It must be crappy because I've never heard of it. I know a lot of big guys and nobody has ever mentioned it?

    And the idea that adding more reps is a type of progression is covered in the faq section somewhere. But basically, look at it this way. Adding reps (volume) means that you will be doing more and more reps as time goes on. There is an upper limit in how many reps you can do. Follow? You will never be able to do 1000 reps each workout, or anything crazy like that. So rep progression is finite. Load progression means adding more weight. Theoretically, load progression could be infinite. Obviously that's not actually true, but unlike with rep progression where workouts will become longer and longer until eventually you would always be lifting if you kept adding reps, load does not work that way. You can maintain rep count, roughly maintain the length of the workout but still be making progress by adding load.
    And then obviously increasing load is better for muscle growth than simply adding reps, the science proves that. But my explanation above is from a practicality standpoint. It simple is more practical to rely on load for progression instead of adding reps.

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