Benefits of high reps?

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
Are there any benefits that are unique to high rep training, like bodyweight squats for 100 reps or more or a calisthenics circuit for a high total volume?

Pavel T has written about capillary density and I've heard of people losing fat on such programs. Would there be an effect on heart health, connective tissue, immune function, etc?


Level 7 Valued Member
Rep count isn't as high, but here are Pavels articles on the topic:
Should You Train Your Slow Twitch Fibers? | StrongFirst
How to Build Your Slow Fibers, Part I | StrongFirst
How to Build Your Slow Fibers, Part II | StrongFirst
How to Build Your Slow Fibers Part III | StrongFirst

Here is his forum advice to do 100 bodyweight squats:
Pavel's lunges in MM
Bodyweight Legs Everyday for Pavel

Articles on high rep pistol training:
How to Program Your Way to 50 Consecutive Pistol Squats | StrongFirst
How to Build Up to 1 Pistol - Then 100 Consecutive Pistols | StrongFirst

@pet' would probably be the best person to answer because of his massive amount of experience in this area.

I've recently tried it out, and despite some early success, I've found that my legs feel tired and I am weaker in general.

But it feels great otherwise (better movement, more fluid joints, muscles look more full and athletic, etc...)


Level 5 Valued Member
Every now and then I train 15 to 25 rep sets (as opposed to 3 to 12 usually) and it seems to give hypertrophy and fat loss a bit of a boost, at least in the short term. The high volume of low stress reps also helps review technique.


Level 8 Valued Member

@the hansenator
Are there any benefits that are unique to high rep training
Yes there are benefits. Nonetheless, as always, it depends a lot on your goals. What are they ?

- Per se, this kind of training is based on massive amount of reps. So it will help you to burn some fat with a quite low impact in terms of fatigue and soreness.
- You will be able to train anywhere, anytime, with full body moves, so it will easily transfer to daily life.
- It will build a great endurance, whether we talk about muscular endurance or cardio-vascular endurance. Indeed, if you do your repetitions with short rest (for instance every 45 minutes), you will have a very frequent "boost".
- To a certain extent, it will build some strength, whether it is maximal or relative strength. However, this method of training quickly ends up with diminishing returns in terms of strength gains, so you only train endurance (which can be your goal and which can be very interesting as well). However, this kind of training protocol can maintain (but not necessarily increase) you maximal strength, or at least a very acceptable level.
- It will help you to dial your technique.
- It lead to a certain amount of hypertrophy.

As drawbacks:
- It can lead to joint issues because you the exact same thing everyday.
- It can be boring (but this is highly subjective)
- This is tough to make the training harder or to track the progression. To make it harder, you can: do the same amount of repetitions, but in a reduced time frame (for instance, doing the reps in the morning only, instead of the entire day) ; you can use harder variations.

To sum up, this method can be some kind of "compromise".

Kind regards,


the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member

@the hansenator

Yes there are benefits. Nonetheless, as always, it depends a lot on your goals. What are they ?
My goals are quite modest - I just want to be healthy, able-bodied and stronger and fitter than average. I have no expectations of running a marathon or impressing powerlifters with my deadlift or anything crazy like that.

william bad butt

Level 6 Valued Member
Personally, I train both high volume, high frequency and low volume, low frequency.

For heavy powrrlifts or big complex lifts like bench press, back squats, or deadlifts, I like lower frequency. Those heavy lifts take a lot out of me, so why do them often when I can get away with once per week lifting (lots of wear and tear). These lifts build absolute strength (at least the way I train them). I dont think high frequency is even an option for me. Right now, I alternate every other week for heavy squats and deadlifts (1 week squat, next week deadlift). And most would laugh at my definition of Heavy. Heavy for me is >70% 1RM. I still train the power lifts a 2nd day per week but usually that 2nd day is ultra light (40 to 50% 1RM). I'm a big believer in the "10/20/Life program", but I'm not going to say anymore about it because it's not a Strongfirst product. That being said, I've read and tried several of Pavels barbell products over the years. They are also high quality and they work.

But for kbell swings and snatches and presses, etc., I like higher frequency. 3+ times per week. These lifts dont beat me up as bad, if anything, they are more of a recharge. These lifts build relative strength, power, endurance, grip strength, while also acting as an accessory for the power lifts. They are great for my health.

I like finding this balance. I want it all. Strength and health. Daily deadlifting (heavy weights) works. I've tried it, it works. But I just dont want to do it, it would be like torture for me! Instead, I deadlift heavy once every 3 weeks (Heavy =70+%). I deadlift light weights 1 or 2 times per week. I do some accessory lifts 1 or 2 days per week (that buildup the deadlift). I barbell back squat (low bar placement, I only mention this because my squat looks like my deadlift, they build on each other). And I swing/snatch very often. My snatching builds my deadlift. All of these things build my deadlift. I could deadlift every day (high frequency) or I could do what I do. They both work, I just prefer the later. Other may prefer the former. There is no wrong answer, just incrementally add weight to the bar (or kettlebell or dumbbell or bodyweight excersise).


Level 3 Valued Member
I use high rep training (10 and above) for hypertrophy purposes and low rep training (less than 5) for strength training. All in the same program. I am increasing my weight on the powerlifts+OHP and treat them as benchmarks of my strength. I use the rest of exercises as ways to get there - either throgh skill training or hypertrophy (e.g., paused stuff for skill refinement and more isolation lifts for hypertrophy).

Kyle Kowalczuk

Level 4 Valued Member
If general conditioning is your goal and quality of movement then over 100 reps is manageable but a grease the groove style could work. Like sets of 10 through the day. This way you get high volume which has benefits such as hypertrophy with your form suffering. It will only get you so far though since there isn’t enough mechanical tension after you become efficient to build strength.


Level 8 Valued Member

After a while, once you become proficient with the move you practice, it becomes more of an habit than anything else.

To keep progressing, even if there is no "pretentiousness", you can choose harder variation to increase tension.

Another method I tested with pretty good results is to do only 3 or 4 sets, whenever you want to during the day, but extremely close to failure. It seems like the opposite of what we can read on SF but it works very well and is not taxing. I got this method from a Danny Kavadlo's article. I found the results to be the same than the regular GTG protocol.

To a certain extent, this method can save time because you do you stuff only 3 or 4 time during the day. This more "schedule-friendly".

Kind regards,

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