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High Rep Training (HRT) is not a new complex concept, but seemingly, everyone forgets about it, including me. Before the lockdown, I had the luxury of working out in a fitness center equipped with weights heavy enough that I did not need to use the HRT method. In my estimation, HRT training consists of multiple sets of 25 or more rep sets using weights that are seemingly light enough that you can do many, many reps before muscular exhaustion.

Now, I would not advocate training like this exclusively. Heavier weights for moderate reps is the mainstay. However, this is an effective method to use when you aren’t training with heavier weights. 

To perform the HRT method, simply select a single-joint exercise or a bodyweight squat and complete as many reps as you can muster on the first set. After this set, you must rest for at least 45 seconds but no longer than 1 minute. Next, continue in this fashion and try to match the reps achieved on the first set in set number two. A lot of times, you might be able to get an equal amount of reps. However, it is human nature to get tired and worn down after HRT training on subsequent sets, so the sets preceding the last will usually be your best. That is perfectly fine if you give great technical effort in each rep and set.

For example, if I am doing tricep extensions, my logbook may read “Dumbbell Skull Crushers – 50 pounds x 45 reps, 35 reps, 25 reps” after I am done. I am using a weight that is light enough so I can train until muscular exhaustion, and then go again for all 3 sets. As long as all my reps were technically proficient, the work was done to elicit a proper stimulus to the target muscles and to improve mind-muscle connection, which basically refers to the ability to “feel” a target muscle lengthen and contract while you are doing an isolated exercise. 

So if you don’t have access to heavy weights, consider high rep training for muscular fitness gains.

By Dominick LaMorgia, HealthEase Fitness Professional