Tip: 3 New Rep Protocols for Gains

Trigger new muscle and strength gains with these overlooked set and rep protocols.

Still doing 3 sets of 10 reps? Still look about the same as you did last year and the year before that? Hmm, could those two things be related to one another?

Time to mix things up and trigger some new gains. Give these fresh rep protocols a shot.

Plate Raise

This is my "go to" whenever I'm just looking for a quick fix to bring a muscle group up rapidly. I always do these twice a week.

Your first question might be, "Is it okay to break up the set in order to get all 100 reps?" I normally say yes, but you're not supposed to. At the very least, plan to hit 100 reps and then break it up if you must. I've actually never seen someone truly hit muscular failure on barbell curls with the empty bar. They puss out. Period.

Here are some more lifts that work well with 100-rep sets:

  • Plate Raise: 100 reps (25 pound plate)
  • Barbell Curl
  • Trap Bar Shrug
  • Dumbbell Leg Curl
  • Split Squat (okay, on this one you can break up the reps)

The theoretical goal is to stimulate the fast twitch fibers then the strength-endurance fibers by splitting the drop sets into these rep schemes. Regardless of the theory, the scheme is solid.

Pick a weight you can do for 6 hard reps, then immediately strip the weight to something that allows you to hit 12. One more drop, and choose something that allows you to hit 20-plus reps.

This is the method I use in the second phase of the Super Soldier Program. It negates all the need for warm-up sets and squeezes top notch training sessions into a shorter amount of time.

You figure out what rep range you're going to use for the "set" – let's say it's 8 reps for presses in the Hammer Strength machine. Don't start with your 8 rep max though. Start lighter. You do 8 reps, then with almost no rest, you slap on a little more weight and do 8 reps. Right after that you slap on a little weight and do 8 reps. (You may be adding 10 pounds per side each round.)

Keep repeating this until you hit failure at or before 8 reps. Rest for 2-3 minutes, taking all the weight back off to the original weight and repeat the "set."