As many of you know I used to compete in powerlifting. My main goal was to increase my bench press, squat and deadlift. I didn’t care about anything else but that. The result? Injuries and lack of muscular gains. I know plenty of other people who went through and still go through the same. Am I telling you not to try and increase your strength? Absolutely not! I am just saying there is no need to go extremely heavy in the 1-3 rep range. All this does is put unnecessary stress on your body and joints.
So how heavy should you go? The heaviest I will have my clients and myself go is 5 reps. To me anything less than that gets a bit too heavy and you see less muscular gains. The majority of my clients are just trying to look awesome and feel awesome. They aren’t training for a powerlifting meet or athletic events. If you are, obviously that is a different story.
If you are worried about not gaining strength, don’t be! You can easily gain a ton of strength in the 5-10 rep range. Just focus on progressive overload. Here is one I love to do and I put in clients programs a lot. Let’s use the DB neutral grip bench press as an example.
Week 1. DB Bench Press: 3×5 100 pounds
Week 2. DB Bench Press: 3×6 100 pounds
Week 3. DB Bench Press: 3×7 100 pounds
Week 4. DB Bench Press: 3×5 105 pounds
So with this you increase a rep every week and then on the 4th week increase the weight 5 pounds going back to the reps from week 1. This is a very simple and effective way to get very strong.