Personal Trainer Tips: Low Reps, Heavy Weights

How To Maximize Strength and Muscle Development

If strength and muscle gains are your goal, read ahead and discover why low rep, heavy training may benefit you!

The ‘low reps, heavy weights’ scheme is a brilliant way to maximize strength and increase muscular
development. Low reps can range anywhere from 1-5 reps, and heavy weights refer to sub-maximal
loads greater or equal to 80% of your 1 Rep Max in a lift. This means that on each work set, you lift
close to your heaviest weight for that exercise, for a maximum number of 1-5 reps.

Maximal Strength

‘Low reps, heavy weights’ are a great way to train for maximal strength, as they allow you to handle
the heaviest weights you can. By lifting heavier and heavier weights every workout, you keep
increasing your maximal strength.

For maximum strength and power performance, it is as important to strengthen your ligaments and tendons, as it
is to strengthen your muscles. Training with heavy weights allows for this by building up strength in
your muscles, ligaments, and tendons, all at the same time.

With a heavy weight on the bar, you either use proper form and acute concentration, or you miss
the lift. Thus, the ‘low reps, heavy weights’ scheme reinforces two crucial elements of a serious
strength training program: perfect form and intense concentration.

Muscle Mass

‘Low reps, heavy weights’ are excellent for packing on muscle mass as well, as they activate all types
of muscle-fibers in your body. The heavy weights force your body to recruit both the bigger fast-
twitch muscle-fibers, and the smaller slow-twitch muscle fibers. Therefore, the this method can be an important asset even for those looking to train primarily for muscular development rather than strength.


Believe it or not, lower rep heavy training is also extremely efficient at giving your muscles that
attractive ‘toned’ look. The heavier weights create a higher tension in your muscles, enabling them
to look harder and thicker. Thus, by including heavy days in your program, you’ll see your muscles
get toned, giving you an overall impressive physique.

So unleash your full physical potential by going ‘low reps, heavy weights’. If powerlifters do them,
NFL superstars do them, and Arnold did them –why shouldn’t you? Set up, get tight, and lift heavy!