# Reps for squat and deadlift

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PeterP
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# Reps for squat and deadlift

Post by PeterP » Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:58 am

Hi all,

I've totally gone with the exrx.net rep suggestions for beginners and I also follow the low volume suggestion (1 warm up and 1 workout set). It suggests 8-12 reps to failure and increase the weight once you can achieve 12 reps. I'm considering smaller reps for squat and deadlift (will increase weight once I can achieve 8 reps). My (possibly incorrect) reasoning for this is because it seems like it's my heart, not my muscles that causes me to fail before 12 reps. My heart rate increases and I get very out of breath but I don't feel like my muscles are really worked to exhaustion. This doesn't happen on other exercises (e.g. when I do wide-grip chin ups I have to stop because my muscles simply won't pull me up ... but my heart is doing just fine and I'm not out of breath in the slightest).

What ramifications does such a decision carry with it? Is my reasoning sound? Is this normal for these exercises (squat and deadlift)? Do you experience the same thing (being limited by increased heartrate and being out of breath)? If not, what does this say about me and my conditioning? Should I keep trying to get to 12 to condition my heart?
Peter Parker
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Matt Z
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Post by Matt Z » Tue Jun 20, 2006 12:15 pm

It's normal to be a little winded at the end of a hard set. However, if your heart/lungs are failing before your muscles this is probably a sign you need to improve your cardiovascular conditioning. This tends to happen more on exercises like squats and deadlifts simply because they are so demanding.

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Post by Jeff D » Tue Jun 20, 2006 12:20 pm

I am the same way. Squats and deadlifts take alot out you, when i do higher rep sets my heart is just pounding so much afterwards and i feel so whipped i'd end up cutting the workout short. I would think its just normal cause they are such taxing exercises. What you're saying sounds good, about working up to 8 reps then adding weight. Eventually as you become a little more experienced you go even lower than that, like 3-5 reps.

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Post by Matt Z » Tue Jun 20, 2006 12:32 pm

I wouldn't recomend doing a low rep max every workout. This can be very hard on your body.

If you want to go to failure in every workout (or most workout), then either stick to higher reps or alternate between heavy (low rep) and light (high rep) workouts. That way you won't be lifting super heavy all the time.

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Post by Ryan A » Tue Jun 20, 2006 12:53 pm

You should get in better shape.

While it is normal to be winded and with a high heartrate, you should be able to finish the set without problem.

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TimD
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Post by TimD » Tue Jun 20, 2006 1:27 pm

From experience over the years, the 8-12 recommended for beginner's will work for a while, in both of the lifts. However, from what I've personally seen, the guys/gals into bodybuilding usually go with higher reps (10-15 range) in the squat, as they seem to believe the higher reps are better for hypertrophy, and Stay with a moderate to moderately heavy weight They also stay below or at 5 in the deadlift (if they even do the bent leg variety). but usually go with the higher reps again in the sldl movement, again for hypertrophy. It's also a great conditioner. The all out strength approach is to stay 5 or below in the squat
Personally, I like Bill Starrs approach, heavy-med-light conditioning. On heavy day work up to a 3-5 rep max,work up to 80% of that for 5 reps on a medium day (if used), and light day is 5X10 with a lighter weight, 1 min rest between sets. Kind of splits the difference.
Tim.

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Post by VoK » Tue Jun 20, 2006 1:42 pm

It may take some getting used to for doing 12 reps at once. I remember when I first started squatting, I had the same problem and I'd literally be dizzy by the end of the workout.

But if it is still too much for you, you might want to try a 5x5 to get your conditioning up.

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Post by Matt Z » Tue Jun 20, 2006 2:13 pm

I've noticed in recent years that many pro bodybuilders seem to think they're made of glass, and go to great lengths to avoid anything they believe increases their risk of injury. I'm not sure why this is, but it may explain the use of high reps with moderate weights, as well as over-reliance on machines, and techniques like pre-exhausting muscles prior to major compound lifts.

PS.) It may be that performance enhancing drugs make today's pro bodybuilders more succeptable to injury than natural atheletes, but that's just one theory.
Last edited by Matt Z on Tue Jun 20, 2006 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by leif3141 » Tue Jun 20, 2006 2:13 pm

I find that a set of lunges, 8 reps with each leg, is more taxing than squats on my heart just cause it takes twice as long. Or stepups, etc. MY heart doesn't seem to factor in to the equation till I put the bar down with squats, but often messes up my lunges or something.

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Post by Matt Z » Tue Jun 20, 2006 2:34 pm

I've also noticed many bodybuilders who perform standard deadlifts do them near the end of their back routines (after chins and rows) with moderate weight and higher reps.

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