Fast Repetition Workouts

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Fast Reps to Build Muscle

One variable that is overlooked by most bodybuilders is repetition speed. Most trainers will advise their clients to go slow and steady. This means you're contracting the working muscles with as much force as possible.

Although this is good advice, you still have the potential to achieve more from your workouts, to get seriously ripped and attain a lean physique. This is possible through using “fast rep workouts”, moving from a slow to a fast method of training through your whole programme.

How Fast Should I Rep?

The speed of each rep workout is determined by the number of reps and the weights being lifted. Another factor is the fatigue level on the muscle that's being trained. Most reps are done in a controlled and slow manner, around two seconds for the negative and two seconds for the positive.

As you lift heavier, there is more muscle fatigue and with this, the positive rep will normally take longer while the negative rep accelerates as if you're dropping the weight. In general, the typical speed for every rep is about three to four seconds. However, you need to move out of your comfort zone and workout at a faster speed than the normal three to four seconds per rep for two main reasons -

1.     Explosive Reps

As you complete the positive element of your reps faster than one second, you activate your fast-twitch muscle fibres to a greater degree. These muscle fibres produce the most muscle force or power. They produce the greatest strength and have the highest growth potential, which ultimately is what we're looking to exploit.

The slow-twitch fibres, are the other type of muscle fibres that are mainly involved during slow reps. Although they have a higher endurance capacity, they have a slow growth rate, which means results will be slower than with the fast-twitch muscle fibres.

2.     Power of Speed

Fast rep workouts increase the speed at which your muscles can move a certain weight. The quicker you can move a weight, the more power you possess. Power is extremely important when it comes to muscle growth with fast rep workouts as you need explosive power to lift the weights quickly. Therefore, once you increase your overall power, your strength will also increase significantly. You'll be able to push and lift heavier weights at faster speed, which translates to more muscle fibres being activated, therefore more growth.

According to various studies, the best method for fast rep workouts is picking a weight that you are able to lift for around 30 reps, and with this method you should only do three to five reps per set with that weight. Although it might seem too easy to produce any significant results, it is important if you want to keep fatigue levels low.

If you are working out with fast reps and then you do too many, you are bound to compromise your speed. On top of that, it might lead to injuries. Use explosive power to perform each rep and ensure that you finish the positive rep as soon as possible. In a controlled and slow manner, return the weight to its starting position.

My Opinion

Fast rep workouts are the perfect trick if you want to see faster results in muscle growth. It activates fast-twitch muscle fibres that have a higher potential of growth. The idea is to set your weights in such a way that you can complete a selected set as fast as possible.

Whilst I'm an advocate of fast rep workouts I'm also aware that this is all you should do to obtain your ultimate goal.  Personally I'd do one of two things, either a) run the fast rep workouts as a cycle, like you would for bulking or cutting, or b) run this type of training in parallel with your normal lifting routine of heavier weights for less reps, thus giving you the benefits of both methods – strength, size and power!

About the Author

Kevin Hodges founded the Crazy Gain website just over a year ago with the goal to make its visitors stronger, fitter and healthy people.  Making a change isn't a short term decision, it's a lifestyle choice that you have to put effort into to make it work.  For many, supplements play a big part of training and recovery so why not make sure the products you choose are as clean and healthy as possible?

To find out more click here to check out one of the available articles on fitness, healthy living or muscle building.

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