Amount of reps

i am not seeing any improvements in my lower body strength with the lower reps i am doing. i follow the tuffcuff phase 4 template but i am doing 4x3 for squats and deads which i have added. i saw great results out of the 3x8. i’ve been doing lower reps for 2 months in weight training at school and im just not seeing results.

do you think i should go back to the 3x8 or follow phase 4 exactly as it is. my weight training class ends tomorrow so i will be able to do whatever.

Muscles adapt very quickly. The concept that you should only lift heavy with low reps to make gains is flawed. It is very taxing on a muscle group to lift close to your max every single week. The muscles tend to adapt to the stress of the heavy lifts and do not have ample time to grow. Instead, leave “something in the tank” the first few weeks as increase each week… see below.
ry this approach. For the next 4 weeks, squat or deadlift 5 sets of 5 reps starting at 60% of your 1RM (one rep max) - Increasing the weight by 5% with every set. So for example - week one should have 5 sets consisting of 60%, 65%, 70%, 75%, and 80% of your 1RM. The next week, increase the weight to 65%, 70%, 80%, 85%, and 90% and so on, increasing by 5% each week.

By week 4, you should be able bust through that plateau and make those gains.

This way, your muscles are not completely taxed every week and are more inclined to grow and build strength.

I actually find that low rep sets are incredibly taxing to the central nervous system, but not that taxing on the actual muscles themselves. I’m rarely sore from doing heavy 5x3 squats, but a high rep set of 8-10 and I’m guaranteed some moderate soreness at least for the next couple days

I agree that high weight is tough of the central nervous system too…but soreness does not necessarily indicate you will be gaining strength.

If you do either (hi reps or low) all the time, your muscles will not grow and your strength will not increase as quickly as switching things up or staggering your weight totals like I mentioned in my previous post.

What percent of 1RM are you doing?

I know some workout programs with the goal of increasing maximal strength don’t count any set if isn’t at least 75% of the 1RM.

Also other things that could indicate issues are -

How do you feel in general after a workout? You shouldn’t feel completely gassed after workout that is designed to improve maximal strength.

Are you doing other strenuous metabolic conditioning as part of your workout? I ask this since doing so can interfere with absolute strength gains. There was an interesting post the other week on T-Nation about how many athletes who wanted to get stronger were going overboard with the metcon work. The T-Nation post is included as a link to this post from Tony Gentlicore (somehow associated with Cressey Performance).

Anyway - there seems to be multiple answers to your question. I just don’t know which one is best.

How old are you?

i am 17 years old