Quality reps

By | May 24, 2017

I’ve been reading Calvert’s Super Strength and it really has me thinking about quality reps. It started with his description of the pull over. Don’t count reps—don’t focus on anything but the movement. Also he says a few things about exercising versus training. The pullover with 30 pounds in exercising. Attempting a pullover with something like 50-70 pounds is training.

But this kind of thing has been on my mind in general. Ultimately you’re developing the deep skill in a few key exercises, like squats, deadlifts, swings, pull ups, presses and so on. As you persist in doing these movements, ideally you are increasing you’re awareness of the movement—and making improvements in its execution. That might be finding a better path, “corkscrewing” your shoulder better, improved positioning, learning how to contract more muscles, and so on.

For that brief moment of doing the set, all your energy is directed into the execution of the movement—no distractions.

A lot of impressive pictures in the book. The amount of weight some of these old timers could handle is so impressive. Their body’s are super well-balanced.

It’s a different perspective, though, with them. I get the sense that their minds were always very even and focused during the movement. They didn’t overdo their training. Very attuned to their bodies. Definitely a huge focus on the nervous system. Concentration.

It’s hard to fathom holding over 300 pounds overhead with one hand. There’s an impressive degree of mastery with that kind of feat. That comes from quality reps. Not the reps where you’re not sure if you will be able to succeed, or the reps where you struggle to finish. Smooth, powerful, intentful reps. Going deeper and deeper into the movement. Just this groove in your nervous system that knows exactly how to coordinate your body.

Author: Justin Qualler

Justin Qualler is that rare animal who balances an active life—he's both a full-time technical writer and devoted family man—with a level of fitness that takes a back seat to none. Justin's convinced that everyone can make optimal health and strength a default setting in their life.