I’ve been really pushing my training lately with higher rep work. This has given me the opportunity to get innovative again with my exercise selection and creation. I love adding bands, chains, and different barbells into my training programs in ways that nobody else does. It helps to keep the workouts fun and the intensity high.
One guy I’ve been following for a while is John Meadows. He is the creator of the Mountain Dog Training system and is a beast at teaching people how to build muscle. His training is intense and involves a lot of higher rep training protocols.
One video of John’s that stuck out in my mind was his high-rep work with posterior dumbbell flyes. While we incorporate a ton of face pull and row variations in our training, it is rare that we go over 12-20 reps per set.
John, along with a recent post from Jim Wendler on 100 rep sets, has opened my eyes around a new level of pain and growth. You can generally build muscle three ways;
1. moderate-to-high weight and low-to-moderate reps, ex. 6-8 reps
2. moderate weight and higher reps, ex. 12-20 reps
3. low weight and super high reps, ex. 20-100 reps
While each have their own unique benefit and can stimulate muscle growth, the underlying principle of adaptation states that we must spend time in each zone (1,2,or 3) periodically if we hope to continue growing, i.e., this method of varying reps schemes within a workout and subsequently during the training week is referred to as undulating periodization.
In this video, you’ll see a unique posterior flye setup using elastic bands. I perform a dropset moving from a heavier dumbbell to a lighter dumbbell; while keep the band tension the same.
Some benefits we observed:
- High-intensity exercise
- Muscle building
- More intense eccentric phase – the harder you drive into the pull (posterior flye), the harder you have to decelerate the lowering of the dumbbell. This amplifies the muscle-building effect by increasing the intensity of the eccentric phase.
- Pain tolerance, mental toughness
You definitely won’t be able to do this with a heavy band. In fact, I would only recommend using the lightest band you have. This is a great exercise for supersetting with a row or pull-up variation.
Try it out and let me know what you think in the comments.