Want to build strength while also burning fat to lean down?
Then you need to find a workout design that allows you to lift heavy with compound exercises as you limit your rest and move back and forth between moves.
It will mean using fewer reps each round, while maintaining that heavier weight for volume.
This is why you’d want to use Rep Capped Circuits!
Below is an article and workout from my Training Black Book.
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How Rep Capped Circuits work:
Because Rep Capped Circuits have no set number of reps per round or number of sets to do, you pick the max weight for the rep range you want to work in and start with that.
So if you want to work more on maximal strength, you may choose a weight you can only do for 4-5 reps to start. Hypertrophy maybe 8-12. Strength endurance 15-20 even.
You will then set a rep “cap” or the total volume you want to do for each move over the workout. (If maximal strength is your goal, the volume may be slightly lower than the others because you are using heavier loads the entire time.)
Start by doing the max reps you can perform of that move with the weight you’ve selected. Then move on to the next exercise and do the same.
After completing all exercises in the circuit for the maximum amount of reps you can, you go back to the first move.
You then keep the same weight and do as many reps as you can again.
Every round you keep the same weight, even if the reps decrease each round until you’ve completed the total volume for each move that you set.
Instead of lowering weights to maintain the same number of reps like you traditionally do when you fatigue, instead here you lower the reps to maintain the same weight.
(Of course, you want to make sure you’ve selected a weight that does allow you to maintain proper form!)
If you finish one move in the circuit before the others, which often happens, you will keep alternating the others until all reps are complete.
When to use Rep Capped Circuits:
If you want to build strength with circuits that will fit your busy schedule, Rep Capped Circuits are the way to go.
You will also increase your work capacity by continuing to use the same weight for the entire volume.
This circuit set up is better for advanced exercisers comfortable with form who are ready to handle heavier loads and harder variations for volume.
It can also be used when either weight lifting or using bodyweight moves but works better with compound and hybrid moves than isolation exercises.
This can also be a great small group training workout as clients can go at their own pace between moves, using the weights they need to complete their personal rep ranges.
(If you really wanted, you could even use this set up for a great CARDIO workout with bodyweight moves that even beginners would love!)
Looking for some ways to use Rep Capped Circuits? Try this workout below!
The 40s Rep Capped WORKOUT
Complete 40 reps of each move. Advanced exercisers will pick a variation or weight that only allows them to complete 5-8 reps at a time. Beginners will pick a weight that allows them to complete 9-12 reps at a time. Each round complete the maximal amount of reps you can, then move on to the next exercise in the circuit. Complete as many rounds of the circuit as needed to complete all 40 reps of each move. As you finish a move, just continue to cycle between the other exercises until all are complete.
40 reps Deadlift
40 reps Push Ups
40 reps Goblet Squats
40 reps Pull Ups
40 reps Kettlebell Swings
40 reps Dip Hold Leg Raises
Want to learn more about workout design?
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