Max Reps: Are they necessary to build strength?

Max reps: Are they necessary to build strength?
Strength is something that can be defined in many different ways. The goal of a powerlifter is to lift the heaviest weight possible. Bodybuilders lift heavier in the off season primarily to build mass in their muscles for competition. But what if you are not interested in being a powerlifter or a bodybuilder? What if you don’t feel comfortable using a lot of weight when you are training? Does this mean you cannot build strength?
Fear not. You too can build a more practical and functional strength without having to do max reps. Even in the kettlebell community some organizations program their pupils to do max reps with Turkish get ups, presses and other kb exercises. In my opinion there really is no need for that. What good does doing one rep of a Turkish Get up do? If you are not a powerlifter or bodybuilder, why are you doing max reps? When it boils down to it, its more about stroking your own ego. Not only that, you are putting yourself at risk!
At 46 years of age, my body doesn’t snap back like it used to. I have to train smarter. When people start trying to do too much weight, then it often leads to injury.
Let’s take the Turkish Get Up for example. I feel you are losing a ton of benefits of this movement when your goal is to do max reps. The TGU is one of the best full body exercises anyone can do. If you it the Kettlejitsu way, there is not a muscle missed in this exercise! In my classes, we drill each individual movement that makes up a TGU. Then, we drill the whole movement for rounds. Who do you think is stronger? The person who can do one Turkish get up with a 40kg kettlebell. Or someone who can do 3 x 3-minute rounds of an alternating get up with a 16kg bell? The latter person has a much more functional strength.
So, are max reps necessary? No, they are not. Don’t be fooled by organizations that force you to use a lot of weight. You can build functional and practical strength by doing compound, full body exercises with a lower, safer weight!

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