The rep ranges, from 3 to 6 for strength training, could have been pulled from any number of textbooks. the difference being that textbooks are giving you the information IN CONTEXT. A chart on a wall representing blanket guidelines for the whole concept of "strength training" is a real pisser to me to and this kind of thing causes more confusion than almost anything else.
These ranges all come down to a couple of factors. The first is the word "optimal". I HATE the word optimal. Optimal is like duct tape, man. Sure it "works" in a pinch but it ain't permanent. It frays around the edges and when you go by what is supposed to be optimal your training ends up looking like your old duct-taped bench…screwed up.
It is also an expression of the ranges that are most commonly used. In olympic lifting 1 to 3 reps is standard business. Unfortunately, for those of us who practice primarily the slow lifts, it is not. But you will get different recommendations from different sources and the thing that MUST be recognized it that it is all JUST RECOMMENDATIONS. It isn't truth or fact.
I think maybe people get the idea that certain practices are more prevalent than they are because of the internet. For instance Westside and its propaganda machine would make it seem like everybody is doing similar things. But really only a small fraction of those that are engaged in strength training do any one thing. There is a whole world of trainees out there and it is a BIG world.
To me, like you, singles seems like the definition of maximal strength training. But this is not really a common viewpoint!
I remember a few years back an article by Steven Plisk where he talked about how the ways that Olympic lifters train the snatch and the clean and jerk should be emulated in general. He was actually talking some revolutionary stuff. At the same time look at how, much of the time, olympic lifters training the assistance lifts like squats…3 reps and up.
Not that lower rep ranges for the slow lifts is unheard of but I think it is a symptom of this when something like Dinosaur training, with all it's flaws, can seem revolutionary and exciting simply by virtue of incorporating much higher intensities.
No matter whether you are a rank beginner or an advanced man seeking the ultimate in strength and development: the number of sets and repetitions you use or will be using in your training will be a source of aggravation and discussion
- Anthony Dittilo
Two minute rest periods for strength? Yeah, read the post Joe mentioned. That's just asinine like Joe said.