How to do more repetitions, increase your Strength endurance and get more work done

Welcome to this Article,
Today we will discuss the 3 most effective methods that teach you How to do more repetitions, increase your Strength endurance and get more work done.

In this article you will learn;

  • What strength endurance is
  • The benefits of increasing your strength endurance
  • The 3 most effective methods to learn how to do more repetitions
  • That strength endurance is not everything.

Let us get started!

Why would you want to improve your strength-endurance?

If you want to get the most out of your fitness and your exercises you should strive to master an exercise.

To master an exercise, you need to own and master the three main types of strength and apply them to the exercise.

The three main types of strength are:

  • Maximum strength; How strong you are
  • Speed strength; How powerful you are
  • Strength endurance; How many times you can perform the exercise until you are fatigued.

In other words, strength endurance teaches you to last longer.

And the longer you last, the more work you can do, the fitter you become!

many people make the mistake to only train their maximum strength,

Some even venture out to increase their power, or speed strength.

Yet not many people do all three.

If you do not train your maximum strength; you will be able to do a lot of nothing.

If you do not train your speed strength: You will be strong and can do lots of work, however none of it is useful.

If you do not train your strength endurance; You can do heavy work… for just a short time.

You do not want to be known as the 1-minute man, do you?

You do not want to be known as the 1-minute man, do you? Click To Tweet

But first, let us talk about the benefits of increasing your strength-endurance.

The benefits of strength-endurance

If you improve your strength-endurance your body, and mind will go through different changes, here are a few;

  • Your blood flow to the muscles will improve. This causes;
    • That your muscles will get more oxygen
    • The waste will leave your muscles quicker
  • You will become stronger much faster (if youcombine it with maximum strength and strength endurance.)
  • You can continue exercises or movement fora longer time. (Because you fatigue later.)
  • Your body in general, will become more efficient.

Now you might wonder; OK, I should improve my strength endurance, but how?

Well, the easiest way is to increase the amount of repetitions you do, while decreasing the rest times that you take!

The best methods to learn how to do more repetitions

There are many different systems that increase your strength-endurance.

Today we will focus on the easiest and most effective methods to increase the amount of repetitions that you can do.

Pyramid System

What is the Pyramid system?

In the pyramid system you will take an exercise and you will perform it in different sets that will either increase, or decrease repetitions every set.

The number of repetitions will continue to grow until you cannot reach the target, then it will go gradually back down to the amount of repetitions you started with.

For example;

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 (you cannot do 8 repetitions, so you go back down),7,6,5,4,3,2,1

You repeat this as many time until you cannot do 1 repetition in good form anymore.

How to do the pyramid system?

It is easy to do the pyramid system,

  • First decide the exercise that you want to do
  • Second decide the progression steps; will you increase 1 repetition every set, or 2, 3,5?
  • Step three; there is no step three, just do the exercise already!

Here are some examples for repetitions.

(Progression steps; 1 repetition, maximum repetitions 5, total repetitions done: 25)

1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1 – repeat

(Progression steps; 1 repetition, maximum repetitions 12, total repetitions done: 72)

2,4,6,8,10,12,10,8,6,4,2 – repeat

(Progression steps; 5 repetitions, maximum repetitions 25, total repetitions done: 125)


And so forth, you can make your own progression steps, depending on how many repetitions you can do already.

There are two tricks that make this system work:

  • Start with low repetitions, so that you have it easy when you go towards the lower repetitions.
  • Never actually go to failure. If you know that you will not be able to make the next set, then start on your way down!

You can of course also alternate between the progression steps to be able to do more work in the end,

Here is an example of an actual workout that I did;

Exercise: Push ups
Progression steps: 5,3,2,1
Timing per repetition: 2 seconds up, 1 second rest, 2 seconds down, 1 second rest.
Rest: 1 minute per set

Actual repetitions done:

Round 1: 5,10,15,20,25,30,35,30,25,20,15,10,5
Round 2: 5,10,15,20,25,20,15,10,5
Round 3: 5,10,15,10,5
Round 4: 3,6,9,6,3 (See that I switched to steps of 3 instead of steps of 5.)
Round 5: 3,6,3
Round 6: 1,2,3,4,3,2,1 (Switched to steps of 1)
Round 7: 1,2,1

This entire workout took a fair amount of time, in this workout I did;

  • 45 sets.
  • 44 minutes rest.
  • 474 repetitions that took 6 seconds each.
  • A total time of: 44 minutes rest+ 47.5 minutes workout = 91.4 minutes total.

Now this is a long workout, however I have also done a MASSIVE amount of workload in total!
A whooping 474 repetitions.

In actual weight moved, if you calculate that your arms will push about 75% of your body weight (I am only 60 kg, or 132 Lbs.) ;  21.330kg or  46.926 lbs.
This translates to an hourly work rate of; 14.002 kg or 30.940 lbs.
or in simpler terms: I lifted per hour 234 times my own body weight!

All I will say is: Try to get that hourly workload with a normal workout!

If I ever tried that with normal sets/repetitions I would never be able to do half of that!

The benefits of the pyramid system

The pyramid system has quite a few benefits, here are the most prominent ones;

  • You are able to do many repetitions.
  • It goes in waves of intensity, low to heavy, to low.
  • The repetitions on your way down will feel easy.

The downsides of the pyramid system

While the pyramid system is definitely a better system than normal sets x repetition workouts to increase your repetitions, it also has a downside:

  • You will fatigue much quicker than with the other systems that you can find in this Article, for example the Russian ladder system;
  • You need a long recovery period after your workout (a week is pretty decent.)



Total Endurance Gained 80%
Total Workload 90%
Intensity 90%
Effectiveness 70%

Russian Ladders

What is the Russian Ladder system?

The Russian ladder system is an alternative version of the Pyramid system,
This system allows you to have less low-repetition sets, while still allowing the same recovery and totaling more repetitions!

What this system does is it starts at a low intensity, then builds towards higher intensity. Then when you have reached your peak, you start all over at low intensity.

This system is great for all types of training, you can increase the intensity by adding higher weight to the exercises, or you  add more repetitions.

For our goal today we will use the Russian Ladder system by adding more repetitions.

How to do the Russian Ladders system?

Anybody can use the Russian ladder system, you can do this alone, although it works best with a partner for moral support, pressure but also for the timing of rest periods.

We will now explain both ways, (with a partner and going solo.)

With a partner:

  • Pick one exercise that you both want to improve on
  • Agree on a Step Progression (How many repetitions you will add each set.)

So let us say that we are going for pull ups. And the steps are 1 repetition at a time,

We start then at 1, and continue each set until one of you cannot do the repetition in good form. Then you start over at 1.
You alternate the sets, that means: Person 1 does set 1, then while person 1 rests person 2 does the set, then you go back to person 1 doing their second set, etc.

The biggest difference between a pyramid system and the Russian ladder system: Your rest time is only as long as the time that it takes your partner to do the repetitions.


Person 1: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10- (Start over) – 1-2-3-4-5-6- etc.
Person 2: – 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 (Start over) – -1-2-3-4-5-6 etc.

Once again the rest period between sets is only as long as the time that your partner needs to do his set.

By yourself:

To do this method effectively you need to make sure that you do every repetition at the same pace.
For example 2-1-2-1 timing, which means that you take 2 seconds to go up, 1 second hold at the top, 2 seconds to go down, 1 second rest at the bottom.

Using this timing means that every repetition takes 6 seconds total to perform, so you now have to calculate your rest times per repetition.

If you did the same set as above it would look like this:

1 Repetition – 6 seconds rest – 2 Repetitions – 12 seconds rest – 3 Repetitions – 18 seconds rest – 4 Repetitions – 24 seconds rest – 5 Repetitions– 30 seconds rest etc.

Here is an actual training day that I did;

Exercise: Push ups
Progression steps: 5,3,2,1
Timing per repetition: 2 seconds up, 1 second rest, 2 seconds down, 1 second rest.
Rest: 6 seconds per repetition done


Round 1: 5,10,15,20,25,30,35
Round 2: 5,10,15,20,25,30.35
Round 3: 5,10,15,20,25,30
Round 4: 5,10,15,20,25
Round 5: 5,10,15,20
Round 6: 5,10,15
Round 7: 5,10,15
Round 8: 5,10
Round 9: 3,6,9
Round 10: 3,6,9,12
Round 11: 3,6
Round 12: 1,2,3,4,5,6
Round 13: 1,2,3,4,5
Round 14: 1,2,3
Round 15: 1,2
Round 16: 1

Now as you see I got many more rounds in than I did with the pyramid system, however there are of course less repetitions per round because you only build up, and not down during the same round.

If we look at the total work done;

  • 45 sets.
  • 8 minutes rest.
  • 688 repetitions that took 6 seconds each.
  • A total time of: 68.8 minutes rest+ 68.8 minutes workout = 137.6 minutes total.

As you see this is a longer workout than with the pyramid system, but I also got much more work done!

I managed to do 688 repetitions in this workout, which is 214 more repetitions than I did with the pyramid system!

In actual weight moved, if you calculate that your arms will push about 75% of your body weight (I am only 60 kg, or 132 Lbs.) ;  30.960 kg or 68.122  Lbs. which is 9.630 kg or  21.207 lbs. more than the pyramid system
This translates to an hourly work rate of; 13.500 kg or 29.704 lbs. This is a total of 500 kg or 1236 Lbs. lower than the pyramid’s system’s score of 14.002 kg or 30.940 lbs.

Our conclusion:

Total repetitions in a workout: Russian Ladder system is better
Total time: Pyramid system is better(Shorter workout)
Fatigue: Russian Ladder is better
Total work done: Russian ladder is way better
Total workload per hour: Pyramid system is slightly better.

Overall I would say that the Pyramid system is better if you are low on time.
But overall the Russian ladder system is vastly superior.

The benefits of the Russian Ladders system

Here are the benefits of the Russian ladder system, you;

  • Get more work done than with any other system.
  • Will not get fatigued as fast as with the pyramid system
  • It is a proven system used by many different military institutions to train their cadets.

The downsides of the Russian Ladders system

The downsides are;

  • This training is very tough and you will need at least a few days recovery from this exercise.
  • If you do this by yourself, you need to calculate the resttime between the sets.


Total Endurance Gained 100%
Total Workload 100%
Intensity 80%
Effectiveness 80%

On the Hour

What is the On the Hour system?

The on the hour system is a system that will help you train your maximum repetitions in good form throughout the day.

This methodology comes out of the GTG (Grease the Groove) system from Pavel Tsatsouline who considers training a skill, and to become better at a skill you need to practice it often.

To adjust this method so that we can use it for our goal; To increase the total repetitions that you can do, we will do 1 set of a chosen exercise every hour.

This results in a massive amount of repetitions throughout the day, and will in the end increase the total repetitions that you can do.

How to do the On the Hour system?

To perform this system is easy, every 60 minutes (or whatever time you prefer, you can scale it down to 30 or 45 minutes if you wish.) You perform one set of a chosen exercise.

In this set you will perform as many repetitions that you can do in your chosen tempo with good form.

Your tempo could be for example the 2-1-2-1 tempo (2 seconds up, 1 second hold, 2 seconds down, 1 second hold.)

Now it is important to not go to muscle failure! Just continue doing your repetitions as long as you can perform them in good form.

An example of this method would be;

Exercise: Push ups
Tempo: 2-1-2-1
Maximum repetitions: 35
Frequency: Every hour on the hour between 9 am and 11 pm.

9 am: 35 repetitions
10 am: 35 repetitions
11 am: 35 repetitions
Noon: 35 repetitions
1 pm: 35 repetitions
2 pm: 35 repetitions
3 pm: 35 repetitions
4 pm: 35 repetitions
5 pm: 35 repetitions
6 pm: 35 repetitions
7 pm: 35 repetitions
8 pm: 35 repetitions
9 pm: 35 repetitions
10 pm: 35 repetitions
11 pm: 35 repetitions

Total repetitions done:  245
Total time: 52.5 minutes (or easier said: every hour we spend 3.5 minutes.)

The benefits of the On the Hour system

Here are the main benefits of this system, this system;

  • Is an easy system that you can perform between normal daytime activities.
  • Only takes a few minutes every hour, and everyone can spare that.
  • The intensity is very low as you only do 1 set, and then allow yourself a long rest break.
  • We approach fitness as skill building, this will create muscle memory quicker.
    this means that if you perform the exercises in good form you will put this into your muscle memory, this makes the exercise easier for you in the future.

The downsides of the On the Hour system

These are the downsides of this system;

  • It takes discipline to set everything else to the side to do the exercise on time.
  • While it improves your total repetitions, this system is less intensive than the other systems, because of that you will get less results with this program than with others..


Total Endurance Gained 60%
Total Workload 50%
Intensity 30%
Effectiveness 80%

Even while this rating is low in itself, this method is great in combination with other methods.

You can use the on the hour system to increase your total repetitions in a set, and that new gained ability to do more repetitions in your normal training sessions.

For example super high repetition training, (HIIT) High Intensity Interval Training, or the Russian ladder system.

Strength endurance is not everything

While increasing your strength endurance and the total amount of repetitions that you can do in one set will help you in your fitness endeavors, do not go overboard.

Strength endurance is just one part of training, next to Maximum strength, Speed strength (power), Vo2Max training and more.

There are people that get obsessed with doing high repetitions all the time, and they usually end up as a skinny person with only a low amount of muscle definition.

Think of a marathon runner.

You need to balance Strength Endurance with (maximum) strength training, Explosive training and plyometrics to really see the benefits!


You now have three powerful tools at your disposal to help you increase the total repetitions that you can do.
Now there is only one thing left; Go and practice!

If you have any comments, questions or other feedback feel free to leave a comment below, or contact us through our contact form.

Did you enjoy this article? Spread the love and share it with your friends!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.