“Free Repping” vs. “Planned Repping”

For lack of a better way to describe what I’m talking about I’ve gone with “free repping” and “planned repping.”  I will explain the difference between the two terms with an example of a 5-minute Snatch Test.  Anyone familiar with kettlebells will know that a 5-minute snatch test involves getting as many snatch reps in 5 minutes as possible.  Pretty simple goal. 

How you get to whatever number you end up with at the end of 5 minutes is another story. 

  • Free Repping: When the timer starts I have no plan as far as how many reps to do and what rest periods to include in the 5-minute snatch test.  I just do some reps and go almost to failure.  Then rest until I feel I can do another set with my other hand.  Repeat these steps until the 5 minutes is up.    

  • Planned Repping: When the timer starts I have a set plan.  I know how many reps I’m going to do per set.  When I’m going to do the reps.  How long I will rest between sets of however many reps I’ve decided on.

Every time I have tried planned repping it results in significantly higher reps performed in a 5-minute snatch test. 

Previous 5-minute snatch test was 7 days ago.  Results? 32 reps in 5 minutes.  Yeah, I mentioned that my cardio sucks. 

Yesterday I did a 5-minute snatch test with the 28kg kettlebell again.   Got 13 more reps than a week ago.  That is a huge increase in 5 minutes.  Especially with the crappy cardio ability I’m still working to increase. 

The difference was knowing what my result was last time and then devising a plan based on knowing what my body prefers and has in the past shown to work best for it. 

I wrote my goal reps down on a sheet of paper.  Since I got 32 reps a week ago I wrote down 40 reps for a nice round number and an increase of 8 reps. 

There are 300 seconds in 5 minutes so I played around with different pacing strategies to come up with a plan for 40 reps in 5 minutes.  Finally settled on doing 8 reps and then resting 40 seconds.  And repeating that until I hit 40 reps.  I had a bit of time left over after hitting 40 reps – about the 4.5-minute mark – so I did another 5 reps lefty to bump the number up a bit before the 5-minute timer sounded.  45 reps in 5 minutes averaged out to a rep every 6.66 seconds.   Or 9 reps per minute. 

I’ll continue doing planned reps every time I do a snatch test with any of the kettlebell weights I test – the 16kg, 24kg, and 28kg.  I will test the 20kg and lighter kettlebells soon too to see what effect that has on my cardio over time.



About bencrush

42-year old multiple USAWA record holder who enjoys grip strength training, bending steel, and sharing my knowledge of training in both areas.
This entry was posted in Free Repping vs. Planned Repping, Kettlebell, Snatch Test, Tactical Strength Challenge and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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