It all depends on your goal. Please Note: The author of this site is not engaged in rendering professional advice or services to the individual reader. It's a rep range that most people can do with good form. One simply cannot get optimal development from only one method. For example, in the following chest workout here’s how you could effectively vary the rep range within it in order to maximize growth and strength: Or if you run an upper/lower split or a push/pull/legs workout split…. BUT you would need to do more sets than you’d have to when compared to using a higher rep range in order to match volume. Specifically, the 1-5 rep range is best for gaining strength. There you go. You may be a little confused now as to what exactly you should do, so here’s what I’d recommend. When your body adapts to this new training volume, that's when you get stronger and build muscle. As a result, there exists a hypertrophy rep range of roughly 6-12 reps, which is often proposed as the best rep range to maximize muscle growth. The Best Lifting Tempo For Hypertrophy. Testimonials and examples used are exceptional results and are not intended to guarantee, promise, represent and/or assure that anyone will achieve the same or similar results. However, on the whole, the advantage you get from working in the hypertrophy range isn’t nearly as big as people seem to think; maybe a ~10-15% advantage per unit of effort invested at most. Effective reps are the reps you do when the bar speed is slow, close to failure. It means that when you're struggling to do these last few reps, when the bar speed is slow, your muscle fibers have to exert maximal force in order to perform the movement and that's what triggers muscle growth. Why is progressive overload essential for hypertrophy. Achieve your health and fitness goals with personalized workout and nutrition plans. That has been an old question asked and answered many times. I aim for better lean mass, lower fat (current 17-18) and overall improve in my health. However, every rep range has pros and cons that you should consider when using them: Here's an endurance workout, which primarily focuses on the 12-15 rep range. Given that you’re past the beginner stage and are now more familiar with the main movements, aim for the following: This way, you’re able to reap the benefits that all rep ranges have to offer. When it comes to training for hypertrophy (or call it power-building, bodybuilding, etc) then my viewpoint has always been that of take advantage of all potential pathways to growth, rather than trying to isolate the “holy grail” of rep-ranges where muscle magically grows best. Despite some impractical situations, you can now see that the hypertrophy rep range is wider than most people think. Hope you enjoyed it and found it useful! Don’t forget to give me a follow and connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube as well. Phase 2: Hypertrophy, or growth, consisting of high volume (eight to 12 reps, three to five sets) and moderate resistance (50 percent to 75 percent of one-rep max). Whereas in the 6-12 rep range, the weights are heavy enough such that you’re able to provide adequate tension on your muscles. However, you don’t have to pick just one rep range. That's been proven many times. Since training volume is sets x reps x weights, you can simply increase it by either changing the number of sets you're doing, increase the number of reps or simply increase the weight. Although all measurements weren’t significant, there was a clear trend that you can see in the above graph – which I’d expect to all reach significance if the study was run for longer than 8 weeks. The best rep range to build muscle (hypertrophy) depends on which body parts you are training. And in terms of how to incorporate this into your routine, there’s several ways of doing so. If you’re more of an endurance athlete, focus on 15-20 reps at 50-60% 1RM. 4 Point Tempo Someone who's a powerlifter will primarily focus on the strength rep range. And this is problematic since it would negatively affect what you’re capable of doing for the remainder of your workout. You will reach failure in a moderate amount of time. Hi when you mean equating volume may I have an e.g. In the table below I’ve laid out a good muscle building rep tempo. We often categorize rep ranges in three categories: strength (1-6 reps), hypertrophy (6-12 reps) and endurance (12-15+ reps). But the key is to experiment with it and see what you’ll be most consistent with and find what your body responds to best. Furthermore, when training heavy in between your MAV and MRV or even above your MRV, it is for sure a good thing to lower your volume from time to time. Which is especially true during compound exercises like squats and deadlifts. As an athlete who likes to build muscle and perform in many different sports, I use them all. In fact, most of us simply follow what’s known as the “strength-endurance continuum”: As a result, there exists a hypertrophy rep range of roughly 6-12 reps, which is often proposed as the best rep range to maximize muscle growth. And this is done without running into the problems of joint aches and pains or metabolic exhaustion after completing a few sets. Why is it important to know your MV? While it's true that specific parameters are well-suited to an intended goal, these parameters are often pulled out of thin air. From what I have written in terms of both science and my personal experience, the best rep range to work in is between 5-10 reps. BTW, I am turning 53 coming 2019. Do any of your programm suit my need to futher progress? The supposed point of high-rep sets is stimulating hypertrophy, improving muscular endurance, and building up work capacity. All matters regarding your health require medical supervision. Range of motion (ROM) Full range of motion generally causes more muscle hypertrophy, but partial ROM can cause site-specific hypertrophy. The next time you are training this muscle group, you will have to increase your training volume if you want to keep performing effective reps and build muscle. That's when growth occurs. The truth is, recent emerging research has indicated that this hypertrophy rep range is actually much bigger than most people realize. The typical thought is that the 1-5 rep range is for strength, ~6-15 rep range should be used for hypertrophy and anything over 15 reps is for muscular endurance. Relatively heavy sets done within the 1-5 rep range can create powerful adaptations, but going beyond that threshold is, at best, questionable. We know based on the recent work of researcher Brad Schoenfeld that there exists a dose-response relationship between growth and volume: Whereby increases in volume performed close to failure leads to increased muscle growth. Hypertrophy is the excessive development of an organ or part; specifically the increase in bulk as by thickening of muscle fibers. Whatever it is you do though, avoid sticking exclusively to just one rep range in order to reap the benefits that they all have to offer. It activates muscle fibers that promote increasing Strenght, followed by Hypertrophy and Endurance. Working in a low rep range must be optimal for hypertrophy because the weight is heavy enough, right? https://medium.com/@SandCResearch/what-causes-muscle-growth-c2744537ab0a, https://medium.com/@SandCResearch/why-is-progressive-overload-essential-for-hypertrophy-68757329a82d, https://medium.com/@SandCResearch/what-is-training-volume-286b8da6f427, 1-6 reps with heavy weight: the "strength" rep range, often used by powerlifters, 6-12 reps with moderate to heavy weight: the "hypertrophy" rep range, often used by bodybuilders, 12-15+ reps with light weight: the "endurance" rep range, often used by people doing sports, Increase the number of muscle fibers being activated for this movement, Increase the force exerted by each muscle fiber for their size. Powerlifters tend to lift predominately in the 1-3 rep range (i.e. However the reason 8-12 is generally what you want for hypertrophy is because doing that rep scheme you can get a lot of time under tension which as we know is important for hypertrophy. Training for Muscle Size (Hypertrophy) If you're training for muscle size, choose a weight at which you reach muscle failure in the 8-12-rep range. I've devised key set/rep volume range… Every expert has different set/rep "rules." Best Tempo for Muscle Growth. The aforementioned 8 – 12 rep range gives the best combination of muscle fiber recruitment, metabolic stress, mechanical tension, and time under tension for the goal of muscular hypertrophy. ), 2 “Must-Do” Exercises For A Massive Chest (Based On Science), The Ultimate Lower Body Workout (All You Need Are Dumbbells), Training with low reps, for example a powerlifting type routine, is the best for increasing strength but not the best for adding size, Training with high reps on the other hand is best for muscular endurance and again not the best for size, Indirectly help you push through metabolic fatigue during your sets in other rep ranges, May in fact stimulate more growth itself from the added metabolic stress, Get the majority (60-70%) of your working sets done in the 6-12 rep range, Get the remainder done with a mix of both lower reps with heavy weight and higher reps with light weight (15-20% for each). That’s heavy enough to put plenty of tension on the muscle, but not so heavy that you can’t control the weight. The ideal rep range for best Strenght gains is 1 to 5. Reps as low as 4-5 reps can still produce robust muscle gain along with reps as high as 30-35. Your TUT is directly related to your lifting tempo (lifting speed). However, while nearly all rep ranges build similar amounts of muscle per set, how they fatigue you is quite different. Workouts take longer since you need more time to rest between each sets because the weight is heavy. This is a fundamental aspect of long-term strength development and ensures a lifter can handle the extreme demands a serious strength-focused program (increasing maximal strength) can have on a system. Try to include all the rep ranges into your workouts. Best Rep Range for Strength They also completed 4-5 reps at 88%-90% of their max for the upper body. I will improve your overall cardiovascular system. Or…do you do all 3 (or 4) sets of 1st exercise, then move to next exercise, etc.? That's when progressive overload comes into the picture. Hence why it is actually the ideal rep range to use in order to build muscle, since it enables you to accumulate volume most effectively without overtaxing the body. Sometimes you will plateau with the same training volume for a couple of weeks. Most people think you need to lift heavy weights in order to build muscle. These are just a few of many examples. However, you don’t want to lose your hard acquired gains, do you? Several years ago I published the data collected in accordance with my dissertation study. After 8 weeks, it was clear that the lower rep range was superior for strength gains whereas the higher rep range was superior for muscle growth (since subjects were able to achieve more volume). The author shall not be liable or responsible for any loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or suggestions within this blog. Therefore disproving the concept of this hypertrophy rep range altogether. I can personally recommend you to stay relatively heavy with 8-10 reps for the optimal side delt volume. It's demanding for your CNS (central nervous system) and makes you more tired. In terms of science this is the best rep range to work in because maximal sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (increasing the volume of the tissue that supplies energy to the muscle or is involved with the neural drive) occurs. Strength is specific to the ROM you are using, but you can gain strength 20-30 degrees outside of the ROM you train with. I like to start my workouts with a heavy compound exercise, then switch to hypertrophy for the second and third exercise then change to 12-15 reps for the last isolation exercises. Now although this is doable, aside from being harder on your joints and making your workouts take longer to complete…. After learning about the effective reps and progressive overload principles, you now understand that you can get to failures with all the different rep ranges. Basically, I've found that certain minimal and maximal set/rep volumes are necessary for various structural and neural effects. Which Protein Powder Is Best? It gets confusing. The different training groups were as follows: 1. Both upper body and lower body exercises require different rep ranges to … The researchers compared the effects of sticking to a rep range of 2-4 reps with heavy weight versus sticking to a rep range of 10-12 reps with relatively lighter weight. Generally speaking, beginners will gain significant amounts of strength and muscle mass early on in their training career when they perform moderate repetitions with moderate to heavy loading in a systematic overloading progression. However, when you take a step back and start to think about it more practically rather than scientifically… The hypertrophy rep range actually starts to make more sense. Then your body will adapt for your next workout. Cheers! According to that, you can vary the rep ranges and combine both, a heavier focus with around 8 reps/sets and after some time you can switch to lighter weight with 12-15 reps/set. We often categorize rep ranges in three categories: strength (1-6 reps), hypertrophy (6-12 reps) and endurance (12-15+ reps) Effective reps are the reps you do when the bar speed is slow, close to failure. Both groups did the same respective 1 rep max percentage and trained with the same effort by going to failure. How are they building muscle? And on the other end of the spectrum, if you stuck mainly with a higher rep range, for many people this would be extremely metabolically taxing and exhausting. It’s not clear from your instruction…do you do 1 set of an exercise (eg benchpress) then 1 set of different exercise (Eg squats) , etc then go back to 1st exercise (bench press) and perform second set and complete the cycle? It's key to get stronger and build muscle. And this is exactly where the 6-12 rep range comes in handy: It’s simply the most effective rep range to use in order to accumulate volume. do you mean 1 heavy set of bench equal 1 moderate weight set of bench at higher volume? Your results may vary. Thus, grow. I start my home gym work out since 1 -2y ago, with some basic equipment(including a smith machine). Therefore, you're performing less effective reps and getting less growth in return. If you can't increase your training volume for more than two weeks in a row, consider taking a deload week or more rest days. It's a simple, but powerful principle. Your email address will not be published. Thank you for the information. You will still get stronger, but not as fast as the strength's one. For many people, utilizing this approach can also cause a significant amount of physical and mental fatigue or burnout which can negatively affect your workouts and recovery throughout the week. Anyways, that’s it for this article! Now keep in mind that rep ranges are just one of many factors that you need to optimize in order to see the best results in the gym. Drawbacks of partials: range-specific; doesn’t transfer well to other regions of the movement, not optimal for hypertrophy. It's demanding on your CNS, but not as bad as the strength's one. If you read a mainstream bodybuilding magazine, you will see that nearly every program recommends training in a moderate rep range around 6-12 or 8-15 reps for muscle hypertrophy. Another option is to use some form of periodization: For example going from blocks of training that are more strength focused in the lower rep range and then transitioning to higher reps and lower weight overtime to manage your fatigue. On the other hand, someone who requires muscle endurance such as a long-distance runner will primarily focus on the endurance rep range. Using the right rep ranges within your workout is an extremely important factor for muscle growth, yet is an area of confusion for many lifters. In fact, multiple recent papers, including this recently published 2017 meta-analysis on the topic have come up with the following conclusion: 3) You’re using a weight that is at least 30% of your 1RM. The best rep range for building mass is 6-12 reps. It’s been proven to have a slight advantage in studies, and it allows you to pack in a higher number of quality reps over the course of each week. And on the other hand, incorporating higher reps with lighter weight can both: Not to mention that certain exercises like lateral raises and cable flies simply lend themselves better to higher reps in terms of maximizing your mind to muscle connection and minimizing joint stress. Research has shown that you active high threshold motor units when you go to failure. In brief, the study looked at muscular adaptations in a “bodybuilding-type” routine versus a “powerlifting-type” routine in resistance-trained men when the routines were equated for volume load. For this research, 42 healthy men were split into four groups that followed different protocols for sets and reps, though everyone had the same number of workouts. Extremely straightforward. That said, the below guidelines can generally be used for athletes who have spe… Control Group To accurately gauge each group’s starting intensities for their sets, rese… In other words, after your warm-up sets—which are never taken to failure—you should select a load with which you can complete at … What that means is, if you’re making a hypertrophy training program, a workout might look like this: Deadlifts: 4 sets of 6 reps Bench Press: 4 sets of 10 reps Progressive overload is the principle of trying to increase your training volume on a per session basis. We've all heard that certain set/rep schemes are best for each goal. This helps to desensitize your body and prepare for new stimuli in your next mesocyc… Here's a strength workout, which primarily focuses on the 1-6 rep range. Don't hesitate to message us on the Gymaholic Training App if you have any questions. However, there are still reasons to use other rep ranges. If I had to pick a single “best” rep range for building muscle, it would be 5-15. To build muscle, most of your training should be done in the 5-15 rep range. This is why I believe that a combination of exercises and rep speeds should be performed for both hypertrophy and athleticism seeking lifters. Understanding Your One Rep Max to Build Muscle HYPERTROPHY: Use 50-75% of your one-repetition maximum (1RM) for 3-6 sets of 8-20 repetitions. …and we’ll show you step by step how to transform your body as fast as possible with science. For example, if you stuck mainly with a lower rep range, you’d be able to use heavier weights…. If you overtrain your muscle you may get negative results. Progressive overload is the principle of trying to increase your training volume on a per session basis. This 2016 paper by Schoenfeld and colleagues illustrates this idea perfectly. During the study, the hypertrophy rep range group (that performed the best) completed 10-12 reps for the lower body at roughly 65%-75% of their max. All the different rep ranges allow you to build muscle, but they have pros and cons. The truth is, recent emerging research has indicated that this hypertrophy rep range is actually much bigger than most people realize . I now in my intermediate level. heavy singles, doubles and triples) for their main lifts. You, as a reader of this website, are totally and completely responsible for your own health and healthcare. So the next time you do the exact same workout, it will feel easier than the first time because your body is used to it. Similarly, the ideal rep range for Hypertrophy is 8 to 12 Repetitions that focuses more on building muscle mass, followed by Strenght and Endurance. You can structure it such that some days are more strength based in the lower rep range with heavier weight whereas other days are higher volume by using the moderate to high rep range with lighter weight. In the 8-12 rep range, there is still some neural adaptation, but less than the 6-8 range and much less than the 1-5 range. We're all different, so do what works best for you. I’m not saying this is the only way you should lift, there are various effective rep and tempo protocols for hypertrophy, this is just an example of one. The topic of rep ranges was so intriguing to me that I ultimately made it a focus of my doctoral work. Thx, Your email address will not be published. And if you’re looking for a step-by-step evidence-based program that shows you how to do so and how to maximize your efforts in the gym…. Then muscle growth will be similar regardless of what rep range you choose to use! When I started fitness I was always looking for that magic number of reps that I needed to perform to build muscle. The Perfect Rep range for muscle bulk and hypertrophy is 6 to 12 repetitions per set with upper body performing best between 6-9 reps and lower body at higher 8-12 reps per set.. A fast recap of intensity principle: As you know muscle hypertrophy depends on training intensity.And to build muscle mass you need to train in the range of 65 to 85% of your one rep maximum. You are more likely to experience joint pain. Yes, a good training volume helps in increasing muscle hypertrophy but there are certain limits. Written by Stefan Ianev (Clean Health Research & Development Specialist) Historically, moderate reps ranges between 6-12 have been recommended for the development of hypertrophy, while lower rep ranges between 1-5 have been recommended for maximal strength, and higher rep ranges, above 15 reps, have been recommended for the development of muscular endurance. Well every rep range builds muscle. Saying that the hypertrophy rep range is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 6–20 reps means that sets ranging from 6 reps to 20 reps can all be ideal for stimulating muscle growth. It's easier to reach failure since you're lifting heavy weight. Then simply take my science-based analysis tool here to find which program is best for you. That's where effective reps play their part. Intermediate Load: Intermediate Repetitions | 4 sets of 8 reps (32 total reps) 3. Most people think it's 8-12 reps, but what about the other rep ranges? What are my typical recommendations for rep ranges for muscle growth? Low Load: High Repetitions | 3 sets of 12 reps (36 total reps) 4. But what about people doing sports and other activities that don't require lifting weights? The “hypertrophy range” of roughly 6-15 reps per set may produce slightly better results per unit of time invested than low rep and high rep work. Here's a strength workout, which primarily focuses on the 6-12 rep range. So does this mean that you should stick to 6-12 reps exclusively? The 24-50 Principle cuts through the confusion. When that happens you might want to take a deload week or more rest days. The goal of this phase is to increase lean body mass and/or develop muscular endurance. A 2017 meta-analysis shows that around10-20 hard sets per muscle group per week is the optimal range for maximizing muscle hypertrophy. High Reps vs Low Reps For Muscle Growth: What Does Research Say? Imagine you have to fall back or reduce your workouts for a certain reason. If you’re an advanced lifter it’s probably best to do 50-60% of your work in the 6-12 rep range and also do both heavy low rep training and pump training as part of your routine. That’s why it’s important to know how your MV! Therefore suggesting that incorporating both approaches would likely be optimal in the long run for strength AND size. That's when growth occurs. (Separate The Good From The Bad! We've created a workout routine you can do at home, you should check it out: 5-Day Home Workout Routine. Especially since there’s benefits to incorporating lower reps and benefits to incorporating higher reps. For example, we know that lower reps are more beneficial for strength gains. High Load:Low Repetitions | 7 sets of 4 reps (28 total reps) 2. Is, recent emerging research has indicated that this hypertrophy rep range both approaches would likely be optimal the! And see what you’ll be most consistent with and find what your body fast... Programm suit my need to futher progress it would negatively affect what you’re capable of doing for the body! Weight is heavy best lifting tempo for hypertrophy you train with tool here to find which is. With it and see what you’ll be most consistent with and find your! Whereas in the 5-15 rep range, you’d be able to use volumes are for... 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To the ROM you train with good training volume for a couple of weeks basically, I use them.., keep in mind that you active high threshold motor units when you get stronger and muscle! Suited to lower reps for example also completed 4-5 reps can still produce robust muscle gain with... Body exercises require different rep ranges best rep range for hypertrophy you to build muscle, but partial ROM can cause site-specific hypertrophy or!