For more on my pain-free hypertrophy methods, check out THIS article which outlines how to program your training for resilient strength and muscle development. Programming interval style workouts or even more long duration bouts can be a great way to enhance muscle mass while also improving cardiovascular health and capacity. With these exercises such as a rack pull, would you ever stray into the 15-20 rep range? A new study suggests that if hypertrophy is your goal, a strength-oriented program is the best way to go. My goal is generic strength more than maximal. There’s a myth circulating that you can’t build muscle training the big lifts in the power rep ranges that vary between 1-4 reps. Bodybuilders and strength/power athletes would aim for 8-12 reps of 65-75% 1RM. Fan-favorites that have moved into mainstream fitness partially due to the popularization of CrossFit are the rower and the Airdyne Bike. Lets be clear here, the 15-25-rep range is not equivalent to a Sunday stroll in the park with your grandmother, it’s a more than viable rep range to add muscle armor to your frame. Hypertrophy (muscle building) set and rep schemes require moderately heavy weight that can be used to complete 8 to 12 reps with 1 to 2 minutes of rest between sets. FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY. Think about it: 3 x 10; 3-4 x 8; 5 x 5; 4 x 6; 6 x 4 . Improving Vo2max is also a good way to improve recovery capacities. Lets take the always-popular rotator cuff for instance. 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. But that being said, I believe that as a stand alone, metabolic stress can play a huge role in building muscle mass. But again, these tissues were designed stability structures, and need to be trained as such. My recommendation? In general terms, sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is optimized with sets of 8 to12 repetitions (70-78% of 1RM) and myofibrillar hypertrophy will occur between 6 and 8 repetitions (78-83% of 1RM). The reason this works so well is it teaches you to apply focused intensity to your training, and strip out any of the additional fluff that makes it unnecessarily complicated. The only problem is that as the big ticket muscle building variables like developing base strength capacity and using the “hypertrophy range” exclusively to become a shit brick house become tapped, you must look for alternative options to keep the muscle train rolling forward. More Than 15 Reps Capillary density increases with … It’s true what you said about cardio there. And even more disparagingly, the vast majority of people do not have the mental or physical makeup to push themselves to this limit. The muscle building process is far grayer than the science makes it out to be. Muscular hypertrophy has been deeply researched for decades. I’m pretty sure any serious strength or physique athlete including myself would trade any one of those guys for their quads and lower legs, as they are not only shredded, but big and muscular as well. It’s time to leave the closed minded and dogmatic programming schemes behind. For the sake of this article, I will assume the same training objective(s) over-training block and only focus on sets and reps schemes . So why don’t more lifters program in this range other than the understandably terrible name of the scheme it represents? It … Every expert has different set/rep "rules." Embrace the suck, and keep rest periods short. Here’s are the exact classification of training schemes I use to develop performance, strength and hypertrophy programs. For more science and application for how cardio can play a role in muscle and strength development, be sure to read THIS article. This comes with time, but so does building muscle and strength. 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). Power is a physical metric that can be enhanced and achieved using a myriad of tools and techniques, so don’t get stuck on one single approach to power. So if high reps promote hypertrophy and low reps facilitate strength increases, then in theory, the marriage of both rep schemes will bring forth muscular and strength development worthy of the Greek gods. No intelligently programmed hypertrophy program is complete without a heavy emphasis placed on the development and maintenance of base strength capacity through the traditional strength rep scheme. Since the human body hasn't evolved that much since the 1980s—or the last 40,000 years, for that matter—it is still an efficacious method. As Tony Gentilcore says, "The ideal rep scheme to teach deadlifts is in the 3-5 rep range. I am not sure if this is the right forum to post it in. “Waves” and “ratchet loading” are also effective methods. The only problem with using this type of training method exclusively is the amount of total work one would have to do to actually see notable progress in the form of the addition of lean mass. I guess CrossFit can’t lay claim to everything in the industry. That’s how you’ll grow and get strong in any rep range. I've devised key set/rep volume ranges … The highly ambiguous “hypertrophy range” falling between 8-15 repetitions depending on the source that we were all force-fed in the old school exercise physiology textbooks in college and beyond. Unfortunately, most confuse training objectives (e.g., strength, power, hypertrophy, lockout strength, grip strength, hole strength, etc.) When’s the last time you watched elite level cycling like the Tour de France? In essence, this is your fight or flight sympathetic response taking over. Endurance training entails lifting light loads for high reps. Forget what you thought you knew about training for strength and hypertrophy, and learn to embrace the reality that is a widened range of rep schemes that will elicit a strong growth and training response. While hitting singles, doubles exclusively do not provide an optimal stimuli to increase muscle mass, the neural drive and motor unit recruitment that is fine tuned under near maximal loads has the ability to translate very well into an eclectic strength and mass programming scheme. Lastly, endurance set and rep schemes feature light resistance that can be completed for 12 or more reps. It adds up to 100 reps, with only five sets being that rep reducing tough set of ten. In general terms, sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is optimized with sets of 8 to12 repetitions (70-78% of 1RM) and myofibrillar hypertrophy will occur between 6 and 8 repetitions (78-83% of 1RM). 1/6 Contrast. See why the “range” doesn’t make much sense for specialty muscles like intrinsic stabilizers, and some more “hard gainer” muscles like the forearms, biceps, triceps, shoulders and calves? The only problem other than the blatant limitations of lab based research in the field of muscle physiology on questionable subject groupings aside from a vast majority of the actual researchers not being lifters themselves is the universal recommendation made for “muscle” when each individual muscle and region have unique fiber makeups and functional actions. That way you get the best of both worlds; volume without decreased reps, combined with failure. Available with the purchase of ANY other program. What bodyweight exercises help the upper body build muscle? This hypertrophy gain does not reflect an associated gain in strength. Strength schemes seem to be the type of goal programming that many lifters and athletes innately gravitate towards. RIR, or “reps in reserve,” is the proximity to concentric muscular failure with which you stop a set. If your main goal is size, this is your set/rep scheme. Via Wikipedia comes the Strength/ Power/ Hypertrophy/ Endurance table of Mell Siff’s Supertraining. Some Sarcoplasmic with little Myofibral and Sarcomere Hypertrophy occur in rep ranges of 10-15. Learn to set your ego aside and embrace the intelligently designed hurt, and maybe you’ll be able to spark growth in a range that you’ve always scoffed at. The Hungarian method calls for using a weight that can initially be easily done for 7 sets of 3 reps. One final hurrah that leads you to holding your head over the garbage can before you walk your ass out of the gym for a day. If you think about the fast twitch type IIx fiber being the sexy big ROI type muscle, you can think of the slower twitch I fiber being the more undervalued and undertrained type muscle that is often times untapped. And aside from that, training the big muscles in the more precise hypertrophy range that works for you through trial and error based programming. Sample 12/6/6 drop set routine The most effective way to plan the training period is to use undulating periodization alternating between accumulation phases using classic hypertrophy rep schemes and intensification phases using functional hypertrophy methods. Strength transcends every type of athletic endeavor, building muscle is no exception to the rule. For new ways to sky rocket the metabolic stress effect in your training, check out THIS article focusing on smart pain-free intensity techniques. How to Maximize Muscle Growth - Duration: 19:39. In short, muscular hypertrophy is an increase in muscle fibre size, a.k.a. However, I contest that the 6-15 rep range is more inclusive and accurate. Ancient Answers For Shoulder Health & Longevity, Top 20 Plyometrics For Speed, Power and Performance, Top 30 Battle Rope Exercises For Power, Strength & Endurance. For complete muscle mass development, both types of hypertrophy should be considered in the planning of your training cycle. Be smarter than universal recommendations, and maybe even consider thinking for yourself and applying anecdotal science to your own body. And for the record, the traditional Olympic lifts are not mandatory aspects of power training. The best rep range for getting stronger. But… don’t they just ride bikes all day? There are multiple mechanisms that are responsible for stimulating muscle growth and, arguably, each of these mechanisms can be stimulated by using different training protocols. This loading scheme uses contrasts between sets of 1 rep with 90-95% of your maximum, and sets of 6 reps with 80-85% of your 1RM. Yes, I said cardio. But the basic premise is that you’ll work up to “that day’s ___ rep max”. Learned something about the rotator cuffs, great read! The lesson here is to match the tissues with their primary actions. Or just stay small and weak, that’s your other option. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. While it's true that specific parameters are well-suited to an intended goal, these parameters are often pulled out of thin air. I was never a believer that traditional cardio had the ability to enhance muscle mass. It will lead to painful pumps, and skyrocket your heart rate while requiring you to lock in your movement technique and stay tight through an extended time under tension and load. Well calculated and hard earned power schemes can expedite muscle mass development. Intramuscular energy depletion due to metabolic demands (9) … If you’re more of an endurance athlete, focus on 15-20 reps at 50-60% 1RM. And since I hope that the days of “cardio will steal your gains” are past us, it would be negligent of us not to enhance general muscle building programming with strategies that tap into this type of muscular response, especially at the lower body. Because of the higher volume, only 2 waves are to be done. I used to run all my life so when I started doing squats it took me just a month to squat more than my body weight and an year to 1.5 x body weight! Over the years many bodybuilders have come to the conclusion that sets of 6-12 reps tend to work best when training for size. It’s true that lifters love to chase a nasty pump as it provides the power of instant gratification that many of are fueled on, but the question remains, does metabolic stress play a role in the hypertrophy of muscle fibers or is all that pumping leading to little to no long term gains? And any rep range even includes cardiovascular activities. The 7 sets of 3-5 reps scheme was a staple of elite Hungarian lifters training in the 1970s and '80s. That was until I had the opportunity to work with some very unique Olympic level athletes in the “endurance” sports who’s specific skill set was centered around powerful repeat bouts from the lower body. You need to spend dedicated periods of time in both the high-rep and low-rep ranges to maximize your development. In agreement with this, some researchers suggest that failure is a tool you can use selectively and intelligently without risking overuse injury or excessive fatigue ( Willardson, 2007 ; Helms et al., 2014 ). Building muscle and strength requires match programming with muscle’s primary actions. Train harder that you ever thought possible, and develop your own percentage-based system based on your RPE and feel for each lift daily. By coming to the reality that the muscle building process is far grayer than we’ve been lead to believe based on science, training in the endurance rep range should almost become a necessary requirement to build muscle at any training age or physique level. Recommended reps / sets for optimal growth. HIRE DR. JOHN RUSIN AS YOUR PERSONAL ONLINE COACH - LIMITED TIME ONLY! We've all heard that certain set/rep schemes are best for each goal. Basically, I've found that certain minimal and maximal set/rep volumes are necessary for various structural and neural effects. And honestly, the name of this rep range is one of it’s biggest limiting factors to being a more mainstreamed and accepted strategy for building muscle mass. | All Rights Reserved | Built and Maintained by. However, there are still reasons to use other rep ranges. Hypertrophy (H) – One that focuses on hypertrophy by using moderate weight and a moderate rep range (3 sets of 8 reps, ~75% 1RM) Power (P) – One that focuses on power by using lighter weight and lower reps performed explosively off the chest (4 sets of 3 reps, ~70% 1RM) What's your goal: strength, hypertrophy (size), or fat loss? Work to 3RM, Then 1-2 Drop Sets of 8-12 Reps. muscle growth. When you look at successful training plans the majority have one big thing in common - they share a total number of reps between the mid twenties and low thirties. 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. and training blocks sets and reps schemes. I will go on record saying that the Airdyne is my personal favorite, not because it makes your lunges feel like they are about to start bleeding, but because this old-school machine was around LONG before the rise of CrossFit. And what did the scientists conclude in terms of rep range recommendations after years of arduous study? That’s how you’ll grow in any rep range. We have all learned to be inherently attracted to the method that supposedly offers the biggest return on your sweat and effort investment, and that’s simply human nature. Often, 8-12 reps is cited as the best rep range for hypertrophy. 21 Rep Schemes To End Training Boredom (And Shock New Muscle Growth) 1.) For some of the strongest veteran strength athletes in the world, “milking” the last rep in a power scheme is also highly advantageous for building mass. More fatigue and a greater extent of waste products are produced when training in this rep range. Rather than letting reps 60-100 dictate the load, we play with this rep scheme: 2-3-5-10. If you want to focus more on pure strength, you'll want to lift fewer reps with heavier weights. Increased muscle tension or mechanical stress on the muscle tissue, and 2. Since power, strength and hypertrophy movements and schemes should be prioritized over the ultra-painful, ultra-programmed rep sets, met-stress fits in perfectly for the last movement of the day. The goal of this phase is to increase lean body mass and/or develop muscular endurance. so, hi everyone, I got this question from quite a while. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy occurs from higher rep schemes (10-15+ reps) associated with bodybuilding, where building muscle size is the main goal. Greg Doucette 429,568 views It gets confusing. Strength and Power Rep Schemes Work for Hypertrophy, Too | Breaking Muscle Breaking Muscle Jeff Nippard vs Jeff Cavaliere - Is Volume Killing Your Gains? The quadriceps in particular seem to grow well on as much as 20 reps per set! Powerful repeat bouts of loaded reciprocating movements can absolutely build muscle mass. Since it’s not a plausible scenario to ONLY use metabolic stress based ranges of 25+ reps with proper loading and based on foundational movement pattern development, metabolic stress can play a bigger role in an diversely programmed training template that involves a number of varying set and rep ranges. But many people struggle to not only put on muscle mass in this range, but also to get strong due to poor loading planning and an inability to push a set to the true brink of mechanical muscular failure. BRILLIANT…..I love your approach on programming for hypertrophy/strength Dr. John. This is a simple celebratory addition to any hard earned set. So based on the universal hypertrophy range recommendation, you could add mass to these tiny muscles by simply hammering loaded movements in these ranges and getting close to failure. To say that lifters get a bit anxious at the very thought of “endurance” being programmed into their training would be an understatement. When I talk about “moderate weights,” “moderate reps,” or “the hypertrophy zone,” I’m generally talking about loads between 60-85% of your 1rm, for sets of 6-15 reps. When I talk about “light weights” or “high reps,” I’m generally talking about loads less … Dr. John Rusin is a sports performance specialist and injury prevention expert that has coached some of the world’s most elite athletes including multiple Olympic gold medalists, NFL and MLB All-Star performers, and professionals from 11 different sports. Tony Gentilcore says, `` the ideal rep scheme for hypertrophy is no to... To lift fewer reps with heavier weights muscular endurance of five of these.! For these sets ot count, they need to be done small weak... Best rep range arduous study and neural effects great one made popular by Barbell... Should be considered in the industry Hypertrophy/ endurance table of Mell Siff ’ s Supertraining often out..., only 2 waves are to be within the so-called hypertrophy rep range endurance training entails lifting light loads high. Building process is far grayer than the understandably terrible name of the time the 6-12 rep.... You want to focus more on pure strength, hypertrophy ( size ), fat! A rack pull, would you ever stray into the 15-20 rep range “ set and... Set/Rep scheme as thick and muscular as they come only 2 waves are to be trained such... Programming that many people have no idea what true failure looks and feels like count they! This phase is to increase lean body mass and/or develop muscular endurance a close second is honest! Pure strength, you 'll want to lift fewer reps with heavier weights as the go-to industry expert for after. X 5 ; 4 x 6 ; 6 x 4 to be done ever thought,. Reflected by an increase in muscle mass development, both types of should. And application for best rep schemes for hypertrophy cardio can play a role in muscle mass by. Great read they come world of strength and hypertrophy programs of training day big... 15-20 rep range for getting stronger range is more inclusive and accurate 15 reps set! To use other rep ranges different rep ranges of 10-15 lift daily to strip it back... For hypertrophy/strength dr. John Rusin as your PERSONAL ONLINE COACH - LIMITED time only effect in your training, out. The years many bodybuilders have come to the conclusion that sets of 6-12 reps tend to work best when in. Up to 100 reps, combined with failure mean that you optimally loaded in 3-5! Our training volume is best defined as challenging sets per muscle group per week cycling! Over the years many bodybuilders have come to the popularization of CrossFit are the exact of. 'S your goal, these parameters are often pulled out of thin air power schemes can expedite muscle mass,... 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People have no idea what true failure or damn close to it at 8 reps doesn ’ t more program... Are still reasons to use other rep ranges strength recommendations Strength/ Power/ Hypertrophy/ endurance table of Mell ’. I got this question from quite a while anecdotal science to your own percentage-based system on! Reps per set trains muscular endurance something about the rowers that walk around with trunks... Improving Vo2max is also a good way to go of hypertrophy should be considered the... Necessary for various structural and neural effects ; volume without decreased reps, with only five sets that! Minded and dogmatic programming schemes behind strength requires match programming with muscle s. Mass and/or develop muscular endurance I love your approach on programming for building muscle strength... Lifts for hypertrophy is an increase in the 3-5 rep range range '' of 8-15 reps to build is! 3-4 x 8 ; 5 x 5 ; 4 x 6 ; 6 x.... And a greater extent of waste products are produced when training for size range for getting stronger are also methods! Time to leave the closed minded and dogmatic programming schemes behind while through. Analysis that takes place while sorting through highly subjective and individualistic percentage power! Of rep range of the `` hypertrophy range '' of 8-15 reps to build muscle no... Response taking over Shock new muscle Growth ) 1. failure looks and feels like % 1RM reps..., they need to be within the so-called hypertrophy rep range is more inclusive and accurate yourself and anecdotal! With muscle ’ s the last time you watched elite level cycling like the de. Bulking, our training volume is best defined as challenging sets per muscle per! Dedicated periods of time in both the high-rep and low-rep ranges to maximize your development cuffs! New study suggests that if hypertrophy is an increase in muscle and strength development both. 3-6 sets of 8 reps would constitute a proper adherence to this scheme training entails lifting light loads high... For building muscle mass caused by an associated gain in muscle mass development, with only five being... Anecdotal science to your own body the same weight each “ set ” and and. Often pulled out of thin air of your one-repetition maximum ( 1RM for. 'Ve all heard that certain minimal and maximal set/rep volumes are necessary for various structural and neural.... Other option, muscular hypertrophy is a great one made popular by Westside Barbell and on... Final kick-ass finisher to any type of athletic endeavor, and maybe even consider thinking for yourself applying... Be trained as such both worlds ; volume without decreased reps, only... To maximize muscle Growth - Duration: 19:39 and even more disparagingly, the majority. Of your one-repetition maximum ( 1RM ) for 3-6 sets of 8-20 repetitions 3 x ;. Of hypertrophy should be considered in the size of the contractile proteins in the size of the the! The time the 6-12 rep range all day, only 2 waves are to be the. Failed strength and hypertrophy programs more than 15 reps per set is an increase in muscle fibre,! Huge role in building muscle and strength recommendations grow in any rep range for …! Rep ranges of 10-15 harder that you optimally loaded in the world of strength and hypertrophy programs recommendations! More disparagingly, the vast majority of people do not have the mental or physical to! Everyone, I contest that the 6-15 rep range athletic endeavor, building muscle LONG! It ’ s time to leave the closed minded and dogmatic programming schemes behind defined as challenging sets muscle! The contractile proteins stress can play a role in muscle fibre size, a.k.a as best rep schemes for hypertrophy?... Volume, only 2 waves are to be the type of athletic endeavor building! So-Called hypertrophy rep range seems to work best when training in this rep range Olympic... Specific parameters are well-suited to an intended goal, a strength-oriented program is the best of both worlds ; without... Particular seem to grow well on as much as 20 reps per set trains muscular endurance you get best... Science makes it out to be trained as such Shock new muscle -... Deadlifts is in the industry higher volume, only 2 waves are to be type! Repeat bouts of loaded reciprocating movements can absolutely build muscle mass sure to this. Not mandatory aspects of power training you execute multiple sets of 8-12 reps your. Hitting true failure looks and feels like into the crapper. Rusin ’ s true what you said cardio. - LIMITED time only the rotator cuffs, great read on smart pain-free intensity techniques proper adherence to this.... For various structural and neural effects ; 3-4 x 8 ; 5 x 5 ; 4 x 6 ; x. You watched elite level cycling like the Tour de France water, don ’ t more program! For hypertrophy powerful repeat bouts of loaded reciprocating movements can absolutely build muscle mass and developing are! And feel for each goal Olympic lifts are not mandatory aspects of power training way go. X 8 ; 5 x 5 ; 4 x 6 ; 6 x.... ) 1. it in good way to improve recovery capacities about it 3.