• How Important Are Rep Ranges?



      by Ryan Hughes Bodybuilding .com

      Q I'VE HEARD NUMEROUS ARGUMENTS ABOUT REP RANGES AND I'M NOT SURE WHAT TO BELIEVE. WHEN IT COMES TO RESISTANCE TRAINING, HOW IMPORTANT ARE REPS?

      When you enter the gym, leave your counting at the door. Tracking reps just leads to confusion:

      "Is it low reps for mass and high reps to drop fat? Is it the other way around? Perhaps moderate reps are best for overall performance."

      "What counts as a high vs. low rep? What one person considers 12 reps at high weight could be another's warm-up."

      And so on. We've all heard numerous "rep-range" arguments, so let's sort through the bro science and take a look on what's really the best choice.

      First off: The whole "low reps for mass, high reps for cutting" is a myth. There's no rep range that can make up for a lack of intensity, so train without the constraints a set number may place on you. Follow my three resistance tips to help focus on what's really important when you enter the gym—gaining mass and cutting fat.

      1 TRAIN WITH INTENSITY

      Regardless of your fitness goals, push yourself in both weight and volume. While it might seem simple, intensity is actually a hard-to-grasp concept. Believe it or not, most people haven't taken their training to that next level. Break out of your comfort zone and change your mental approach to resistance. Here's my simple challenge to you: Keep the weight; change the mindset. Pick any compound exercise—squat, bench press, deadlift—and set the weight you can typically do for 10-12 reps. Now, instead of approaching that weight with the idea of doing 12 squats, set a rep range beyond what you can do in one set without pausing.

      "REGARDLESS OF YOUR FITNESS GOALS, PUSH YOURSELF IN BOTH WEIGHT AND VOLUME."

      Can you typically bench 225 pounds for 10-12 reps? Load the bar with 225 pounds and set a bold goal, say 75 reps total. While you'll likely have to pause to reach your goal, you've permanently altered your mindset. You've gone from expecting to complete a comfortable 10 reps to thinking, "I have 75 total reps to attain, and I want to accomplish my goal as quickly as possible, so I'm going to get in as many reps as possible before pausing." You'll be surprised what you can motivate yourself to do.

      2 FOCUS ON BREAKING DOWN MUSCLE, NOT COUNTING REPS

      Don't bother crunching the numbers. Make the breakdown of muscle tissue, not the number of reps, your primary goal. You can break down muscle tissue in more than just one way. Try to alternate your training between volume, speed, and resistance. Use these various training techniques and aim to overload the targeting muscle group instead of focusing on a number.

      Here's a sample workout which displays a combination of volume, speed, and resistance training:

      Sample Blast Training Workout

      TRISET

      Incline Bench Press
      4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6 reps
      Increase weight with each set.

      Incline Dumbbell Flyes
      4 sets of 20 reps
      Use a moderate weight.

      Burpees
      4 sets of 10 reps

      TRISET

      Dumbbell Bench Press
      4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6 reps
      Increase weight with each set.

      Pec Deck
      4 sets of 20 reps
      Use a moderate weight.

      Burpees
      4 sets of 10 reps

      TRISET

      Decline Bench
      4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6 reps
      Increase weight with each set.

      Decline Cable Flyes
      4 sets of 20 reps
      Use moderate weight.

      Burpees
      4 sets of 10 reps



      3 PUSH TO FAILURE

      Finally, incorporate sets to failure in every workout. Training to complete exhaustion ensures that you're both training with intensity and breaking down muscle tissue in the process. Assuming your nutrition and supplementation are in check, this will only produce positive results.

      Source: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-...reps-i-do.html
      Comments 9 Comments
      1. WormyJackal's Avatar
        WormyJackal -
        Burpees...Pssh
      1. Quadzilla99's Avatar
        Quadzilla99 -
        Oh, ok
      1. Quadzilla99's Avatar
        Quadzilla99 -
        "Train to failure...every workout"
      1. Lukef2000's Avatar
        Lukef2000 -
        Sounds like a crock of **** to me. He hasn't looked at it very scientifically at all. Different rep ranges stimulate different types of muscle fibers. The only thing I agree with is the train to failure. Except every set I do is to failure.
      1. josephardy's Avatar
        josephardy -
        Burpees. Waste of my time
      1. josephardy's Avatar
        josephardy -
        Also what a terrible way to work out. Not one muscle group is targeted enough to even come close to hypertrophy.
      1. corsaking's Avatar
        corsaking -
        training to failure every workout you do , is surely going to take its toll and eventually leave the body exhausted I assume we are talking to failure on every single exercise.,in one gym session and on every single set .When you sit down and think what that really means in terms of your own workout, if thats what you want to do -train to failure, then it would be wise to ensure other factors are in place , such as adequate rest /sleep,proper nutrition and elimination of outside factors such as stress from work, partner and financial worries.Personally i dont think push to failure is necessary , as long as the muscle is continually under tension during each rep , it will respond,This could mean lighter weights , more reps but keeping up the tension especially on negative reps rather than let gravity take hold -just my view
      1. Quadzilla99's Avatar
        Quadzilla99 -
        Originally Posted by Lukef2000 View Post
        The only thing I agree with is the train to failure. Except every set I do is to failure.


        Not a coincidence
      1. Lukef2000's Avatar
        Lukef2000 -
        Originally Posted by Quadzilla99 View Post

        Not a coincidence
        What are you implying???

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