Rep range for Max Hypertrophy

What will provide the best hypertrophy?

  • I only do 8-12 Reps

    Votes: 114 35.4%
  • I only do 3-5 Reps

    Votes: 38 11.8%
  • I only do 12-15 Reps

    Votes: 18 5.6%
  • I do 6-12 Reps most of the time and sometimes 3-5, sometimes do 12-15.

    Votes: 152 47.2%

  • Total voters
    322
metalman302

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The lifiting in that video was almost as shitty form as some of the 16 year old wannabe youtube heros.

I love the "standing bench press" he does and I loved watching his rib cage flex in several inches as he bounced the barbell of his chest. All that cheating was excessive.


Teg: Try weight gainer. Start at one shake ~ 750 cal or more if you need. 3x a day would be 2250 extra calories. If you are sleeping enough no way will you not gain weight if you add that with a proper diet.
 
Teg

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I used to use Nlarge 2-3 shakes per day but that didnt last long due to cost of em...

Ill start another thread so it dont take away from this one...
 
wrasslin116

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I switch it depending on time of the year..
Summer I do 12-25.
Spring and Fall I do 6-12
Winter 6-12 but every friday 3-6.
 
Jayhawkk

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Always switch it up. I would have much better results if I was more on top of keeping records.

I do have a question with people referring to TUT as a workout type. Doesn't TUT pretty much refer to any lifting regardless of the speed of the lift? Even a lift lasting 1 second experiences time under tension... right?
 
RenegadeRows

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Always switch it up. I would have much better results if I was more on top of keeping records.

I do have a question with people referring to TUT as a workout type. Doesn't TUT pretty refer to any lifting regardless of the speed of the lift? Even a lift lasting 1 second experiences time under tension... right?
Good question. When I refer to TUT it's usually a lighter weight lifted slower for XX amount of reps.

It's hard to do TUT when your lifting a 5 RM, it usually doesn't last for that long
 
bert1968

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So how would you change the program when cutting?
You really shouldn't have to change the program, you will just find that you are not able to lift quite as much weight. I've used Max-OT style training on and off. It is good for busting through plateaus of strength though slightly higher volume seems to be better for hypertrophy, at least for me.
 
KelJu

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I think that there is a lot of good information here but the key is "your body type" certian people respond to different rep ranges better than others. Your job is to know your body and what makes you grow the best. But there is always the fact that the human body would just like to stay where it is and you have to force it to make a change, whether it is a change in strength or size. For most people trying to gain size they are going to train at a higher workload or volume. There are a lot of schools of thought that say volume equals size. But like I said previously, you have to find what works best for your body. The TUT or super slow reps, has been proven to pack on the muscle, it takes a ton of mental focus to do this. If you want to find out more about this type of training look for the book "Bigger" by Ellington Darden

:thumbsup:

I experimented with what you guys are calling TUT. I didn't know it was called that until now. I just practiced holding contractions for at least 3 seconds sometimes 5, along with a slow tempo. It worked great for abs, calves, and all pulling movements. It did not work well for legs and pushing movements for me.

So I went back to doing powerful movements with fast tempo and low reap ranges (3-5) and progress has been good.

3-5 range with a 3 minute rest interval seems to stimulate the most growth for me.
 
TNASTYII

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interesting..tho i still havnt found me rep range yet haha :[
edit: 100th post :D
 
Fatal Wisdom

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I was doing MAX OT for awhile, but I found 5 days of heavy ass weight in the gym to be brutal as hell, and I didnt like squats on monday :p however, I did notice some solid ass gains
 
Space

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Wernbom et al. (2007) published a systematic review of studies associated with rep ranges in the Journal of Sports Medicine.

They concluded that 8-14 reps with a 2 second concentric phase and 2 second eccentric phase was the most effective for hypertrophy.

Additionally their research shows it's very unclear whether more than 1 set is effective for hypertrophy. This is an interesting finding that challenges body building orthodoxy because it may be more effective to do full body workouts of 1 set each body part and train 3 times a week.

It's a pretty interesting article and if anybody has Pub Med access they can access it here.
 
lonewolf0420

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Wernbom et al. (2007) published a systematic review of studies associated with rep ranges in the Journal of Sports Medicine.

They concluded that 8-14 reps with a 2 second concentric phase and 2 second eccentric phase was the most effective for hypertrophy.

Additionally their research shows it's very unclear whether more than 1 set is effective for hypertrophy. This is an interesting finding that challenges body building orthodoxy because it may be more effective to do full body workouts of 1 set each body part and train 3 times a week.

It's a pretty interesting article and if anybody has Pub Med access they can access it here.
Very interesting.
 
metalman302

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Who here has pubmed access to the article mentioned? PM me please ;)
 
ndnguy85

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that's from the article mentioned in the previous post.

what do they mean by progession from 1-2 sets to 3-6?
 
metalman302

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The original article was for untrained people who get newbie gains easily anyways... no secret there.

What was interesting was a 25% gain on arms for doing 1/2 hour of hand cycling 5x wk for 6 weeks!


I would like to see some accurate studies on intermediate and advanced trainees.
 
ndnguy85

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The original article was for untrained people who get newbie gains easily anyways... no secret there.

What was interesting was a 25% gain on arms for doing 1/2 hour of hand cycling 5x wk for 6 weeks!


I would like to see some accurate studies on intermediate and advanced trainees.
ya i want to see some study on some REAL bodybuilders.

1 set is a joke i think. unless of course you just put on muscle by touching weights..
 
TripDog

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I been 12-15 lately
 
Big Wides

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0-1000 reps works, there is no set reps for muscle growth, it all depends on training intensity, diet and rest
 
celc5

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I been 12-15 lately
Honestly, 12-15 is the sweet spot for me too. I don't think I have anywhere near the lean mass that you have Trip, but it's still working well for me, slow and steady.

When I was training in the 6-8 rep ranges that everyone suggestions for size, I got nothing but tired with sore joints.
 
ndnguy85

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let me ask you guys this..

does your body type determine the range you use? like for example i noticed ectomorphs do good with low reps.

i am an endormoph and i gain strength real good in the 4-6 range. i have yet to really see the growth i am looking for. i been doing 8-10 for couple of weeks now...i might bump it up to 12-15.

also you guys who train in higher rep ranges..are yall more endurance built muscular wise? after 12 reps..the burn is just horrible for me and i am substantially weaker.
 
TripDog

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Honestly, 12-15 is the sweet spot for me too. I don't think I have anywhere near the lean mass that you have Trip, but it's still working well for me, slow and steady.

When I was training in the 6-8 rep ranges that everyone suggestions for size, I got nothing but tired with sore joints.
Bingo
 
ndnguy85

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how do you guys progress through the sets?

like today this is what happened to me.

rep range 12-15

55x15 - so i decided to increase weight for the 2nd set
57.5x11 - i dropped the weight because i knew there was no way i could get up to even 11 on the next set.
55x8 ???? i was way weaker.

rest was little bit over a min.

so how exactly is one to go through a straight set by doing the same weight and gettin the same reps? wouldnt strength go down automatically as each set goes on?

thanks for the help.
 
Bionic

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Try increasing your rest periods. Works wonders.

how do you guys progress through the sets?

like today this is what happened to me.

rep range 12-15

55x15 - so i decided to increase weight for the 2nd set
57.5x11 - i dropped the weight because i knew there was no way i could get up to even 11 on the next set.
55x8 ???? i was way weaker.

rest was little bit over a min.

so how exactly is one to go through a straight set by doing the same weight and gettin the same reps? wouldnt strength go down automatically as each set goes on?

thanks for the help.
 
ndnguy85

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Try increasing your rest periods. Works wonders.
when do you add new weight?

for ex, say i did 3 sets @ 12-15reps.

55x15
55x15
55x15

so on my next workout i start with a higher weight..is that right?

what i did today was i increased the weight as soon i hit 15 reps on the first set.

as stated in my earlier post
55x15
57.5x11

i should have used the same weight again to see how many reps i could have gotten.

sorry for all the questions. majority of the time that i have been in the gym, i been cutting so the training part itself is not my sharpest area. i have learned a lot about the nutrition part.
 
Bionic

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You may have been able to get to 12 had you waited longer. But, generally, I try to get to the high-end of the rep range each workout. For example, once you're able to get 15 for 2-3 sets, add weight until you get down to the low end of the rep range and repeat the process.
 
ndnguy85

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You may have been able to get to 12 had you waited longer. But, generally, I try to get to the high-end of the rep range each workout. For example, once you're able to get 15 for 2-3 sets, add weight until you get down to the low end of the rep range and repeat the process.
awesome.

any advice on how to incorporate the diff rep ranges?

what kind of periodization techniques is best when someone is training purely for size.
 
Bionic

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I'm not really sure how to answer your question about periodization. As for the rep ranges, I use the same concept as I mentioned earlier. Once I can get 2-3 sets at the higher rep range, I add weight and start over. Now don't get me wrong, this is just what I do but I'd love to hear if anyne else has a better way.
 
ndnguy85

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I'm not really sure how to answer your question about periodization. As for the rep ranges, I use the same concept as I mentioned earlier. Once I can get 2-3 sets at the higher rep range, I add weight and start over. Now don't get me wrong, this is just what I do but I'd love to hear if anyne else has a better way.
one obstacle that i have encountered with adding weights is this:

for ex. previous workout 100x12

so i go up to 110 this time in 8-12 rep range. i know 110 is too high of a jump but just for illustration purposes.
110x8
110x7
110x7

i fall out of the rep range i was working in.

i am guessing maybe more rest period would help me to stay in the desired range. but that's an example of what happens to me. i dont know if it's fatigue or lack of muscular endurance but the strength decrease is significant in the latter sets.

come to think of it when i trained with 2-2:30 min breaks i did have more strength the subsequent sets.

btw here's a good post by iron_addict i found when searching.

http://anabolicminds.com/forum/exercise-science/9838-weight-progression.html#post78067
 
celc5

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does your body type determine the range you use? like for example i noticed ectomorphs do good with low reps.
It probably does make a difference for strength. But IMO, there's not much evidence to say that there's a specific rep range for muscular hypertrophy based soley on bodytype.

I'm relatively small compared to most of the guys on this board but grow like crazy with higher reps. I dunno if I'm an exception to the rule, so I say you just have to be patient and find what philosophies work for you. At your weight, I'd say diet is the most important part for you at this point.
 
ndnguy85

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It probably does make a difference for strength. But IMO, there's not much evidence to say that there's a specific rep range for muscular hypertrophy based soley on bodytype.

I'm relatively small compared to most of the guys on this board but grow like crazy with higher reps. I dunno if I'm an exception to the rule, so I say you just have to be patient and find what philosophies work for you. At your weight, I'd say diet is the most important part for you at this point.
diet is very good i would say. i guess that's one of the advantages of being an endo because you get to see real quick what makes you fat. mom's overweight, dad has the skinny fat look (huuuuuge belly) with diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol. so good genetics is not even close..haha

i just haven't found what works for me in terms of training. it's very frustrating.

i been looking through logs and i dont quite what a lot of you are doing. i seen a pattern of a set number of reps with the weight being increased each set. for ex.

135x10
145x10
155x10

what's the reasoning behind such increments?
 
grila jujitsu

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what do u guys think of the 5 reps and 5 sets idea?


here is some info on it.

oK, I admit it, I’m a reformed HITer. I used to train twice a week, 20 minutes per workout, two
exercises trained to absolute failure for 1 set apiece. I trained so hard I would collapse after a
set of deadlifts. We used to call squat day “bring-your-own-bucket” leg day. I read all the HIT
stuff I could get my hands on. Mentzer, Darden, Jones, the ding-dongs that call themselves Jedi at
cyberpump. All claimed miraculous results with a minimum of sets, but near blinding intensity.
My results for nearly 2 years were marginal. I figured I was a hardgainer (there is probably no such
thing) and that at the end of my membership I was going to quit training.
After digging around on the net and reading some articles by Charles Staley and a guy they call
“The Evil Russian:” Pavel Tsatsouline.
I thought I would give a shot at something new and different. Their recommendations were
completely alien to me: multiple sets low reps and avoid failure like the plague. What the hell,
I thought, I’ll use some of these ideas and see what happens. A week after following some of the
principles in Charles’s articles, I took on a pumped kind of look. Like I got kind of puffy. I decided
that this was the routine that I was going to use for the next three months. My results still stupefy
me: 9 pounds of lean body mass and greater total body strength. Not bad for breaking every
training tenet set forth in the magazines!
This is how I got started: I stopped defining intensity as state of exertion and started defining it
as the total number of sets, reps, and total poundage moved during a workout. This is a MAJOR
distinction. It’s not simply how hard you work, or whether or not you get yourself to puke after
curling, it’s about the total poundage you move in a workout. Muscles and bones grow by the
amount of tonnage you apply to them, not how badly you can beat them to a pulp!
Instead, I began a simple program of 5 x 5 (5 sets of 5 reps) with an eye toward increasing the total
amount of weight per workout for a few weeks, then scale it back to prevent overtraining and begin
increasing the total tonnage all over again. I would increase this amount of weight moved in one
of two ways: increasing the amount of weight and do the same sets and reps, or just tack on 1 set
more than last time. This calculation is simple:
Weight x reps x sets = total poundage for that movement.
So a 185 used in the bench presses looks like:
185 x 5x 5=4,625.
In order to induce hypertrophy, I would either increase the amount of weight per set or add an
additional set.
195 x 5reps x 5sets = 4,875 pounds or
185 x 5reps x 6 sets= 5,550 pounds
It struck me that hypertrophy is a function of total poundage applied. And if it is increased slightly
27
28
every time you hit the gym, you will grow. That meant no more dizzy spells after lifts, or having
people spot me. I could use a weight that was heavy, yet because I was avoiding failure I didn’t need
a spot. The only time I would come close to failure was on my last set of the exercise and even then
I would stop with two reps left in the tank! And sometimes I wouldn’t even sweat!
I have designed my program to include a type of volume cycling, meaning that I would slowly
increase the total number of sets per muscle (and therefore the poundage) for 3-4 weeks and then
cut the number of sets back, add weight and start all over again. I utilize multiple joint movements
on all body parts to save time and for the use of greater weights. My progression looked like this:
Week 1: 5sets
Week 2: 6
Week 3: 7
Week 4: 8
Week 5: back to 5 sets
I kept the weight increments small, 5 pounds on curls and 5-10 pounds for the major bodyparts.
I did typically 3-8 sets of an exercise per cycle, depending on the muscle group. For instance I
would do the 5 x 5 for my curls and add a set every week, and for back I would start with 3 sets
of chins and 3 sets of dumbbell rows, adding a set to each movement for few weeks before scaling
back and starting again.

The way that the 5 sets of 5 reps method works is by improving the connection between the central nervous system and the muscles. In order for muscles to contract the brain has to send them a signal to do so. For this signal to reach the muscles, it has to travel through the central nervous system. When you train with heavy loads that only allow you to perform around 5 repetitions, for instance, you are training the body to become more efficient at recruiting more muscle fibers in order to move the weight. This is what is called improving your neural connections and this is the way in which strength increases. The perfect time to implement this method of training is following a high volume phase like the 10 sets of 10 reps. Why is it important to train for strength after a high volume phase? Because this sort of training offers the following benefits:
1. The testosterone levels go through the roof in response to the longer rest in between sets and the heavier weights.
2. Hypertrophy (muscle growth) occurs by the body increasing the actual diameter of the myofiber (the muscle fiber size) through increased protein synthesis. In other words, the actual protein content of the cell increases as well as the thickness of the muscle filaments. However, in this phase, strength gains come first and hypertrophy later.
3. Since your body’s recuperation abilities were built up to the maximum by the previous phase and the volume has gone down dramatically, these extra recuperation abilities are used to increase strength and build more muscle mass. The reason the body does this is in order to be prepared for another stressful period like the one it just went through.
Not unlike the 10x10 method, the goal of the 5x5 routine involves doing 5 sets of 5 reps, using the same weight. At first, you won't be able to do 5 repetitions for all 5 sets but once you do, then it is time to increase the weight. The perfect weight to select is one that allows you to perform 5 reps for the first set and perhaps even the second. The third, fourth and fifth you may fall back to 4 reps and on the last one perhaps all you can do is 3 reps.

Is there a need for more exercises once you do the one for 5 sets of 5? I like to do an additional exercise using the 5x5 method to ensure that the muscle has been stimulated from a couple of different angles.

Now let’s take a look at my recommended 5 sets of 5 reps program.
 
ABNRanger

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Where in Houston you at? Missouri City here, just moved from SW (westheimer and Rogerdale).
 

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Recently have been doing 5-6 sets of shoulder shrugs with 10-15 reps and my traps have been poppin' out like crazy! They say doing a lot of sets can overtrain muscles but I guess overtraining is something that works on me? I've noticed more size.. so I guess it all depends on your body. Listen to what it tells you and go from there.
 
DCBoogieman

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I suggest mixing it up -- maybe [Drop Sets] & [Super Sets] works for me...
 
Pork Grind

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Man I'm a huge fan of Max-OT. That was one of the first programs I got really serious with and blew up. Since then I've changed things up in my routine, but It's all good. Rodja, I liked the TUT info. Real nice, I'll have to try that for a while.
 
AndreAnabolic

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TUT rule all the way, i do about 8-10 4 slow seconds down 2 seconds up
 
Aggravated

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Nice poll. I didn't see the last option and voted for the first one :( I tend to stay in the 6-10 range for a few weeks, then I do a light week as I call it, at around 8-12 reps.
 
lilGiant

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I didnt vote here because i feel that rep ranges need to change almost on a weekly basis in order to gain muscle on a consistant babsis. Check out Eric Brosers power/rep range/ shock training routine. Google that babd boy. I have used it in the past and loved it.
 
Lacradocious

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For compound lifts I do:

1 set of 12 - warmup
1 set of 10
1 set of 8
1 set of 8
1 set of 6-8

If for some reason I cant eek out more than 5 reps on the last set, then I lower the weight to my warm up set and do a set until failure. Works like a charm.

I try to maintain consistent form and breathing. I like the Time under Tension method, it's great for building raw strength. And it is a hell of a lot safer doing skull crushers that way. I do try to incorporate explosive lifts as well. I think it's important to get a mix of both slow, steady lifts and explosive ones to maximize gains.
 
soseg

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I'm gona try some more serious TUT workouts in a month or so... sounds interesting
tho i might throw it in now with my arm workouts
i know ive done it in the past without thinking, like really slowly lower myself on a chin up, or lower the bar when curling really slow and keep that pump feeling in there and i remember it felt so satisfying... I cant imagine doing it for squats/deads tho... as for benching... sounds like ude need a spotter
 
SuperSteveO

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According to M&F magazine 8-12 reps is the best rep ranges for maxmum hypertrophy. I have used their advice for all my bodybuilding needs except recent research into steroids, prosteroids, and prohoromones. They never talk about these products and I am really looking into alll of the above as competing is my main objective rather than just ego feeding muscle.
 

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