How many reps produce muscle growth? How many lead to strength gains? Is it better to do high, medium, or low reps? If you’ve been training for a while, you’re probably asking yourself these questions. Whether you want to get bigger, gain strength, or build endurance, it’s essential to use the right rep scheme.
There’s a lot of controversy surrounding the ideal number of reps. Some people say that you should do a low number of reps with maximum weight. Others claim that high reps are the key to ripped muscles. You’ll also see athletes who do one or two sets with low reps, and another two sets with high reps until failure. Many believe that anything under 10 reps is useless. So, what’s the perfect rep range?
How many reps you should do depends entirely on your goals. If you want to gain size, you need to train for hypertrophy. Research indicates that the 8-12 rep range is where most strength gains are made. Moderate reps are ideal for building muscle and improving the way your body looks.
This approach has many of the benefits of the low rep schemes and many benefits of the high rep schemes. The number of repetitions per set is high enough to keep the muscle tensed until fatigue, and low enough to allow use of heavy weights. Over time, this leads to muscle gains.
What if you want to get stronger? Then you should do anywhere from one to five reps with maximum load. This approach activates all muscle fibers, including the slow twitch fibers. Low reps are a favourite choice for powerlifters. If you have a hard time building muscle or hit a plateau, try this rep scheme. Short, intense sets of up to five reps can cause dramatic strength gains, which will allow you to lift heavier weights and pack on muscle.
The best way to gain endurance is do high reps. This means you’ll have to perform 15 reps or more per set. This strategy has several advantages. Not only it builds endurance, but also depletes muscle glycogen stores and causes greater definition. As a result, you’ll look ripped.
When you do high reps, your glycogen stores will decrease. Your body will react by storing more glycogen in the future. Over time, this will allow muscle cells to stretch and cause hypertrophy and release of anabolic hormones. This type of volume for lifting is ideal during content preparation because it makes you look shredded.
All rep ranges have their benefits. You can try each of them separately, or mix them for a more diverse and challenging workout. Heavier weight will increase your risk of injury and may not allow you to use perfect form. If you’re a beginner, go for higher reps with a lighter weight. As you get stronger and gain experience, try new rep schemes in order to find one that works best for you.