Due to the sheer amount of variability we’re looking at, both within studies and between studies, it’s probably not wise to assume that a single rep range will be the best for everyone. The participants all performed four full-body training sessions per week for 12 weeks. On average, looking at both percent differences and effect sizes, the “hypertrophy range” did slightly better than either high reps or low reps. Even so, more practically speaking, we tend to get more muscle … Your 6-rep max will garner as much muscle growth as your 12-rep max (2). Someone lifting in the 5-8 rep-range with a slow tempo is subjecting their muscles to roughly the same time-under-tension as lifting in the 12-15 rep-range … All sets were taken to failure. Next is the pre-season. Don’t worry, the chest hypertrophy gains are well worth swallowing your pride for. Oh and anyone who talks about some outdated model of the strength/endurance continuum, yeah, don’t listen to that guy either. However, while nearly all rep ranges build similar amounts of muscle per set, how they fatigue you is quite different. Hypertrophy workouts Lighten the load, but not your muscle mass with four exercises for four sets, eight to 15 reps. I’d have preferred if they just equated sets to failure with both limbs, but the number of sets performed ended up being similar enough that equating volume load was probably fine. Tri-sets are a … With that in mind, your goal should be to find the rep range for each lift that allows you to get the most high-quality, hard work in. For more on fiber type-specific hypertrophy, check out this article. 5x5 has the boast of building more strength/muscle than any other set/rep range. But that doesn’t mean you should do all your training there. Higher rep sets produce more neuromuscular fatigue (6). Of the 13 calculable effect sizes comparing low to moderate reps, three favored moderate reps, two favored low reps, and the other eight were ties (effect size differences <0.2). Excluding that one study, the average effect size was 0.85 for high reps and 0.99 for moderate reps, and the trend toward significance disappears. Effect Of Resistance Training To Muscle Failure Versus Volitional Interruption At High- And Low-Intensities On Muscle Mass And Strength. Accordingly, doing higher reps matches the demands of prolonged muscular endurance. In general, I would suggest doing a variety of rep ranges. One arm and leg trained with 20% of 1RM, and one arm and leg trained with either 40%, 60%, or 80% of 1RM. When I talk about “heavy” or “low-rep” training, I’m generally talking about loads in excess of 85% of your 1rm, for sets of 5 reps or fewer. This is because stretch under load is a big hypertrophy factor. 50% hypertrophy rep range (6-12 reps) 25% endurance rep range (12-15+ reps) 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. Variable Training goal Strength Power Hypertrophy Endurance Load (% of 1RM) 80-90 45-55 60-80 40-60 Reps per set 1-5 1-5 6-12 15-60 Sets per exercise 4-7 3-5 4-8 2-4 Rest between sets (mins) 2-6 2-6 2-5 1-2 Duration (seconds per set) 5-10 […] More fatigue and a greater extent of waste products are produced when training in this rep range. A recent paper (reviewed in the latest issue of MASS) had some findings that provide some important new information in this area of research. Train primarily in the 4-6 rep range at 80-85% of your 1 rep max. Then, they did sets to failure with 40%, 60%, or 80% until they’d equated volume load between their two limbs. Yeah, you know what I mean. Maximizing hard sets within a session is also why stopping 2-3 reps shy of failure – especially on heavy compound lifts – is generally a good idea; a set to failure generally takes more out of you than a set stopped a bit earlier and limits how much more quality work you can handle. On the strength side of things, there does seem to be a more clear distinction in rep ranges. Structuring the training week is another topic for another day, but the basics are simple: If you’re training a muscle or movement twice per week, then you should try to make sure those sessions are spaced out by at least 72 hours. Very low rep (1-3) sets: These sets even though they’re extremely heavy, seem to be far too short to match the hypertrophy of other sets (4). I would not be surprised if you had to use dumbbells each representing about 5% of your best 1-rep max bench press for the flies on this specific routine! 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. The third by Schoenfeld et. Sets of 5-10. Additionally, the r^2 value of 0.074 means that only about 7.4% of the differences in muscle growth can be explained by differences in rep range used. Higher rep sets are reported to be more painful as well (7). There were no significant differences between groups in gains of fat- and bone-free mass, leg lean mass, appendicular lean mass, type I muscle fiber cross-sectional area, and type II muscle fiber cross-sectional area. This one is a little more complicated. The muscle growth in the “hypertrophy range” group was subtracted from the average results across both groups reported, and that value was divided by the average results across both groups. However, this was strongly influenced by a, Protein, Fish Oil, Glycogen, and What Limits Muscle Growth. Pull-ups lend themselves to lower reps than rows because it’s harder to use momentum to cheat the movement. (If you’re a savvy reader, you may want to check out this background information before reading this next section. There is no “hypertrophy zone.”. Other people will assent to the idea that you can still grow a bit with low-rep or high-rep training, but that your results will still be notably better if you stick to the “hypertrophy range.”  Sure, you may be able to build a little muscle doing heavy sets of 3 or 20+ rep “pump sets,” but you’d grow more if you stayed in the hypertrophy range. Couldn’t have put it better myself. At this point, it’s time to take the scientist hat off and put the lifter/coach hat back on. Due to the variety of ways to measure muscle growth used in these studies and differing lengths of the studies, you wouldn’t expect a super strong correlation. 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. They also completed 4-5 reps at 88%-90% of their max for the upper body. Now, before jumping in, I will note that the assumptions about lower reps/higher weights building more strength and higher rep/lower weights building more strength endurance have largely been validated. Lasevicius, Thiago, et al. Neither of those increases were significantly different from those caused by high reps. (The p = 0.15 for unadjusted, and p = 0.32 for adjusted values; one-tailed t-test.). Maximizing hard sets within a training week depends both on what you can best recover from between sessions and how you structure your training week. If training one lift hard is going to interfere with another lift (for example, squats and deadlifts), either try to do them in the same session so that you have time to recover before doing them again, or try to put as much time as possible between your hardest session for one and your hardest session for the other. Depending on your main goal, your reps will range from a total anywhere between 24 to 50. The hypertrophic stimulus and fatigue generated by each set between roughly 5 and 30 reps … Do 75% of your reps in the 8-12 range with the 25% a mix of 4-6 and 12-20. He’s trained hundreds of athletes and regular folks, both online and in-person. This entire process is mechanical tension. So, in the study measuring muscle thickness, the average increase was 13.98%. the “hypertrophy zone”) and low-load training. There’s no direct research on fast concentrics for hypertrophy, but at the very least, you’ll get additional strength gains without compromising hypertrophy (5,16). (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Joe Weider) Differential Effects of Heavy Versus Moderate Loads on Measures of Strength and Hypertrophy in Resistance-Trained Men. This glorious process is called muscle protein synthesis and it gets triggered based on mechanical tension (1). The paper starts off with an acknowledgment to the conventional wisdom of training in the 1-5 rep range for strength and the 6-12 rep range for hypertrophy. Extremely high rep (40+) sets: These sets are too long where excess central nervous system fatigue reduces the fibers recruited, so when you reach failure, some fibers remain under stimulated or not stimulated at all (5). Hypertrophy Explained: The Best Rep Range To Build Muscle - Duration: 8:30. Is there a hypertrophy range of 6-15 reps per set that will net you more muscle growth? Looking at this question practically, I think this is where the “hypertrophy rep range” really comes from. Despite some impractical situations, you can now see that the hypertrophy rep range is wider than most people think. Finally, to round out this section regarding practical application, keep in mind that this applies to hypertrophy training. Resistance act as force against your muscles while the muscle contracts and stretches. Saxofficial 194 views. Rep Range for Hypertrophy. When comparing low reps to moderate reps, there’s no relationship whatsoever:  r = 0.062. High quality sets refer to those that employ exercises that are likely going to be limited by the muscle you’re trying to train, through the longest range of motion you can maintain with safe form, taken within 2-3 reps of failure*, and performed when you’re adequately recovered from your previous set (generally around 1.5-2 minutes of rest for isolation lifts, and 3-5+ minutes for heavy compound lifts). These are the great debates that have occupied the brains of modern man for time immemorial. PRE-SEASON. With this type of hypertrophy, not only does the area density of myofibrils increase, but there is a significantly greater ability to exert muscular strength. If you don’t, try it and you won’t be able to lift much after that. The neuromuscular fatigue is quite high. Let me explain as it will help you understand rep ranges better. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Conversely, you can build absolute muscular endurance (how many times you can move a set load, regardless of your 1rm) with low rep and moderate rep training, but you can build a lot more with high rep training, and high rep training is generally the only way to improve relative muscular endurance (how many times you can lift a certain percentage of your 1rm). Bohm, Sebastian, et al. However, growth was halved with 20% of 1RM. “Effects of Different Intensities of Resistance Training with Equated Volume Load on Muscle Strength and Hypertrophy.” European Journal of Sport Science, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29564973. At least as far back as the ’50s (and probably before), people have been promoting the idea that low reps were ideal for strength development, moderate reps (somewhere between 6-8 reps on the low end, and 12 to 15 on the high end) were best for building muscle, and high reps were best for building strength endurance. Furthermore, when you’re doing a full range of motion you activate as many muscle fibers as possible which likewise result in increased muscle growth. Range of Motion: As always, never ever sacrifice full range of motion for heavier weights that you can’t control. Of the nine studies or measurements comparing low reps (five or fewer reps per set, 85%+ 1rm) to moderate reps (6-15 reps per set, 60-85%1rm), three favored moderate reps, and three favored low reps, and there were three ties when looking at percent differences. Shedding Some Light on Vitamin D Supplementation: Does It Increase Strength In Athletes? Schoenfeld, Brad J, et al. *Failure defined as absolute failure for exercises like curls or delt raises where injury risk is low, and technical failure for exercises like squats or deadlifts where injury risk is higher. The training protocol involved three sets of unilateral preacher curls to failure, three times per week (not exactly how most of us train, but certainly controlling for a ton of variables to allow for a valid comparison). Haun, Cody T, et al. The 3 to 6 Rep range, Strength; Slight Muscular Hypertrophy; No endurance benefits; Working at 85 to 90+% of your 1RM; Pro’s: When working within this rep range the main gains you will see will be muscular strength. In other words, the actual hypertrophy rep range seems to be much broader than the one proposed in the traditional continuum, similar hypertrophy is observed across the 5–40 rep range … In this study, the subjects did unilateral training (biceps curls and knee extensions). His passions are making complex information easily understandable for athletes, coaches, and fitness enthusiasts, helping people reach their strength and fitness goals, and drinking great beer. Again, the weight needs to be light enough that you can work the target muscles and train the movement effectively instead of turning the exercise into a balancing act, but they also need to be heavy enough that metabolic fatigue within the set isn’t going to start making balance problematic toward the end of the set. Yes. 3 years ago. 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. At the end of the 8 weeks, growth was pretty comparable between the two groups. Some people and some exercises just seem to do better with higher reps or lower reps. Sets of 3-8 for people with a strength sports background. In other words, different rep ranges caused very little difference in muscle growth. High Load:Low Repetitions | 7 sets of 4 reps (28 total reps) 2. In that time, I’ve seen a lot of ideas, fads, and trends come and go. Specifically, the 1-5 rep range is best for gaining strength. For maximum hypertrophy, focus on hitting these 10 compound exercises every single week and perform at least 5 sets of each. People often make the mistake of going too heavy and turning rows into a hip hinging exercise more so than a lat exercise. These three new studies largely confirm the previous analysis in the original version of this article. The “hypertrophy range” of roughly 6-15 reps per set. The participants here were untrained. Top Tips on How to Revitalize Your Routine, Best Gifts To Buy A Bodybuilder For The Holidays | Gift Guide 2020, Benefits Of Circuit Style Training For Your Bodybuilding Goals, Dorian Yates: The Most Important Attribute That Made Ronnie Coleman Special | GI Vault. More Than 15 Reps Capillary density increases with little Sarcoplasmic growth with rep ranges above 15. Part 4: Why This Routine Works. “Differential Effects of Heavy Versus Moderate Loads on Measures of Strength and Hypertrophy in Resistance-Trained Men.” Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, Uludag University, 1 Dec. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27928218. Low reps out-performed the study means by 7% on average compared to moderate reps, and moderate reps out-performed the study means by 8% on average compared to high reps.  As you can see, though, most of the studies still cluster in the +/- 20% range. Let's look at this question both scientifically and practically. If you train both sets to the same proximity to failure, your biggest muscle fibers get recruited and stimulated to the same degree by the end of the set (3). When comparing high reps to moderate reps, the correlation is effectively nonexistent as well:  r = -0.27. No, not quite. The advantage of the 8-12 rep range is that you get maximal hypertrophy”. And any rep range even includes cardiovascular activities. Effects of Drop Set Resistance Training on Acute Stress Indicators and Long-Term Muscle Hypertrophy and Strength. Best Rep Range for Strength. Conclusion He probably doesn’t even lift. Chris Bumstead Shares Hilarious Awkward Moment with Big Ramy Backstage at the Olympia, Product Review: Topeakmart Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set, Product Review: Ample Bulk Canister Meal Replacement Review, Product Review: Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebells Set. Despite some impractical situations, you can now see that the hypertrophy rep range is wider than most people think. However, 0.062 is about what you’d expect from a completely random data set. Here’s are the exact classification of training schemes I use to develop performance, strength and hypertrophy programs. This is the fatigue from the sum of your nervous system and your local muscle. Let’s get one thing straight – feeling the “burn” from very high rep training does not cause growth. But this has been conclusively proven to be incorrect. Range of motion (ROM) Full range of motion generally causes more muscle hypertrophy, but partial ROM can cause site-specific hypertrophy. You can still gain strength with light weights/high reps and moderate weight/moderate reps, but strength gains are generally better with heavy, low-rep training. Pooling all the studies together, low reps caused measures of muscle size to increase by 11.91±5.70% on average. In fact. The studies’ results didn’t conform to a nice, tidy pattern, and you can bet that the individual results within those studies didn’t conform to nice, tidy patterns either. “Muscular Adaptations in Low- versus High-Load Resistance Training: A Meta-Analysis.” European Journal of Sport Science, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25530577. 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