Rep Ranges for Muscle Growth
WHAT IS THE “MAGICAL” REP RANGE?
Here’s the answer: None... I know you’re disappointed. STOP MOVING THAT MOUSE to the X at the top of your screen. I HAVE GOOD NEWS
Rep ranges don’t exactly correlate to muscle growth. Sit down Son cause today we gon’ learn some fitness. When you start your fitness journey, you'll hear things like “1 – 5 reps for strength” and “6 – 12 reps for endurance”. I know I’ve said that myself. It's okay, well say stupid shit when we’re drunk. The days of bro science are behind us boys and girls, here’s what the new research shows.
According Brad Schoenfeld and colleagues:
“Maximal strength benefits are obtained from the use of heavy loads while muscle hypertrophy can be equally achieved through a spectrum of loading phases”
In Bro Science terms, rep range is not directly correlated with muscle growth.
I KNOW you read that and thought “How does this help me” Sit tight friend. We’re not done.
In ordermuscle growth you need to take these things into consideration:
- Volume and training intensity: Recent studies show that loads under 30% of your 1RM may not be as effective when it comes to building muscle. This shows us that when it comes to hypertrophy work, you’ll see more bang for your buck when you’re using moderate weight for each rep VS. Light weight, light reps.
- Proper from: Performing ANY movement with proper form will allow that muscle to fire properly which equals more muscle damage = more muscle growth.
- Progressive overload: The NUMBER ONE muscle building mechanism. We can’t expect to get stronger if we are not challenging our muscles to push heavier loads.
Ultimately, as long as you’re working with loads greater than 30% of your 1RM reps don’t really affect your muscle hypertrophy. As a matter of fact, a study was done between two groups that proves this claim. Both weightlifters performed a bench press with the same amount of weight. One performed 10 continuous reps while one performed 2 sets of 5 with 30 second rest in-between. The weightlifter who performed the 10 continues reps experienced 12% more muscle growth VS. The lifter who split his sets up.
With that being said, effective reps along with proper volume is KEY for muscle growth.
Based on all this science, where does this leave us?
Well our goal in the gym is to get STRONGER and LOOK GOOD right? How do we achieve the best of both worlds? Let me teach you young padawan.
Let’s break your training down, considering that you’re training each muscle group at least twice a week (cause if you’re not...come on) here's what I would recommend.
Start by building a STRENGTH and HYPERTROPHY day for example:
Strength Push Day: 3 – 5 sets: 6 – 8 reps (heavier loads) 60% - 70% of 1RM
Hypertrophy Push Day: 4 sets: 8 – 12 reps (lighter loads) 30% - 60% of 1RM
KEEP IN MIND! THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A “BEST” TRAINING SPLIT
That was just an example.
Keep in mind that in the sport of bodybuilding it’s all about the long term. The more effective your training is over a longer period of time the better the results will be.
Educate yourself as much as you can and let’s make some GAINS!