T Nation

Extra Weight or None?


hey fellas, on one of my upper body days, i do pullups/chin ups then run over and do dips. i do 5 sets of that. now for gaining size, would it be better to do 10 reps with no extra weight, or do 5 reps with extra weight?


You should try the search function regarding mass and various set/rep combinations but it has always been my experience that more weight = more mass. Try adding the weight and doing less reps with more sets.


As a generalization:

1-5 reps = strength gains
6-12 reps = mass gains
12+ reps = endurance gains

5-8 reps = best compromise of strength and mass gains.

If you're looking to add mass specifically, I would opt for the 8-10 rep range with a little extra weight added so you go to failure on the last reps of the last sets.


alright thanx guys, thats kinda what i thought but i just wanted some additional input


Mix it up they are Both effective.


Do the heavy sets, rest a couple days, and then rep out.


I have been doing the 10 x 3 for fat loss protocol applied to pullups and handstand pushups. I have worked up to 45lbs with the pullups and 20lbs with the handstand pushups. My back and arms have never been bigger or fuller. For context, I do tabatas daily for cardio, pavels 3-5 (5 x 5)with one arms and pistols on alternate days, and eat slightly above maintainence calories.

Definately go heavy and above 25 total reps for the best mix of strength and size.


how much do you weigh? right now i weigh about 210, and i can only do about 10 pullups with 20lbs on me :S


Im asking a serious question here but doesnt mass come with strength? so then wouldnt the 1-5 reps and the 6-12 reps be the same thing? I could be wrong but just wondering.



Maximal force/power production has a much stronger neural component involved in it compared to strength endurance. Lifting in the 1-5 rep range, especially in the 1-3 rep range will have as much or more of an effect on the efficiency of your nervous system than the size of your muscles.


I weigh 195. Note that it is 10 sets of 3 reps, not 3 sets of 10.


oh haha ok much better


Chad Waterbury has like a bazilion articles on this very topic, you know?

Anyway, do sets of 10 for a while (3-4 weeks) then add weight and do 5x5 for a while then add some more and do 10x3.