T Nation

Frequency of Reps vs. Weight

Quick question: I know you are supposed to pick a weight in which you fatigue at the last rep or right before the last rep. Typical rep advice is around 12-15 so I have heard.

The question is, if I am not fatigued at 15 reps, should I keep going until I am fatigued? Say until 21 or 22 reps. Will this help in muscle and strength building?

Odd question, I know, but thanks for any help!

You do not have to go to fatigue on every set. If you do 5 sets then the fatigue should kick in on the last reps of the last set.

If you find you are not fatigued then you could keep going until you are (probably 1-2 more reps) and the next time you exercise, USE MORE WEIGHT.

The 12-15 reps you are talking about means you should aim to fatigue in that rep range. Add weight if you ain’t.

Consider 10x10 training: 10 sets of 10 reps. You pick a weight you can do 10 reps with for 10 sets. Obviously if you are doing 3 sets of 10 reps then you can use a heavier weight. But for TEN SETS of 10 reps, you must use a lighter weight - and you won’t begin to fatigue until you get to around set 7. Then 7 is hard, 8 hard, 9 really hard, set 10 you might not even get 10 reps.

If you DO get all 10 reps in the 10th set, you increase the weight next time. Otherwise, weight stays the same until you get all 100 reps.

There are thousands of variations and no doubt someone else will post links to the set-reps articles of which there are many.

Use the search feature at the top of the screen.

[quote]Eagle316 wrote:
Quick question: I know you are supposed to pick a weight in which you fatigue at the last rep or right before the last rep. Typical rep advice is around 12-15 so I have heard.

The question is, if I am not fatigued at 15 reps, should I keep going until I am fatigued? Say until 21 or 22 reps. Will this help in muscle and strength building?

Odd question, I know, but thanks for any help![/quote]

Endurance… yes!
Hypertrophy… depends on how heavy that weight is and if you are taking rest -pauses to get up that high in reps.
Strength… probably very little if any
Power… doubt it, unless your moving it at lightning speed

Power… is more about explosive lifting with very heavy weight, sometimes lighter weight. Usually 1-5 rep range but sometimes as high as 15 with a lighter weight in dynamic lifting.

Strength… is more about heavy loads and maximal lifts. 1-5 rep range & partial reps.

Hypertrophy(muscle building)… is more about TUT & periodization, rep ranges vary according to the individual. Generally 5-15 is the range before failure & partial reps.

Endurance… is more about long TUT, probably minutes of repping and somewhere over the 15+ rep range without rest pause on most muscles and partial reps. The calves and other muscles can be trained in alot higher rep ranges and still get alot of hypertrophy because of the number of slow twitch muscle fibers therefore in the make up.

Cardio… believe it or not is probably the most beneficial thing here, it improves all the previous types of exercising. Sometimes I do cardio to get bigger and stronger… not to lose weight and get smaller.

Like said it has to do with the goal in mind as far as reps etc… But I will take a guess and say your going for more size and strength. being new sure 12-15 aint bad but no I wouldnt g fatigue out if you can go well past 15 your just wasting energy on a junk set. stop up the load and save the energy for the real work that will do better at giving the adaptive response you desire.