T Nation

High Rep Muscle Growth Question


I know you don’t like commenting on other people’s strategies but I know you have worked with Paul Carter before and respect each other. What do you think of his 350 method were you do 3 sets of Max reps with a two minute rest between sets and try to get a total of 50 reps.

Ex. Db tricep extensions
Set 1- 20 reps
Set 2- 13 reps
Set 3- 9 reps
Total=42 reps. Keep this weight until you can achieve 50 total reps and then increase weight…

He likes this method for muscle gains.

I was thinking about trying it. But wanted to get your input. So My question is isn’t that against your thinking for hypertrophy rep ranges?


I don’t have a thinking with rep ranges. Any range can provide hypertrophy. Heck even sets of 100 reps (or more) can have benefit.

Paul’s technique is in line with recent a scientific finding showing that as long as you reach muscle failure, the amount of hypertrophy stimulated will be the same. In that study they compared 3 sets to failure at 30% and 3 sets of failure at 80% and both gave similar results for muscle growth (80% being superior for strength gains).

And if you use progressive overload, it will work. Meaning that if you get stronger over time, even in higher rep ranges, your muscles will get bigger. You don’t have to increase your 1RM to increase strength.

Paul’s approach uses a double progression (add reps with a weight until you achieve a certain number, then add weight). So it will work.

It has a lot to do with individual preferences. If someone hates doing high reps, he likely won’t get much out of them because he won’t be motivated and will likely subconsciously give a less than maximal effort… just like if some hates low reps he won’t get optional results because of too much anxiety or low motivation.

In my own training I do use high rep sets for one exercise.For example, at the moment I’m training at a “bro gym” and the dumbbells don’t go super heavy. So I’m simply trying to beat my total rep record over 3 sets from week to week. If I can increase from 50 total reps over 3 sets to 60, then I got stronger and stimulated growth.


I just wasn’t sure If this would increase cortisol too much in a natural?


Was thinking what the difference would be if I picked a weight I could do between 10 and 20 reps and just did rest pause.

So I’m still reaching failure 3 times but don’t have a lot of the volume and the load would be light enough to feel a real good min muscle connection…thoughts?

Ex. DB tricep extension
Set 1 - 16 reps
Rest 20 seconds
Set 2 - 7 reps
Rest 20 seconds
Set 3 - 4 reps

=27 total reps as opposed to 50 total reps


Dude, yes cortisol increase is proportional to volume and yes natural should avoid excessive cortisol release and therefore excessive volume is bad. But we can’t be that anal about it either.