T Nation

High Rep vs Low Rep

Just wondering peoples views on this.

I was watching Ronnies first training vid he said he kept reps always above 10 normally 12-15reps. Later on it in his career it seemed he did very low reps.

Frank Zane said if he could go back in time and fix any mistake in his training he would never have lifted under 10reps.

Porter Cortrell liked lifting in the 20 rep range and in the 60 rep range for legs

Cutler liked 4-12 rep range from the vids I watched.

Countless articles claim one way is better then the other.

Others prefer to mix it up with low for awhiel then high and back and forth.

So what do you guys think and i’m talking strictly for bodybuilding.

Do what works best for you because everyone’s body is different. You just named world class bodybuilders who all use different rep ranges. That goes to show everyone responds differently to different stimulus and thus what works for someone may or may not work for someone else. In conclusion there is no right or wrong to this just do what works best for you through trial and error.

Has to be a mix.

There are different benefits to different rep ranges. I’ll just leave it at that.

Whether you’re a BBer or reg fitness person a mixture of different reps (planned correctly) will optimize results.

That being said, I don’t like to go over 10 reps a set just because it sucks to crank out 15 reps :smiley:

For me, I think rep-range is one of the most unnecessarily overanalyzed areas in bodybuilding. If you progressively get stronger within ANY given rep range then you should be able to stimulate growth. Progression is the key to EVERYTHING in this game IMO.

Personaly, I lift primarily in the 8-12 rep range with a few excercises being 3-5 per the WS4SBIII template. It has been working well for me. I’m gaining weight and strength (and without accurate other measures) I assume that this means I am adding muscle relatively quickly because I do not appear to be gaining much fat.

But I firmly believe that if a person challenges themselves with the chosen weight and constantly gets stronger that growth can be accumulated in the 3-5 rep range or the 20-30 rep range.

I already know what works for me which is changing it up from low reps to high reps. At one point high reps work then lower 3-5 reps work. I’ve even had 1-3 rep range work. Reason why I ask is because it just seem wierd to me I guess unlike TBT vs Split which is pretty clear an answer. Reps are an enigma that nobody majority wise seems to agree upon.

On top of that i’m a strong believer that you can learn from those with experience so I was just wondering what vets bodybuilders believe and why.

The reason it is so ambigious is because there is no “right” answer.

[quote]GuerillaZen wrote:
The reason it is so ambigious is because there is no “right” answer.[/quote]

The correct rep range right now is the one you are not using.

[quote]Lorisco wrote:
GuerillaZen wrote:
The reason it is so ambigious is because there is no “right” answer.

The correct rep range right now is the one you are not using.[/quote]

HAHAHAHA!

[quote]Blacken wrote:
Just wondering peoples views on this.

I was watching Ronnies first training vid he said he kept reps always above 10 normally 12-15reps. Later on it in his career it seemed he did very low reps.

Frank Zane said if he could go back in time and fix any mistake in his training he would never have lifted under 10reps.

Porter Cortrell liked lifting in the 20 rep range and in the 60 rep range for legs

Cutler liked 4-12 rep range from the vids I watched.

Countless articles claim one way is better then the other.

Others prefer to mix it up with low for awhiel then high and back and forth.

So what do you guys think and i’m talking strictly for bodybuilding.

[/quote]

I’m not 100% on this but I believe its right; lower rep ranges recruit more myofiblar muscle fibers while higher rep ranges recruit more sacroplasmic muscle. I won’t go into what the differences are since I don’t have the time nor patience to type all that out.

However; what I’ve noticed is that being strong in the 1-5 rep range doesn’t mean you are strong in the 10-15 rep range; you might not have that muscular endurance while you may have the strenght to lift in the higher rep ranges.

Eventually you’ll hit your genetic limit if your only lifting in the 1-5 rep range, a limit where you’ll have to periodize your training to even gain a little bit of weight on your main lifts.

So it would only make sense that once you hit some limits that you switch up your rep range and get stronger on a higher rep range.

All those body builders may have mentioned at one point what they like or prefer the best; ask yourself this: Do you really think that over their long weight lifting careers that that’s the only way they’ve trained? Perhaps at their advanced stages they found their “way” that works for them the best.

However, I’ll bet that when they were notices their workouts weren’t nowher near what they look like now and if you had asked them then they would have given you a different answer.

Everything works, you just have to have some future foresight in your training goals and plan accordingly.

seems a lot of large pro’s have pushed for high singles or doubles, while repping out in another exercise. there are plenty of videos of coleman doing an 800lb squat double, as well as upwards of 20 reps on legpresses (also with a ton of weight, im sure).

arnold was an advocate of occasionally doing heavy ‘power’ sets of exercises, say 4-5 sets of heavy bench singles. he also of course was not afraid of a lot of volume and high reps.

it seems a mixture of rep schemes would be the best idea.

Jesus H. Christ

Is there even a God?

[quote]kensai01 wrote:
lower rep ranges recruit more myofiblar muscle fibers while higher rep ranges recruit more sacroplasmic muscle. [/quote]

Rep ranges are individual specific and bodypart specific in my opinion. I incorporate both ranges in my training. You can’t bench mark your training with Coleman’s as the man is the one of the best BBers to ever walk on Earth. Or any IFBB pro for that matter.

[quote]Growing_Boy wrote:
Rep ranges are individual specific and bodypart specific in my opinion. I incorporate both ranges in my training. [/quote]

same.

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
Growing_Boy wrote:
Rep ranges are individual specific and bodypart specific in my opinion. I incorporate both ranges in my training.

same.[/quote]

I trained quads today Zep, that one went out for the both of us!

[quote]Growing_Boy wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
Growing_Boy wrote:
Rep ranges are individual specific and bodypart specific in my opinion. I incorporate both ranges in my training.

same.

I trained quads today Zep, that one went out for the both of us! [/quote]

ha, I was out of town the whole time the gym was open today. I guess it’s alright though, I’m schedueled to do PR+45 on deadlift in a few weeks. Extra receovery is nice.