T Nation

Once Specific Rep Range vs Multiple Rep Ranges Per Workout?

I’m curious what everyone’s opinions on this is…

Which do you think is more optimal in terms of hypertrophy…

- Focusing on ONE specific rep range for a period of time (8 weeks or so). Let’s say 8-10 reps for example on the majority of exercises in your workout.


- Mixing rep ranges during a single workout. For example, starting heavy with 4-6 reps, then another exercise for 6-8, then another for 8-10, and another for 10-12, etc. Can also be done with different rep ranges per set instead of per exercise.

I can see benefits to both methods, although if using the multiple rep range method it seems you would then have less room to manoeuvre and tweak things once adaptation/plateau kicked in, as you’re already using several different rep ranges, therefore you can’t really say “I’ll change my rep range”. For example, if using different rep ranges from 6-12 during a workout, once you have to change your reps the only options available are moving away from the so called hypertrophy range and training in a ‘muscular endurance’ (higher reps) or ‘pure strength’ (1-5) style.

Generally speaking I do: sets of 1-10 reps to begin with on compound movements & then sets of 10-20 to finish on isolation movements.


Main lifts, supplemental lifts, big compound lifts - 3 to 8 reps (sometimes 10)

Assistance/Accessories - 10-20 reps

Intensity seems to be pretty important whether its 5 reps or 20.

Arnold believed in lots of volume, moderate weight and frequency. Dorian believed in heavy weight, intensity and much less frequency. Both grew.

I say use a wide range. Think for yourself and discern what seems to work for you.

When I’ve trained primarily for hypertrophy, I’ve had good results staying in the 8-15 rep range, depending on the exercise. If I still optimized my lifting for hypertrophy, I’d do at least two exercises per muscle group, using one heavier compound at 4-7 reps on working sets and a lighter isolation movement of 12-18 reps.

That said, I’ve learned my body feels best when doing a specific rep range for each movement, usually 3-6 for squats/deads/OHP; 6-12 for bench, rows, pullups, and lunges; and 10-20 for curls, delt flyes, abs, and triceps isolation movements.