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Rep Range Variation


Currently I'm playing about with a push/legs/pull done 3 on 1 off. Consequently, I train each area 2 x a week most weeks. Would you say though, to avoid stagnation, I'd be best off sticking to a rep range for each for a few weeks (i.e. 5x5, 3x10-12, 4x8) in phases, or to change it up between workouts for each group, i.e. doing 'push' 3x10-12, then 5x5 next 'push' day?



Pick a weight.
Warm up to that weight with however many sets/reps you want
do as many reps with that weight as possible

next week. Come back and do more reps with it, or pick a heavier weight



As far as the rep scheme any of those will work. I'd stick to one scheme for 3 or 4 weeks before changing reps/tempo. What I would change is the main exercise for the day. Ex: don't flat bench first thing each push day. I notice my performance goes down if I do. That's just me though.


I would echo what Clown Face is saying here.

If I am pressing a weight and get it for 12 repetitions, I may add 20lbs to the bar next time and only get 7 repetitions. So I work with it, twice a week, and after a month or so I can now do that weight for 12 repetitions. So I add 20 more pounds. Now you tell me, do you really think my body cares what "rep range" any of that was happening in? Did it only grow at a certain number or reps, or do you think it won't grow at all because my reps weren't jumping around?

Do you think my muscles are going to look any different or get bigger any faster if I was cycling around the reps I was doing that whole time?

Learn your body to figure out what is too heavy (usually less than 6 reps), and what is too light (usually more than 12 reps)... and continuously try to add weight within that range. Don't make things complicated.


I think you're better off making changes in your main exercise when you stop seeing gains. Rep schemes are a nice guideline for novice lifters, but you are better off focusing on better reps and variations in exercise selection when necessary.


There are so many different variables to play with, the real trick is not to let them confuse you if you haven't even built the most rudimentary of bases yet. I know lots of more 'advanced' trainers who will alternate rep ranges each session, or try to incorporate some high rep and some low rep work (with different exercises) in each training session, but they've all gone through the "stay with something long enough to see progress" phase by now.

Any change you make in your training has the potential to have a training effect. If you're lucky, it will be a positive one (if you're smart enough to give it a chance to work that is). I think you could adjust your exercise selection, your rep ranges, your rest periods,.. hell, you can get as crazy as you want, but pick ONE variable at a time, and see what happens.

Personally, I find that some exercises just lend themselves better to lower rep work, while others, usually because of the injury potential involved, or just because I like to build up a nice burn in the muscle, lend themselves to a higher range. No one can tell you what will produce the best results for YOU. Just be smart and analytical about what you do, and eventually, you should figure out your answer.



I vary mine often and only go to failure every few sessions. The whole concept of hitting failure and adding weight each week didn't work for me and caused a nice long plateau.


Give us more info, we can give you more help. What are your training stats, strongest recent lifts, etc?