T Nation

Rep Ranges for Size Question


#1

I read an article where you said to change up the rep ranges and gave examples and one of them listed was 4-6 rep range. You said this will make you look bigger and harder at rest.

  1. How does this compare to the 6-8 rep range for building muscle mass?

  2. Do you recommend this for only the big lifts or can they be done also for isolation on small muscle exercises like barbell curls or barbell tricep extensions?

  3. I was thinking about doing this rep range with the double progression method on big assistance lifts and then rest pause for isolation lifts.

  4. Last question is what weight or how many reps do you recommend for rest pause on isolation lifts?

Thank you


#2

Well honestly if you use the 4-6 range but do most of your sets with 6 reps or if you use the 6-8 rep range and also do most of your sets for 6 it will obviously be the same :slight_smile: Even if you do most of your sets for 7 reps it will be a lot alike.

The 4-6 and 6-8 zones aren't so much about reps as they are about load.

Most people will be able to use between 82.5-87.5% when using the 4-6 range

Most people will be able to use between 77.5 to 82.5% when using the 6-8 range

The type of training effect is determined by the load, not the number of reps. The number of reps done in the selected rep range will affect more the magnitude of the gains

So if you want to use the 4-6 range to get the increase in hardness with some muscle gain you should use 85% of your maximum using the double progression model. Using 87.5% might be too much because you would not be able to get 4 reps in the 3rd+ sets.

If you want to use the 6-8 range you should use 80% and also use the double progression model. Using 82.5% would be too much because even at the 2nd set you are likely not to hit 6 reps.

Now are the effect THAT different between 4 to 6 and 6 to 8? In the grand scheme of things it will not be big. Honeslty it is already VERY hard to add even a small amount of muscle than even a big difference between two methods would not lead to a huge visual difference.

The hardness effect might be a bit more noticeable, but only if you are lean. A musclke wont look hard regardless of the method used if it is covered by 1" of fat


#3

It can be done for anything. And I occasionally do heavy work on isolation exercises but it's not something I really like. The whole purpose of an isolation exercise is to isolate a muscle. And what I find is that when you go too heavy on isolation movement a lot of the tension shifts to the tendons and other muscles groups, the quality of the muscle contraction decreases which kinda defeats the prupose,


#4

Sure, that will work. Don't overdo the isolation work though.


#5

Well it depends on how far you want to take the rest pause.

The normal rest/pause set uses the +50% method. Meaning that the goal is to get 50% of the initial number of reps. So if you did 8 at first then you are shooting for a total of at least 12.

You could go either with the 6-8 (77.5-82.5%) or 8-10 (70-77.5%) ranges for the weight.


#6

Thank you for the answers. I appreciate the quick response


#7

CT, can you tell where did you learn how the percent range for each range ? Things like: 82.5-87.5% when using the 4-6 range Or more specifically where can I find more about rep range and weight percent.
Thanks.


#8

Percentage tables (predicting 1RM for example) have been published since the 70s. Although they are an approximation and individual performances can vary depending on training experience (those who focused on low rep strength wont be able to get as many reps at a given percentage and those who have been training using high reps might get more) and fiber dominance, it still is fairly accurate.


#9

Thanks.
I asked you that because I've been searching about rep ranges and percent but every source I could found used Prilepin’s chart but you always have more direct and practical information.


#10

You likely didn't search very long or have bad research skills... if you type "predicting 1RM" you'll find a tons of answers.

According to Baechle (Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning)

1 rep = 100
2 reps = 95
3 reps = 93
4 reps = 90
5 reps = 87
6 reps = 85
7 reps = 83
8 reps = 80
9 reps = 77
10 reps = 75
12 reps = 67
15 reps = 65

This is for ONE all-out set. If you were to do for example 4 sets of 8 and used 80% you would likely get something like 8, 7, 6, 5 So when doing multiple sets go with 2-5% lower.

Obviously there are individual differneces. I'm used to training with low reps, there is no way I can get 10 reps with 75% or 8 reps at 80% ... for me it would be closer to 7 reps with 75% and 5-6 reps with 80%.


#11

My mistake I didn't understand that Predicting 1RM was the name of the table.
Also got that book you quoted as I'm trying to learn a bit more about training.
Thank you for helping out.