T Nation

Rep Ranges


#1

Low rep ranges cause muscle growth as type 2 fibers, with greater potential force to be generated and lower endurance. Higher rep ranges, type 1 fibers, lower force, greater endurance. Makes sense and I don't concern myself much about it but I see programming that's in the 5ish rep range on a strength program, then with additional exercises has 15-20 rep sets to work on weak areas.

Wouldn't the lower rep range exercises and higher rep range exercises sort of contradict each other? Is this really optimal for strength training? I know I am wrong and that sort of programming is fine, but I don't understand how.


#2

Wouldn’t it make sense to try to grow both types?


#3

Wouldn’t you want one to be dominant, for powerlifting type 2 for strength, for bodybuilding type 1 because it seemingly has greater size potential, and not mix rep ranges? Maybe the first main low rep compound exercises set the stage for type 2 fibers, using higher rep ranges isn’t significant enough to cause type 1 growth but only breaks the fibers more? Most logical theory I have come up with so far…


#4

I wrote this in this thread, so I’m going to repost here

[quote] Honestly, I feel the notion of rep ranges has been a far greater detriment to training than benefit. Many seem to ignore that the intent of providing a rep range/effect explanation was more to explain about the impact of time under tension, which is really an entirely different animal for most.

3 reps is supposed to be in the power range of training. Well lets say I do 3 fast reps with 60% 1rm? Then yeah, I’m developing power. What about 90% of 1rm? Now it’s strength. What about if I did 10 sets of 3 with 75% and 1 minute of rests between sets? Now I’m developing hypertrophy. What about a weight circuit, where I do 3 reps of dips, 3 reps of chins, and 3 reps of kettlebell swings for 15 minutes? Now it’s endurance/conditioning.

Lets go back to that 3 reps with 90% set. Say I’m doing squats. On one set, I lockout each rep at the top and pause for a second before starting the next rep. On the second set, I don’t lockout at the top and immediately begin the next rep before coming completely to the top of the last one. Did both sets accomplish the same degree of strength/size development? They were both 90% of 1rm for 3 reps.

There are far more variables at play than rep range, and honestly, I think moving away from thinking in “rep ranges” and more in terms of how everything builds to the overall goal is a boon. I go by feel for the most part these days, and measure success as my outcome. [/quote]


#5

EDIT

Damn, th3punisher, your post didn’t appear yet while i was typing. Op, read that. Best write up i’ve seen regarding this topic.


#6

[quote]Massthetics wrote:
I know I am wrong and that sort of programming is fine, but I don’t understand how.[/quote]
This article might explain it a bit better:

[quote]dt709 wrote:
Damn, th3punisher, your post didn’t appear yet while i was typing. Op, read that. Best write up i’ve seen regarding this topic.[/quote]
Definitely good info from Pun. And like I added-on in that thread, looking at rep range as an isolated factor is only looking at a fraction of the story. Other variables like total volume, load, and tempo will absolutely influence the training results. 5x5 with a 10RM is different from 5x5 with a 10RM is different from 5x5 with a 20RM using a 5-1-5-1 tempo.

Never mind the fact that, looking at training in the context of how it affects muscle fibers is also looking at just part of the picture. Neurological adaptations and even levels of cardiovascular/anaerobic conditioning respond differently to different stimuli (rep range/volume/intensity).