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

http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_bigger_stronger_leaner/why_do_we_use_certain_reps


#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

This article might explain it a bit better:
http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/light_weights_for_big_gains

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).