T Nation

rep ranges

Hi people
What is everyones opinion on what rep range is best for muscle growth(not strengh)i thought 8-10 was best but i hear people say 4-6 reps on certain sites? anyway your opinions would be appreciated :slight_smile: cheers

Whatever I haven’t been using in a while creates the greatest change, whether it be an exercise or a rep range. I am a strong believer in picking a rep reange and using it for everything in that cycle. Dunno why, no high dollar “university studies” just personal observation.

There really is no universally “best” rep range! It all depends on your own individual makeup and capacities, experience and total volume.

The stimulus for hypertrophy gains is a function of two main factors:
1.The tension present in the muscle group
2.The duration in which the tension is present (sometimes called ?Time Under Tension? or ?TUT?)

The first factor (the importance of the tension present in the muscle) is the principal responsible factor for the quality of the gains stimulated, the higher the intramuscular tension, the more functional the stimulated hypertrophy will be.The intramuscular tension refers to the effort of the muscle necessary to produce a certain force output. We already know that force is equal to mass x acceleration, so it should also be evident that the importance of the intramuscular tension will be influenced by the importance of the resistance and the acceleration one has to transfer to that resistance. In simpler words you can increase intramuscular tension by increasing the load or the acceleration (or both).

The second factor (TUT) is the principal responsible factor for the quantity of stimulated hypertrophy. A greater volume of work will stimulate more hypertrophy (as long as the stimulation doesn?t exceed the capacity to recover). Understand that volume = Reps x Sets X load. So you can increase volume by adding to any of these 3 factors. Most peoples increase volume by adding reps (working in the 8-12 range) but one other effective way to train is to do more sets with fewer reps (3-6). This is effective because the tension is higher with heavy loads and the volume is kept high with the addition of some sets.

It depends mainly on your bodytype (ectomporph, mesomorph, or endomorph). Also, it depends on whether or not you are ‘natural’, or ‘pharmacutically assisted’, and it also depends on what the majority of your muscles are composed of: ‘type I or type II’. Everyone is different, so assuming your nutrition is spot on, you are going to have to spend time to figure out what works best for you. This could take months.

Although most of your post was on the money (fiber types, experimenting with different ranges), I can’t say that I agree with the assertion that whether or not one is using androgens affects the rep range. While they certainly influence the volume and training frequency one selects, androgens will not magically make you fast-twitch dominant if you are not that way already. If you need a real world application of this, compare Lee Priest (6-8 reps per set most of the time) to Ronnie Coleman (12-15 reps year round). Maybe I’m misinterpreting your post; care to elaborate?

In addition to what was mentioned above, I’d like to add that training age influences fiber type. The longer you’ve trained, the more likely it is that you’ll do better with lower reps than previously.

I can see where what I’ve said could be confusing. What I meant by that statement was that when you are on AS, what seemed heavy to you when you were ‘natural’/‘off-cycle’, can often begin to feel lighter when ‘on’. Therefore the desire to achieve the same fatigue may require you to perform more repetitions, and possibly more sets. This is assuming one keeps using the same weights when pyramiding up/down. What I should have said was that the parameters such as the rep, and set range should be the constant variable, while the only thing to change is the increase in weight. So therefore, what you said in the post was what I actually meant, but I was too lazy to explain myself. I personally don’t use androgens of any kind (not even mag-10), but what i’ve said, and meant was based on my friends using AS and reporting to me what changes the’ve had to make to their prior ‘natural’ work out. Anyways, their ‘form’ sucks, but they make great gains regardless, so i’m not going to say anything.