T Nation

Set and Rep Ranges?


Simple. I am wondering what most of you use for your set and rep ranges. Lately, I have been using 4X10 on most of my body (except legs) and usually hit failure on the last set/s, but think that I am starting to stall out from it.

I know that 10 reps is going to prevent me from lifting the truly heavy weights that I need to lift in order to start growing again, so I was wondering what a good set and rep range would be. I was thinking something along the lines of (10,8,6,8) for each exercise, thoughts?

I know this is a simple question, but after searching most of the forums I haven't really found an answer for this.




Found an interesting article after some searching on Google. It promotes a 2:1 hypertrophy:strength rotation. This means doing 2 hypertrophy workouts (8-12 reps, 6 sets) for every 1 strength workout (4-6 reps, 3 sets) per body part or split, meaning that if you were lifting back on days 1, 5 and 9 that you would do hypertrophy workouts on days 1 and 5, and then do a strength workout on day 9.

Thoughts? What do all the massive kids (young in mind and heart) around here like to use?


When you say you've been doing 4x10 does that mean with the same weight on every set and just hitting failure on the last one? Or is it addig weight each set so only the last set of 10 is with a 10RM? If its the former, I would definitely say you should give the latter a try.

Also, I wouldn't worry much about the difference between "strength workouts" and "hypertrophy workouts". If your getting stronger for a decent amount of reps (maybe like 6-12) then your gonna get both strength and hypertrophy from your workouts.


Did you search any of the articles here? There's a few.


I add weight to each set, with the highest weight usually hitting on the third set, thus the last one or two are 10RM. Thanks for the response, the second part of your post makes sense.


I did search and have read most of what I can find, and the overall consensus is that 10+ reps are for endurance and below 10 and mostly below 5 are for high strength gain. I've been stuck in a funk lately though and thought that changing reps could help me bust it up.

I just wanted to hear from everyone here what they use in their daily routines, as most of the people on these boards are pretty educated and know how to get results. Thoughts?


x2 on the second paragraph.

I dunno but IMO, it seems really unnecessary to have 'strength' workouts and 'hypertrophy' workouts. Not only are you going to get strong if over time you add 10s of pounds to the bar within a given rep range (be that 10-12 or 4-6) but I don't see the need to stop dead in your tracks and switch things up especially if you were progressing just fine within a given rep range.

OP, I usually pick 6-8 as the target rep range for many of my first worksets, and 9-12 or 10-12 for the second.

Quads get a 6-8 then a 20 repper after a 3 minute or so rest.

Leg curls are higher reps; at least 10 usually. SLDL and RDLs are lower reps for me.

BB curls are higher reps because i've learned I cannot progress on something like a 6-8.

If I hit 8 or 9 reps on one of the bigger movements (inc smith, BB military, smith close grips, rack pulls, leg press, v-squats, etc) I up the weight (as little as 5lb or as many as 30 depending on the exercise). Reps fall a tad but then I keep the weight the same till I get to the top of my rep range again. Rinse, repeat.

Even though I have a lot of 'strenght' rep ranges (4-6 or so) and 'hypertrophy' ranges (8-12) I definitely do not think of it that way when i'm lifting. I just have set rep ranges that I like to work in and I keep increasing the weights within each. If you are able to do that over many weeks, months, few years then that = a bigger, stronger, you.


Agreed. I think having two work sets at two different rep ranges is a great way to train. It gives you two separate goals to focus on for that exercise instead of focusing totally on that first work set and then just giving whatever you've got left at the same weight again on the last set. So maybe instead of 4x10 your 4 sets could look like 10, 10, 6-8, 9-12.


Or get the best of all worlds:

Set 1: 4-6 reps

Set 2: 8-10 reps

Set 3: 12-15 reps

The above spawned out of the BBB program, Modok/ Scott came up with it.


1-5 sets of 1-20 reps


I keep my reps low 5 and under, but do 5 to 6 sets. increasing weight every set. I gain strength and muscle very quickly doing this. high reps have never worked for me