The Best Rep Ranges for Maximum Muscle Growth
What rep ranges should you be training in? This is a question that is asked time and time again. Somehow, many find themselves lost without a resolution. Some experts say high reps with low weight, others will say low reps with heavy weight. Some people preach high volume training, while others thrive with low volume. Progression is the true key.
Today, we are going to dig deep to find the BEST rep ranges to grow your body fast, and effectively.
The Benefits of Low Volume Training
In order for a muscle to grow it needs to be placed under some sort of tension or "muscle tension" as you will hear some experts refer to it as.
For the majority of your compound movements, stick to the 3-6 rep range, with adequate rest in between sets. Total reps between all sets should fall somewhere between 20-25 and will make up the majority of your workout. This is the best rep range for growth for all compound movements.
Since training heavy is ideal, does that mean training in rep ranges even lower such as 1-3 reps is better? No. Low volume can be great for muscle grow. However, be sure to not go too low. In order to sustain adequate muscle tension, you must have adequate volume to keep up with it.
The 1-3 rep range can be good to develop raw strength, but not for developing new muscle tissue.
Low volume training develops the fast twitch muscle fibers which is crucial for muscle growth. Fast twitch muscle fibers come into play with anything explosive such as a heavy squat, heavy bench press, 100M sprint, or a burpee.
These movements require power and explosion to develop muscle tissue. Look at the build of an olympic sprinter. Lean, developed, strong, and powerful muscles. This is because they have taken the time to grow their fast twitch muscles.
When To Train for High Volume?
By now I think you get my point that lower volume training with heavier weight will yield better results for muscle growth. However, high volume training does have a time and place as well.
The 8-12 rep range can work much better for ISOLATION exercises when you isolate only one muscle at a time. This is the opposite of a compound movement. This rep range can work better for a couple reasons. If the lifter is very new to weights, this will be a better rep range because they do not have the control and stability to typically perform exercises in the 3-6 rep range safely. The second reason is form for a single muscle group. If the weight gets heavy while working with one muscle group, often times form is sacrificed and the joints and tendons take over to perform the exercise. The muscle is not worked adequately. By using lighter weight with higher reps, you will get a much better squeeze and contraction with the muscle individually to increase muscle tear down and growth.
The main thing to remember is that none of this matters if you are not CONSISTENT. If you lack dedication to complete your workouts each week, you will not have results no matter what rep range you are in. The body will continue to grow and develop if there is a new added stimulus on it each week. Regardless if you are a fan of high reps or low reps, it comes down to progression. If you can progress and make strength gains each week, you will grow new tissue no matter what rep range you are in. Whichever rep range you pick be sure to continue to get STRONGER at it. This is the ultimate factor.