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Why do we do different rep ranges .A question I hear all the time. It really depends on your goals. Are you looking to be able to move a house and just be strong as possible? Do you prefer a balance between strength gains and muscle-building? Are you looking to add as much muscle as possible with not as much emphasis on strength? Or are you looking to improve muscular endurance with limited strength and muscular gains? There really is no wrong answer here. Just personal preference.

It should be noted that the number of repetitions is the variable in the fitness equation that is adapted to most quickly. So, a rule of thumb is to vary this often. In order to ensure you are making continual progress towards transforming from Superwomen or the incredible hulk, frequent variation will be needed. Most will adapt to any given rep range after 5-7 workouts. Keep a journal handy to track your progress and pay special attention for when it’s time to switch it up.

  • 1-5 reps is typical used for maximal strength gains. If you are looking to pick up Oak trees and throw them at someone I would highly suggest taking this approach. 1-5 reps is usually around 85% of your 1 rep maximum (1RM) in any given lift.
  • 6-8 reps: You’ll hear a lot of 6-8 rep talk from the meat-heads at your local globe gym. It is a pretty standard rep range for most fellas to follow because it elicits a pretty nice balance between strength and muscular gains. 6-8 reps usually falls at about 79-84% of your 1RM. So if you have not already, think about testing those 1RM’s. Just make sure you have proper form and a partner on stand by. WOMEN, you will not get bulky working in this rep range. Please do not stay away from it like the plague. Mix it in every once in a while. The fact is that your body does not have enough natural testosterone to make you bulky from moving heavy weights. Don’t be scared. Strong is sexy!
  • 9-12 reps: this is the rep range that the majority of trainees use. However, they train in this range with not much intensity. By that I mean moving a weight for 12 reps when they could have done 20. This rep range will usually be around 70-78% of your 1RM. This rep range will allow for optimal muscular development. If you are looking for serious body composition changes (a.k.a. looking good naked) then think about dabbling in this pool. With that said, don’t forget to experiment with rep ranges. Your body will adjust very quickly and those gains will start to decrease.You get this in Met Cons, lighter and longer
  • 13+ reps: this is usually anything under 70% of your 1RM. Most novice lifters can experience tremendous gains when working with these higher rep ranges. This is also an excellent rep range for beginners in order to develop proper form and control of the movements. Body weight movements will allow for rep ranges in the range. If you are a new to all of this, think about starting with a body weight routine until you develop some muscular strength, coordination, and confidence.

NOTE: It is not necessary to find your 1RM to work within these rep ranges. An easy rule to follow when working in each rep range is that the last rep you do should be difficult but not the last one you could do. It should feel like you “might” be able to do one more. “Might” is the keyword here.


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