For the last months and years I´ve seen a lot of guys and girls interested in knowing which is the best rep range they need to focus on, as many other things in training there is not a right or wrong answer and I consider all of them to be great options.
It all starts with your goal, you can use resistance training for all goals just be changing the rep range you use, it´s not the same to train for power than to train for endurance the rep ranges are as follow:
1 -4 for power
5 – 8 for strength
8 – 12 for hypertrophy
15 – < for endurance
With this you know in which rep range to work according to your goal, for muscle gain you can use strength and hypertrophy on the strength rep range you´ll be building dense muscle also called myofibrillar hypertrophy which is the one that last and with hypertrophy rep range also called sarcoplasmic hypertrophy you are able to gain size faster but it doesn´t last, if you take some time off the gym you start losing that size. This two rep ranges are the ones you can focus on more to build an aesthetic physique.
For the power and strength rep ranges you need to use compound movements which are the ones where you can lift more weight, for hypertrophy and endurance you can use compound and isolation. The endurance rep range can help you burn fat and sometimes gain some muscle, you can use all types of exercises, compound, isolation and bodyweight.
If your goal is to gain muscle mass then the best option is to focus on building dense muscle mass by focusing on the strength rep range around 5 to 7 reps using compound and bodyweight exercises and add some isolation exercises for weaker muscles using the hypertrophy rep range around 8 to 12 reps.
Getting stronger on the first 3 rep ranges specially around 5 to 12 reps by using a tool called periodization is an awesome strategy that keeps you getting stronger and gaining muscle mass, if you get stronger on the power and strength rep ranges you are able to lift more weight on the hypertrophy rep, gaining muscle is about getting stronger.
When you work on power and strength the central nervous system gets stressed a lot and it takes more time to recover so you need to consider volume and frequency when training on this 2 rep ranges, with hypertrophy and endurance the central nervous system doesn´t get the same amount of stress.
Weight loss and gaining muscle are the most common goals so strength and hypertrophy are the most used rep ranges but once you achieved your goal taking some time and maintaining it gives you the opportunity to work on the other 2 rep ranges. When you train for power you need to be really conscious and focused on form to avoid injuries, I personally don´t like to work below 5 reps, I mostly go from 5 to 7 and 8 to 12 focusing on building dense muscle with bodyweight and compound movements and sometimes I add some isolation exercises. Sometimes I use the endurance rep range with bodyweight exercises specially when I want to lose fat and I could go for 50 reps in some exercises.
All rep ranges have their space on training and they´re all great options for different goals, using all of them using periodization keeps your body guessing and making your workouts fun and challenging.
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