I know about hypertrophy types but don't care. It's not as important as progression.
Beginners and intermediates should focus on progression in reasonable rep ranges (my opinion 5-12 reps for most (not all) exercises). These rep ranges will be different based on the exercise, bodypart, etc. Beginners and intermediates should not do an excessive amount of low rep work until they know their bodies and have established some degree of proficiency (form and results).
The overriding determining factors in success are persistence, progression, proper food, and a good exercise selection and reasonable training approach. These factors will bring up strength and muscle and establish a sturdy base.
After this point, when you become a late intermediate to advanced trainee, your lifting, rep ranges, etc., will be based on YOUR body. Simply stated, if you aren't building a program around your specific needs, you are still a beginner to intermediate and should focus on the bolded aspects above.
To answer your question Swoleramon...When anything else is handed to be beginners and intermediates that is elevated about what I have stated, it is misguided. You don't, and probably never will need to ever apply or worry about hypertrophy types. Ever.
Advanced lifters with weaknesses, be they powerlifters or bodybuilders, will approach these weaknesses based on specific needs and body feedback. They will rarely solve these weaknesses by resorting to a different type of rep ranges for a specific type of hypertrophy. Why? Because they have probably just spent 10-15 years working in every range under the sun anyway.
More than this, different types of exercises have different "better" rep ranges that work for them. By this I mean isolation lifts don't work well at 80%+ near maximal weight and low reps. Isolations lifts are general not natural movements to the body. Compound lifts work better for a wide range of reps.
Machines are almost always unique. Machines have different leverage points and feels. Some bodyparts work better on machines for strength/power style lifts. Some do not. Some machines have odd designs which make low rep training awkward. Some, like Hammer presses, make the liftoff on presses hard, but the reps easier.
Some bodyparts respond better to higher reps. Some to lower reps. I know some guys, like John Christy, who preach low rep calf training and have made great gains. I see some people who use 50 rep calf sets and believe they work.
Pigeon holing rep ranges doesn't work. There are far too many variables...movement types, trainee experience level, bodypart needs and even weight.
This doesn't mean experienced lifters shouldn't try new things. Obvious this isn't the case. The opposite leads to progress.
For years I worked with a multitude of back exercises and rep ranges, but my back sucked. It wasn't a rep range that fixed this, but rather heavy deadlifts. Not only did deadlifts give me traps, but they also allowed me to bump my dumbbell rows from 120's to 220's, and my strict barbell rows to 315 for reps.
The point here is that the solution to weaknesses is rarely as simple as moving from 4-6 reps to 8-12 or something like this, simply because 99% of experienced lifters have already worked exercises in all these ranges for years.
Ride progression with basic compound lifts. If any whatever number of years you find you have a weakness, try new things.
Destroy That Which Destroys You
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Last edited by BendtheBar; 06-25-2011 at 08:36 PM.