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Old 10-11-2010, 07:50 PM   #4
BendtheBar
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Louisiana
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You want to work primarily in the 5 to 12 rep range for most non-isolation lifts, excluding some leg work (20 rep squats, leg presses, etc.) Put aside the thought that certain rep ranges are for strength and certain ranges are for muscle. You can generally achieve both muscle and strength within any reasonable rep range. Most popular rep range beliefs are myths.

The real key to muscle building isn't so much the rep range, but rather a constant focus on progression. Always push yourself on every set, stopping a set when you believe you might fail on the next rep. Stay within 5 to 12 reps. Some sets you could aim for 5 to 8 reps, and some 8 to 12. Use the range that most motivates you to train, and best suits you for that particular lift. Lifting is all about YOUR body and YOUR mental satisfaction, so there is no one size fits all approach to reps.

Once you stop pushing for progression you signal to your body that more muscle isn't needed. Never take an "easy set" unless you feel sick or are having a very bad day. An easy set is a wasted set.

I made most of my gains using a system that focused on 3 different rep ranges, 4 to 8, 8 to 12, and 12 to 15. Having a little variation isn't a bad thing, but again, there are no magic rep ranges so if you do use a variety, use whatever ranges you like best.

I do not advise rep work under 5 until you have built up a solid core strength. Beginners gain muscle strength quickly, but need some time to strengthen tendons and connective tissue. Too much "low" low rep work before you have allowed your connective tissue to strength is a bit dangerous.
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Last edited by BendtheBar; 10-11-2010 at 08:03 PM.
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