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Old 02-13-2010, 11:37 AM   #11
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How much does rep range impact strength and hypertrophy gains?

When pulled back to look at the forest as a whole the impact of either becomes so blurred as to nearly become one. It is only when you zoom in and find yourself amongst the trees that individual attributes of either can be seen as to their impact. That said, there is a factor that is vital to both, that applies not only in this question but in all the universe as well.

Time.

Ask a person walking down the street about time, and they will look at their cell phone or watch, and give you a well known answer as they understand it relative to their time zone.

Ask a scientest about time, and you have opened pandora's box. The answer you will get, will rise beyond your IQ level so fast as to give you symtoms of the bends.

To discuss this question you must include time in the equation.

Lets use this rep number as an example, 20 reps.

How many different ways can you do 20 reps? The answer is that there is an infinate way to do 20 reps. Just as time, and numbers are infinate.

1x20
2x10
4x5
3x6+2
1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1+5


See where I'm going?

Most people would think of all of these different set rep schemes as being vastly different. In fact all of them could deliver the same results as the next, or they could in fact be vastly different. It all depends on the time of how you perform those reps. All of this is when viewed from the near term. Viewed from long distance the effects tend to blur together.

Having said all that, and making this complicated, lets make it simple. I prefer simple to complex whenever possible. Work smarter, not harder. That seems like an oxymoron given our choosen sport, but it still holds true.

We need to apply a constant. that constant can be anything we set it as but to keep our perfrmance even we need to use the same constant. change the constant, and you have changed the rules. What will your constant be?
Will it be time between sets? Will it be reps? Will it be sets. Will it be a combination of two.

4x5, and 2x10. Both can deliver the same results. Time between sets, and reps can be manipulated so that either is basically the same.

The original question of this thread has been answered by the man on the street answer. low reps for strength, higher reps for hypertrophy. It's not really wrong, but it isn't right either. It's just easier for most people to use that as a basic rule to apply. It will work, but it's not the only way to do it.
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glwanabe View Post
How much does rep range impact strength and hypertrophy gains?

When pulled back to look at the forest as a whole the impact of either becomes so blurred as to nearly become one. It is only when you zoom in and find yourself amongst the trees that individual attributes of either can be seen as to their impact. That said, there is a factor that is vital to both, that applies not only in this question but in all the universe as well.

Time.

Ask a person walking down the street about time, and they will look at their cell phone or watch, and give you a well known answer as they understand it relative to their time zone.

Ask a scientest about time, and you have opened pandora's box. The answer you will get, will rise beyond your IQ level so fast as to give you symtoms of the bends.

To discuss this question you must include time in the equation.

Lets use this rep number as an example, 20 reps.

How many different ways can you do 20 reps? The answer is that there is an infinate way to do 20 reps. Just as time, and numbers are infinate.

1x20
2x10
4x5
3x6+2
1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1+5


See where I'm going?

Most people would think of all of these different set rep schemes as being vastly different. In fact all of them could deliver the same results as the next, or they could in fact be vastly different. It all depends on the time of how you perform those reps. All of this is when viewed from the near term. Viewed from long distance the effects tend to blur together.

Having said all that, and making this complicated, lets make it simple. I prefer simple to complex whenever possible. Work smarter, not harder. That seems like an oxymoron given our choosen sport, but it still holds true.

We need to apply a constant. that constant can be anything we set it as but to keep our perfrmance even we need to use the same constant. change the constant, and you have changed the rules. What will your constant be?
Will it be time between sets? Will it be reps? Will it be sets. Will it be a combination of two.

4x5, and 2x10. Both can deliver the same results. Time between sets, and reps can be manipulated so that either is basically the same.

The original question of this thread has been answered by the man on the street answer. low reps for strength, higher reps for hypertrophy. It's not really wrong, but it isn't right either. It's just easier for most people to use that as a basic rule to apply. It will work, but it's not the only way to do it.
I agree, and the thing about constants is why i love a workout like EDT and GPDT, because the time frame is always constant
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Old 02-13-2010, 03:47 PM   #13
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Default From my experience, rep range impacts strength and growth significantly but

From my experience, rep range impacts strength and growth significantly but not solely. There are many other factors to consider:


I feel when talking about muscle growth it is important to separate notions of size strength and separation/definition. In order to build muscles you need to use more of a static approach. However I feel that in order to build strength you must tackle a whole bunch of obstacles:

-The difference in "bulking" is you analyze what need to be bigger. You focus on mainly on getting your muscles bigger in size, and you body's frame wider in stature. This can be achieved by eating more calories,proteins,fats,carbs, food etc, than your body is used to, as well as increasing you muscles absorption of water through salt, creatine, the BLOAT,etc...

-The difference in "cutting" is you analyze what needs to be shaped and chiseled out of the frame. By burning off the fact through to combination of high intensity training, fat burning cardiovascular exercises,"cardio", higher rep ranges. Cutting out the fat, and "dieting" regulating the carb,fat, protein,etc.. intake to promote fat lose but still uphold maintenance of muscles.

-The difference in "strength training" is you analyze which muscles are weak, and figure out how to make them stronger. Strength training can be getting faster or getting bigger, depending on the lift you trying to get stronger in. Re-enforcing the posterior chain. Preparing the central nervous system and the joints for stress. This can mean a greater variable in approach and rep schemes.

Building the muscles, creating a foundation

A slower rep speed to ensure blood is rushing to every fiber of the muscles tearing them a apart so that they can be rebuilt bigger and stronger. The ideal rep range for that is:

Mass Max Effort (static and slow twitch fibers) One compound movements 5-8 reps. On isolation 5-10reps)(muscles such as calves, abs, and forearms need slightly higher volume as do lagging muscle groups)


Conditioning the muscles, fortifying your foundation



Once muscles have been built in terms of size from slower higher rep ranges, then one should condition their muscles fast twitch fibers.

However there are many types of conditioning depending on goal and purposeCentral Nervous system, tendons, joints, fast twitch, slow twitch, latic acid and pain tolerance, muscular endurance, cardio vascular health. All are important key factors.

My explanation of fast twitch fibers and there role compared muscle size:

The way I view it is if for arms are 17 inches and you get them up to 18inches you capacity to hold more fast twitch fibers also grows, however it is not guaranteed or full proof that being bigger will make you stronger, nor that losing weight as long as its fat (and you have fat to spare) will make you weaker (if done slowly and regulated, and if it is not muscle you are losing)

The typical rep ranges for strength are :

Strength Max Effort (dynamic& fast twitch fibers) 1-3 reps goal should be to work towards singles.

Strength Max Effort (both static & dynamic fast/slow twitch fibers) 3-5-7 reps

The rep ranges for building muscular endurance are:

Muscular endurance max Effort (hypertrophy and latic acid tolerance)12-20 reps and sometimes even beyond the 20 rep range.


IMHO muscle growth can depend on the rep ranges, but also the exercises themselves.


Muscle Confusion and Isolation exercises I have a joke, the right arm's bicep looks at the left arm's bicep doing triceps extensions, confused and curious he asks his counter part, "why the hell are you doing triceps extensions for your bicep growth"? the left bicep replies " MUSCLE CONFUSION, my body won't know whats coming!"

This is my view and take on that word. To me you must target weakness and bring them up to par with your strengths. It is no so much confusing the muscle as the popular term goes, but as much as bringing a neglected muscle to snuff. Muscles do in fact build tolerances, and you must overcome them to keep making progress however, I still don't feel confusion is the best word.

Why do deadlifts, squats, overhead presses, and bench presses always work , and why are compound movements considered the best Because they leave no muscle fibers untouched. Some additional work may be done, but these exercises, correct and expose muscular imbalances. However once those imbalances are exposed you must take the proper steps to fix them.Many factors come into play:

-Sometimes compound movements are too hard on beginners, and stabilization muscles have not been developed.

-Smaller muscles in my opinion need higher reps then bigger muscles.

-Underdeveloped or neglected muscles need more focus than "show" muscles.

-Sometimes unilateral work must be done. Some time rehab is necessary. There is no one universal answer to this.


When dealing in terms of strength, size or definition there are a few words that should be the basis of every training program.

Maximal effort, meaning you push every once of muscle fiber to its limit. If you go for 5 reps you shouldn't be able to do 6 reps.

Intensity, meaning you are dedicated and serious to your workout and training. You must have strong will power to push yourself through each rep, each movement, forcing the muscle to grow.

S.F.W! I think this one is self explanatory.
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Old 02-13-2010, 03:52 PM   #14
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I pretty much agree with GLwanabe on the street answer, versus science answer.
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:39 PM   #15
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Scenario:

I have 200lbs of weights to work with.

I'm going to work on my quads by doing squats.

My current 1 rep max is 100lbs.
I want to be able to squat my 200lbs for 50 reps, as my final goal.

Will it make any difference in the final result as to how big or how strong I am if I do it in various fashions?

Lets apply some constants as well.

3 seconds for each rep.
1 minute rest for each set

10x5@200
5x10@200
2x25@200
1x50@200

Last edited by glwanabe; 02-13-2010 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:04 PM   #16
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That is assuming testosterone levels are identical, and rest time is identical, diet is identical...etc. But I guess that's a whole other subject

I'm curious about your questions that you had when you talked to Victor Costas. My questions for him would be, did you get your size/physique by doing this light weight high rep scheme, or did you build up to it and just maintain it with the light weight high rep scheme.
That's a good question Rick. I'll ask him.

And so much to digest in this thread. I'm coming back tomorrow morning to give it a good read.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:56 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by glwanabe View Post

3 seconds for each rep.
1 minute rest for each set

10x5@200
5x10@200
2x25@200
1x50@200
You will be stronger with 1 set of 50.

With the 10 sets of 5 you will have conditioned your body with a greater degree of strength-endurance.

Looking at one specific lift of mine that if "dead nuts" with these numbers...the barbell rows...I can give my best opinion.

For the barbell row (and Yates rows), I perform 5 sets with one minute rest at 215. I could come very close to 5 x 10 @ 200 pounds. I have trained rows in this manner for over a year, so it is safe to say that my body has adapted (SAID) to the strength endurance requirements of this training style.

So, I can do 5 sets of 10 reps @ 200 pounds with 60 seconds rest. I could not do 2 sets of 25 reps. My strength would have to increase dramatically for me to hit those rep ranges. And to do one set of 50...well, that might take years yet for me to accomplish.

But...the interesting aspect to this training approach is that I am using higher reps and getting crazy strong.

This is the training approach I tried this year, and it really improved my bench, deadlift and squat strength. And, of course, it was great for hypertrophy. This could create a whole off-shoot of questions...do strength trainers need to train in low rep ranges, but we'll save that for another time.
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:21 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
You will be stronger with 1 set of 50.

With the 10 sets of 5 you will have conditioned your body with a greater degree of strength-endurance.

Looking at one specific lift of mine that if "dead nuts" with these numbers...the barbell rows...I can give my best opinion.

For the barbell row (and Yates rows), I perform 5 sets with one minute rest at 215. I could come very close to 5 x 10 @ 200 pounds. I have trained rows in this manner for over a year, so it is safe to say that my body has adapted (SAID) to the strength endurance requirements of this training style.

So, I can do 5 sets of 10 reps @ 200 pounds with 60 seconds rest. I could not do 2 sets of 25 reps. My strength would have to increase dramatically for me to hit those rep ranges. And to do one set of 50...well, that might take years yet for me to accomplish.

But...the interesting aspect to this training approach is that I am using higher reps and getting crazy strong.

This is the training approach I tried this year, and it really improved my bench, deadlift and squat strength. And, of course, it was great for hypertrophy. This could create a whole off-shoot of questions...do strength trainers need to train in low rep ranges, but we'll save that for another time.
Good answer.

I had thought of that scenario, because this same situation was talked about by Steve Reeves. While in the pacific during his time in the Army he only had 100lbs of weights to workout with. Utilizing a similer scheme he was still able to get decent squat workouts. He talked about doing sets of 100 reps.

I'll have to go back and find that chapter. and give a better accounting of his experience.
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:51 AM   #19
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Good answer.

I had thought of that scenario, because this same situation was talked about by Steve Reeves. While in the pacific during his time in the Army he only had 100lbs of weights to workout with. Utilizing a similer scheme he was still able to get decent squat workouts. He talked about doing sets of 100 reps.

I'll have to go back and find that chapter. and give a better accounting of his experience.
I think I need to read that book

To be honest I was surprised at my strength gains using higher reps.
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:36 PM   #20
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after reading this i'm just kinda thinkin to myself what weight could i bench maybe 50 times. i personally think if i were to train at it for a little while i could get 135 for 50 reps. now if i were to say right now my 1 rep max is 300lbs (its somewhere around that) and i can bench 135x30 and i increase that by 20 reps i don't believe my 1 rep max would increase really at all. so the question is how much stronger have i really become.
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