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Muscle Building and Bodybuilding Topics related to muscle building, bodybuilding, including training and fullbody workouts. If you are looking for great advice on gaining muscle this forum is for you.

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Old 05-14-2010, 08:23 PM   #1
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8-20 reps a set-Sacroplasmic hypertrophy (muscular size) useless to everybody but bodybuilders

1-5 reps a set-myofibrillar hypertrophy (muscular strength) improves muscular strength and density (that "tone" you hear people talk about) with a small increase in size (ie what everybody but bodybuilders should do).
To grow my muscles I need to do some more reps in each set, but my current 5*5 scheme is good for getting stronger so, if I want both muscular size & strength... would it be a good idea to say alternate between months of 4*8s & 5*5s or would it be more effective to maybe do a 2*8, 2*4, 2*2 type of scheme???
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:25 PM   #2
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sets of 5 will build muscle.... it takes time man... it takes time...
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:33 PM   #3
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sets of 5 will build muscle.... it takes time man... it takes time...
I get that, but is an 8-20 rep approach really more effective for size and 1-5 for strength???
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:36 PM   #4
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I get that, but is an 8-20 rep approach really more effective for size and 1-5 for strength???
IMO yes... probably... but not that big of a difference (this is just my opinon)

why dont you just add some higher rep isolation exercises or higher rep sets at the end, such as a burnout?
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:36 PM   #5
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i don't believe that unless you don't like to lift really heavy weight. if your weights never progressed higher and you always did the same 5x5 then yes i would say drop the weight a little and do more reps but if the weight is in constant progression then no i don't agree with adding more reps for size. i think you would still gain just as much.
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:37 PM   #6
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IMO yes... probably... but not that big of a difference (this is just my opinon)

why dont you just add some higher rep isolation exercises or higher rep sets at the end, such as a burnout?
That's a possiblity.. maybe I'll try that next week.
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:08 PM   #7
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Gaining strength works in any rep range. It will always be one rep at a time.

I do think it's good to work in several rep ranges for size. I almost always trained in several rep ranges. 4-6, 6-10 and 10 to 15, etc.

One thing I've seen from looking at so many different programs from so many lifters over the last 60 years is that strength comes with effort in any rep range. For size though, it never hurts to have some variation.

Look at me and Onetiredkris. We have been primarily bodybuilders - trained like bodybuilders. We are both on par with Bodybygamma and BWYS who are pure powerlifters.

One thing I point out to people is that few powerlifters train with only low rep sets. And few bodybuilders train in sets of 10+ reps. I think the magic for both size and strength is between 4 to 8 reps. Just my opinion. I don't like all low reps because they beat the crop out of my body.

Grimek trained in some higher rep ranges. Park trained lower. Again, strength comes in many forms, size somewhere in the middle.
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Trevor Lane View Post
I get that, but is an 8-20 rep approach really more effective for size and 1-5 for strength???
For a beginner it really doesn't make much difference. If you're not a beginner, ignore the rest of this. I just make this comment because 99% of readers are beginners, and anyway this is the beginner's forum.

Strength is built in the gym, size at the dinner table. It doesn't matter what your rep range is if you eat only a bowl of rice a day, you won't grow. And whatever your rep range, if you eat four whole chickens a day you'll grow muscle. Beginners should lift progressively and eat lots if they want to gain muscle and strength.

I say you are a beginner until you can manage lifts like overhead pressing 75% your bodyweight for 3+ reps, benching and rowing 100%, squatting 150% and deadlifting 175%. Or if you want it put in weight terms, a small-framed person should manage to overhead press, bench and row an Olympic barbell with a single 45lb plate on each side, squat 2 and deadlift 3. A large-framed person an extra plate on each of those. That's a rough guide for you anyway.

As a beginner, you will grow muscle and increase strength whatever rep range you use. Lower reps are recommended because fatigue will degrade form in 10+ reps, and when a beginner your form isn't brilliant to begin with. We want to minimise the chances of injury and maximise the effect of the exercise, so form is important for beginners.

The important thing is not rep range, but progression. In every workout, do more than you did before. More weight, or more reps, or more sets. So if you lifted 100lbs 5x5 today, you need to lift 105lbs 5x5 tomorrow, or 100lbs 5x6, or 100lbs 6x5 - any of those would be progress. More, more or more. If in every session you lift more weight or more the same weight more times, and you combine that with good food, then you will get bigger.
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:14 PM   #9
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nice... according to what your saying im no longer a beginner....
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:58 PM   #10
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I send BendtheBar posted at the same time as me and said the same thing in a different way

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nice... according to what your saying im no longer a beginner....
Don't know your bodyweight, or your row or overhead press - but probably not a beginner, no.

A "beginner" is someone who actually can add weight, reps or sets in every session. Once you get in the range of those lifts that becomes a lot more difficult. A "beginner" is someone who will do best with a simple workout of 3-5 exercises working their whole body a few times a week; once you're no longer a beginner, assistance exercises and split routines may be useful.

But also, once you're no longer a beginner you have to decide what your particular goals are. Getting to that strength level will benefit you whether you're planning to be a bodybuilder, powerlifter, sportsperson, want to get to a healthy bodyweight, or just want to not tear biceps changing the bed one day, or have a constantly sore back. Or maybe you'll just be happy to maintain that level.

Excepting particular health or postural issues, all beginners are going to train pretty much the same way, with basic compound lifts and adding weights, sets and reps in every session. Past that, what they do depends on their specific goals. And those goals might change once they get there. For example, not many people walk into the gym for the first time wanting to be powerlifters or bodybuilders or sportspeople. But once they've experienced good strength and fitness and seen their physique change...
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