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Old 03-06-2014, 02:53 PM   #21
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I'm a hardgainer and when I started lifting years ago I used to think and believe that 5-7 reps of heavy weight was ideal for building mass... and then I started to doubt it more and more as time went on when I wasn't gaining anything.

I usually do about at least 80% max weight for everything and do 10-15+ reps. I usually do 4-5 sets for all my exercises. The first set I'll do 12-15, second 12-14, third 12, forth 10-12 and 5th as much as I can, but most likely 10 or 11. I started seeing awesome results after doing higher reps. Think about it.. if you do only 5 or 6 reps that's just about the point where your muscles are warming up, then 7,8,9 you're really pushing it, then 10 to 15 you're forcing more and more bloodflow to your muscles increasing the pump, forcing them to break down (and then re-grow bigger).

Sometimes I will even go to 20 reps if I'm feeling it.

And this is not to be confused with doing much lighter weight because you're doing higher reps. You still need to lift heavy ass weights.
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:13 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP88 View Post
I'm a hardgainer and when I started lifting years ago I used to think and believe that 5-7 reps of heavy weight was ideal for building mass... and then I started to doubt it more and more as time went on when I wasn't gaining anything.

I usually do about at least 80% max weight for everything and do 10-15+ reps. I usually do 4-5 sets for all my exercises. The first set I'll do 12-15, second 12-14, third 12, forth 10-12 and 5th as much as I can, but most likely 10 or 11. I started seeing awesome results after doing higher reps. Think about it.. if you do only 5 or 6 reps that's just about the point where your muscles are warming up, then 7,8,9 you're really pushing it, then 10 to 15 you're forcing more and more bloodflow to your muscles increasing the pump, forcing them to break down (and then re-grow bigger).

Sometimes I will even go to 20 reps if I'm feeling it.

And this is not to be confused with doing much lighter weight because you're doing higher reps. You still need to lift heavy ass weights.
I agree with everything you said because I believe hypertrophy can be achieved from a variety of reps, I also subscribe to a bigger muscle is a stronger muscle theory so one my basic core lifts I usually do 4-6 rep range
and muscle sets I do 6-12 rand and for burns I do 40 reps but I follow the PMB( Power-Muscle -Burn) training method it can be found on Muscle& Strength web site. But also remember the body is a great adapter it will say I know what you going to do and that when Do the same = Remain the same
so that when you need to switch it up and shock it a bit to keep fresh like drop sets, running the rack, stripping method, partial reps, anything to keep the for me muscle building is about getting a pump and burn so that mean yes lifting heavy enough to give the muscle a reason to say big but achieving the reps for me Reps =Goal so once I met the required reps the I increase my weight at 5lb increments and that's whether 4-6 reps, 6-12 reps or 40 reps I say go for reps to get the pump and the when you see gains.
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Old 03-08-2014, 01:33 AM   #23
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I believe you need variety to gain both strength and size, but also to keep your sanity.

If you always do 5-8 reps or whatever, you'll lose your mind after a while (in my opinion) as well as if you always do few reps like 1-3, where your risk of injury increases or if you do 10-20 where your risk of boredom increases exponentially, etc.

My personal opinion is that you should progress in a linear pattern where you go from 10 reps to 2 reps then test, or do something like staying in a certain rep range say 5 reps but increasing the weight or lowering the rest times until you have to reset.

Something I have noticed for me is that if I go from lots of reps to few reps and vice versa, so I would be going from a high volume like 3x 8 to a low volume like 3x 1 and vice versa alternating every few months, I seem to keep making progress.

It has been said you need high reps to make muscles bigger and give you room to grow, but you need low reps to fill out those muscles with denser muscle mass to get stronger. Do only one or the other, and you may get size or strength, but not both.

I believe that was the joke JD was making about sarcoplasmic and myofibular hypertrophy that might have flown right by.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:20 AM   #24
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10-15 reps at 80%... Obviously great for hypertrophy (especially when you are strong enough to use big weights) and that's why bodybuilders become rep-strong. In powerlifting however, sets of 5-6 at 80% is more the mark -- My current DL 5RM is about 85% of my 1 RM and it is likely to become more like 80% when I stall on rep work and begin to train on triples, doubles and singles. I haven't reached that point yet.
Right now, I am into my second year of training and gaining at 5-8 reps on most lifts; DL are an exception -- whenever I put 365 or 355 on the bar and take the set to 6+ reps, I get some minor strains, a sore lower back and so on, but I hardly get sore when doing like 385 x 4 (this is about 85-87% of my max), probably because I'm able to maintain good form and conclude the set before my core gets too loose. Some poeple may gain deadlifting in the 8-10 rep-zone, but I am not one of them. Eventually I will get so strong that even a max set of 4-5 may become too taxing (unless done infrequently), at which point I will do some flip-flopping (like doing 5 x 3 or 6 x 2 with the same weight I could handle for 5). But this is deadlifting and this lift is quite special (and it is my favorite one!).

I have found it easier to focus on just one goal; mine is strength. My main concern is getting that extra rep so I can put more iron on the bar when I hit 8 reps (5 for DL). The weight increase depends on the lift. I use about 5% for Bench and Squat; on Squat, going from 270 to 285 to 300 proved more effective than adding only 5 or 10 pounds. On other lifts, adding 10 lbs is the norm for me. A susbstantial - but still manageable -- increase seems to work best for me; and I don't mind to work hard. I typically conclude the set one rep shy of failure.

Thankfully, hypertrophy may come even when you don't prioritize it: my arms are now 17.3" and this is exactly 10 inches more than my wrist (so I don't expect them to get much larger; maybe they'll creep up to 17.7 or something...) and they are in line with my back, chest, thighs, so forth... This size comes from heavy lifting for relatively low reps (well, bodybuilding low, but powerlifting high-ish) and a focus on strength. I seem to put slabs of muscle by doing what a lot of powerlifters do when they start out. In fact, it works so well for powerlifters that I am not big by any means in their crowd! (I am 6'1" 238 lbs [not fat, but NOT shredded ], which is about 25 lbs lighter than Mike Tuchscherer, who is also 6'1" and is known to compete in drug-tested meets)

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Old 03-10-2014, 09:34 PM   #25
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On the core lifts bench press, squats, deadlift I use the 4-6 rep range, and the assist lift which I call muscle set 6-12 reps, and on burn set 40 reps , and I use progress over load which you can still big and strong, I love power moves which I believe is a must to have base and if you uses you head you will not lose your mind just put the ego in the back pocket do the reps and you will build muscle but I have to admit power work is fun!
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