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Thread: Reps for mass

  1. #1
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    Reps for mass

    What is the best rep range and number of sets to build mass?

  2. #2
    eating out millertime's Avatar
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    8 to 12 reps to build muscle

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    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    Depends on the individual.
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    From what I've been reading it depends on what type of muscle fiber in which you want to cause hypertrophy. Low threshold fibers respond to higher reps while high threshold fibers respond to low reps. Since your legs are composed mainly of low threshold fibers, many people like to use high reps for squats, extensions, etc. However, high threshold fibers respond better to training and generally grow faster. This is why I like to cycle my repititions. If you're a bodybuilder and not a powerlifter, then I wouldn't go any lower than 5 reps in general. Personally, I like to cycle between 15, 10 and 5 repititions. You could go 2-4 weeks using 15 reps in all your sets, then follow that up with several weeks at 10, and 5. Keep in mind that this is only a suggestion. You may find that something different works better for you.

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    Like paul said it is individual, but 5-10 reps seems to be optimal.

  6. #6
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    It all depends on you, for me thoguh, usally 8-12 reps to faliure will do it, and you shouldnt change your reps juts becasue your cutting or bulking,. heavy weights and med to low reps help you hold on to your msucle mass better while dieting down.


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  7. #7
    Wannabebig New Member
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    3-5 for power, 6-8 for size and strength, and 10-12 for shaping.

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    10-12 for shaping? hmmmmmmmmm.

    dont think so. this is gonna turn out to be one of those pointless arguments but u get cut by dieting.





    6-12 reps usually, sometimes 2-50 as shock training or 1-5 reps for even more shock. never ever stick with the same rep scheme over and over again. youll hit plateu

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    True Diet is what shapes ya!

    Diet is THE KEY to shaping & getting cut, but using 10 - 12 reps seems to be more like cardio as opposed to using 4 - 6 reps for strength.

    In my experience (which really isn't that extensive), using 4-6 reps w/ heavy weight 2-4 sets works best for strength.

    Something to think about : one of the guys I work out with can move a weight 8 reps, 3 sets. I can move the EXACT SAME weight only 8 reps, 6 reps, 5 reps. BUT....... I'm maxing 10 pounds more than him. He usually works 10-12 reps where as I work 4-6. He can last longer, but I can pick up more weight. It might just be a coincidence, I just kinda figured the rep scheme had something to do with it.

    Low Weight, High Reps - Endurance
    High Weight, Low Reps - Strength

    just my 2 cents though
    Last edited by Big J; 05-16-2002 at 11:15 PM.
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  10. #10
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    1 to 20 reps. Hope I narrowed it down enough for you. Seriously though, don't worry about it. I will be bold enough to say that it doesn't matter much(within reason - 50 reps = not good). Intensity is much more important. Whether you do 6 or 12 reps is irrelevant as far as I'm concerned. I do a combination of both - why restrict yourself to one rep scheme?

    Number of sets depends on the intensity which the sets are performed. If you are training at the highest level of intensity, going to failure or beyond, you need few sets - 3 to 8 (roughly) depending on size of muscle group. If you aren't training to failure, I'd suggest more sets.
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    Senior Member TreeTrunks's Avatar
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    I agree with dream 1, he's (or she's) right

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    Senior Member ricky0000's Avatar
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    Originally posted by dream1
    3-5 for power, 6-8 for size and strength, and 10-12 for shaping.
    Can you please explain how higher reps will "shape" the muscle?

  13. #13
    Senior Member TreeTrunks's Avatar
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    tone and definition is what I think he is getting at. Everyone knows higher reps tone muscles.

    Lower reps for mass and strength because your able to handle more weight.

    Higher reps to tone and define because your using lighter weights.

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    Higher reps do not tone muscles. How many times has this been covered? Tone and definition comes from lowering bodyfat - 12 reps will NOT lower your bodyfat any quicker than 6 reps - only cardio and diet do this.
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  15. #15
    Geordie The_Chicken_Daddy's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TreeTrunks
    Everyone knows higher reps tone muscles.

    Lower reps for mass and strength because your able to handle more weight.

    Higher reps to tone and define because your using lighter weights.
    You're joking, right?
    "Geordie/'d3c:di/n. & adj. Brit colloq. n. 1 a native of Tyneside. 2 the dialect spoken on Tyneside. adj. of or relating to Tyneside, its people, or its dialect. [the name George + -IE]

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    Senior Member ricky0000's Avatar
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    hehehe

  17. #17
    Senior Member TreeTrunks's Avatar
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    Are you sure about that? Might want to go look it up bud.

  18. #18
    Geordie The_Chicken_Daddy's Avatar
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    No.

    I'm right.

    In fact, i'm so far right i've come fill circle and i'm back where i started.
    "Geordie/'d3c:di/n. & adj. Brit colloq. n. 1 a native of Tyneside. 2 the dialect spoken on Tyneside. adj. of or relating to Tyneside, its people, or its dialect. [the name George + -IE]

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    Senior Member TreeTrunks's Avatar
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    Well then, tell me why im wrong and your so "right"

  20. #20
    Geordie The_Chicken_Daddy's Avatar
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    You tell me how higher reps "tone" and "define".
    "Geordie/'d3c:di/n. & adj. Brit colloq. n. 1 a native of Tyneside. 2 the dialect spoken on Tyneside. adj. of or relating to Tyneside, its people, or its dialect. [the name George + -IE]

  21. #21
    Senior Member TreeTrunks's Avatar
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    I did already, your the smartass you tell me?

  22. #22
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    Do a search. It has been covered many times.

    The only thing that HASN'T been successfully debated is how higher reps WILL lower bodyfat. People say "It just does." If I just say it and don't think about it AT ALL, it sounds OK. How many reps you do is irrelevant - how LONG you workout for and what percentage of that time your heart rate is elevated is more important. Burning fat all depends on how many calories are burned. Does reaching failure at 12 reps burn twice as many calories as reaching failure at 6 reps? NO. Why? Because more energy is required PER REP to push the weight you can only do 6 times, than the 12 rep weight. Do a search on anaerobic exercise and you'll learn more about it. I don't have time to go into the details now.
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  23. #23
    Geordie The_Chicken_Daddy's Avatar
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    "Because you're using lighter weights" doesn't explain why higher reps tone and define.

    Diet decideds how much definition you can get.
    "Geordie/'d3c:di/n. & adj. Brit colloq. n. 1 a native of Tyneside. 2 the dialect spoken on Tyneside. adj. of or relating to Tyneside, its people, or its dialect. [the name George + -IE]

  24. #24
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    Pulled this out of my personal archives. Found it somewhere on the internet.

    High Repetitions Burn More Fat Myth

    Performing lighter weight with more repetitions (15-20 reps, 20-30 reps, or 20-50 reps) does not burn more fat or tone (simultaneous decrease of fat and increase muscle) better than a heaver weight with moderate repetitions (8-12 reps). Weight training utilizes carbohydrates after the initial ATP and CP stores have been exhausted after the first few seconds of intense muscular contraction. Typically a set's duration is 20 to 30 seconds. For the average fit person, it requires 20 to 30 minutes of continuous aerobic activity with large muscle groups (eg. Gluteus Maximus and Quadriceps) to burn even 50% fat; fat requires oxygen to burn. Performing a few extra repetitions on a weight training exercise is not significant enough to burn extra fat and may in effect burn less fat. If intensity is compromised, less fat may be burned when light weight is used with high repetitions. The burning sensation associated with high repetition training seems to be the primary deterrent for achieving higher intensities.

    For individuals attempting to achieve fat loss for aesthetics, the intensity of weight training can be a double edge sword. When beginning an exercise program, muscle mass increases may out pace fat losses, resulting in a small initial weight gain. Significant fat loss requires a certain intensity, duration, and frequency of exercise. You need to burn more calories than you consume.

    It is plausible that the high repetition myth was originated and later propagated by bodybuilders that used calorie restrictive diets to shed fat before a contest. Because of their weakened state from dieting, they were unable to use their usual heavier weights. When inquired about their use of lighter weights, they explained they were "cutting up" for a contest. This is merely a theory, but it is easy to see how it may have been misunderstood that the lighter weight was used to reduce fat instead of actually being a result of their dietary regime.
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  25. #25
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Gino's right about the anaerobic or lactate threshold.

    That's what burns the fat; however, there is *some* correlation between a relatively higher rep range and a how that's reached.

    Low reps, say 5 or less, don't keep the muscles active enough to reach that, unless you're using short rests to prevent metabolic recovery.

    In the 6-12 range, this is more easily accomplished even with slightly longer rest periods.

    Higher reps would seem to carry a slight advantage in reaching the lactate threshold; that being said however, bear in mind that A) the loading isn't enough to stimulate muscle growth and B) since spot reduction isn't how things work, doing a tricep kickback for 30 reps isn't going to "tone" anything. That technique is used with big compound movements to achieve a full-body fat metabolizing effect.
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