I am changing my routine from sets of 8-10 reps to failure to sets of 4-5 reps to failure. Will I cause hypertrophy by going this low in reps or will it cause me to lose size? I figure it will make me stronger, but I don't want to lose any size. Another thing, what will cause more growth in this example... 6 sets of a given exercise for 10 reps, or 6 sets of a given exercise for 5 reps? In Both of these examples I would be going to failure on all sets. Lets use flat benches as the exercise. my current 1RM on the bench is 290, so I could probably grind out 5 reps with 230 lbs, at least for the first set or two before I would have to lower the weight a little to get 5 reps on the last couple of sets. Thanks.
I don't think you'll lose size if you focus on strength. Just make sure you are getting more than adequate calories. For hypertrophy, I believe optimally you are looking for muscular fatigue, which you can still achieve to some degree working in lower rep ranges. So you should be able to get stronger, and dependent on how much you eat, continue to grow somewhat, or at least maintain your current lean mass.
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Just so I understand.....8-10 reps is what one would be aiming at to gain size, muscle-cell volume etc, and 4-6 reps would be the goal for strength, but not necessarily size?? I am asking because I have gone down to 6 reps with the heaviest weight I can do 6 full reps with in the hopes of packing on size quicker (as opposed to doing higher reps). Have I been going about this wrong? I figured heavier weight = bigger muscles?
Most people I've heard from on here say that 6-8 reps per set works best for gaining size and strength. There is no need to go to failure, either. Going to failure can make it easier to break form and cause an injury. If you go to one rep before failure you'll still induce hypertrophy.
[QUOTE=Brock Huard]Just so I understand.....8-10 reps is what one would be aiming at to gain size, muscle-cell volume etc, and 4-6 reps would be the goal for strength, but not necessarily size??QUOTE]
yep. Some of the strongest men in the world aren't very big.
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