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Rationale behind Rep Range recommendations – Strength vs Hypertrophy?

6 min read

Asked by: Jasmine Evans

Should I aim for strength or hypertrophy?

The choice between hypertrophy training and strength training has to do with your goals for weight training: If you want to increase the size of your muscles, hypertrophy training is for you. If you want to increase the strength of your muscles, consider strength training.

Does rep Range matter for hypertrophy?

As a general rule of thumb, rep ranges do matter if your goal is to maximize either strength or hypertrophy. However, there is a continuum as far as repetition number and strength/muscle mass adaptation. Very high rep ranges can still be effective for hypertrophy and even strength as long as the intensity is adequate.

Is hypertrophy or strength better for building muscle?

While both hypertrophy and strength training build muscle, the general consensus is that hypertrophy based training allows for greater increases in muscle size and growth than heavier, strength based training.

Does strength matter for hypertrophy?

A muscle with a larger cross-sectional area (increased hypertrophy) can become stronger. In return, a stronger muscle can then lift more weight to increase volume.
A Summary Of The Differences Of Strength Vs Hypertrophy.

Strength Hypertrophy
Exercises per session Around 6 8-12

Should strength and hypertrophy mix?

Add Hypertrophy Training Into A Strength Program

It is recommended to train your strength lifts first, when you are fresh, and then transition into hypertrophy training with emphasis on the key markers above rather than how heavy you are lifting.

Should you train for strength or hypertrophy first?

If you are a beginner, you should always train for hypertrophy first. By using the hypertrophy rep range in your early career, you will be building muscle AND gaining strength. Take your time to develop some muscle mass, learn the proper technique, and gain confidence under the bar.

Do rep ranges matter for building muscle?

Numerous research studies show that high-volume resistance training is the best method for building muscle. According to the American Council on Exercise, the eight to 15 rep range holds the most muscle-building potential.

Why do higher reps cause hypertrophy?

If you train with high reps, your goal is to build a bigger muscle. Some folks call this “structural hypertrophy” since the higher rep sets allow you to focus primarily on the muscles themselves. They also lend themselves to fewer total sets per exercise.

Why is 8/12 reps best for hypertrophy?

It turns out that 8-12 reps is actually good advice. It sits in the Goldilocks Zone of reps and loading, it’s time efficient in that it can maximize the number of tough reps per set, it’s energy efficient in that it doesn’t require too many reps to stimulate hypertrophy, or involve loads that are unnecessarily heavy.

Is there a difference between strength and hypertrophy?

When it comes to training your muscles, there are two broad varieties: strength training and hypertrophy training. Strength training refers to the type of lifts focused on improving strength. Hypertrophy training refers to growth of muscle cells because of exercise.

What’s the difference between strength training and hypertrophy?

Hypertrophy training will improve muscle endurance, build muscle mass, burn fat and build strength as well. Strength training is designed specifically to increase strength, build muscle and improve durability with load-bearing activity. The terms typically are separated by the goals of the athlete.

What rep range is best for hypertrophy?

For hypertrophy (building muscle), the sweet spot is 3 to 4 sets of 6 to 12 reps. And if your objective is muscular endurance, shoot for 2 to 3 sets of 12 to 20 reps. In each case, the key is to use the heaviest resistance that will allow you to complete all of your reps and sets with good form.

Is more reps better for hypertrophy?

According to traditional thinking, high reps are only useful for hypertrophy and endurance — not strength. But in my experience, if you use them the right way, ultra high reps can lead to huge gains in the squat, bench, and deadlift.

Is 5 reps strength or hypertrophy?

Hypertrophy (bigger muscles): 6-12 reps per set. Strength (dense, powerful muscle): 1-5 reps per set.

What are the benefits of high reps?

One of the biggest benefits to performing high repetitions with lower weights during exercise is the reduced risk for injury. Decreased load and decreased strain are placed on joints when movement involves little to no weight. There is also a decrease in muscular compensation.

Are high reps good for strength?

In fact, one study showed that after 8 weeks of strength training, those who lifted heavier weights with less reps had more strength. But the study also showed that people who lifted with lower weights, but high reps, had more muscle-building activity.

Are high reps better for definition?

The only way to increase muscle tone is to get leaner. This includes dropping your body fat percentage while increasing your muscle size. This can be done with a wide range of repetitions. High reps are not needed for definition or toning.

Does high reps to failure build muscle?

It is made clear through all of these studies that resistance training done with high reps needs to be accompanied with high intensity (training to failure). If done, high reps can produce significant improvements in lean muscle mass, strength, fitness, body composition, and bone mineral density.

Can you train strength and hypertrophy at the same time?

Take-Home Message. So, to recap, training for strength and hypertrophy is not only possible but unavoidable to a degree but definitely recommended. By training for both in a week, you will allow yourself to get the benefits of both, which will help you whether you are looking to primarily build muscle or gain strength.

Do biceps respond better to high reps?

Biceps are best suited for intermediate reps. High reps tend to make them look flatter once the pump subsides, but very low reps aren’t effective at stimulating maximum growth.

Do shoulders respond better to higher reps?

1) Go heavy

Working in the 8- to 12-rep range is generally the best way to add muscle mass to most body parts (the one exception being legs, which respond better to slightly higher reps).

Are slow reps better for building muscle?

If you’re looking to build muscle quickly, whether you’ve been training for years or are just starting out, then doing slower reps is the way to go. Workouts with slower reps cause your muscles to experience more time under tension, much more than with faster reps.

Do legs respond better to high reps?

Use Higher Reps

The rule of thumb for gaining size is to use a rep range of 8-12. With legs, however, I always found – and research backs me up – that higher reps produce the biggest gains. I experienced great results with squats, lunges, leg presses and leg extensions when doing sets of 15-20 reps.

Do biceps respond to heavy weight?

Use moderate loads, higher reps, and more cumulative metabolic stress. Some lifters get carried away trying to train the arms with pure strength. But the arms really don’t respond that well to heavy loading.

Is it better to curl more weight or more reps?

Sets done for reps of fewer than 6 normally are usually better for gaining strength than size, but as you become stronger, you can take those heavier loads and work toward doing more reps, which is how you build bigger arms.

Is Volume better for biceps?

Howell is a fan of relatively light weight and high volume (reps in the 12 to 15 range) for biceps training, as the volume will tax both slow- and fast-twitch muscle fibers over time. Incorporating a large variety of biceps exercises performed with high sets and high reps will also help you build bigger arm muscles.