When I talk to someone who is new to the gym and tell me that they want to get strong. One of the first questions that I will always ask is how many reps should I bet doing. And I really was not sure what the best answer was, so I did a little bit of research.
When choosing what rep range you should be training in it is normally to train to improve 1 of 3 things, muscular endurance, muscle growth, and strength/power. When it comes to strength training the rep range you should be using is between 1 and 4.
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What Do I Mean By Rep?
What do I mean by rep, when someone says rep it is just a shortened version of the word repetition, to put this way more simply it is just how many times you will do the exercise before you rest.
This is important to know because how many reps you do will often be build blocks of your training, and depending on how many reps you do per set your results could be drastically different.
How Much Should I Be Doing For Strength Training?
If you like going to the gym I am sure you have seen at least one video where someone just hits one rep at maximum effort and calls it.
So are they right for doing this?
Well if their goal is to train for strength 100 percent they are, it is said that the optimal rep range is between 1 and 4 reps per set, and yeah I would say that is correct.
There have been many different studies that also prove this claim such as this and this.
What Happens If I Do More Than That
When training between the 1 and 4 rep range this is usually considered training training for strength or power, but what happens when I go past that 4 rep range.
Well when you get past this range it is usually considered training for hypertrophy, or in other words training for muscle growth, and when training for muscle growth this range usually lies around the 6 to 12 rep range.
But when you get to the 12 plus range of reps you are getting to the point where you are not training more strength or muscle growth, but rather muscle endurance.
If you want to learn more about muscular endurance here is a great article!
Can I Train In Multiple Rep Ranges?
Now reading this far many of you might be unsure of what you actually want to do as you might want to get strong, but you also want to build muscle. Or you want to get strong and have good muscular endurance, that alright in fact many people will want to do two things at once.
If you are in this position I would recommend training in both rep ranges alternating between a strength training workout and a muscle building workout every 2 weeks, or every month, or really any time frame you really want.
In my opinion this is the best possible option for most people, as you tend to get the best of both worlds. Where though you don’t get as much strength as you would just following a strength program, or get as much muscle from a muscle building program. From this hybrid program you created you will still get a good amount of muscle from training while also getting strong.
If you want to get into strength training but don’t know where to start than this the article for you!
In conclusion, if you are wondering what rep range you should be training in, as if your goal is to get strong then you should be training in the 1 to 4 rep range. If you are training for muscle growth it should be the 5 to 12 rep range, and 12 plus rep range if you want to train for muscular endurance.
But if you are unsure what your goals are, or you want to achieve multiple things at once, I would recommend training in multiple rep ranges alternating between them.