Gains! I have often been asked what is the best rep range to work. Well, that’s a loaded question. This is usually one of those times when I look back at them, and ask them their goal. I want to discuss today the purpose of a few different rep ranges, since as a habit, I am someone that shifts my rep ranges rather frequently to really change my body depending up what cycle in muscle-building I am currently at.
Right now, I am at the 12-15 rep range because I recently watched the film, Generation Iron, and inspired me to go back to my bodybuilding roots and depart from powerlifting. The difference between the two, is that powerlifting works with a rep range that is 5-6, which is great for building density. However, eventually it will stop, because you can only gain so much strength that way, even if you are gradually going up. The body can adjust, but not into infinity. So I have tried to hit deeper into the muscle fibers as well as drastically lightening my weights. My goal in this is to create more volume in the muscle, as I force more blood into the muscle, the muscle is forced to grow, in order to compensate holding all that blood. The forced blood causes the cell to expand and create a larger muscle.
This philosophy is something I found from Kai Greene. Kai looks at the muscle as clay and he is trying to shape it and form it, which has changed my views to that more of the artist. You are a soul in control of a body and you can shape it to your will, you are a real artist. You have so much more control of the body than you think! Focus on the muscle and really shape it.
Rep Range Tips:
4-6 Reps: more power and creation of muscle density, depending upon diet, this is how there are a lot of smaller guys that are very strong and dense, but do not have a lot of muscle mass.
10-12 Reps: this is medium rep range for growth, not something that I have used that often. If I do, it is because I have a workout that is purely based upon doing sets of ten.
12-15 Reps: is what is known as hypertrophy range, it hits deep into the muscle and really pumps blood into it, that is, if it is done correctly. Many people have a tendency to try to lift this too heavy and really do damage to the principle; focus on controlling the muscle.
15-20 Reps: is usually a cardio rep range, but it really depends on what is done before it. If the muscle is pumped up previously, then it will help in terms of growth and really building those small peaks to muscles.