Do you want to know the perfect rep range for building muscle? Unfortunately, no matter what you read or who you talk to, everyone has their own opinion of the “perfect” rep range to allow maximum muscle stimulation and growth. This article will clear the confusion and teach you the truth about choosing the most effective rep range for optimal muscle-building results.
Sets that utilize heavy weight and low reps are the most effective in stimulating muscle growth. Therefore, for every set you perform in the gym, you should utilize a rep range of 8 to 10. Also, for every set you perform, the weight should be light enough to complete eight reps in good form but heavy enough that you cannot complete more than 10. What’s so special about 8 to 10, you ask?
The 8 to 10 rep range allows you to lift the most volume. You can determine volume by multiplying the weight, reps, and sets. The progressive overload of volume over time using periodization causes muscles to grow. In other words, the input, also called volume, determines the output called muscle growth. For example, a person who lifts 20,000 pounds of volume during a workout will be bigger and stronger than a person who lifts 10,000 pounds of volume doing the same workout.
Each Set Will Only Last Between 20-30 Seconds
Maximizing your muscle gains is all about intensity and efficiency. Your sets will only last a short time by utilizing a lower rep range, allowing you to generate 100% mental focus and effort. Training with 100% intensity is critical to stimulating muscle growth, and it is much easier to maintain this level of effort for shorter periods. You will not have to psyche yourself up for marathon sets lasting minutes on end but rather for a short burst of all-out effort lasting only several seconds.
You Can Maximize Muscle Stimulation
Our bodies are made up of 2 main types of muscle fiber: slow-twitch and fast-twitch. Slow-twitch fibers cannot generate large bursts of power and are utilized during prolonged activity. They have a high tolerance for endurance exercise but do not have a high potential for increased growth.
On the other hand, fast-twitch fibers produce large bursts of power and are utilized during short, explosive movements. They contain many mitochondria (an area in the muscle cell where energy is produced) and have the highest potential for increases in both size and strength. You will tap into these highly responsive fibers by utilizing a rep range of 8 to 10, resulting in the most significant muscle growth and strength gain possible.
You Can Use Maximum Resistance
By performing only 8 to 10 reps per set, you will enable your muscles to handle heavier amounts of weight than you could with a higher rep range. Building muscle is a byproduct of building strength, and training in a lower rep range is the most effective way to accomplish this. In addition, since your strength will shoot up much faster using 8 to 10 reps per set, so will your muscle size.
You Can Keep Lactic Acid Production to a Minimum
Training in the 8 to 10 range will also decrease the lactic acid secreted within the muscles. Lactic acid is a metabolic waste produced by the body that burns carbohydrates for fuel. Lactic acid accumulates in the muscle tissue at increased rates the longer you exercise. Therefore, limiting the amount of lactic acid production will decrease muscle catabolism and create an environment in the body where you can generate more significant amounts of energy. Thus, this will translate into greater power output and maximum strength potential.
Okay, we’ve established that a rep range of 8-10 is the most effective to stimulate muscle growth. However, this does not apply all the time or on every lift. A few select muscle groups should be stimulated using a slightly higher rep range. These are the calves, abs, forearms, and upper traps. These muscle groups are predominantly made up of slow-twitch fibers and will respond better to higher reps.
For this reason, You should utilize a rep range of 10-12 for these muscle groups. Again, this means that the weight should be light enough to complete at least ten reps but heavy enough that you cannot complete more than 12.
What is the Perfect Rep Range For Building Each Muscle Group
Perform 8-10 Reps:
Perform 10-12 Reps:
- Upper Traps
The Last Word on the Perfect Rep Range For Building Each Muscle Group
So, what’s the verdict? What is the perfect rep range for building each muscle group? Well, it depends on your goals. If you want to focus on size, shoot for 8-12 reps per set. On the other hand, aim for 3-5 reps per set if you want to increase strength. And if you want to combine size and strength, go with 6-8 reps per set.
No matter your goal, make sure you lift enough weight to reach muscle failure by the end of your sets. Also, this will ensure that you put in the work necessary to see results. Experiment with different rep ranges and weights to find what works best for you and keep track of your fitness results. What do you think? Please share your response in the comments so others can benefit from your experience.