What Rep Ranges Should I be Training In?
This was a question that plagued me when I finally realised they made a huge difference. In this post, I hope to shed some light on the subject to help you decide which range will best suit your needs.
The answer to the question depends on your goal. Each Rep range has a different impact on certain areas of training as you will find out in this article, So let’s begin…
1-5 Reps- Strength
The lower end of this rep range (1-3) you will see power lifters using. It is used for pure strength gains. You will often hear these reps called , singles, doubles, and triples. If your aim is to solely get stronger the lower end of this rep range is for you. Although this rep range can build muscle, there are better rep ranges for size.
5-8 Reps- Strength/Mass
This rep range, in my opinion, is best for newbies. It will allow you to gain a blend of mass and strength. This is important for a beginner because for a newbie to be able to get bigger they will first need to be strong enough to be able to lift a decent amount of weight. So strength is very important. If a newbie lifts in the range of say 5 reps, they will be able to lift a heavier load than if they lifted in a very common 10 rep range. This will cause them to get stronger as they progress upwards in weight. Lifting in this rep range will also allow you to build mass as it has a higher rep range than the previous rep scheme for pure strength.
When we start getting past the 8 rep range (with a decent amount of weight) we are heading towards building more mass than strength. This is a good rep range for intermediate lifters as they have already developed a good base of strength; therefore they can lift heavier weights for more reps and this will develop mass. If a newbie starts off in a rep range of say 10, they will be forced to lift lighter weights than if they only had to lift a weight for 5 reps. This will hinder the ability for a newbie to bulk up.
I made the mistake of lifting between 10-12 reps for years and I never developed any strength or size (because I wasn’t lifting sufficient weight). I always wondered why this was; in the end, I thought I just wasn’t strong enough. Once I started lifting in the 5 rep range my strength went through the roof and I also developed ‘thicker muscle’.
Now when I decide to add mass, I lift in the 8 rep range and I am able to lift a lot heavier weight for 8 reps than when I was lifting in the 10-12 rep range. I am now able to develop mass a lot more efficiently.
Personally, I think once a decent amount of strength is achieved, then this rep range would be great to move onto to build mass. However if the lifter has not developed a solid base of strength then the lower rep ranges will suit them a lot better.
So there are the different rep ranges for newbies. Don’t be like me and forget to pay attention to your rep ranges and the amount you lift. It can make a huge difference as I learned the long way (really long way, I’m talking years).
I mix up the rep ranges and use no more than 5 for compound exercises like the squat, bench press, deadlift etc. And I would use a rep range of 8 for all of the other exercises. Experiment with different types until you find something that suits you.
Feel free to contact me for any further advice or you can leave a comment in the section below.