A rather simple principle in training program design is what rep ranges you should be focusing on. This is a simple principle but often one that goes misunderstood.
We’ve gone ahead and tried to turn the rep into an applicable tool that you can use and modify within your own training to stimulate the specific type of adaptations from your workouts that you’re hoping to achieve.
Do note, all of these ranges are based off of males and in order to convert these ranges for females, add 1-2 reps to each range.
1-3: Relative Strength
- is the maximum amount of force exerted, regardless of muscle or body size.
- great rep range to use for an athlete looking to improve their strength but remain in a lower weight bracket (wrestlers for example)
3-5: Maximal Strength
- is the max amount of force that can be produced in a given movement.
- great for people who are looking to improve speed and force output (sprinters or olympic lifters)
6-8: Functional Hypertrophy
- is the increase in volume of the contractile elements of the muscle cell.
- this type of hypertrophy is useful as it’s not necessarily “for show” muscle, rather its “for go” muscle.
- occurs when the cross-section of a muscle increases from stored fuel like glycogen, capillary density (sarcoplasmic hypertrophy).
- great for aesthetic based training/bodybuilding
- great for maintaining muscle mass during a fat loss phase
15-20: Strength Endurance
- strength endurance is the specific form of strengthdisplayed in activities which require a relatively long duration of muscle tension with minimal decrease in efficiency”
- great to use during a fat loss phase
- this is a rep range that will challenge the working muscle group (example would be quads) to it’s lactic acid threshold.
- fantastic rep range to use for sports such as cycling or long distance activities with repetitive use of a muscle.
- great to use when in a fat loss phase as it produces a high GH output
Now, what rep ranges do you usually spend the most time working in? And do your goals match up with your rep ranges?
Written by OBF Team