There’s not a lot of research looking into ramping sets (or top sets). Hypertrophy responds better to adding sets, while strength often requires manipulating reps before manipulating sets. Bodybuilders lift in moderate rep ranges, stimulating more growth per set, doing more total set, using a wider variety of lifts, and are thus able to build muscle much faster. Does this mean only that only the 1st set stimulated sufficient hypertrophy because it was in the 6-20 rep range? For instance, doing 225 reps for ten reps is 2250 pounds lifted, whereas lifting 275 pounds for five reps is just 1375 pounds lifted. I can certainly relate to that. However, on the whole, the advantage you get from working in the hypertrophy range isn’t nearly as big as people seem to think; maybe a ~10-15% advantage per unit of effort invested at most. The 5 Big Compound Lifts for Building Muscle. When volumes start climbing higher like that, it can pay to have an easier and more efficient way to stimulate muscle growth. It may lead to over-training. Can someone please explain what it means to say 6-20 rep range? Lateral raises: 2 sets of 20 reps. For this reason, Peterson et al. Most people prefer using moderate rep ranges, especially for bigger compound lifts. Doing 5×5 on the bench press might stimulate the same amount of muscle growth as doing 3×12 on the bench press, yes, but we also need to consider that these lower-rep sets require longer rest times, that they can be harder on our joints, and that we need to do more total sets to get an equivalent benefit. Even if we take the high end (6×24) we get 144 reps, whereas with the high rep range (12×13) we get 156 reps. Hi. Lastly, endurance set and rep schemes feature light resistance that can be completed for 12 or more reps. Check this out: https://outlift.com/hypertrophy-training-volume/, Here’s the summary at the end: “There’s no single ideal amount of volume for maximizing hypertrophy, but a good rule of thumb is to aim for 6–15 reps per set, 3–8 sets per muscle per workout, and to train our muscles 2–3 times per week. Our lifting newsletter for men—16,001 readers and climbing. If we want to be able to carry stuff in front of our bodies, we might want to spend more time doing front squats. Note, that the below guidelines include a wide range of goals; power, strength, muscle hypertrophy (highlighted), and muscular endurance. If we’re trying to gain muscle size, it probably makes more sense to spend most of our time lifting in moderate rep ranges. As we’d expect, the participants lifting in lower rep ranges saw greater improvements in their 1-rep max strength, but the moderate rep ranges proved to be a more efficient way to stimulate muscle growth. Of course, I’m sure most people would prefer to go with the moderate rep range for fewer sets, for reasons you mention some of later in the article, but this calculation just wasn’t accurate by total volume of reps. Volume isn’t calculated via reps (at least not as far as I’m aware and not in the hypertrophy research I’ve seen). There are problems with doing sets of 20–40 reps, too. When I was skinny, I was far more desperate to get bigger than I was to get stronger. Doing 24 sets of 3 reps, maybe 2–5 minutes of rest between sets, a few warm-up sets beforehand, we’re talking about a good 2–3 hours of work. General Sets and Reps Guidelines for Hypertrophy Training, How To Build Your First Workout Program Guide, 3 Most Effective Strength Training Splits, The 2021 Rogue Invitational Set to Take Place in October, What You Don’t Know About the CrossFit Games Grind (with Amanda Barnhart), Disabled Strongman Tobias Anthofer Hits 555.55-Kilogram Seated Deadlift World Record, Andrey Sapozhonkov Bench Presses 277kg (611 pounds) at 90kg Bodyweight Raw, The Best Barbells For Training, Weightlifting, Powerlifting, and More, The 12 Best Creatine Supplements on the Market, The 12 Best Pre-Workout Supplements on the Market in 2020. Hypertrophy (muscle building) set and rep schemes require moderately heavy weight that can be used to complete 8 to 12 reps with 1 to 2 minutes of rest between sets. However, there’s another important aspect to general strength. When we’re doing sets of 1–5, the sets tend to be harder on our joints and connective tissues, they can have higher rates of injury, and they can take longer to recover from. A bigger muscle is a stronger muscle, yes, but we also need to make sure that we develop the relevant muscles. Higher training volumes, to an extent, have been shown to increase hypertrophy, helping coaches and athletes build guidelines for exercise prescription. Here are some loose recommendations for some common isolation lifts: Genetics and personal preference will factor into what rep ranges you prefer, too. The “hypertrophy range” of roughly 6-15 reps per set may produce slightly better results per unit of time invested than low rep and high rep work. It’s easier to do the moderate rep range. The next question, then, is how hard the cutoff is. Also, as an example let’s say that i do 3 sets for each exercise. If we want to lift things overhead, we should be doing lifts like the overhead press. Squat. So instead of doing 6–20 reps for every lift, we want to use different parts of the rep range at different times. So building general strength has more to do with building bigger muscles by doing the big compound lifts, less to do with lifting in lower rep ranges. For example, when looking at increasing leg hypertrophy, total working sets (for most, drug-free lifters) across a week can range from 12-20 total working sets based on an athlete’s ability to recovery and/or level of fitness (more advanced athletes may not be able to handle as much loading due to moving more weight over time). Marco Walker-Ng is the co-founder and strength coach of Outlift, Bony to Beastly, and Bony to Bombshell, and is a certified trainer (PTS) with a Bachelor's degree in Health Sciences (BHSc) from the University of Ottawa. The full workout takes 60-75 minutes, they’ve only done three lifts, and they feel like they’ve worked pretty hard. According to experts like Greg Nuckols, MA, sets of 4–40 reps stimulate maximal amounts of muscle growth per set. Shane Duquette is the co-founder and creative lead of Outlift, Bony to Beastly, and Bony to Bombshell, and has a degree in design from York University in Toronto, Canada. The first option is to rest longer so that you aren’t bleeding as many reps between sets. But you can imagine how those workouts could get quite long. If we want to maximize the growth of our triceps, we also need triceps extensions. We can gauge our strength by how much we can lift in moderate rep ranges instead. Sets: 10-20 sets per week per movement pattern. Hypertrophy (bigger muscles): 6-12 reps per set. Pyramid training can work, but it often makes more sense to reverse it, starting heavier and then stripping weight off the bar. We know that doing 6–20 reps per set stimulates a maximal amount of muscle growth, but what about doing 5 or 30 reps per set? Bench Press. Some people’s lower backs get beat up with low-rep sets of deadlifts, whereas others get winded before they can finish a set of ten. If doing 12-rep sets of squats challenges our fitness more than our strength, should we use a lower rep range? That’s incredibly important for powerlifters, but for people who are more interesting in becoming bigger, stronger, fitter, and better looking, that benefit disappears. These volume-matched studies clearly show that doing 3 sets of 12 reps stimulates as much muscle growth as doing 7 sets of 4 reps, but we don’t know how much muscle growth would be stimulated by doing 3 sets of 4 reps. After all, perhaps an equal amount of muscle growth was stimulated by the first 3 sets, at which point no more muscle growth was stimulated. Higher reps are a good way to accumulate volume, and can be quite good for gaining muscle size, but it’s brutally hard to take high-rep sets close enough to failure. These guidelines can be manipulated (primary total sets per exercise) so that each muscle group can receive anywhere from 12-20 total working sets per week from a wide array of compound exercises. But that doesn’t make us stronger, per se, it just helps us specialize our strength for powerlifting. To add volume, most folks just maintain their existing training split and add sets to each training session, i.e., junk volume. Sets: 3-5 Reps: 8-12. Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS. Still mostly focused on building muscle, though. This is how we normally recommend that people train, leaving some reps in reserve, especially on earlier sets, and especially when so many reps are bleeding out from set to set. In those heavier rep ranges and sets and reps for hypertrophy set/rep volumes are necessary for various structural neural. It, sets and reps for hypertrophy heavier and then stripping weight off the bar powerful muscle ): 6-12 reps set... 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