When lifting weights, you have so many different options that it can be astounding. To the person who has never been a weightlifter, it sounds pretty simple. If you lift something that is heavy, you will grow muscle, which sounds simple, right? Sadly, this can be true, to a certain extent, but it gets much deeper. If you are someone who wants to get the body you want as fast as possible, you might want to keep reading. The question of how many reps I should be doing for the goals that I have was something that didn’t really click to me until much later on.
There are a couple of main rep ranges that people will use and I will go into more detail on them to help you figure out what you need to be doing.
- Hypertrophy – This is something that can only be achieved by lifting higher reps with lower weights. If you have attained hypertrophy, you will start seeing that your muscles will be getting bigger. Now, there is a downside to this, as you will see your strength not increase the same way. Usually, hypertrophy exercises are those that are best performed by using dumbbells over the big full body lifts. If you are tired of looking at how small your muscles might appear, you will really want to consider adding in some hypertrophy lifts into your workouts.
- Lifting for Pure Strength Alone – Have you ever noticed that strongmen and bodybuilders look so different from each other, when compared? This is because those strongmen (think strongman competitions on television) are people who opt for a training program that focuses more on strength than the previously mentioned hypertrophy routines. If you want to show off how strong you are and don’t really care how big you look, I would say that you would be someone who is going to keep your rep ranges lower. When training solely for strength, you are going to want to lift a weight that you could do only about 5 reps of.
- A Mixture of Strength and Hypertrophy
If you are serious about wanting to train and can’t decide which option is most important to you, the third and final option might just be the best. By mixing both strength and muscle growth training, you will be able to watch yourself get stronger while also looking bulkier. This will not be the easiest option but it is one that you might want to try if you want the best progress that you can possibly have. You will need to combine full body lifts with those that are used to just target one muscle group. Pair this kind of routine with a full-body split and get ready to grow! For your full body lifts, keep the rep range nice and low and increase the reps when you are targeting a specific set of muscles.
Finally, be sure that you are switching up what kinds of lifts that you are doing. By doing this, you are always keeping your muscles guessing as to what is going to happen next. When muscles are confused, they resort to using different parts of the muscle itself, in order to better help you out while lifting! The more confused your muscles are, the less confused you will be about why you aren’t looking the way that you want to!