The Most Effective Rep Range For Building Muscle

It’s broader than you may think.

Zack Harris
In Fitness And In Health

--

Photo by Aaron Brogden on Unsplash

Lifting weights for sets of 8-to-12 reps has long been touted as the optimal “hypertrophy rep range”.

This isn’t wrong — but it seems to be a bit of an incomplete statement.

It’s likely that anywhere between 5 and 30 reps will yield very similar results from a muscle building standpoint — as long as the set is taken close to failure.

And to be clear, “close” would be defined as somewhere between 4 and 0 reps away from failure.

Do heavier weights fatigue you more than light weights? You bet. But lighter weights allow for higher rep sets. So, while each rep doesn’t fatigue you as much, each set has more of them.

The result of this balance is that both the hypertrophic stimulus and fatigue generated by each set between roughly 5 and 30 reps is about the same. — Renaissance Periodization

So if 5 to 30 is the best rep range for hypertrophy, the next question should probably be: What’s the best rep range for you?

That can depend on many variables, but let’s take our best shot at figuring it out. Below are four key considerations.

Injury history

--

--

Zack Harris
In Fitness And In Health

I write about health, wealth, and self improvement. Fitness & nutrition coach. Finance major & money nerd. linktr.ee/zackharris - IG: zackharris01