The first time most people give the weight room a try, they pick up a light weight and crank out reps by the dozens. This is great for getting to know a movement, but once you have specific goals, you'll learn that there are specific "rep ranges" that are proven to help you achieve each goal. Today, you're going to learn about them in action!
Ultimate 30 Day Beginners Guide To Fitness: Day 20
Watch The Video - 02:14
Day 20 Challenge
- Perform a free-weight workout incorporating strength, muscle growth, and endurance rep ranges.
The Rep of the Story
Workouts focusing on sets of 5 reps or fewer are generally considered "strength-building" work, since you can handle more weight in short small sets. A range of 8-12 reps per set is popular for muscle growth or "hypertrophy," whereas sets of 15 reps and above are great for building muscular endurance. If you've only done 3 sets of 10 up until now, it's time for you to expand your horizons!
Trainees will use rep ranges in every possible combination. Some will have a "strength day" and a "hypertrophy day" in the same week, or even some balance of those styles in the same workout. Others will work in specific phases, where they devote weeks or months to low-rep strength work, and then do a muscle-building phase as a follow-up.
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Which style is right for you? The answer is complicated, and depends on your goals, schedule, and experience level. For now, just focus on continuing to learn the movements, and on learning how different rep ranges feel with different weights. For today's bench press and deadlifts, pick a weight that feels significant, but not overwhelming. What you do for 5 sets of 5 should be heavier than what you would do for sets of 10.
It doesn't have to be much heavier—after all, you're just learning, and you may not have a spotter for the bench press—but take this as an opportunity to see what a little heavy weight can teach you!