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Best number of reps for bulking?

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HOWE
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2008/05/21 08:44:37 (permalink)
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Best number of reps for bulking?

Hi all,


I'd be really grateful for any info on rep ranges for bulking. Basically, I want big muscles and have read countless books, websites etc over the years to get a definitive answer for how many reps I should aim to perform in order to do this.

Some say a low rep strength range between 4-6 will do it, others say 8-10 will do it. I'm really just looking for anyone who has successfully built big muscles to tell me how many reps they perform. I know variation between the two is good but what should I be aiming to do the majority of the time?

Cheers for taking the time to read this
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15 Replies Related Threads

    DeTon8R
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    RE: Best number of reps for bulking? 2008/05/21 08:48:25 (permalink)
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    Hi Howe

    Welcome to Muscletalk!

    4-6 rep ranges are usually purely for strength training.

    7-9 for strength with some growth

    10-12 (in some cases up to 15 for muscles such as calves) is usually recommend for growth.

    Set ranges also play a major role. Usually the big muscles (back for example) should be hit with 12 reps and smaller muscles (biceps) a max of 9.

    Find the best pattern which works and which suits you
    post edited by DeTon8R - 2008/05/21 09:19:08
    #2
    fun meter
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    RE: Best number of reps for bulking? 2008/05/21 09:24:09 (permalink)
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    Find what works best for you. Plus, you can still gain muscle at pretty much any rep range, as long as you progress. I have a mix of reps in my routine (4x6,3x8,2x10,1x20...).
    #3
    gwilym
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    RE: Best number of reps for bulking? 2008/05/21 09:57:32 (permalink)
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    Have a read through this http://www.muscletalk.co.uk/article-methods-of-training.aspx
    Its a good read and should help you decide how to structure your workout.
    #4
    HOWE
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    RE: Best number of reps for bulking? 2008/05/21 10:38:23 (permalink)
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    Wow! Thanks for the speedy reply guys and the welcome.

    Think I'll change it up a bit then. At the moment I would typically do 4 sets of 1x8-10, 1x6-8, then 2x4-6. I really feel the burn during the first two sets but on the 2nd 2 not so much.
    #5
    DavidT
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    RE: Best number of reps for bulking? 2008/05/21 10:41:10 (permalink)
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    it depends on your body type (ectomorph etc etc).... I am ectomorphic but find that a mixture works, usually i stick to between 8-12 reps but on the main lifts i sometimes go down to one rep for a set or two (bench, deadlift, squat, overhead press).
    #6
    beefycol
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    RE: Best number of reps for bulking? 2008/05/21 18:21:12 (permalink)
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    8 reps

    CURRENT STAT
    get shreded. 16st 7lbs-15st 7lbs 6ft, to 14st 9lbs (Feb 2011)
    #7
    angelfan
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    RE: Best number of reps for bulking? 2008/05/22 15:11:08 (permalink)
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    I usually do 8 - 10, reps For years I did 4 - 6 reps falsely believing that you had to lift very heavy to grow.
    Yes I got stronger but noticed I didnt really get much bigger.

    So I lightened the weight and started to train like the pros, with continueas tension never resting on the reps until I hit failure a quick pump like action I also started failing at 8 - 10 reps

    After a while I noticed I was getting bigger.

    SoI think you have to do at least 8 reps 10 is even better I think you need time under tension you need to have the load straining the muscle for over a certain period of time and I think anything under 8 reps just isnt long enough.
    #8
    Keyboard Hero
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    RE: Best number of reps for bulking? 2008/05/22 15:30:11 (permalink)
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    #9
    DC77
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    RE: Best number of reps for bulking? 2008/05/22 15:51:33 (permalink)
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    Pick a suitable weight and a number between 1 and 100!
    #10
    oasis
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    RE: Best number of reps for bulking? 2008/05/23 00:32:54 (permalink)
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    ORIGINAL: beefycol

    8 reps



    ditto the 8.

    It's hard to be humble when I'm so great...

    If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize...Muhammad Ali
    #11
    HOWE
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    RE: Best number of reps for bulking? 2008/05/23 07:50:48 (permalink)
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    Cheers guys, from now then I'll focus on higher reps and throw in strength sets every now and then top avoid hitting a plateau. At the moment I would typically do this for each exercise:

    Pick a light-ish weight to start with and do 10 reps to get warmed up.

    Then up the weight a bit more aiming for 6-8 reps.

    Then really up the weight and go for 4-6 rep failure for 2 sets.


    I think this is ok for a little bit of both but obviously no good if I just want mass. Plus on the first 2 sets I really do treat them as a warm-up and don't tend to be struggling with them.
    #12
    #Hench
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    RE: Best number of reps for bulking? 2008/05/23 08:29:43 (permalink)
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    i like to keep my deads squats a bench below 10 other is not as important but i rerely go over 12. except on calves and forearms.
    #13
    cjohn
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    RE: Best number of reps for bulking? 2008/05/23 10:34:31 (permalink)
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    For most of my exercises I do 4 sets, with 12, 10, 8, 8 reps. I also do a warmup set of 15 reps before I start on a new muscle group.

    The four sets at 12, 10, 8, 8 involve increasing the weight for each set, so sometimes I cannot achieve 8 on the last set. But for the sets that are 12 & 10 reps, these are not warmup sets, the weight is set so that I can just about complete them.

    As an example: Incline benchpress - 1 warmup set at 30kg x 15 reps
    - 1 working set of 60kg x 12 reps
    - 1 working set of 65 kg at 10 reps
    - 1 working set of 70kg at 8 reps
    - 1 working set of 75kg aiming for 8 reps
    I then go on to do flat benchpress, but don't bother with a warmup set for that as I'm already warm.

    I've found that this pattern of sets and reps is really working for me. Your current set/rep range sounds ok, but I wouldn't count any of the warmup sets as part of your routine; I'd recommend doing at least three working sets, preferrably four, so either add more sets in or up the weight on those sets that you currently consider warmups.
    #14
    Lobo
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    RE: Best number of reps for bulking? 2008/05/24 18:37:42 (permalink)
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    I think constantly doing low reps and heavier weight is a common mistake in the gym. Its what I used to do.

    I stick around the 10 rep range now in general, however will often take my first heavy excerices down to 4-5 reps on my heavy set to get used to the heavier weight. Found this has worked well for me.
    #15
    danchubbz
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    RE: Best number of reps for bulking? 2008/05/25 08:11:07 (permalink)
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    It's the cals u consume that determine if u grow or not, not the number of reps.
    #16
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