How Do Reps Build Muscle?


How Do Reps Build Muscle
Question: I don’t understand how high reps can build muscle. If you’re doing 15 reps per set, isn’t that for “cutting”? Shouldn’t I do more low reps for building mass?

Answer: The ideal method for building muscle is actually a combination of the two systems.

One of the most densely built bodybuilders of the ’90s, 1995 North American Bodybuilding Champion, Stan McCrary, rarely performed less than 15 to 20 reps per set. For example, he used 315 pounds for incline barbell presses for that many reps. When he did decrease the reps to 10 to 12, he used 405 pounds. That’s serious weight on an incline press.

You have to understand that muscle is built from reaching muscle failure with whatever weight/rep routine you prefer and insuring that you properly refuel, rest and recover.

By rotating routines between density (” heavy”) training and volume ( “light”) training, you can accelerate your growth potential. Typically, density refers to performing three to six reps per set while volume can run from 15 to 50 reps per set.

Density routines include straight sets in a descending cycle from 10 to three reps, adding weight on each set, or “rest/pause,” which uses a variation of three to six reps with a 15-second rest and repeating the same weight for another two to four reps followed by a drop set without a pause of another six reps.

Volume could be “railroads” or range sets. You have to experiment with both methods to determine whether volume or density should be your primary method and which should be your variable method.

Whatever method you choose, push yourself to reach positive muscle failure, drink water, consume the necessary nutrients from a healthy diet and sleep. You will grow.

God bless and keep training,