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  1. #1
    Member tonimonkey666's Avatar
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    why dont people use 1-3 reps for mass?

    Lifting the most weight you can lift for 1-3 reps with good form recruits WAY more muscle fibers than lifting a weight you can do for 10 reps. Heavy weight and low reps stimulates the most fibers for growth and the fast twitch fibers which are the ones that have the best potential for growth are the ones stimulated when lifting heavy weight...

    So why do u all say dont go below 4 reps?
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  2. #2
    Canadian Strength beast69's Avatar
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    when working out with lower than 4-6 reps, you are mainly training for strength. I don't know EXACTLY why, but I'll try to add in a couple things (hopefully someone more knowledgable can correct me).

    training with less than four reps does not allow you're muscle fibres to be torn down as they normally would, and a different type of hypertrophy takes place(can't remember the name). Also, a lower rep range stresses the CNS more, and causes an increase in the efficiency of your muscles, rather than making them larger. mThats about the extent of my knowledge on this subject.
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  3. #3
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    Originally posted by beast69
    when working out with lower than 4-6 reps, you are mainly training for strength. I don't know EXACTLY why, but I'll try to add in a couple things (hopefully someone more knowledgable can correct me).

    training with less than four reps does not allow you're muscle fibres to be torn down as they normally would, and a different type of hypertrophy takes place(can't remember the name). Also, a lower rep range stresses the CNS more, and causes an increase in the efficiency of your muscles, rather than making them larger. mThats about the extent of my knowledge on this subject.
    Exactly, while you don't want to go with high reps, medium reps (6-8) are best for hypertrpohy while low reps (1-3) are good for powerlifters IMO.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member __KinkaiD__0000's Avatar
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    I do use 3 reps for mass.
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  5. #5
    The Leper Messiah meathead198's Avatar
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    I think this is right.

    1-3 reps causes myofibril hypertrophy and higher CNS efficiancy.

    4-12 causes sarcoplasmic(the stuff between muscle fibres) and sarcomere(growth of contractile tissue) these 2 are the major players in muscle growth.

    However, it is possible to shoot for sarcoplasmic and sarcomere hypertrophy in the 1-3 rep range, providing your rest breaks are short and you do many sets.

    Example:

    8 sets of 3 reps, resting 10-30 seconds between sets.

    I am unsure though what %age of your 1 rep max u would be capable of using for this.
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  6. #6
    Registered User NextBestThing's Avatar
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    Originally posted by meathead198
    I think this is right.

    1-3 reps causes myofibril hypertrophy and higher CNS efficiancy.

    4-12 causes sarcoplasmic(the stuff between muscle fibres) and sarcomere(growth of contractile tissue) these 2 are the major players in muscle growth.

    However, it is possible to shoot for sarcoplasmic and sarcomere hypertrophy in the 1-3 rep range, providing your rest breaks are short and you do many sets.

    Example:

    8 sets of 3 reps, resting 10-30 seconds between sets.

    I am unsure though what %age of your 1 rep max u would be capable of using for this.
    Which is why asa a Power-Bodybuilder I do for example
    Deadlift - 1 - 3 reps
    BB Rows - 6 - 8 reps

    Squat - 1 - 3 reps
    Leg Press - 6 - 8 reps
    SL DL - 8 - 12 reps

    I pretty much get it all in. Im very pleased with the results in size/strength
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  7. #7
    The Leper Messiah meathead198's Avatar
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    NBT, do you do strength and hypertrophy on the same day, or do you have for example an upper and lower strength, upper and lower hypertrophy split?
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  8. #8
    Member tonimonkey666's Avatar
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    Why not add a set at the end of all ur lifts of 1-3 reps to enable beter strengh gains... so the following week you will be able to lift more on your 4-8 sets?
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  9. #9
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    you caint make your muscles fail enough only using that amount of reps, using more, reps, you can increase the fraction of which ur muscles come closer to their failing point

    too many reps dont have enough muscle fibers
    too little reps dont fail enough for good growth

    so u gota go int he middle

    like 6-8
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  10. #10
    Member tonimonkey666's Avatar
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    yeah but by powerlifting at the same time ull be able to lift more next week on ur 4-8 sets...which will lead to more muscle!
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  11. #11
    Canadian Strength beast69's Avatar
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    but you should be increasing your weight or reps each week anyways. Size does not come without strength, and strength does not come without size. In bodybuilding, the main goal is to gain size, while in powerlifting it is more important to gain strength. Low reps are not optimal for size, which is why people who are strictly bodybuilders will use a slightly higher rep range than powerlifters.
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  12. #12
    Member tonimonkey666's Avatar
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    Yeh i know ull gain strength from 4-8 reps. But why not gain even more strengh with an additional set of 1-3 reps then lift more weight the following week on all ur sets? More weight lifted = more musle gained.

    And strength can come without size...
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  13. #13
    Canadian Strength beast69's Avatar
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    usually, if I've worked hard enough(which I've been able to do for quite some time now), I don't have enough energy at the end of each exercise to do an additional set. Also, I have made a routine that works very well for me in terms of size. I don't actually care for any strength gains. In the past, some of my lifts will have only increased by 5-10 lbs, but I had gained a fair amount of size.

    also, in terms of weight lifted, your body cannot tell if you are lifting 10 lbs, or 200 lbs. It only knows that it is being stressed, and to different degrees. the amount of weight does not really matter, as long as your body is being stressed, and you fail within a certain number of reps.
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  14. #14
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    Originally posted by tonimonkey666
    yeah but by powerlifting at the same time ull be able to lift more next week on ur 4-8 sets...which will lead to more muscle!
    Not necessarily. Strength of contractile tissue is not directly related to endurance of the muscle. Rep ranges of 1-3 may increase myofibrillar density and nervous system efficiency, but it may not increase the volume of sarcoplasmic tissue enough to allow higher rep ranges to be performed with the same load. This is exactly the same reason as to why low rep ranges aren't optimal for building muscle mass.

    Although sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar hypertrophy often occur together, the proportions of each that take place are by no means constant. Rep ranges of 1-3 will cause high levels of myofibrillar hypertophy with very little sarcoplasmic adaption taking place. Similarly, higher rep ranges of 8-10 for example will result in sarcoplasmic hypertrophy with little strength gains occuring. As sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is most responsible for increases in muscle size, this type of adaption is what bodybuilders aim for the majority of the time.
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  15. #15
    Canadian Strength beast69's Avatar
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    thank you Davesta, you said it much better than me.
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    Is 2x8 for bench, then 2x6 for bench with a little more weight a good mass builder?

    Also, let me ask something(off-topic). The other day, I did this routine for bench.

    2x8 110 lbs
    2x6 125 lbs

    I couldnt squeeze in another rep on the last set if i wanted to, what do you think my max is?
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  17. #17
    Registered User protz2812's Avatar
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    for most of my exercises I do 4-8 reps
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  18. #18
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    Well, honestly, the more i workout, the more i think too many and too little reps is a false concept, you should include both in most workouts

    If you go to muscle failure with low reps, thats good, and if next set you remove 50% of the weight and go to failure again, its even better, allowing a more complete development.

    Or you can do like 30 reps to failure of crossover to get a massive pump, then head to the bench press where ull do 5 sets of 2-4 reps.

    The more you mix it, the better it is
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  19. #19
    Registered User NextBestThing's Avatar
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    Originally posted by meathead198
    NBT, do you do strength and hypertrophy on the same day, or do you have for example an upper and lower strength, upper and lower hypertrophy split?
    I do everything in 1 workout. I dont split it up like 1 workout 6 - 8 reps and 1 workout 1 - 3.

    Basically how I wrote it is how I do it.

    Workout 1 = Squat/Leg day

    3 - 4 sets Squat - 1 - 3 reps
    3 - 4 sets leg press - 6 - 8 reps (sometimes even 14 really slow reps if I really wanna kill myself)

    3 sets SLDL - 8 - 12 reps
    3 sets calve raises - 8 - 14 reps

    So as you can see. I start off heavy with low reps with the hardest movement. Then go with higher reps as I go along
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