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  1. #1
    Registered User Caliginosity's Avatar
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    When They Say 8-12 Reps, What Do They Mean Exactly?

    I've been lifting for several years now, but something that has always bothered me was the 8-12 rep thing, or rep ranges in general, be it 6-10, 8-12, or whatever. Also, before I carry on I have a feeling people will assume that I believe 8-12 reps is the absolute best way to train. That is not the case at all, I'm just using it as an example.

    What exactly do people mean when they say that? I've always taken it as follows: I have 2 routines which are pretty much the same. One routine has me doing 3-4 sets of 8 reps for pretty much every exercise, and the other has me doing the same but with 12 reps.

    The problem is, I've always had a bit of an issue with this way of training, as I keep thinking I've most likely misunderstood what people are talking about when they say things like 8-12 reps, even after all these years. Surely they don't mean people should have 2 routines like I've got, one with 8 reps, the other with 12.


    So my question is basically this...

    - When people say things such as 8-12 reps, how should that play out in the gym? Should I always be aiming for 12 reps no matter what? I'd then be aiming for 12 reps, but sometimes I'd perhaps only reach 8 or 10 etc, therefore I would be always working in the 8-12 range. The reason I ask is because in my 8 rep routine I basically aim for 8 reps, then stop my set, whereas in the 12 rep routine I aim for 12, but with less weight of course.

    The reason it is a little complicated for me is because if I approach an exercise I usually have to think beforehand "Am I going to do 8 or 12 reps for this?". Based on my choice, I then of course alter the weight (More weight for 8 reps, less for 12 etc). I never really knew if I'm just overanalyzing things and I should just mix things up, by perhaps doing 8 reps for one exercise, 12 for another etc etc. But then again, if I do that it's going to be a little hard to keep note of all the weights I'm doing on each exercise and for what specific rep range etc.


    Anyway, I hope you guys understand what I'm trying to say here. In my head I can understand it fine because I wrote it, but reading back over it, you may not have a clue what I'm on about. Hopefully that's not the case. It may be a small issue, but it's been bugging me for a while now as I keep thinking I may have it all wrong.

    Thanks in advance.
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  2. #2
    witty comment goes here SimonThePieman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Caliginosity View Post
    I've been lifting for several years now, but something that has always bothered me was the 8-12 rep thing, or rep ranges in general, be it 6-10, 8-12, or whatever. Also, before I carry on I have a feeling people will assume that I believe 8-12 reps is the absolute best way to train. That is not the case at all, I'm just using it as an example.

    What exactly do people mean when they say that? I've always taken it as follows: I have 2 routines which are pretty much the same. One routine has me doing 3-4 sets of 8 reps for pretty much every exercise, and the other has me doing the same but with 12 reps.

    The problem is, I've always had a bit of an issue with this way of training, as I keep thinking I've most likely misunderstood what people are talking about when they say things like 8-12 reps, even after all these years. Surely they don't mean people should have 2 routines like I've got, one with 8 reps, the other with 12.


    So my question is basically this...

    - When people say things such as 8-12 reps, how should that play out in the gym? Should I always be aiming for 12 reps no matter what? I'd then be aiming for 12 reps, but sometimes I'd perhaps only reach 8 or 10 etc, therefore I would be always working in the 8-12 range. The reason I ask is because in my 8 rep routine I basically aim for 8 reps, then stop my set, whereas in the 12 rep routine I aim for 12, but with less weight of course.

    The reason it is a little complicated for me is because if I approach an exercise I usually have to think beforehand "Am I going to do 8 or 12 reps for this?". Based on my choice, I then of course alter the weight (More weight for 8 reps, less for 12 etc). I never really knew if I'm just overanalyzing things and I should just mix things up, by perhaps doing 8 reps for one exercise, 12 for another etc etc. But then again, if I do that it's going to be a little hard to keep note of all the weights I'm doing on each exercise and for what specific rep range etc.


    Anyway, I hope you guys understand what I'm trying to say here. In my head I can understand it fine because I wrote it, but reading back over it, you may not have a clue what I'm on about. Hopefully that's not the case. It may be a small issue, but it's been bugging me for a while now as I keep thinking I may have it all wrong.

    Thanks in advance.
    you are really over thinking this. The rep number is really arbitary.

    pick a number between 8-12/6-10, whatever range recommend. any number, it matters little in the grand scheme of things.

    if you complete the set comfortably up the weight next session, if not try to increase reps at same weight. Then try following session to increase weight if confident. If you stall. Roll back your weights and start at a different rep scheme.

    simple
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  3. #3
    Banned MuscleHQ's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Caliginosity View Post
    I've been lifting for several years now, but something that has always bothered me was the 8-12 rep thing, or rep ranges in general, be it 6-10, 8-12, or whatever. Also, before I carry on I have a feeling people will assume that I believe 8-12 reps is the absolute best way to train. That is not the case at all, I'm just using it as an example.

    What exactly do people mean when they say that? I've always taken it as follows: I have 2 routines which are pretty much the same. One routine has me doing 3-4 sets of 8 reps for pretty much every exercise, and the other has me doing the same but with 12 reps.

    The problem is, I've always had a bit of an issue with this way of training, as I keep thinking I've most likely misunderstood what people are talking about when they say things like 8-12 reps, even after all these years. Surely they don't mean people should have 2 routines like I've got, one with 8 reps, the other with 12.


    So my question is basically this...

    - When people say things such as 8-12 reps, how should that play out in the gym? Should I always be aiming for 12 reps no matter what? I'd then be aiming for 12 reps, but sometimes I'd perhaps only reach 8 or 10 etc, therefore I would be always working in the 8-12 range. The reason I ask is because in my 8 rep routine I basically aim for 8 reps, then stop my set, whereas in the 12 rep routine I aim for 12, but with less weight of course.

    The reason it is a little complicated for me is because if I approach an exercise I usually have to think beforehand "Am I going to do 8 or 12 reps for this?". Based on my choice, I then of course alter the weight (More weight for 8 reps, less for 12 etc). I never really knew if I'm just overanalyzing things and I should just mix things up, by perhaps doing 8 reps for one exercise, 12 for another etc etc. But then again, if I do that it's going to be a little hard to keep note of all the weights I'm doing on each exercise and for what specific rep range etc.


    Anyway, I hope you guys understand what I'm trying to say here. In my head I can understand it fine because I wrote it, but reading back over it, you may not have a clue what I'm on about. Hopefully that's not the case. It may be a small issue, but it's been bugging me for a while now as I keep thinking I may have it all wrong.

    Thanks in advance.
    Time under tension is far more important than the rep range.
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  4. #4
    Registered User Caliginosity's Avatar
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    Thank you guys, that's much appreciated!
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  5. #5
    Registered User Anzy's Avatar
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    When I see 8-12, I try to pick a weight that let me get to 8. If I feel I've got a lot left in me, Ill try to push out more reps. Once, I can get 12 and still have more, its time to bump up the weight up.

    This is my strategy when I have a relatively unstructured program, but I prefer programs where I am working with a specific percentage of my 1rm and do the exact number of reps specified...that's just personal preference though and the method above works well.
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    The way I see it, if you have 3 x 8-12 on the bench press and you take 100 lbs. You start with 3 sets of 8 reps. If you succeed, you move on with 3 sets of 9 reps next time. Then, 3 sets of 10 reps...3 x 11, 3 x 12. Once you succesfully complete 3 sets of 12 reps, you increase the weight and restart.

    The goal is to do all your sets with 12 reps, once you can do it, you increase the reps and restart with 8 reps.

    Allpro's beginner routine use this kind of progression.
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