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  1. #1
    Registered User westside233's Avatar
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    What does a rep range like 3x8-12 mean?

    How does a range like this work? Is it like you do 3x8 one workout, then 3x9 next time, then 3x10 etc until you get to the top rep range? Then add weight and start over?
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  2. #2
    the black out chacha15's Avatar
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    3 sets of 8 - 12 reps You find a weight range where you can get 8 reps minimum and up to 12 reps max.
    One more Rep!! Yea!
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  3. #3
    Registered User westside233's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by chacha15 View Post
    3 sets of 8 - 12 reps You find a weight range where you can get 8 reps minimum and up to 12 reps max.
    why keep track of a minimum? Why not just shoot for 12 and if you come up short a few times reset a bit and try again?
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  4. #4
    Registered User bsrkoacar's Avatar
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    You might get 10-12 on your first set and 8 on your 3rd after You are fatigued a little. Still a success.
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    Registered User westside233's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bsrkoacar View Post
    You might get 10-12 on your first set and 8 on your 3rd after You are fatigued a little. Still a success.
    Thanks for your time! Can I ask, why work in a range instead of a hard number?
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    Registered User MakeItMatt's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by westside233 View Post
    Thanks for your time! Can I ask, why work in a range instead of a hard number?
    Because you are a human and if the weight is proper, you won't be able to do it for the exact same amount of reps set after set.
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    Registered User bsrkoacar's Avatar
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    It depends on the program. Typically the number of reps isn't as important as the quality of the reps. Focus on form. If you can hit 12 reps on all 3 sets then you might not be using enough weight. Also, if you can't hit 8 reps on your 3rd set, then you might be using too much weight.

    8 challenging reps will do more for you than 12 easy reps.
    Last edited by bsrkoacar; 08-01-2018 at 12:07 AM.
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  8. #8
    Weak and foolish OldFartTom's Avatar
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    Try it and see

    Find a weight and an exercise where you can only just do 12 and short of a gun held to your head you can't get 13 or 14.

    Do the 12 reps even though it's really really tough.

    Wait 90 seconds (or whatever rest period your program advises).

    Try another 12, if it was set hard enough chances are you might miss a rep.

    Repeat for a third time... if you get 12 now, you weren't working hard enough for the first set.

    Enjoy...
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  9. #9
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    I like to go 4-5 heavy, 7-8, 10-12, 14-16 for descending weights.
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  10. #10
    Team Monkey Arms TheGymJim's Avatar
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    The idea is to increase the weight when you can do 3x12. Then work back up until you can do 3x12 again. And then add weight again. Etc. etc.

    That's the whole point of rep ranges.
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  11. #11
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    If you do 3 sets of 12 with the same weight, it means that the level of exertion you used in the first set is much lower than in the last set.

    There is nothing wrong with this, it's totally legitimate to program sub-maximal effort sets - but you need to know that's what you are doing.

    This is one of the reason I would argue that number of reps is not a fundamental programming quantity.

    Those are:
    a) Weight used as a percentage of 1RM
    b) Exertion per set (how close you get to failure)
    c) Number of hard sets done per bodypart per week.
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  12. #12
    Registered User westside233's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TheGymJim View Post
    The idea is to increase the weight when you can do 3x12. Then work back up until you can do 3x12 again. And then add weight again. Etc. etc.

    That's the whole point of rep ranges.
    That was what I thought. That's why I asked why have a minimum then? What does that do for you? If you aren't increasing weight then why not just call it 3x12 and only add weight when you hit 12?

    If you aim for 3x12 and miss, any program will have you redo the weight again next time anyway. If the weight us proper, you should be getting close anyway to that amount of reps anyway, so the minimum serves what purpose?
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  13. #13
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by westside233 View Post
    That was what I thought. That's why I asked why have a minimum then? What does that do for you? If you aren't increasing weight then why not just call it 3x12 and only add weight when you hit 12?

    If you aim for 3x12 and miss, any program will have you redo the weight again next time anyway. If the weight us proper, you should be getting close anyway to that amount of reps anyway, so the minimum serves what purpose?
    Actually I don't like programs that have you repeat the same thing when you can't get past it. This is how people stagnate. IMO it's better to take a 'run up' at it by starting with submaximal loads and making small increases that don't immediately take you up to the max you can do.

    E.g. if your max effort was 12,12,10 reps then go:
    9,9,9
    10,10,10
    11,11,11
    12,12,12 -- over 4 workouts. By now, your real max is probably much higher and you've accumulated less fatigue too.

    An increase over what you did last time still has an effect even if it's not max effort.

    BTW - the above is how All Pros routine works...

    Also, here is a reason for having a minimum rep count:

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...1&p=1557514341
    It controls progression and volume.
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  14. #14
    Team Monkey Arms TheGymJim's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by westside233 View Post
    That was what I thought. That's why I asked why have a minimum then? What does that do for you? If you aren't increasing weight then why not just call it 3x12 and only add weight when you hit 12?

    If you aim for 3x12 and miss, any program will have you redo the weight again next time anyway. If the weight us proper, you should be getting close anyway to that amount of reps anyway, so the minimum serves what purpose?
    It serves the purpose of not jumping up to a weight where you can do less than 3x8. It's a very basic form of autoregulation that you give people so you don't have to explain what autoregulation is or how it works. In this way you can ensure people are progressing sensibly and the rep range is high enough that it should force people to not use chitty form, at least to a decent extent.

    <3x8 = too heavy, decrease weight. 3x12 = increase weight.

    It should be noted that none of the sets should be taken to failure, either. At least not often.

    The reason "3x8-12" is the cookie cutter, staple range is because it's:

    1) basic autoregulation & form idiot-proofing as explained above
    2) within a range in which noobs aiming for hypertrophy will be happy to work, whilst still being low enough that weight increases can occur relatively frequently
    3) easy to explain and use, and will basically work for everyone

    Essentially, it's a safe bet.

    But the rep ranges exist in any given rep range for you to autoregulate your intensity and volume and ensure progress.
    Current PRs: (S/B/D) 145kg / 100kg / 180kg // 2018 goal PRs: 160kg / 110kg / 190kg

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  15. #15
    WOATbrah of peace :) sooby's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by westside233 View Post
    That was what I thought. That's why I asked why have a minimum then? What does that do for you? If you aren't increasing weight then why not just call it 3x12 and only add weight when you hit 12?

    If you aim for 3x12 and miss, any program will have you redo the weight again next time anyway. If the weight us proper, you should be getting close anyway to that amount of reps anyway, so the minimum serves what purpose?
    Because missing 3x12 over and over again, training to failure isn't conducive to muscle growth not to mention a whole lot of accumulated fatigue. This is a terrible strategy to breaking through plateaus. It's better to build yourself up using sub-maximal weights which will also build strength and muscle. Then eventually hit 3x12. Without running yourself into the ground.
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  16. #16
    Registered User westside233's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sooby View Post
    Because missing 3x12 over and over again, training to failure isn't conducive to muscle growth not to mention a whole lot of accumulated fatigue. This is a terrible strategy to breaking through plateaus. It's better to build yourself up using sub-maximal weights which will also build strength and muscle. Then eventually hit 3x12. Without running yourself into the ground.
    Is there any novice programs that follow this protocol? I haven't read much about this way of progressing.
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  17. #17
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by westside233 View Post
    Is there any novice programs that follow this protocol? I haven't read much about this way of progressing.
    If you had read my post above, you would know the answer to this.
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    WOATbrah of peace :) sooby's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by westside233 View Post
    Is there any novice programs that follow this protocol? I haven't read much about this way of progressing.
    suffolk literally just posted All-Pro's

    this method of progression is called double progression. You are progressing in two ways. Increasing the reps, then once you hit your max reps, you increase the weight.
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