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  1. #1
    Registered User TheBeaconFlame's Avatar
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    Question Very high repetitions for muscle gain

    I don't understand the concept of only certain rep ranges will lead to hypertrophy.

    people will tell you that rep ranges of 3-5 build muscle. People will also say rep ranges from 10-30 will build muscle. However, if you mention rep ranges above 30 people say it doesn't build muscle. You typically hear something along the lines of "that will only build muscular endurance and not put on muscle" Does anyone have any REAL data stating this is true? Because it makes 0 sense when you think of it logically.

    As long as you are going to or near FAILURE why would the rep range matter? Sure, low-weight and high rep ranges will activate fewer muscle fibers AT FIRST but you're going to eventually reach a point to where everything will have to be recruited to get those last reps, even if it's a 100-rep set. I don't understand why this wouldn't lead to muscle gain.

    I'm basically referring to bodyweight training with no weights added. Why is it that people say regular push-ups would only get you so far? Your progressive overload would simply be more reps instead of adding weight. You're not adding 5 pounds to the bar you're adding a few extra reps to progress. As long as you're truly pushing yourself and going to or near failure why would you not be able to build muscle as efficiently?
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    How's that working out for you?

    This is why people who don't actually lift shouldn't make up theories about lifting.
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    Registered User TheBeaconFlame's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    How's that working out for you?

    This is why people who don't actually lift shouldn't make up theories about lifting.

    You don't know a thing about me, why are you assuming anything? And you made legit zero attempt to answer anything. How about answering why or giving some real data like I asked for. Thanks.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TheBeaconFlame View Post
    You don't know a thing about me, why are you assuming anything? And you made legit zero attempt to answer anything. How about answering why or giving some real data like I asked for. Thanks.
    If it's working out well for you, that's all the answer you need. I can answer you however I want even if it's not the answer you demand.

    If you think sets of several hundred bodyweight squats until failure will build muscle "as efficiently" as sets of a few reps of 400 lb squats to failure, that's your right.

    Why would I bother to debate the issue with you if you believe saying otherwise "makes 0 sense when you think of it logically." It's pretty much a useless conversation for both of us, because you're stating something as non-sensical with no experience and think you're being really logical.

    Keep your training lazy!
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    Registered User TheBeaconFlame's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    If it's working out well for you, that's all the answer you need. I can answer you however I want even if it's not the answer you demand.

    If you think sets of several hundred bodyweight squats until failure will build muscle "as efficiently" as a set of a few reps of 400 lb squats to failure, that's your right.

    Why would I bother to debate the issue with you if you believe saying otherwise "makes 0 sense when you think of it logically." It's pretty much a useless conversation for both of us, because you're stating something as non-sensical with no experience and think you're being really logical.

    Keep your training lazy!
    Once again you're making wild assumptions of what I do or how I train. Let's let someone else answer since you're not making any effort.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TheBeaconFlame View Post
    Once again you're making wild assumptions of what I do or how I train. Let's let someone else answer since you're not making any effort.
    You seem to think debunking basics and demanding "REAL data" to prove you wrong makes you come off as knowledgeable, when you just sound like an inexperienced idiot. If my squat example doesn't automatically click with you, there's no point in anyone making more of an effort.

    The "REAL data" would be you taking a proper lifting program and using bodyweight (or no weight) to do or replicate all the movements until you can't do any more reps for each set, doing it over time, and evaluating the results. Good luck!
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  7. #7
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TheBeaconFlame View Post
    Once again you're making wild assumptions of what I do or how I train. Let's let someone else answer since you're not making any effort.
    Increase the rep range enough and you will reach the point where aerobic capacity is insufficient to match muscular demands, ie. you run out of breath before you reach muscular failure. Is hard to pinpoint this range because aerobic capacity is highly variable even within an individual. The greater point is why push it when you don't have to?

    And yes, assumptions can be made about your training if aren't able to intuit this point.
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    You could wash your car with a toothbrush but why would you when you could use a sponge or towel and get it down better and faster?

    Use the right tool for the right job. Use the right method for the results you wish to achieve.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    You seem to think debunking basics and demanding "REAL data" to prove you wrong makes you come off as knowledgeable, when you just sound like an inexperienced idiot. If my squat example doesn't automatically click with you, there's no point in anyone making more of an effort.

    The "REAL data" would be you taking a proper lifting program and using bodyweight (or no weight) to do or replicate all the movements until you can't do any more reps for each set, doing it over time, and evaluating the results. Good luck!
    Okay you're just trying to argue and I'm done responding to you.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TheBeaconFlame View Post
    Okay you're just trying to argue and I'm done responding to you.
    I apologize if you're too stupid to understand my responses.
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  11. #11
    Registered User TheBeaconFlame's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    Increase the rep range enough and you will reach the point where aerobic capacity is insufficient to match muscular demands, ie. you run out of breath before you reach muscular failure. Is hard to pinpoint this range because aerobic capacity is highly variable even within an individual. The greater point is why push it when you don't have to?

    And yes, assumptions can be made about your training if aren't able to intuit this point.
    This is a good answer but I don't think you would ever be winded before muscular failure unless it's like bodyweight squats or something. I could be wrong as I can't nor have I ever done 100 rep sets of pushups. For squats this would 100% be the case.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    I apologize if you're too stupid to understand my responses.
    Again, you just try to argue and throw stones.
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    Originally Posted by usersignup2 View Post
    You could wash your car with a toothbrush but why would you when you could use a sponge or towel and get it down better and faster?

    Use the right tool for the right job. Use the right method for the results you wish to achieve.
    I get this. However, I'm curious as to if you CAN build muscle as efficiently. I understand it would be harder and more time consuming due to very long set times. But everyone says you WILL NOT build muscle. I'm challenging that idea.
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    Registered User LWW's Avatar
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    Fact: It takes several hundred repetitions with a weight for the muscles to develop from that weight, it’s also a form of motor skill.

    Take in that fact-
    It’s up to you how you want to achieve that.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TheBeaconFlame View Post
    Again, you just try to argue and throw stones.
    No, I'm making a 100% accurate statement. Your idiotic response to TL is exactly why I used an example instead of trying to explain the science behind the non-targeted parts of your body and cardio system tiring before your targeted muscles.

    Another example for you to try: Farmer's Walks

    Pick up the heaviest dumbbells you can and simply walk with them as long as you can for a few sets.

    Pick up a tennis ball in each hand and simply walk with them as long as you can for a few sets.

    Do over time, evaluate results. Another example that won't resonate with you since you clearly have no experience with proper training and are just talking out of your ass.

    Originally Posted by TheBeaconFlame View Post
    I get this. However, I'm curious as to if you CAN build muscle as efficiently. I understand it would be harder and more time consuming due to very long set times. But everyone says you WILL NOT build muscle. I'm challenging that idea.
    Actually, you said "As long as you're truly pushing yourself and going to or near failure why would you not be able to build muscle as efficiently? Why don't you do your exercises for a few years and report back? Why are you just spewing stupid theories with no practical experience doing it?

    In b4: "You don't know anything about how I train"
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    Registered User TheBeaconFlame's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    No, I'm making a 100% accurate statement. Your idiotic response to TL is exactly why I used an example instead of trying to explain the science behind the non-targeted parts of your body and cardio system will tire before your targeted muscles.

    Another example for you to try: Farmer's Walks

    Pick up the heaviest dumbbells you can and simply walk with them as long as you can for a few sets.

    Pick up a tennis ball in each hand and simply walk with them as long as you can for a few sets.

    Do over time, evaluate results. Another example that won't resonate with you since you clearly have no experience with proper training and are just talking out of your ass.



    Actually, you said "As long as you're truly pushing yourself and going to or near failure [B]why would you not be able to build muscle as efficiently[/B]? Why don't you do your exercises for a few years and report back? Why are you just spewing stupid theories with no practical experience doing it?
    I'm so sick of dealing with you being aggressive and, quite frankly, annoying.

    No duh, walking with tennis balls is not going to build muscle; I never stated anything like that. I'm talking about higher reps with bodyweight exercises such as pushups, pullups, dips, pistol squats, bodyweight squats, planks, and things of that nature. I'm not talking about "walking to failure" or whatever you're implying. You're being absolutely ridiculous.

    I'm asking if progressive overload with added REPS in place of WEIGHT would lead to the same muscular development as long as you approach failure. I've seen tons of people that claim to do just unweighted bodyweight movements that are JACKED. There are tons of training methods that this could apply to, such as hitting a certain amount of reps for the workout and increasing the number of reps slowly week by week.
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TheBeaconFlame View Post
    This is a good answer but I don't think you would ever be winded before muscular failure unless it's like bodyweight squats or something. I could be wrong as I can't nor have I ever done 100 rep sets of pushups. For squats this would 100% be the case.
    You don't have to be winded. You just have to exceed your capacity to deliver oxygen to the muscle.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TheBeaconFlame View Post
    I'm so sick of dealing with you being aggressive and, quite frankly, annoying.

    No duh, walking with tennis balls is not going to build muscle; I never stated anything like that. I'm talking about higher reps with bodyweight exercises such as pushups, pullups, dips, pistol squats, bodyweight squats, planks, and things of that nature. I'm not talking about "walking to failure" or whatever you're implying. You're being absolutely ridiculous.

    I'm asking if progressive overload with added REPS in place of WEIGHT would lead to the same muscular development as long as you approach failure. I've seen tons of people that claim to do just unweighted bodyweight movements that are JACKED. There are tons of training methods that this could apply to, such as hitting a certain amount of reps for the workout and increasing the number of reps slowly week by week.
    I like how you keep adjusting what you said in your original post when people point out how stupid you are. You said the idea that you can't build muscle as efficiently doing 100+ rep sets for exercises "makes 0 sense when you think of it logically". Good luck with your 300 rep sets of bodyweight squats.

    If you actually trained for a few years you'd see the limitations and understand what TL is saying, rather than trying to have him prove it to you. If you've been training this way for years already, look in the mirror for proof.
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    You don't have to be winded. You just have to exceed your capacity to deliver oxygen to the muscle.
    Could you elaborate on this?

    And since I don't feel like making another forum post for one question do you think you could answer this one as well? Would explosive reps help counterbalance this? Like during the concentric portion of a pushup you really explode to tire the muscle and then lower yourself slowly and repeat. Would this help with muscle gain or just explosiveness?
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    I like how you keep adjusting what you said in your original post when people point out how stupid you are. You said the idea that you can't build muscle as efficiently doing 100+ rep sets for exercises "makes 0 sense when you think of it logically". Good luck with your 300 rep sets of bodyweight squats.
    here is the original post! Feel free to read it and tell me what you don't understand about the question!

    "I don't understand the concept of only certain rep ranges will lead to hypertrophy.

    people will tell you that rep ranges of 3-5 build muscle. People will also say rep ranges from 10-30 will build muscle. However, if you mention rep ranges above 30 people say it doesn't build muscle. You typically hear something along the lines of "that will only build muscular endurance and not put on muscle" Does anyone have any REAL data stating this is true? Because it makes 0 sense when you think of it logically.

    As long as you are going to or near FAILURE why would the rep range matter? Sure, low-weight and high rep ranges will activate fewer muscle fibers AT FIRST but you're going to eventually reach a point to where everything will have to be recruited to get those last reps, even if it's a 100-rep set. I don't understand why this wouldn't lead to muscle gain.

    I'm basically referring to bodyweight training with no weights added. Why is it that people say regular push-ups would only get you so far? Your progressive overload would simply be more reps instead of adding weight. You're not adding 5 pounds to the bar you're adding a few extra reps to progress. As long as you're truly pushing yourself and going to or near failure why would you not be able to build muscle as efficiently?"
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    Originally Posted by TheBeaconFlame View Post
    here is the original post! Feel free to read it and tell me what you don't understand about the question!

    "I don't understand the concept of only certain rep ranges will lead to hypertrophy.

    people will tell you that rep ranges of 3-5 build muscle. People will also say rep ranges from 10-30 will build muscle. However, if you mention rep ranges above 30 people say it doesn't build muscle. You typically hear something along the lines of "that will only build muscular endurance and not put on muscle" Does anyone have any REAL data stating this is true? Because it makes 0 sense when you think of it logically.

    As long as you are going to or near FAILURE why would the rep range matter? Sure, low-weight and high rep ranges will activate fewer muscle fibers AT FIRST but you're going to eventually reach a point to where everything will have to be recruited to get those last reps, even if it's a 100-rep set. I don't understand why this wouldn't lead to muscle gain.

    I'm basically referring to bodyweight training with no weights added. Why is it that people say regular push-ups would only get you so far? Your progressive overload would simply be more reps instead of adding weight. You're not adding 5 pounds to the bar you're adding a few extra reps to progress. As long as you're truly pushing yourself and going to or near failure why would you not be able to build muscle as efficiently?"
    Thank you for proving my point. It's absolutely silly how you don't understand that doing exercises with bodyweight or no resistance that you can do for 100 reps/set will not build muscle in any way near as efficiently (if at all in some cases) if you did them with sufficient resistance to keep the reps in a much lower range.

    And even after the examples and explanations above, you still need further elaboration.

    I don't know why so many people will go to such great lengths to try to validate their poor and lazy training.
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    OP, how much free time every day do you have to do 2000 push ups, 2000 body weight squats, and you haven't done anything for you back yet, plus other muscles... then remember, you are always increasing those numbers even higher. At some point, you likely hit cardio/lung capacity before muscle is totally 'spent'.
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    Originally Posted by CommitmentRulz View Post
    OP, how much free time every day do you have to do 2000 push ups, 2000 body weight squats, and you haven't done anything for you back yet, plus other muscles... then remember, you are always increasing those numbers even higher. At some point, you likely hit cardio/lung capacity before muscle is totally 'spent'.

    That is valid but by that point, I'd say do one-handed variations of exercises. Using the example of 100 in the original post was just the extreme end. I'm not advocating going over 100. But I'm curious if the 50-100 range would still be sufficient muscle mass.
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    1. You will build muscles with rep ranges over 30, but not as efficient as with the 3-30 rep range.

    2. Another problem would be that it takes much more time to do sets of 100 vs sets of 10.

    3. As a teen, I did curls with some improvised barbell, I think it had 5 kg. That's all I had. I didn't even count the reps, probably around 100 or more. Did I see some bicep growth? Yes! Would I do it again? I do sometimes at the gym with the empty bar for the burn and the "mental fortitude" {Or call it how you want}. But I would still prefer to do the 10-20 rep range for bicep curls, if the purpose is hipertrophy.
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    Originally Posted by TheBeaconFlame View Post
    That is valid but by that point, I'd say do one-handed variations of exercises. Using the example of 100 in the original post was just the extreme end. I'm not advocating going over 100. But I'm curious if the 50-100 range would still be sufficient muscle mass.
    Your lack of any experience is the reason why none of this is intuitive to you and "makes zero sense if you think of it logically", and why you keep changing the Q you're asking 100 different ways to try to justify what you were saying in the original post.

    You don't do 100 proper one handed pushups unless you're a freakish outlier, your elbow tendon would likely get destroyed and your cardio still would fail first. If you could do a single one-handed pushup, you'd have some idea of this.

    You don't build the same amount of muscle doing all your exercises in sets of 50-100 reps - you just don't have sufficient resistance, it's that simple. Regardless of whether it makes sense to you. I don't know why you can't accept that you are wrong and don't have any practical experience to keep trying to justify it.
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    Originally Posted by jaxqen View Post
    1. You will build muscles with rep ranges over 30, but not as efficient as with the 3-30 rep range.
    This is not true.

    For the vast majority doing a light set of 40-50 with more in the tank is more efficient/effective than trying train heavy most of the time. The number 1 reason is injures, there is nothing efficient about injuries.

    It’s almost a guarantee physically you can beat your previous set of 50-60reps by 1-2 reps each session, or you can go a bit heavier and shoot for 35-40reps.

    Consistantcy is key, hence higher reps wins in consistency.

    Consistency = efficiency.

    If you can find a way to lift 400 all the time, than you are set, most can’t and the ones who do aren’t training for size.

    See the guy on YouTube who squats heavy low reps everyday for over a year Bulgarian style, if you saw him on the street you’d never know the guy lifts.
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    Originally Posted by TheBeaconFlame View Post
    I get this. However, I'm curious as to if you CAN build muscle as efficiently. I understand it would be harder and more time consuming due to very long set times. But everyone says you WILL NOT build muscle. I'm challenging that idea.
    You will develop some muscle, but it's not as efficient as barbell training. I think people are getting confused because you are claiming it can be done efficiently, which is where the disconnect is happening.

    It can be done, it will just take a lot longer time and the workouts will be a lot longer. It all depends on your goals.

    This guy has an impressive physique despite doing only high volume calisthenics, but it's taken him 10 years of working out almost daily to get to that point. He once did a month long challenge where he did 700 strict burpees daily (so 700 push-ups daily, not the flop your crotch variation you see many people do). His "leg day" was 250 reps each of jumping squats, jumping lunges, step-ups, and reverse lunges. 1000 reps.



    So yes, it can be done. No, it's not more efficient than a bodybuilding program. Because the goals are different. This guy's goal is performance primarily and the aesthetics just happen in conjunction with the workouts and the right eating for him.
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    Originally Posted by GrouchyUSMC View Post
    So yes, it can be done. No, it's not more efficient than a bodybuilding program. Because the goals are different. This guy's goal is performance primarily and the aesthetics just happen in conjunction with the workouts and the right eating for him.
    To add to that further, for most people, mimicking movements with bodyweight only in a super high rep range compared to what they could do with weights (even if they also do bodyweight exercises) won't get them anywhere near the same physique, even setting aside efficiency and one's cardio, joints, etc. giving out before the targeted muscles.

    Training to build muscle is an evolution, and works best when you can make changes to your training over time and even have variety in the same program - whether it be rep ranges, load, volume, intensity, equipment, variations, grips/stances, progression protocols, etc.

    Limiting oneself to such a small subset of training options out there and expecting to build muscle in the same way isn't practical. It makes no sense to exclude access to a full variety of equipment - and the training protocols you can accomplish with them - if someone is looking to build muscle.
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    Originally Posted by LWW View Post
    This is not true.

    1. For the vast majority doing a light set of 40-50 with more in the tank is more efficient/effective than trying train heavy most of the time. The number 1 reason is injures, there is nothing efficient about injuries.

    2. It’s almost a guarantee physically you can beat your previous set of 50-60reps by 1-2 reps each session, or you can go a bit heavier and shoot for 35-40reps.

    Consistantcy is key, hence higher reps wins in consistency.

    Consistency = efficiency.

    If you can find a way to lift 400 all the time, than you are set, most can’t and the ones who do aren’t training for size.

    3. See the guy on YouTube who squats heavy low reps everyday for over a year Bulgarian style, if you saw him on the street you’d never know the guy lifts.
    OK

    My counter arguments:

    1. Injuries. I do agree that most injuries happen in the lower rep range, but 8-20 is not a lower rep range.

    2. I don't understand the logic of this. You can have consistency with 5 reps, 20 reps, 100 reps. You progress by adding reps or weight or making the exercise more difficult... e.g. decline push ups vs regular push ups

    3. Ivan? I know about him. If I am not wrong he also does high rep ranges sometimes.
    Yes, his physique is not that great. So? It's just an example.
    He doesn't train like a bodybuilder, nutrition is probably not that important to him, he works at night if I am not wrong + kids, he doesn't do a variety of exercises etc... this is why.
    Also, he has developped quads, you could see he does his knee movement patterns.

    The sport {although I don't consider it a sport} where muscle size matters the most is bodybuilding. How do bodybuilders train? 99% in the 6-25 rep range.
    Come on!
    I am not a fan of very low reps for size, especially after 30 years and especially after seeing the people who lifted for very low reps feel and look like after a certain age.
    But 8 reps is not that low.
    One always can do 8-12, 12-16, 16-20. These are not low reps at all.






    Just curious, what is your training?
    How do you approach it?
    What exercises and how many reps?
    How long do these workouts take?

    Same question for OP.


    PS: Just to be clear, I am arguing about efficiency here. I am not saying one cannot increase his muscle mass with 50-100 reps.
    Last edited by jaxqen; 02-01-2023 at 10:34 PM.
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    Formerly grouchyjarhead GrouchyUSMC's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Training to build muscle is an evolution, and works best when you can make changes to your training over time and even have variety in the same program - whether it be rep ranges, load, volume, intensity, equipment, variations, grips/stances, progression protocols, etc.
    100% agree on that. That’s just a small sample of what Iron Wolf does, he has a lot of variety in his workouts. The only consistent thing is it’s high volume and burpees are always included somehow most days. He’s even working in some KBs and sandbags lately.
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