Leena Doshi
Leena Doshi

 | 1 minute to read
Exercise Science


Consistency is important but it’s not the only thing that’ll help you become fit and build your dream physique. Your workout program also needs to be designed in a way that provides adequate stimulus for muscle growth. One of the important components of any workout program is the rep range. This is a hotly debated topic in fitness circles - exactly how many reps of each exercise should you perform?  Low reps or high reps - what is the best rep range? In a nutshell, the answer is - both! Let me explain: To stimulate more muscle growth, one of the key factors is Intensity. You can manipulate this factor by altering the rep ranges. Usually, there are 3 categories of rep ranges: low rep, medium rep, and high rep range. The common belief was that to achieve muscle growth, you need to train in the 6-12 rep range. However, studies have shown us that hypertrophy is possible in the range of 4 - 30 reps! This is a very wide range and needs to be understood carefully. Low Rep ranges (1-4 reps) All 3 rep ranges are useful, depending on your current fitness level and goal. For example, a low rep range (1- 4 reps) is very good for neuromuscular adaptations which promote strength. We know that getting stronger also promotes muscle growth. This is why it should not be neglected.  The biggest downside of low rep range is lack of volume. If you end up performing less than 4 repetitions per set, then you will be required to do additional sets just to get in enough volume for hypertrophy. Also, please note that you need good form to avoid injury when lifting heavy. Medium Rep Range (5-12 reps) To counter this approach, a medium rep range (5-12) can be used. In fact, you can even incorporate both rep ranges in a periodized manner such as Undulating Periodization. In this technique, you perform low rep ranges on one day, and medium rep ranges on the next day.  High Rep Range (13-30 reps) Finally, a high rep range of 13-30 reps can be very useful for injury management and for performing isolation exercises for small muscle groups.  Also, women are better off doing higher rep work. Start with 13 reps and focus on rep range progression which is an easier way of achieving progressive overload.  13-30 reps is a classic muscular endurance range. Don’t be fooled though - you can still build muscle in the 15-20 rep range; just make sure you are lifting challenging weights.  Another thing to remember about high rep ranges is that initially, muscle activation will be low. This will increase only while performing the latter part of the eeps. To maximize muscle growth, lift near failure in this rep range. So, what’s the final verdict? All rep ranges have their place in a training program - they all help you burn calories and provide stimulus for building muscle. If you don’t utilize one of these rep ranges, try it out for yourself. You’ll probably get good results since your muscles haven’t been overloaded in that style recently. Here’s to your gains! Comment below which rep range you normally follow.

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