When it comes to repetition volume, how much is optimal ?

What is the minimum number of reps you should carry out for a set & what is the maximum.

Let’s look at 3 things –

Muscular strength, Muscular size & Muscular endurance.

There are 3 types of muscle fibres that are worked throughout to provide this, Type 1, Type 2 & Type 2b.

A standard rep range for a set to induce muscular strength would be anywhere between 1-5 reps

Muscular size – 6-12 reps

And Muscular Endurance – 12-20 plus repetitions.

This is the easiest way to gauge what you are really training for. Our bodies are smarter than we give them credit for and they our receptors begin to see not only patterns but contractions that occur within the fibre.

This is what allows our bodies to adapt to the stress & volume placed upon it.

Advance techniques such as drop sets, rest pause, negatives and so on shouldn’t be counted as muscular endurance, these rep ranges should be counted more as going beyond failure.

Another great standard rule in volume is the amount of sets carried out. There is no need to do 5 + sets of one exercises for building muscle, this is a waste of time, energy & ATP.

An exercise should constitute of 3 sets, 2 warm up sets & one working set. Or 4 at the most if you really feel as though you’re not physically and/or mentally ready to carry out the working set.

By carrying out this type of moderate volume for building muscle, you will find that your central nervous system hasn’t been overly taxed, you will also find that you will have greater recovery before the next workout and that you will leave the gym feeling good and strong.

A great beginner to intermediate routine ?

3 exercises per body part

3 sets per exercise

8-12 reps per set

… Simple.

Stay Smart, Life Strong,


Andrew McGee

Smokin’ Guns Fitness

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