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Heavy Weight Low Reps or Light Weight High Reps?

By Oliver Wolter

How To Find The Optimum Number Of Reps For Muscle Gains

One of the most important points in every training plan is the optimum number of reps for each exercise.

This fact is often ignored completely. There are uniform standards and you are going to follow your habits automatically.

If there is a standard for six to ten reps, one will always do six while another person will always do ten.

This is one of the main reasons why some people develop weak muscle groups. Some have weak pecs because they always use the standard training plan with the wrong number of reps. Using the wrong number of reps their pecs are always overstressed or stressed to little according to their genetic needs.

To find out the optimum number of reps, please follow these three steps:

Step 1: Determine your one rep max for every exercise in your workout plan.

Always be careful. Warm up before and approach slowly to the one rep max. Go through the complete plan and determine your one rep max for every exercise. Afterwards - rest for 30 minutes.

Step 2: Determine the optimum number of reps for each exercise

You will find the optimum weight for maximum muscle growth somewhere between 60 and 85 percent of your one rep max.

1. Do a set with 85% of your one rep max.

Do as many reps as possible and measure the time for the whole set in seconds. This way you can control exactly how long your stamina lasts in the chosen stress range. After finishing the set measure your muscles of the according muscle group instantly and write down the results. Do every exercise with 85% of the maximum weight once.

2. Have a 15 minute break.

3. Do a set with 60% of your one rep max.

After your 15 minute break continue for a second time, this time with 60% of the one rep max. Again do as many reps as possible, measure the time and your muscles and note down the data.

Step 3: Analysis

For example: If you could complete 8 reps of barbell bicep curls with 85% of your one rep max, where every rep took three seconds which results in a total time of 24 seconds and your upper arm measures 15.1 ins.

With 60% of your one rep max you were able to do 12 reps, lasting 3 seconds each. Which results in the whole set taking 36 seconds but your upper arm being 15.2 ins.

According to this you decide to use sets of 12 reps for barbell bicep curls for your optimized workout routine, because your upper arms were 0.1 inches bigger than with 8 reps.

Using this technique alone sometimes is enough to permanently convert a hardgainer to an easygainer.

Oliver Wolter is a world renowed fitness and bodybuilding expert. He is the creator of X-Size Bodybuilding Software.

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