When we start exercising we usually want to get desired results as soon as possible, but how important is the role of correct repetition in the whole process? Is it enough to just repeat the exercise as long as we can or is there more to it than meets the eye?

To achieve the desired results from our exercises we often search for advice about the best rep range for muscle building, but usually every person has their own opinion on what the most effective way to achieve maximum simulation and growth is. The truth is that if we want to attain perfect results it is not enough just to exercise, we have to find the most effective way to achieve it.

As we all know the combination of heavy weights and low repetitions sets is without a doubt the most effective way to stimulate growth of our muscles. The perfect repetition range for every set would be 5-7, meaning that the weight that we use should always be light enough that we can complete 5 repetitions without any problems, but also heavy enough that we cannot do more than 7 repetitions.


1.  Low repetition sets for more efficient results

When we use sets with low number of repetitions we allow ourselves to stay completely focused on the exercise itself. The longer the set is, the less effect it has because we lose focus and the exercise is not done properly.

Shorter sets are also more effective because this way we train with more intensity which is crucial for muscle growth. Therefore, even though we train for the shorter amount of time we get more from the exercise than we would if we exhausted ourselves by doing it for a longer period of time.


2.  Maximizing muscle stimulation

Muscles in our body are made of two types of muscle fibers: slow twitch fiber which are used in activities that last for long periods of time and do not really have much potential for growth , but they do have high tolerance for endurance exercises.

The other type are the fast twitch fibers which are used during shorter, explosive movements. The cells of these fibers have a large number of mitochondria and because of that they have the highest potential to increase in size and strength.

Using the repetition range of 5-7 the fast twitch fibers are activated and the result will be muscle and strength growth.


3.  Using maximum resistance

Using low repetition sets our muscles are able to handle heavier weights than they could in high repetition sets and since muscle growth is only a result of strength growth low repetition range is the best way to build strength. So by choosing 5-7 repetitions per set we build more strength and muscles.


4.  Lowering the production of lactic acid to minimum

Using short repetition sets we decrease the amount of lactic acid in our muscles, which is produced when our body has a high demand for energy. The longer the exercise is the more lactic acid our muscles produce. Limiting the production of lactic acid we decrease muscle catabolism and that way our body can generate greater amounts of energy.


Now that we have established that the best way to activate muscle growth is to stimulate fast twitch muscles by doing 5 to 7 repetitions per set, we have to note that there are some muscle groups like calves, upper arms and forearms that are made up mostly from slow twitch fibers and therefore will be better activated by using high repetition sets.

The recommended repetition range for these muscle groups is 10 to 12 and again using weights that are light enough to easily do 10 repetitions, but at the same time heavy enough that we cannot do more than 12 repetitions.

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