GYMCADDY's Advice on
Usually everyone's first goal when they join the gym is either to lose weight or gain muscle. We've written an article that you can read HERE that outlines GYMCADDY's advice on losing weight. But gaining muscle is a different story, some people will tell you to do 3 sets of ten repetitions and others will tell you to do 15 repetitions. Some people will even tell you to do no more than 8 or even 5 repetitions. Different repetition ranges do yield different results, and luckily the GYMCADDY™ team is here to explain them to you. Remember to pick up your GYMCADDY™ HERE
Is There Any Truth To The 3 Sets of 10 Reps Rule?
Yes! Doing 3 sets of 10 repetitions of a certain exercise for a certain muscle group is great for any beginner. It'll get your heart going and you'll definitely be sore the next day. Muscle growth happens when your body repairs muscle fiber tears that you cause when you workout. Muscle growth is really just a constant cycle of tearing and healing. After awhile the constant build up of repaired fibers will show results in the way of muscle growth. But don't feel as if you have to stick to the 3 set of 10 rule. Feel free to change it up. Try a 4 sets of 8 program or even a 3 sets of 12. Playing around with your rep range can help yield more results or get over plateaus that you will encounter in the future.
So What If I Do 3 Sets of 15 Repetitions?
Well we just said doing 3 sets of 10 will yield great results. So does that mean if you do 15 reps per set you'll get better results faster? For the most part no, once you start doing high volume sets it'll usually just constitute towards your cardio as opposed to muscle growth. Now don't get us wrong, some people can grow muscle with high rep ranges. But for the most part you want to stay in the 10 rep range. Using a higher rep range might be great for someone trying to lose weight but doesn't want to do strenuous cardio due to a past injury of some sort.
Okay, and What About Low Rep Ranges?
You have 2 types of muscle fibers (3 if you want to get REALLY technical), Type 1 Muscle fibers and Type 2 Muscle Fibers. Stimulating Type 2 Muscle Fibers will encourage strength gains. Thats because these fibers fire in an explosive matter for a short amount of time. These are the muscle fibers you need to stimulate if you want to bench 315 pounds. In order to stimulate Type 2 Muscle Fibers and ultimately get stronger you want to work with low rep ranges. But remember to increase the weight to where rep number five IS or is close to failure. Anything in the 1 to 5 rep range is considered low and will strictly stimulate strength building and not so much size AKA Hypertrophy.
So What are Type 1 Muscle Fibers?
Type 1 Muscle Fibers are your Slow Twitch Muscle Fibers. These have a much higher endurance level than your Type 2 Muscle Fibers. They are the ones you use when you're balancing or doing a high amount of reps of a certain exercise. These are also the ones you use when you're running, swimming, or doing anything similar. Type 1 Muscle Fibers are the ones you want to stimulate to grow in size. You will notice that body builders will have bulging muscles, but won't be as strong compared to their power lifting counter parts. Each athlete has a different goal in mind and as a result they will train and eat differently. We recommend as you go through your fitness journey to experiment with with different rep ranges. It'll change up your routine, keep things interesting and will help you with your progress.