By: Marcus Liberty
So, you want to lift weights but have no clue how many repetitions to do? Many people don't have a clue what repetition range they should stay in when weightlifting. The range depends on what your goal is. Do you want to get stronger, bigger, or leaner? Below are 3 repetition ranges explained.
If you are interested in gaining strength, doing 1-5 reps per set is what you want to target. To properly stay within 5 reps you have to be lifting heavy enough that you cannot lift the weight more than five times. Staying in this range will help you build strength. The adaptation made is more in building strength than mass when you lift a weight 1-5 times. So, if you have more of an interest in building strength and power rather than mass, this is the range you want to mainly focus on.
Bodybuilders, football players, or anyone that wants to develop big muscles would want to lift in the 6-12 repetition range. When you lift a weight within this range you will still build strength, however, the main advantage of 6-12 reps is how it stimulates muscle growth. Once you find that you are strong enough to lift a weight more than 12 times, you should increase the weight so that you maximize muscle growth.
Women or anyone else that doesn't want to pack on extra muscle mass, but wants to take part in the benefits of weightlifting, build lean muscles, or focus on improving muscular endurance, will want to do 13-20+ reps each set that they do. Lifting a high volume of reps has the added benefit of increasing the mitochondria count in muscle, and the number of capillaries in muscle. This means that after some time of doing high rep weightlifting, you experience improved blood flow through your muscles, and an increased capacity for energy storage in your muscles.
In summary, the amount of reps you do depends entirely on what your goals are. If you want to build as little muscle as possible, do 13-20+, if you want to build huge muscles, do 6-12, and if you want to primarily improve your strength, do 1-5 reps.
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