Hypertrophy, or muscle growth, is a goal for many fitness enthusiasts. While there are several ways to achieve hypertrophy, one of the most commonly recommended methods is through moderate rep ranges.
In this article, we will provide a guide on how to achieve the moderate rep range for hypertrophy.
What is the Moderate Rep Range?
The moderate rep range is typically defined as performing 8-12 reps per set. This rep range is commonly used for hypertrophy because it provides the ideal balance between mechanical tension, metabolic stress, and muscle damage.
Mechanical tension refers to the amount of weight lifted, metabolic stress refers to the buildup of metabolites in the muscle, and muscle damage refers to the microtears that occur during exercise.
Performing 8-12 reps per set allows for a sufficient amount of mechanical tension, metabolic stress, and muscle damage to stimulate muscle growth.
However, it is important to note that the moderate rep range is not the only way to achieve hypertrophy and that individual differences may require adjustments in rep ranges.
How to Determine Your Rep Range
Before you can begin training in the moderate rep range, you need to determine your one-rep max (1RM). Your 1RM is the maximum amount of weight you can lift for one repetition. Once you have determined your 1RM, you can use a percentage-based approach to determine your training weights.
To train in the moderate rep range, you will typically use a weight that is between 70-80% of your 1RM. For example, if your 1RM for the bench press is 200 pounds, your training weight for the moderate rep range would be between 140-160 pounds.
How to Structure Your Workouts
To achieve hypertrophy in the moderate rep range, you will need to structure your workouts appropriately. A common approach is to use a split routine, where you train different muscle groups on different days.
For example, you could train chest and triceps on Monday, back and biceps on Wednesday, and legs and shoulders on Friday.
Within each workout, you will typically perform 3-4 exercises per muscle group, with 3-4 sets per exercise. Each set should consist of 8-12 reps, with a rest period of 60-90 seconds between sets. The total volume of your workout (sets x reps x weight) should be gradually increased over time to ensure progressive overload and continued hypertrophy.
How to Progress Your Workouts
To continue seeing gains in muscle growth, you will need to progressively overload your workouts. There are several ways to do this, including:
- Increasing weight: As you become stronger, you can gradually increase the weight you lift. This will increase the mechanical tension on your muscles and stimulate further hypertrophy.
- Increasing reps: Once you can perform 12 reps per set, you can increase the reps to 15 or 20. This will increase the metabolic stress on your muscles and stimulate further hypertrophy.
- Decreasing rest periods: By decreasing your rest periods between sets, you can increase the metabolic stress on your muscles and stimulate further hypertrophy.
- Varying exercises: By varying the exercises you perform, you can target different muscle fibers and stimulate further hypertrophy.
It is important to note that you should only make one change at a time to ensure that you can track your progress and avoid overtraining.
How to Incorporate Cardio
While resistance training is the most effective way to achieve hypertrophy, cardio can also be incorporated into your routine. However, it is important to note that excessive cardio can interfere with muscle growth, so it should be used sparingly.
A good approach is to perform cardio on non-training days or after your resistance training workouts. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great option for cardio because it can be completed in a short amount of time and can help preserve muscle mass.
Achieving hypertrophy in the moderate rep range requires a structured approach to your workouts. You can achieve your muscle growth goals by determining your rep range, structuring your workouts appropriately, progressively overloading, and incorporating cardio sparingly. Remember to be patient and consistent, as hypertrophy takes time and dedication.
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