Know Your Rep Ranges : Size, Strength & Tone


Although there is value in performing all kinds of rep ranges, especially if you are looking to sculpt a strong, muscular and toned looking body…there are some people and disciplines that require you to be more specific. For example, it may be somewhat counter-intuitive for a powerlifter to regularly perform high rep ranges, clearly in order to perform high reps you need to have a relatively light weight on the bar… and this is not conducive to powerlifting. A powerlifter would be better served performing relatively low reps of say around 5-6, with a weight that sees them really struggle on the final rep of each set, this is strength training and is much better suited to powerlifting.

A bodybuilder’s sole goal is to increase muscle mass, definition and aesthetics. In order to achieve this some heavy weight has to be lifted along the way, but more often than not a bodybuilder will benefit from hypertrophy training i.e. a rep range of say 10-12 using an appropriate weight that sees them struggling on the final rep. This type of rep range will cause a sustained perfusion of blood to the muscle in order to stimulate growth.

Although a bodybuilder might also wish to tone their muscles, one of the main ways they do this is by increasing lean mass. Lean mass is metabolically active and burns a lot of calories when at rest, the result is fat loss. A regular person wanting to tone and define may prefer to opt for a high rep range of around 15- 20 reps, this means the person will have to tax their cardiorespiratory system in order to maintain the movement, the result is increased calorie expenditure and fat loss. These 15-20 reps may also be bodyweight movements such as press- ups, pull- ups or air squats which should see the individual breathing reasonably heavily after the exercise set.

Know your reps size strength tone


About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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