Date: 11th April 2022
Author: Mark Wood
People often ask us which rep range they should be training with in order to achieve their goals. Although each specific rep range will have a bias towards the benefits it provides, we suggest that at some point everyone uses a wide variety of rep ranges to ensure they benefit form the whole continuum of strength and endurance.
What is the strength continuum?
This is a scale that refers to the adaptations gained when training within a certain rep range. This can generally be categorised by the following:
1-6 Reps = Strength
6-12 Reps = Hypertrophy
12-20 Reps = Endurance
It is important to remember that no rep range is 100% accurate and if we deviate along the scale by 2-3 reps then we will still likely get some of the benefits from the previous group. For example, if we are looking to gain strength and perform an exercise with 8 reps (which falls within the hypertrophy rep range), we will still gain some strength. However, if we deviate 5-10 reps away from this rep range then we are likely to get less of those strength adaptions. This also works the other way if we are looking to build endurance.
How to choose a rep range
One of the best places to start is to decide what you are looking to achieve (strength, hypertrophy, or endurance) as this will give you a good guide of where to begin. We would suggest that at some point everyone spends time in each rep range as they are all important for your overall health and fitness. Some examples of why you would do this are below:
This 12-20 rep range will help your muscle increase it’s tolerance to exercise and build a good foundation for you to expose it to heavier loads without risking injury.
Building muscle is important for everyone. Don’t just think bodybuilding, think joint protection and stability.
Your ability to produce force is beneficial both in the gym and in everyday life. Don’t just think heavy deadlifts, think walking up stairs, carrying shopping etc.
How do I incorporate all rep ranges in my workout?
One thing we love to do at ORIGIN is train in a very concurrent way where we are always trying to improve across multiple disciplines. For this reason we will often add a verity of all rep ranges into a single workout. Take a look at the example below to see how this can be achieved.
Back Squat (strength)
5 x 5
Romanian Deadlift (strength/Hypertrophy)
3 x 8
Barbell Reverse Lunges (Hypertrophy)
3 x 12-16
AMRAP 12 (Endurance)
Russian Kettlebell Swings
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