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The standard repetition range for a bodybuilding style set usually falls into the 8-10 rep region. Sometimes when a bodybuilder is working in a powerlifting mode the reps drop to the 3-5 range, and for maximum attempts, down to the 1 rep region.
It is a good idea to vary the reps and different repetition ranges seem to have a different effect on the body. Although there is high correlation between the strength of the muscle and the size of the muscle, trainer Dan John points out that if you want to build bigger muscles, brief isn't better. In an interview with Men's Health, he pointed out "time under load is necessary for gains in size. That makes reps key for building muscle." In other words, a higher repetition range stimulates more muscle size.
There is also a "shock" effect that comes into play as well. If your muscles are accustomed to working in the eight repetition range and you suddenly double that, the muscles have to respond.
A cycle of higher reps can be a great way to stimulate more growth in your muscles. The famous 20 repetition squat workout is well known to put a lot of muscle mass on the body. Less well known but also effective is the 20 repetition set of the bench press, which the magazine Hardgainer often featured as a good tool for chest muscle growth. Another higher repetition workout known to promote growth is the "21's" for biceps, where you curl 7 reps for half the range of motion, 7 more reps for the other half the range of motion, then finish with 7 more reps (all non-stop).
You can take any and all of your exercises up to a higher repetition range. For instance, instead of using 8 reps in the row, move it up to 15. And the overall results are big – if you had performed 3 sets of 8 reps in the past for a total of 24 reps, now you would be performing 45 reps (3 sets of 15 reps). That's a big new challenge to throw at the muscles. Do so and watch them grow.
Disclaimer: This information is for entertainment purposes only. We strongly recommend that you consult a physician before beginning any exercise program. MuscleNet.com is not a licensed medical care provider. The reader should understand that participating in any exercise program can result in physical injury and agrees to do so at his own risk. The findings and opinions of authors expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily state or reflect those of MuscleNet.com.