Does your rep range of 8-12 feel like a 9-5? If you’re bored with your workouts (and your results), then it’s time to leave the 8-12 rep comfort zone for a bit. Most hardcore bodybuilders feel that mixing up rep ranges is one of the best ways to blast through plateaus and re-stimulate muscle growth.
However, heading into the gym and doing reps of 23, 79, and 2 just because it’s different isn’t going to do you much good either.
Here’s how to change reps to get results:
Up With Weight, Down With Reps
After hearing “go heavy or go home” do you go home? Don’t fear lifting massive weights. Although a 2-6 rep range may lead to injuries in the long term, it’s a fantastic way to get muscles growing again.
3 tips for success:
Warm up…really: If you’re going to start lifting serious weight, warming up becomes even more important. Before you start piling on the plates, do 5-7 minutes of light cardio and 4-6 warm up sets.
Do fewer sets: Most people do 10-12 sets per muscle group. This is just way too much when lifting heavy. A common approach is called 5×5: 5 reps for 5 sets.
Rest longer between sets: It may seem counterintuitive, but you should actually rest at least 2 minutes between bouts of low-rep lifting.
Less Weight, More Reps
High reps get a bad rep because it forces you to grab weights that you’re probably embarrassed about. However, don’t let pride get in the way of crafting your perfect physique.
3 tips for success:
Be creative: Remember, the idea behind mixing up reps is to shock your body into growth. That isn’t going to happen if you do 13 reps instead of 12. Go for 30, 40, or even 50 reps. Get ready to feel the burn!
Breathe: Because a higher rep range involves more aerobic capacity than most, it’s important to focus on your breathing and not hold your breathe during the set.
Stretch between sets: All those reps equal a tremendous release of lactic acid. To offset some of the soreness, stretch the muscles you just worked after your workout. This will help flush out the waste products that you’ve built up.