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Thread: best range of reps and sets for gains

  1. #1

    Default best range of reps and sets for gains

    What is the best amount of reps and sets for gaining mass on my legs? I'm fairly skinny and want to gain as much as possible on this cycle? Also for shoulders and chest? And advise would begreat help please?

  2. Default

    when wanting to gain size, you need to train for hypertrophy... that consists of 8-10 rep sets at 80% of your max... every set should be very difficult to complete the full amount but you should be able to get 8-10 in each set... This is the stage that will give you the most muscle growth...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Where women glow and men chunder


    The "Best" for you depends on whether you have a majority of slow or fast twitch muscle fibres and the only way to know that is to get a biopsy done.
    The only real way to find out what is "best" for you is to try high reps for 3-6 months and then try low reps for the same period and see which your body best responds to.
    Personally, for legs I hit squats for 10 reps, 8 reps, 6 reps, 6 reps, 6 reps, 6 reps, 4 reps, 4 reps, 2 reps, 2 reps...then I vomit. After that I hit leg ext for a first set of 20 reps and keep the weight the same doing drop sets (with a minute or two rest between sets) till I can get no more than 4 reps.
    That routine works remarkably well for me, however the real key to my leg mass going ahead in leaps and bounds is that, along with the above routine, I also do a 60 minute STEEP mountain hike every day.....kills my hammies and stimulates my quads and calves. I do this hike 6 days pw.
    Having said that, there is no real secret "best" routine, you simply have to experiment to find what works best for you.
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  4. #4


    try to complete your sets by repping out for at least 8 and failing at or just before 12 bro. like others have said it will depend upon body composition and previous training regiments, I have switched up some my leg sets to 15 reps, lower rests and gained well also.
    This isn't as advisable with heavier compound movements like squats as form can fail a little when you start to tire, but it is possible just be careful. For calves which can be stubborn I think higher reps and blasting them out works very well for growth and can improve them nicely.

    Try to build on the mind and muscle connection when lifting for any muscle group, focus on contracting and squeezing the target muscles as you rep out and force as much blood into the targeted area as possible.

    Ensure your tempo is spot on, and really ensure the negative part of the lifts are done slowly. try to lower the weights over a 3 sec period to really tare the fibres down.

    If unsure what I would do is this: lift heavy (8-12) with great form/tempo for your 1st few exercises and for compound movements, then pick an isolation type movement for the muscle group your working and blast out 4/5 sets of 10-12 reps with only a 30/45 sec rest between to really finish it off, pump it up and give the rounder/fuller look. Works great for me..
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Voodoo Ville


    Just lift as heavy as you can all the time. I find growth to be best when you so the last 2-3 reps assisted after failure

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009


    Very difficult question, and there is no one right answer.

    Shrivelled mad some very good points.

    Danno is spot on, you should try a variety to see what works for you. Everyone is different. What will make me grow like a weed, may not do shit for the next guy.

    Like many, legs were my weak point. This came from pure neglect early on. I started getting very serious about leg training about 3 years ago. I did NOT want to be another asshat walking around with chicken legs and a huge upper body. That looks so stupid. Obviously squats are great for overall leg development. I find it difficult to go much over 12 if im going heavy on big complex movements like squats. On squats i start out with around 12-15, and i work my way down to about 3 or 4 reps. I have heard from many many bodybuilders, as far as growing mass on quads, leg presses can't be beat. I agree. Squats will work your entire leg more, but to isolate quads, i love leg presses. Again i stay at 8-12. Always pay attention to your negatives. It all depends on how much effeort you put into each rep. I can make 4 reps harder to complete than 12 reps with the same weight, when i am really focused on mind muscle connection, and contracting as hard as possible. I go with more reps for leg extensions, and leg curls(don't neglect hams!) If you think about it, the hams are your tris of do tris hard don't ya? Well do hams hard too! Personally what has worked best for me is to follow a HIT (high intensity training which consists of heavy weight, low sets and reps, to failure) for about a month, then i will switch to a high volume routine for about 6 weeks.

    I train chest differently than legs. Not as much volume, because it's a much smaller muscle. I try not to go over 12 sets. Again, im shooting for 8-12. On some sets i might do a drop set, or go high on the reps. I have personally dropped flat bench out of my routine all together, as i feel its not that great for building mass. I have switched to more fly dominant chest workouts instead of pressing movements, and my growth has been insane. Main thing with chest....make sure you get that full contraction, and i use more negatives on chest than anything else.

    For shoulders, bout the same 8-12 reps, bout 12 sets. But i do front delts at the end of my chest day, and rear delts at the end of back day. I do plenty of side raises. Really control your reps, pause at the top, slow on the way down. I normally throw in some behing the back raises on the cable at the end of my workouts for a burn. I typically do my pressing movement towards the middle. I pre exaughst with side raises before presses, so i can use a lighter weight on the DBs so im not having to hoist up 120's to press(by the time you get those big dumb bells in place, you're already tired!) I typically do DB presses one week, then behind the neck seated barbell presses the next.
    hope this helps you. Glad to see you sticking around and asking questions bro!
    "Everybody wanna be big, nobody wanna lift this heavyass weight!" - Ronnie Coleman

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011


    Just a little read i found on Fast Twitch/Slow Twitch muscles mentioned by Danno..

    Fast Twitch/Slow Twitch-Which one are you? | kofitness2010

    Good read and will help you figure out your muscle type.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    over here


    Quote Originally Posted by blasson View Post
    Just a little read i found on Fast Twitch/Slow Twitch muscles mentioned by Danno..

    Fast Twitch/Slow Twitch-Which one are you? | kofitness2010

    Good read and will help you figure out your muscle type.
    Does anyone have some more links to good reading on this, I read the article above and would like to get some more reading on it.

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