HOW MANY REPETITIONS SHOULD I DO?
The number of repetitions you can perform will depend on your objectives and level. A beginner may achieve some hypertrophy (muscle growth) at 50% of his or her maximum, but an advanced athlete will not make much progress at this level.
Some approximate, basic statistical benchmarks for different objectives are as follows:
|Maximum Strength||85-100%||1 to 5|
|Hypertrophy||70-85%||6 to 12|
|Strength/Endurance||40-70%||15 to 25|
|Endurance||1-40%||26 to …|
This table shows why many people who want to increase the size of their muscles fail: they are outside the recommended margins of weight and intensity.
If your goal is to achieve muscular hypertrophy, the effort made must go as far as “failure” (i.e., inability to go on) within the parameters indicated. If you find you can do more, it is because you are not using enough weight, or you are using impetus to complete the series (“cheating”).
In this instance, the weight* must be somewhat below the maximum. Furthermore, these are not closed-end ranges. Some positive results will be achieved if the percentage approaches either the upper or the lower level. For example, some degree of hypertrophy will occur whether you train at 87% or at 68%, but training at 100% or 10% will make no difference