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Are All Rep Ranges Really the Same for Hypertrophy? Advice from Fitness Trainer Ilija Jahura

Are All Rep Ranges Really the Same for Hypertrophy? Advice from Fitness Trainer Ilija Jahura

It seems like the internet has an innovative new method for getting in shape every day. But for Ilija Jahura, one thing is clear: what beats out the over-the-top trending exercises are straightforward ones that get results.

Are All Rep Ranges Really the Same for Hypertrophy? Advice from Fitness Trainer Ilija Jahura

Too often, however, falsehoods are circulated because people want to believe that the easy way is also the best. When is that true, and when is it just idealistic misinformation?

To clarify things, fitness trainer Ilija Jahura uses the conversation around hypertrophy and rep ranges as an example of why you can’t always believe everything you hear about fitness.

Does the Number of Reps You Do Matter?

Lately, there’s been much talk about “effective reps,” or the reps in a set that combine the highest levels of effort with the maximal recruitment of muscle fibers.

If you move the weight at the proper speed — not too slowly and not too quickly — with the right weight, then theoretically, only the last five reps you do will result in muscle growth. This thought leads some lifters to believe that the number of reps doesn’t matter if you push yourself to your limit and go a rep or two short of failure.

Are All Rep Ranges Really the Same for Hypertrophy? Advice from Fitness Trainer Ilija Jahura

How True Is This Theory?

On paper, the effective reps theory makes sense.

If your end goal is muscle growth, you can get the same results with any rep range or load as long as you use the same effort. As a bonus, the theory falls into that sweet category of being perfectly simple. But “simple” doesn’t always mean “correct,” depending on what you’re interested in working on.

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Various rep ranges and execution styles provide additional effects other than muscle growth. And for some, these effects might be as or even more desirable than the growth itself.

For example, hypertrophy doesn’t always track with muscle endurance, and an increase in reps virtually always guarantees that you’ll gain endurance in addition to muscle.

Are All Rep Ranges Really the Same for Hypertrophy? Advice from Fitness Trainer Ilija Jahura

If you do 12 reps with a light weight instead of six reps with a heavier weight and perform both sets one short of failure, both will guarantee similar levels of muscle growth. But the higher rep set will also yield levels of muscle endurance, which is a crucial training goal for many lifters.

The concept that your number of reps doesn’t matter much as long as you put in the same effort sounds too good to be true. And that’s because it is: it’s short-sighted to claim that there aren’t incredible levels of nuance here, both from the workout and the person executing it.

There are benefits to each method, and the one you choose should ultimately depend on what you’re looking to get out of your training.

Are All Rep Ranges Really the Same for Hypertrophy? Advice from Fitness Trainer Ilija Jahura

About Ilija Jahura

Ilija Jahura is a professional fitness and health consultant based in Kelowna, British Columbia. He uses a holistic approach, incorporating diet, cardiovascular development, and muscle-building elements into his programs.

Ilija aims to help his clients realize their fitness goals so they can go through their lives feeling stronger, healthier, and more confident.

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