Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physical Fitness Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for physical fitness professionals, athletes, trainers, and those providing health-related needs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

There are many people, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hodge Twins, who say that endurance and stabilizer muscles should be worked out at high rep ranges (16+) for optimal hypertrophy. Their theory is that these type of muscles, for example legs and abs, are composed mostly of type I fibers, so focusing on those fibers would be the most efficient way to increase overall size.

There's also a lot of other people who have the mantra that every muscle needs to be trained heavy in the 8-12 rep range. So who is right?

share|improve this question
    
Are you sure that Arnold actually said that? He's been ghostwritten before, and his ghostwriters have sometimes said the opposite of what he said himself. –  Robin Ashe Aug 22 '12 at 5:13
1  
He said it in his book, The Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding. I have read it two times. –  JoJo Aug 22 '12 at 5:57
    
That wasn't written by him, it was one of the ones that was ghostwritten. –  Robin Ashe Aug 22 '12 at 6:00
1  
He did give intentionally bad advice to competition.. –  user3085 Aug 22 '12 at 16:20
1  
@Sancho His "bad advice" were mind games. When he said, "Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer" it was obviously a joke. –  JoJo Aug 23 '12 at 2:30

1 Answer 1

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Be careful about listening to self confessed YouTube 'guru's like the hodge twins. They aren't intellectuals and whilst mean well, they often have blaring holes in their understanding. They are ok for entertainment value but I personally wouldn't follow anything they said. They have decent physiques, but there is no way to know if they just have good genetics (anything works) or hard gainers that know how to train.

This is all neither here nor there, but the 'gurus' that I've talked to that have devoted their lives to muscle building seem to agree on the high reps for legs. The crowd I train with certainly prescribe to this. In fact 50 (yes FIFTY) rep leg press comes up in programming fairly often. 15-20 rep squats are also common (very painful). I feel the white hot pain in those let me assure you! Last week I did 50-40-30-20 reps on leg press. Very painful. I realise this sounds NUTS for someone that has only ever trained in the 12 reps or under ranges.

If wikipedia is to be believed, there are predominately type 1 fibres in postural muscles which matches exactly what you said. Since type 1 fibres are endurance tuned, you would definitely aim for fatigue over higher rep ranges to induce an adaptive response. Legs in humans contain closer to 50/50 white(type 2)/red(type 1 & 2) muscle types which matches the kind of training I've been doing. Squats can be as high as 20 reps and as low as 1. Whether we like it or not, we walk around on our legs all day and therefore there are always going to be type 1/2 fibres there and they have to be trained.

So to try answer your question, I'm not sure who is advocating doing the same old rep ranges all the time and on all body parts, but I would definitely train hard in a variety of rep ranges. I know as I look around my gym, its the guys confined to their 3 sets of 10 (pick a number) month in month out that grow the least. The single best thing I've ever done is to allow myself to rep up to 20 (and beyond for legs). After 3 years of stagnated training, I was able to gain 6kg (13lb) of muscle in 5 months once I learned how to train properly.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.