I perform body-weight exercises. There is a general understanding of improving strength, hypertrophy, or endurance based on the number of reps you can do at a particular difficulty.

Let's say I can do 20-25 reps when doing Push-ups alone or Body-weight Squats alone, which is the endurance range. Would doing burpees induce hypertrophy, if the increased intensity only takes me to the 8-12 rep range?

Or perhaps some other intense combo of push-ups and squats that takes me to five reps, will it build strength?

Or am I just building more endurance in a shorter time?

  • The understanding is that working to (or close to) failure at certain rep ranges leans toward certain results. If you aren’t getting to (or close to) failure with each set, then you aren’t working out hard enough. Following arbitrary rep numbers within a set is a waste of time if the proper effort isn’t there. May 22, 2018 at 22:57
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    I think in this instance, you're not actually increasing intensity. You're just increasing the amount of work, so you get exhausted faster. I.e., you're building endurance mostly.
    – DeeV
    May 22, 2018 at 23:03

1 Answer 1


The number of reps is not magic, what is important is how hard you work your muscles. Our muscles recruit more motor units as they see more force. The simplest and safest way to do this is doing HIT (not hiit). So, go slow and go 'til you drop. Make sure you use your muscles 100%. It doesn't matter how many reps you do but how much you force your muscles, so that they use all motor units available.

But, if you just want to get bigger muscles, eat more and lift 'more' weight :)

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