Best Workout Rep Range (CLASSIC MISTAKE!)

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Step by step plan for building ripped, athletic muscle

With quite a few rep ranges to choose from and train with, people often wonder if there is one best rep range to workout with. In this video, I show you that while all rep ranges are important to use none of them will be effective if you make this one classic workout mistake.

Thinking that you train in a specific rep range because you happen to quit after a certain number of reps does NOT mean you are working out in that rep range! More importantly, thinking that you are going to get the benefit of that rep range by doing this, is an even bigger mistake.

In general, if you train with serious intention in the 1-5 rep range you will primarily be working on your neuromuscular efficiency and strength. That said, if you can do 7 reps but stop at 4 because the lift is getting difficult you are not effectively working on building your strength. You’re working on learning how to quit early!

If you are trying to build muscle, your rep ranges should focus more on 10-12 reps. You have likely heard this before and there is nothing magical about the number. Instead, the magic happens because you are increasing your time under tension when you extend the length of your sets with additional, properly timed reps.

If you perform your reps under control with intensity, you are going to raise and lower the weight in about 4 seconds. Performing 12 reps at 4 seconds apiece amounts to 48 seconds under tension. This amount has been shown to be optimal for building muscle. Obviously with just 1-5 reps in the lower ranges you are not likely to experience these same benefits.

That said, thinking that performing very high reps (as high as 30, 40, or even 100) would help with that time under tension and therefore help to build even more muscle is only partly true. Yes, there is more needed tension however it can lack the overall muscle fiber overload required by heavier weights.

That is not to say that this type of training cannot induce change however, since stimulating your muscles in the form of any overload can be just what is needed to deliver a stimulus for change.

You want to always vary your training methods if you want to see consistent, plateau free muscle gains. If you want a complete program that lays out the sets, reps and exercises for doing this and to start building muscle like an athlete, head to and check out the ATHLEAN-X Training System.

For more videos on whether lifting light weights or heavy weights is better and what reps are best for meeting your training goals, be sure to subscribe to our channel on youtube at