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  1. #1
    Registered User Skukr's Avatar
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    Can you build muscle with many reps ?

    Hello, i have a question. Sometimes i cant go to the gym and im training at home. Problem is that i dont have that much weights at home to do like 6-12 reps for hypertrophy like i do in the gym. For days when i do compound movements like deadlifts,squats,bench etc. im trying o get to the gym at all costs, because i dont want to do 20+ reps for deadlifts for example. But my question is, do you think that i can achieve hypertrophy by training isolation exercises (like biceps -> biceps curls, triceps -> skullcrushers, rear delts -> face pulls etc.) by doing more reps ? I mean i have weights for biceps curls maximum for like 20-25 reps, do you think that even its not ideal, but is it possible to build muscle with that range if i go to the failure ? Thanks
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    i have many reps (125k) and am completely void of anything even resembling muscle
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    just find a way to make the reps harder and try to stay in the sub 15 range

    i guess sets of 25 reps have benefits too, but it's not the optimal rep range for muscle
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    Apparently hypertrophy has been seen reliable at as low as 30% of 1 rep max. If you are going to use low weight and high reps it becomes particularly important to take each set pretty close to failure. This can be much tougher than using a heavier weight for say 8-12 reps. You have to fight through the pain of lactic acid burn - many people will give up well before the true point of failure.

    So don't set a rep number, just keep doing reps until you can't continue.
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    Originally Posted by 2am View Post
    i have many reps (125k) and am completely void of anything even resembling muscle
    Now you have 125k reps.

    OP yes you can according to science but at some point it will just come muscle endurance and you won't be really pushing yourself as it's quite difficult to measure progression on very high reps.
    Last edited by hardyboysare; 09-18-2020 at 04:43 AM.
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    Up to 30 reps is viable.

    However a lot of exercises will likely experience significant technique breakdown with reps that high
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    Registered User GeneralSerpant's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    Up to 30 reps is viable.

    However a lot of exercises will likely experience significant technique breakdown with reps that high
    How consistent would you say that that form breakdown from when trying to lift closer to 1rm?
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    You can build muscle with sets that require sufficient effort to complete. Supersets, myo-reps, pre-exhaustions may be worth looking at if lack of equipment is an issue.

    Originally Posted by Skukr View Post
    because i dont want to do 20+ reps for deadlifts for example.
    Deadlifts aren't the best option for hypertrophy in general.
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    Deadlifts aren't the best option for hypertrophy in general.
    You might be speaking from a lot more experience than me, but deadlifts absolutely put a ton of mass on me. This is correlative and not causative, per se, but I have never seen someone regularly pull at least four plates who did not have a thick and well-developed back.
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    Originally Posted by GeneralSerpant View Post
    How consistent would you say that that form breakdown from when trying to lift closer to 1rm?
    For high intensity sets you mean?
    I think that depends on the lfiter obviously some people are really clean up to like 98%.
    I'm usually not awful for like doubles @90%
    But my 10 rep sets for a squat or dead will suck because braving and upper back tightness just drops off so hard
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  11. #11
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    I regularly do up to 30 reps for leg press, machine pressing etc

    Doing that many on, say, a front squat would be pretty stupid tho
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    Originally Posted by 2am View Post
    i have many reps (125k) and am completely void of anything even resembling muscle
    You waited long and hard for this thread didn’t you?
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    Up to 30 reps is viable.

    However a lot of exercises will likely experience significant technique breakdown with reps that high
    I'm mainly calisthenics and am very into it and I go to the gym just about every single day. Lots of guys do push ups at my gym, mostly crap form and absolutely every high repper on push ups, every single rep is crap form. They do it super fast, not even half range of motion, barely 1/4 range of motion and just horrible body position, but they did a bunch of those. Yah, I don't see the point. This includes for pull ups and dips. You do em correctly, your rep count is going to drop drastically. And not even saying to do it slow, just at a tempo where you can actually sense your form for each rep. And yes, doing it slow (time under tension) is way harder than doing it as fast as you can. edit: On the eccentric, I don't just drop. I go down under control and am still under tension.

    Originally Posted by GeneralSerpant View Post
    How consistent would you say that that form breakdown from when trying to lift closer to 1rm?
    I use lat pull down and row stations to improve my pull ups and other stuff. For rows, I stay at weights for the majority of my reps where I can retract the scapula purposely. I do go as heavy as I can, but at a certain point, I can no longer retract scapula (purposely). I got into that because I advanced on front levers too fast and impinged my left shoulder because I was too weak at scapula retraction.
    Last edited by Casca; 09-19-2020 at 11:46 AM.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    You might be speaking from a lot more experience than me, but deadlifts absolutely put a ton of mass on me. This is correlative and not causative, per se, but I have never seen someone regularly pull at least four plates who did not have a thick and well-developed back.
    Deadlifts are weird. For me, they absolutely thicken up my back, traps, legs, etc.

    Then you go on YouTube and you see these skinny DYELs pulling 500, 600, 700, 800lbs. Don’t believe me? Here you go....





    These guys are a dime a dozen. On the other hand, the average guy who deadlifts 405 for reps will look like he lifts, have decent size etc.

    Genetics and leverages play a huge part in deadlift strength. Though you still see them, skinny DYELs with big squats and benches are much rarer. The deadlift - while it’s easier to be strong if you have a lot of mass - has less correlation with bodyweight than squatting and benching. This is because when squatting, you have to support the weight on your frame - a bigger frame therefore has a huge advantage in stability. When benching, a bigger torso reduces the range of motion and increases stability under the bar.

    Also, deadlifts work alot of small, deep supporting muscles that don’t have as much potential for hypertrophy compared to, say, quads or chest. And people with long arms *for their frame* will find it easier to progress on deadlifts than people with short arms *for their frame*....but will find the exercise less effective for hypertrophy due to the decreased range of motion (at this point, most people would agree that longer range of motion exercises are superior to shorter range of motion exercises for stimulating hypertrophy. This is pretty well understood when we look at the most recent scientific literature on the subject).

    One last thing to note is deadlifts are extremely taxing on recovery, and too much deadlift volume is arguably the quickest route to overreaching territory...for this reason, the need to moderate deadlift volume has to be taken into account when discussing its efficacy as a hypertrophy stimulator. Other exercises such as RDLs, SLDLs, Good mornings, and shrugs do a great job at targeting specific muscles used in the deadlift with less drain on recovery - but they leave out certain muscle groups that the deadlift works in unison, ala the traps and forearms in good mornings or the glutes, hamstrings and spinal erectors in shrugs. Therefore you may need to spend more time in the gym on more exercises to replicate the stimulation you’d get from just doing deadlifts, which would be the more time-efficient and simpler option but arguably would eat into recovery resources to a greater degree, leaving less room for other CNS-demanding exercises in a training program.

    Tl;dr

    - For most (>99%) of people, deadlifts are a decent mass builder

    - Genetic freaks exist, who can get brutally strong on deadlifts without building much mass. However, as their deadlift goes up, they’ll still be building mass - it’ll just take getting to a higher strength level to gain the mass that a less genetically-built-for-deadlifts person can gain by having a comparatively weaker deadlift. A 450 deadlifter who isn’t built for the deadlift can therefore be bigger than a 600 deadlifter with better leverages/genetics for the lift. But if the 600 deadlifter gets to a 700 deadlift, they’ll still be bigger than they were when they were pulling 600

    - If using deadlifts as a hypertrophy tool, you need to take into account their tendency to quickly hemmorhage recovery ability once volume and intensity pass a certain threshold

    - Other exercises exist that are arguably better for hypertrophying specific muscles used in the deadlift....but the deadlift is the most time efficient because it works them all in unison. Sure you can get the glute/hamstring hypertrophy from good mornings but what about your traps and forearms? Sure you can build traps and forearms from shrugs but what about the rest of your posterior chain? Deadlift is more efficient and simpler to program, but takes a bigger toll on recovery.

    - The final verdict: they’re decent for hypertrophy
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    Registered User training12's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Apparently hypertrophy has been seen reliable at as low as 30% of 1 rep max. If you are going to use low weight and high reps it becomes particularly important to take each set pretty close to failure. This can be much tougher than using a heavier weight for say 8-12 reps. You have to fight through the pain of lactic acid burn - many people will give up well before the true point of failure.

    So don't set a rep number, just keep doing reps until you can't continue.
    How many sets should you do that for. I've been doing that. For some exercises it becomes a lot of reps as the weight has become too light. Makes the workout very long. are there any other techniques to try. I don't have access to add any more weight. Body weight exercises, have been doing those too.
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    Kai Greene does 20 reps and he doesn't look that small... well, maybe compared to the misc.

    inb4 "but but but he is on vitamin S, if I was on it I would be as big with high reps also"

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    yeah but it's not optimal
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    Originally Posted by training12 View Post
    How many sets should you do that for. I've been doing that. For some exercises it becomes a lot of reps as the weight has become too light. Makes the workout very long. are there any other techniques to try. I don't have access to add any more weight. Body weight exercises, have been doing those too.
    The answer is as many as you need to progress. It probably won't be as much as Kai Green but is probably more than a complete novice.

    I can throw some averages at you. Most people need between 8 and 15 hard sets per bodypart per week to make sustained progress.

    Some degree of trial and error will be needed if you are going to program for yourself. If you are going to use a ready made routine, choose one which has the same or slightly more volume than whatever worked for you most recently.
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    Originally Posted by Casca View Post
    I use lat pull down and row stations to improve my pull ups and other stuff. For rows, I stay at weights for the majority of my reps where I can retract the scapula purposely. I do go as heavy as I can, but at a certain point, I can no longer retract scapula (purposely). I got into that because I advanced on front levers too fast and impinged my left shoulder because I was too weak at scapula retraction.
    That's what's so great about neutral, that distinction isn't as necessary.

    I think that's probably also what makes chins naturally easier is that they tighten the rear delt immediately
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    Originally Posted by GeneralSerpant View Post
    That's what's so great about neutral, that distinction isn't as necessary.

    I think that's probably also what makes chins naturally easier is that they tighten the rear delt immediately
    Chins are easier because the supinated grip allows the biceps to assist the back musculaturel better than the pronated grip
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    Originally Posted by alec935 View Post
    Chins are easier because the supinated grip allows the biceps to assist the back musculaturel better than the pronated grip
    That makes sense for shoulder width pullups but not wide-grip.
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    NanoItaliano is a jewel in the rough. (+500) NanoItaliano is a jewel in the rough. (+500) NanoItaliano is a jewel in the rough. (+500) NanoItaliano is a jewel in the rough. (+500) NanoItaliano is a jewel in the rough. (+500) NanoItaliano is a jewel in the rough. (+500) NanoItaliano is a jewel in the rough. (+500) NanoItaliano is a jewel in the rough. (+500) NanoItaliano is a jewel in the rough. (+500) NanoItaliano is a jewel in the rough. (+500) NanoItaliano is a jewel in the rough. (+500)
    NanoItaliano is offline
    I experimented with several techniques for mass and figured out that doing around 10 slow reps with stretch and explosive contraction is your best bet.

    In the first stage of training I tried doing upto 40 reps because I was in your same situation.
    I put on some mass, but not nearly as much as when training with 8/10 reps
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