What is the best rep range to build muscle?

What is the best rep range to build muscle?

If you are looking to build muscle then you need to make sure what you are doing in the gym is giving you the best opportunity to grow. Of course if you are not getting it right in the ktichen it doesn't matter what your doing in the gym, but in this article we are going to focus on the correct rep range to build muscle.

After getting it right in the gym simply make sure you are eating enough calories and protein, and growth will not be too far away.

What is the best rep range to build muscle?

The best rep range to build muscle is an area of much debate, but in the interest of simplicity I'm going to give you a couple of ideas from which you can decide what is best for you and your goals at this time.

For pure hypertrophy

If you are content with your strength and want to focus solely on breaking down muscle tissue then a short hypertrophy specialisation phase of 4-6 weeks using a rep range of between 8-12 is generally considered as the most effective for breaking down and building muscle. I like to use 3-4 sets when using this rep range at anywhere from 65-85% of my one rep max. I also like to focus more on controlling the weight during the eccentric phase (downwards) of each lift to increase the time under load for each set, something I talked about a lot in my top tips for building maximum muscle.

For strength and hypertrophy

If you are still trying to work on your strength but want to build a bit of muscle then consider a rep range of 5-8 reps for 4-5 sets. The well known 5x5 programme is a popular choice for those looking for a hybrid between size and strength and I have used it with great success in the past, keep the weights on the heavy side if using 5x5 and change things up after 4-6 weeks to keep yourself progressing.

Extra tips:


  • Keep sessions short and intense
  • Aim to add intensity throughout a hypertrophy phase (lift more weight)
  • Give your muscle groups ample time to recover


The bottom line

Its a simple as that if you are aiming to build muscle! I could complicate things with loads of different variations and tips to maximise your muscle building potential in the gym but I wanted this article to be simple. Give these rep ranges a try for 4-6 weeks and make sure you are eating the right amount of the right things and you will be building new muscle sooner rather than later!