Step one: Stop stressing over your sets and reps. They matter, but there is a whole lot of context outside of your set and rep scheme that matters more.
Swipe for your #educatedgains
There is a large continuum of set and rep possibilities and combinations (as seen when you swipe).
When we look at this continuum, you have power at one end with the least reps per set and endurance at the other with the most reps per set. Okay?
SEE – A single line continuum. One end is power (think 1-3 reps), and the other end is endurance (12-15+ reps). Between these two, we have strength and hypertrophy.
For those who do not know, hypertrophy is muscle growth (mostly due to increase in cross-sectional are – larger diameter of a muscle cell/fiber). Literally gaining muscle.
If you want to get “toned,” you’re really wanting to increase hypertrophy, and likely lose some fat (maybe not). And gaining muscle is much harder than people, partially women, think it is.
While strength is towards the “power” end of this continuum – think 3-6 reps, hypertrophy can happen through a much larger span of reps. This is because the main factor in muscle growth is MECHANICAL TENSION. That can happen in “strength” rep schemes, all the way to 12 reps for example.
If you’re using a challenging load (high RPE) and progressively pushing that mechanical tension, then you have the potential for muscle gain. This is VERY over simplified. But the point is, strength requires a narrower rep range than hypertrophy.
Generally speaking, to increase strength you’ll likely need to be consistently working at at least 75% + of your max. But this is not required for muscle growth.
This is also why I say Built By Annie is a strength and hypertrophy program. Because we work with a large set and rep range for accessory work, but for the main sets, the focus is typically strength. Or progresses to that spot throughout the year of programming.
Hypertrophy can happen via strength training. Strength gains won’t always happen if only training for hypertrophy. We are not robots. Train hard. Train skills. Train progressively.
Do you prefer higher rep (8+) or lower rep sets (under 8 reps)?
If you want to get strong, enjoy your workouts and make #educatedgains, then get on the Built by Annie waitlist.
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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