How many reps should you do to gain weight?

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How many reps should you do to gain weight?
How many reps should you do to gain weight?

Find out how many reps to do to maximize your muscle mass in a short period of time. One of the most popular questions in bodybuilding is the number of repetitions for mass growth. Not every beginner athlete knows how many sets and reps need to be performed in order to gain weight. At the same time, this is not the easiest question and it is impossible to give an unambiguous answer to it straight away. The fact is that various factors affect the number of repetitions for mass growth.

First of all, you should learn the rules for drawing up a correct and effective training program. They already contain the answer to this question. You must remember that there are simply no universal workout programs. Do not mindlessly follow the programs that can be found on the Internet. Moreover, you should not follow the training of professional athletes.

It is certainly necessary to heed their advice and recommendations. However, the programs for famous athletes, now published in large numbers, are not designed for beginners. In addition, they were compiled taking into account the effects that steroids give. If you want to progress, then you should create your own training program.

To do this, you should take into account the level of initial readiness, decide on goals, and also know your body type. Here are the main factors that determine the speed of your progress, as well as the number of repetitions for increasing mass.

How to independently create a weight training program?

Weight training by Denis Borisov
Weight training by Denis Borisov

Knowing all the factors that need to be considered when determining the required number of repetitions for mass growth, we should consider each of them in more detail.

Initial physical fitness

In principle, this is a very simple question, because if you have not previously played sports, then you are definitely not prepared. Those athletes who already train three times a week can consider themselves beginners. To get into the amateur class, you need to train four to six times a week.

Untrained athletes should devote time to cardio loads and basic strength exercises. At this stage, you need to master the technique of movements and not try to quickly progress the weight. The technical aspect in bodybuilding is of the utmost importance. By performing the movement incorrectly, you will not be able to get the desired result.

In addition, with a sharp increase in loads, you may find yourself in a state of overtraining and even get injured. First, you need to prepare your body for serious stress. It is very important that after each session the body has time to recover completely. If this does not happen, then there will be no muscle growth. In this mode, you should practice for about one month.

If you already have minimal bodybuilding experience, then the recommended rep range for mass growth is 10 to 15. Also, you just need to do two sets for each muscle group for now. After about three or four weeks of such training, you will be able to move on to the next step.

Body type

There are three main body types that have their scientific names. In order not to overload you with unnecessary information, it is enough to use the following classification: full physique, muscular and lean. If you have a normal physique, then six to eight repetitions are enough for you. Skinny people shouldn't waste energy and should do six reps. If the physique is full, then the number of repetitions is in the range from 15 to 20.


The goal of your workout affects a lot, including the number of repetitions for mass growth. You need to set goals for yourself that should be realistic and achievable. That being said, there are three points that you should always keep in mind:

  • Endurance and strength cannot be increased at the same time.
  • By increasing the strength parameters, you thereby lays the foundation for increasing endurance.
  • For strength training, you have to put in more effort and spend time compared to increasing endurance.

To increase strength, you need to work with large weights, while performing the minimum number of repetitions. One repetition with maximum weight gives the best result. To develop endurance, you need to do exactly the opposite - use small weights and do a lot of repetitions. Average values should be used for weight gain.

Thus, we can say the following:

  1. If your task is to increase strength parameters, then in each set you need to perform from one to five repetitions.
  2. Using a rep range from 9 to 12, you can activate muscle tissue hypertrophy or, more simply, gain mass.
  3. By doing more than 12 reps per set, you begin to build endurance.

If we talk about how many repetitions it is necessary to do for mass growth, then this range is from 6 to 8. As a result, you will not only achieve sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (mass gain), but also myofibrillar (increased strength). Also, such training will help you develop all types of muscle fibers (the main two, but there are also subclasses) and at the same time increase the concentration of testosterone. It should be recognized that the debate about the correct and most effective number of repetitions for mass growth has been going on almost from the moment bodybuilding was born. Scientists are constantly discovering new facts about the growth of muscle tissue. Note that this process has not yet been fully studied and periodically you have to revise your views on many things, as information comes from scientists.

Even the bodybuilders themselves do not have a unanimous opinion on this matter. Someone is sure that the mass will be gained by doing five repetitions in each set. In turn, others believe that for this it is necessary to perform at least 10 repetitions. The rep range that we talked about above is correct, but at the same time it can be expanded to 10 repetitions.

However, for maximum progress, you should not focus only on gaining mass. Strength is also important and you should develop it as well. Muscle mass will only be gained if you have provided the necessary load and supplied the body with all the necessary nutrients.

The number of sets and reps affects hormone production as well as the degree of muscle tension. The combination of these factors results in weight gain. Also, you must remember that the tissues of our body are composed of amines. These substances, in turn, are elements of all protein compounds. It is very important to ensure the maximum rate of amine delivery to the cellular structures of muscle tissue.

This parameter is actively influenced by the load and its holding time. This fact suggests that each mass-gaining training program should be primarily focused on prolonged muscle tension. In this case, you should hold the load for the longest possible period of time.

However, the load that you can use depends on the number of repetitions. It is quite obvious that with a large working weight, an athlete simply physically cannot perform many repetitions. If you reduce the weight of the weights, then you can increase the number of repetitions. Thus, in order to gain mass, you only need to perform 8 to 10 repetitions in each set.

How do motor units affect reps?

Barbell athlete
Barbell athlete

Motor (motor) units are usually called a set of muscle and nerve fibers that are activated by the body under the influence of physical exertion. Simply put, a motor unit is a large group of muscle fibers and one nerve. And it should be remembered that motor units can have different strengths.

If you use small weights, weaker motor units are included in the work. Accordingly, when moving to higher weights, strong motor units are activated. For continuous progress in bodybuilding, you should work hard to use the maximum number of motor units.

And again we return to the fact that the number of repetitions for the growth of mass should be between eight and ten. Only due to high loads will you be able to activate the processes of hypertrophy.

You probably know that hormones regulate all processes in the human body. Testosterone occupies a special place in bodybuilding and the higher the concentration of this hormone, the greater the likelihood of activation of muscle growth processes. Scientists have found that ten repetitions in the network is the most optimal number to accelerate the secretion of the male hormone.

Speaks about the number of repetitions required for muscle growth for a very long time. Today we looked at the main factors affecting the number of repetitions and answered the main question of the article. It is also worth reiterating that training is not enough for you to get the desired result.

If the body does not fully recover from training and lack of nutrients, then you will not be able to progress. Thus, you must adhere to your daily routine and eat right. Only then will your body gradually become attractive.

For more information on how many sets and reps you need to do to gain mass, see here:

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