May 012016

Interesting article at by Adam M. Gonzales, PhD, CSCS who conducted research questioning the validity of specific rep ranges as best at generating hypertrophy adaptation in trained individuals.


There’s a way to train for muscle growth, and a way to train for strength. But they’re not the same thing…right? A PhD put the old way of doing things to the test and gives you the insider’s perspective!

Prior to becoming a researcher, I was just another diehard lifter strictly adhering to the deeply ingrained rules of bodybuilding. But over the years, the academic in me has grown to question even the most fundamental principles of training.

For instance, let’s say someone tells you they want you to help them build muscle or design a “hypertrophy phase.” You’d probably make it look a lot like this:

Sets of 8-12 reps, 60-80% 1RM, rest 30-90 seconds.

On other hand, if that person wanted to build strength, you’d clearly have them train like this:

Sets of less than 6 reps, at least 85% 1RM, rest 3-5 minutes.

Textbook stuff, right? While these training philosophies are typical of bodybuilders and powerlifters, there is actually surprisingly little evidence to support such distinctions.1 So a team of researchers and I decided to put them to the test. Here’s what we found, along with the exact protocol we used, so you can try it for yourself!

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