Can High Repetitions Build Muscle?

intense weight training


Hi there,

Thanks for the great information. You have an article called "Best Repetition Range To Build Muscle".

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1. What sort of routine training is that method called?

2. You have about 5 or 6 sets in total for each exercise. What if I am only going to be doing 3 sets of each exercise because of time constraints. What would you recommend that I do for each of those 3 sets (percentage of RM etc...)



Where did you get most of your info from? Do you have a book out that goes over every aspect of weight training by chance?


Hi Galen.

Thanks for the question.

In my previous article, Best Repetition Range To Build Muscle, I based most of that information on my own personal experience.

You see, over the years, (I’ve been training for 20 plus years), I’ve come to learn and understand my body type and what it needs to grow. I’ve also tried numerous methods and techniques to try and improve my muscle mass and tone.

The type of method I've outlined in the article is a technique to spare your joints and connective tissues while ensuring you constantly improve from workout to workout.

Traditional heavy duty workouts can be quite devastating on your connective tissues (Ex: Shoulders and Knees).

I've come to the conclusion that prolonged exposure to heavy workouts with no break or rest can be quite detrimental to your joints and ligaments.

Based on this information, and from my past injuries from heavy weight training, I've adjusted my compound movements that have actually improved my muscle mass and strength without having to do heavy singles, doubles, and triples.

It's these lifts that can lead to injury.

With that in mind, I've adjusted my weight training style that allows me to keep improving from workout to workout, week after week and month after month while reducing my chances of injuring my connective tissues and joints (which have become more vulnerable as I age).

Now, this type of weight training method can be totally customized. The main reason there are 2 or 3 prior sets before my work set is to ensure my muscles are thoroughly warmed up.

However, based on your information, you can certainly warm the muscle up in 2 sets and tackle the work set on your final third set. The point here is to ensure the muscles (and joints) are warmed up and ready for work.

Let's take the bench press for example. Let's say your max bench is 185 pounds. Your progression would be as follows:

Set 1: Warm up - You will want to use about 45% of you max. That would be about 85 pounds and do 20 or 25 reps.

Set 2: Work ready set - On this set, I'd recommend that you to 10 repetitions and use about 65% of your max. The weight should be around 125 pounds.

Final set: Work set - On this set, your going to be using about 80% of your max. So, if your max is 185 pounds, your going to be using about 150 pounds.

Now, the most important thing you have to remember is this takes a bit of playing around with. It's important to note that if you want to get the most from this type of training, you must use a weight, on your final set that allows you to get at least 7 or 8 reps, unassisted. With each passing workout, your main focus is to improve that rep range to 12 unassisted reps with the same workout weight.

So, if you maximum bench press is 185 pounds, and you barely get 8 reps with 150 pounds, your ultimate goal is to get 12 repetitions with that same weight.

Once you reach 12 unassisted repetitions with that weight, take two weeks off, and than start that same progression again but with 20 extra pounds on the bar for your final set and do the same thing over.

All of the information I have comes from personal experience that I've gathered through the years from the numerous methods and techniques I've tried. I don't have a book yet, but maybe that's something to think about for the future.

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I hope this helps.

All the best,


As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.

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