In this new series of Q & A’s, we tap into the knowledge base of some of the most respected and knowledgeable heads in the industry, starting with Project AD IFBB Pro bodybuilder Brad Rowe.
1) Is it best to vary rep ranges when training solely for hypertrophy/muscle gain, or is there a sweet spot bodybuilders should generally stick to?
I think things need to vary a bit. I like to go through periods of 6-8 reps, 10-12 reps, and 15-18. It’s good to give a particular rep range a good 3-4wks before switching up.
I would not go below 6 reps or over 20 range for hypertrophy. The biggest factor regardless of the range is the intensity brought to the set. You need to cause muscle fiber damage to grow.
2) What is the optimal training frequency for muscle growth?
If nutrition, sleep, and all other factors are in check than every 4 days is something that can be maintained. Every 5 days is a little on the safer side to allow for recovery. One could get away with a pump session in that period. Like I hit arms and chest a couple of times a week in the morning – nothing close to failure. Maybe 6 sets lighter weight in the 15-18 rep range stopping short from failure. I do this just to keep blood flow in those weak points.
3) Training twice per day: are there any circumstances where you would advise this for muscle growth if somebody has the time?
Personally, I could not do double training. I put way too much effort and intensity into my training to be able to do it twice a day. I could maybe see splitting up biceps and triceps in same day or shoulders and hamstrings. But chest, back, quads certainly need a separate day with how I train and how I expect my athletes to train.
Brad earned his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science from Marist College and then going on to further his education at Drexel University where he earned his Masters in Biomedical Science as well. Brad has a number of online clients, that he coaches for competitions and/or helps them reach their fitness goals. He also trains clients one-on-one at Gold Gym Venice.
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