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How Many Reps to Build Muscle? (Bodyweight Exercises)

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How many reps to build muscle? It’s a good question that Jeff from Athlean X can answer for you.

Here he explains in relation to bodyweight exercises.

How Many Reps to Build Muscle?

“The most common question asked by those working out is how many reps should you do to build muscle.  When it comes to bodyweight exercises and workouts, the answer to this depends on a lot of factors, namely how strong you are and how much you weigh.  You see, prescribing a specific number of reps to a bodyweight exercise is ignoring the strength and size differences that could exist between two people doing the exact same workout.”

10 minute Full Body Workout. How Many Reps to Build MuscleSource: Photos courtesy of CrossFit Inc

“In this video, I show you a method for determining the best reps to build muscle and answer the questions of how many reps for building muscle as applied specifically to bodyweight exercises.  Whether you are doing dips, pullups, pushups or any other body weight exercise…you’ll be able to start adding muscle mass if you follow the steps outlined.”

“The first thing you want to do is warmup.  Following a brief warmup of jump rope or light jogging and some mobility work for the joints involved in the workout you are about to do, you will want to perform a set of the bodyweight exercise to failure.  Whatever the number of reps that this occurs at is, will become part of the workout equation.  Use the multiplier shown here (either 3, 5, 7 or 10 times) to push yourself to the level of challenge that you’re after.”

“Any bodyweight workout can be made extremely hard if you follow these recommendations for how many reps should you do to build muscle.  You can build mass with any rep range that challenges the muscles being used and takes them to failure, provided you do this within 45-60 seconds per set.  This is the concept of time under tension.  Too many sets to failure done in just 5-10 seconds tends to work more on strength than it does muscle growth.”

“With bodyweight exercises and workouts, you want to be sure that you take your reps to failure each time so that you’re not leaving effort (and untapped muscle growth) on the table each time.”


Learn More

Add these Standing Ab Exercises and Z Press into your training.


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