1. #1
    Herald of the Titans iLive's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    2,542

    Better respond with higher repetition for some muscles

    I have a friend who told me that when he exercises his calf muscles, instead of doing 4x8 with as much weight as he can take, he does lots of repetition, like 4x30 with lower weight (not exactly sure how many he took, but definitly a lot more than 30). I wondered why he did it, because as far as I know to build muscle mass you must do few repetitions and max weight so you fail between 6-8. Then as I search for inspiration to work out your forearms I stumble on the same thing: "... your forearms respond better to higher repetitions."

    I've tried with both forearms and calves and it felt a lot different in my muscles when I did with 30+ repetitions. It burned, and I could hardly use my legs or arms for a little while. I can't achieve same feeling with 4x8 no matter how much weight I use. But this felt really effective, so it's actually something I would like to know:

    Is this true that some muscles, for instance forearms and calves, respond better with higher repetition?

  2. #2
    Yep, calves and trapezius tend to need higher reps for hypertrophy, largely because they have a pretty small range of motion.

  3. #3
    When it comes to hypertrophy (muscle growth) the current science says that higher reps are better. Typically speaking this is in the 8-12 rep range according to some studies. I think calves in particular tend to need even more reps simply because they are accustomed to high and frequent forces on a daily basis already by simply walking, running, jumping, ect. You are going to have to put more volume work on them to get them to respond.

  4. #4
    It is ridiculous to micromanage so much. Just lift and exercise. No one is discerning enough to care whether you have an extra half inch to an inch on your calves.

    Aside from that, there is a lot of conflicting information out there and the current science is far from settled. My advice to you would be lift hard, do some cardio for your heart, eat well, and throw away your mirrors. Micromanaging things only creates obsession.

  5. #5
    I've always heard that it really depends on your body type.

    Like I knew guys who couldn't pack on mass without using high weight, low rep exercises, and I knew guys who already had mass, but couldn't tone up without using low weight, high rep exercises.


    Quote Originally Posted by iLive View Post

    Is this true that some muscles, for instance forearms and calves, respond better with higher repetition?
    If I recall those are two of the muscle groups (along with abs) that can be trained every single day. This is the reason Bruce Lee's forearms were dramatically bigger than his upper arms. With this in mind, I suppose higher rep might be better for a non-professional body builder.

    Ronnie Coleman talked about this briefly when he reviewed a forearm curler a few years ago. He said the problem was that it required a thousand reps in order for him to get any effect off of it, and that to pack on mass he really had to forearm curl heavy weights for low-reps. Granted, most of us aren't Ronnie Coleman. lol.
    Last edited by Jersovic; 2012-08-13 at 11:30 PM.

  6. #6
    Herald of the Titans iLive's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    2,542
    Quote Originally Posted by jbhasban View Post
    It is ridiculous to micromanage so much. Just lift and exercise. No one is discerning enough to care whether you have an extra half inch to an inch on your calves.

    Aside from that, there is a lot of conflicting information out there and the current science is far from settled. My advice to you would be lift hard, do some cardio for your heart, eat well, and throw away your mirrors. Micromanaging things only creates obsession.
    True, but if I just went out there and lifted hard, I would surely have problems and less achievements. That's for sure.

    ---------- Post added 2012-08-14 at 04:40 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Jersovic View Post
    I've always heard that it really depends on your body type.
    Heard the same thing. I'll try this and see how my calves develop. I really liked the burning in my muscles.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Lecktor View Post
    Yep, calves and trapezius tend to need higher reps for hypertrophy, largely because they have a pretty small range of motion.
    Not really true, trapz tend to respond best to heavy weight and low rep count. Calves do respond well to a slightly higher rep count.


    Quote Originally Posted by jbhasban View Post
    It is ridiculous to micromanage so much. Just lift and exercise. No one is discerning enough to care whether you have an extra half inch to an inch on your calves.

    Aside from that, there is a lot of conflicting information out there and the current science is far from settled. My advice to you would be lift hard, do some cardio for your heart, eat well, and throw away your mirrors. Micromanaging things only creates obsession.
    Lol. I pretty much care whatever i add an extra inch or not of muscle, thats a good amount. Being interested, learning and managing about work out is pretty wise, considered most people actually want something out of their workout. Not caring about what you do and then not seeing results is why people stop trying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jersovic View Post
    I've always heard that it really depends on your body type.

    Like I knew guys who couldn't pack on mass without using high weight, low rep exercises, and I knew guys who already had mass, but couldn't tone up without using low weight, high rep exercises.

    If I recall those are two of the muscle groups (along with abs) that can be trained every single day. This is the reason Bruce Lee's forearms were dramatically bigger than his upper arms. With this in mind, I suppose higher rep might be better for a non-professional body builder.

    Ronnie Coleman talked about this briefly when he reviewed a forearm curler a few years ago. He said the problem was that it required a thousand reps in order for him to get any effect off of it, and that to pack on mass he really had to forearm curl heavy weights for low-reps. Granted, most of us aren't Ronnie Coleman. lol.
    Your body type in almost any case has nothing to do with it.

    About the "muscle can be trained every day". Any muscle can be trained every day if you plan to do it. Theres no such thing as your abs, calves and forearms can be trained everyday since you probrably use them everyday is pure broscience bs, any muscle recover the same way and is use throughout the day. Working out the same muscle groups 5-6 times a week can be really effective if you get a proper rutine based around it.


    Anyway to really answer the OP. Yes calves do respond slightly better to a high rep count than some other muscle group. This has nothing to do with that they're used to be used for walking and jumping but rather what kind of muscle fibers the calves are build with. Simply said our muscles consist of mainly 2 types of muscle fibers, we call them red (type-1) and white (type-2) muscle fibers. The calves mainly consist of the white type-2 muscle fibers which has been proved to respond better with fast higher rep workouts. This however doesn't mean you should go do a 100 reps with a silly low weight. Most people can lift a huge amount of weight with the calves, mainly because the low range of motion. Find a weight you can do somewhere like 12-16 times in 5 sets, of course something else might work better for you, but you need to exhaust them completely without resorting to low weight.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Labze View Post
    Not really true, trapz tend to respond best to heavy weight and low rep count. Calves do respond well to a slightly higher rep count.




    Lol. I pretty much care whatever i add an extra inch or not of muscle, thats a good amount. Being interested, learning and managing about work out is pretty wise, considered most people actually want something out of their workout. Not caring about what you do and then not seeing results is why people stop trying.



    Your body type in almost any case has nothing to do with it.

    About the "muscle can be trained every day". Any muscle can be trained every day if you plan to do it. Theres no such thing as your abs, calves and forearms can be trained everyday since you probrably use them everyday is pure broscience bs, any muscle recover the same way and is use throughout the day. Working out the same muscle groups 5-6 times a week can be really effective if you get a proper rutine based around it.


    Anyway to really answer the OP. Yes calves do respond slightly better to a high rep count than some other muscle group. This has nothing to do with that they're used to be used for walking and jumping but rather what kind of muscle fibers the calves are build with. Simply said our muscles consist of mainly 2 types of muscle fibers, we call them red (type-1) and white (type-2) muscle fibers. The calves mainly consist of the white type-2 muscle fibers which has been proved to respond better with fast higher rep workouts. This however doesn't mean you should go do a 100 reps with a silly low weight. Most people can lift a huge amount of weight with the calves, mainly because the low range of motion. Find a weight you can do somewhere like 12-16 times in 5 sets, of course something else might work better for you, but you need to exhaust them completely without resorting to low weight.
    I workout every day for fun. If you go for results you will stop working out when your testosterone levels start dropping.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •