Higher reps vs lower reps has been a debate for decades among those focused on hypertrophy, such as bodybuilders and casual lifters just looking to add some muscle mass. When people ask me what rep ranges are best for hypertrophy, my typical response is “all of them!”
There’s been a number of studies looking at higher rep ranges using lower loads that support the use of higher reps in programs focused on hypertrophy covered by Monica M HERE worth reading if you have not already. Anything by Monica is always worth reading, but I digress.
Recently, a large meta review of studies examining the topic and using a stringent inclusion and exclusion criteria for the review, that lower reps with higher % of 1RM and higher reps using lower % of 1RM have similar effects on hypertrophy. If the specific goal is improvements in 1RM in a given lift, than higher loads and lower reps is superior, although increases in 1RM strength does take place with higher rep/lower load training.
So should those focused strictly on hypertrophy drop the heavy lifting and just train in the 15-30 rep range? In my opinion, No. Is there a place for higher reps and lower loads in the program of people focused on hypertrophy? That’s a resounding yes! This section from the aforementioned review from summarizes nicely;