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Which is better for me, more reps or more weight.


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I am currently 196lbs and am 5'11 (6'0 on a good day), 19 years old.  When I started my adventure on 12/12/07 I was 209lbs, so I'm definatly doing something right.  But now my question is, I am trying to lose (fat)weight (get to 170ish) while also building muscle mass.  I have been doing and upper body circuit training (including bicep curls, tricep curls, seated row, assisted dips, sholder press, pec flys, and some other things I can't remember right now) along with some more basic leg exercises (my legs are still big from when I was younger.)  With my upperbody workout I have been doing between 10-12 reps for 3-4 sets, increasing wieght each set until I can barely do my 10-12 reps.  Would it be more beneficial for me to build muscle mass to do more sets/reps at a lower weight, or put up more weights while using less sets/reps? 
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From the advice I've read and gotten from experienced people, higher weight and less reps is the way to go! Counter that with some cardio and you'll keep losing. Also make sure you are eating healthy foods and burning more calories per day than you are consuming. Good luck and keep it up!

Yup, definitely increase the wgt and keep the reps 8-12.  Although with a calorie deficit it's difficult to build much muscle...Just by putting an additional wgt stress on the muscles will cause them to require repair and for that they will burn more calories and your bodyfat should decrease....Adding another set will only teach your muscles endurance and not strength...Besides, who wants to spend hours and hours doing countless sets when fewer/heavier will do the trick!

Good luck :)

Thanks to both of you, I will be keeping up the weight.  So far (since 12/12/07) I'm down 14.8lbs and have increased my shoulder press from 12 reps at 80 to 12 reps at 130, and my assisted dips went from 10 with 80lbs of help to 10 with 40lbs of help.  So my muscles are definatly building as I drop fat :)
Generally doing more reps with less weight works well for toning.  This will increase your muscle mass and muscles will appear toned and fit once you burn off the fat covering the muscle.  If you want to build up bulky muscles, do fewer reps with more weight.  Also, using the full range of a muscle will lead to a leaner, more toned muscle, while doing a shortened motion will help bulk up.  For example, if you want bulky biceps, in addition to regular curls do 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps where you only extend your elbow to 90 degrees; you will only be moving the weight from hip-level to shoulder-level.  Doing reps in this contracted position will create short, fat fibers and bulky muscles.
#5  
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Actually, it depends on the effect you want.  If you want bigger muscles, then more weight is the way to go.  If you want the muscles you have to have better definition and endurance, but not get much bigger, than increase the number of reps but keep the weight the same.
you need to do both upper and lower body.

I always like to reccomend bodybuilding.com and t-nation.com

all about lifing! They can awnser your question best over there.
its going to be near impossible for you to build muscle and cut weight.
 The way your muscles grow, the lenght and attachement points are determined by your genes, not the way you train.

 Doing partial reps in a partial range of motion leads to partial results - though some variations in rep tempo, ROM and other training variables can be beneficial for the advanced trainee with 2+ training years behind them, there's no point to it for a beginner. Just stick to the basics and doing your reps with good form, and concentrate on becoming stronger - fiddly detail work you can do when you have some fiddly details to work with :)

 That said, you do control the actual size of your muscles to some extent by the way you train - doing high-rep low-weight lifting while in a calorie deficit is a good way to lose strength, size and definition as your body tends to want to get rid of metabolically expensive muscle tissue while in a calorie deficit. To counter this you need to provide a strong metabolic stimulus by lifting heavy weights - your body will only hang on to muscle that's actually neccessary on a regular basis, and you don't need a lot of muscle to do high-rep sets, you just need a well-developed aerobic energy system.

 Building muscle in a calorie deficit is close to impossible for anyone but a raw beginner or people with very exeptional metabolisms - generally the best you can do is to hang on to what you've got. Which requires heavy weights for fewer reps - 8-12 is a good range to aim for.

 Once you get down to your goal weight, you can reasess your physique goals and determine how you can best go about getting there - for now though, you should concentrate on hanging on to the muscle mass you've got by lifting heavy, controlling your diet to lose fat without losing weight so fast you're burning muscle, and generally losing fat in a sustainable manner.
Original Post by ricen:

you need to do both upper and lower body.

I always like to reccomend bodybuilding.com and t-nation.com

all about lifing! They can awnser your question best over there.

 I do, I'm not getting defensive here.  But I did state that I do, do leg excersizes, but that is just to keep things where they are there.  Since my leg muscles are all ready rather strong.

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