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Add more weights, or do more repetitions?


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I'm curious. Once you've reached a certain level of manageability in terms of lifting weights, does this signal that you should add weights, or does this mean you should do more of them, but at the same weight level? Or does this depend on your fitness goals (endurance vs strength, or something similar)?

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Thanks, I-Jo. I'm leaning towards MOAR weight myself. :P

 

But I guess the more important question is: should I go for muscular strength or endurance? If I have to gain more muscle mass than lose fat (based on some estimates, I need around 16 lbs of lean mass to gain vs 5 lbs of fat to lose in order to reach ideal weight/body composition), is it more beneficial to go heavy+low rep or not-as-heavy+more reps?

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Depends on what %bf you want to acheive.

 

More reps will strenghten smaller inner muscles and make your muscles leaner. (burns less calories, but develops more endurance and your muscles get leaner)

More weight will strenghten your bigger muscles and make your muscles bigger. (burns more calories, you get bigger and stronger)

 

 

PS. I think that's how it goes.

It's not 80% diet, 20% exercise, it's 100% diet, 100% exercise. Give it your all.

My journey (Date - Total - BF % - LBM)

2012-01-01 - 242 - 35% - 157

2013-12-15 - 172 - 10% - 155

2016-05-01 - 231 - 25% - 173

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How strong are you? If you are happy with where your strength is then adding more reps will make you bigger. If you are still on the quest to be stronger, then you should be trying to add weight every workout.

My training log

Spoiler

 

2016

Hudson Valley Strongman presents Lift for Autism (USS), April 16th Contest report

2015

Hudson Valley Strongman presents Lift for Autism (NAS), April 18th Contest report

Eighth Annual Vis Vires Outdoor Strongman Competition (Unsanctioned), August 1st Contest report

 

"What's the difference between an injury that you train around and an injury that you train through?"

"A trip to the hospital"

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To reach your "ideal body weight composition"  you need to work on cutting.  Making muscles bigger won't change anything if you don't lose body fat. 

 

That being said.... how do you know what your "ideal body composition/weight is" who told this to you?? is it an arbitrary thing?  just a number you grabbed??

 

not being rude- just trying to figure out where you are headed with it :)

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Thanks, I-Jo. I'm leaning towards MOAR weight myself. :tongue:

 

But I guess the more important question is: should I go for muscular strength or endurance? If I have to gain more muscle mass than lose fat (based on some estimates, I need around 16 lbs of lean mass to gain vs 5 lbs of fat to lose in order to reach ideal weight/body composition), is it more beneficial to go heavy+low rep or not-as-heavy+more reps?

The best plans will use both.

currently maintaning

battle log challenges: 16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
follow me: myfitnesspal
don't panic!

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To reach your "ideal body weight composition"  you need to work on cutting.  Making muscles bigger won't change anything if you don't lose body fat. 

 

That being said.... how do you know what your "ideal body composition/weight is" who told this to you?? is it an arbitrary thing?  just a number you grabbed??

 

not being rude- just trying to figure out where you are headed with it :)

 

Hahaha, read it from Steve Kamb's guide, who got it here:  I'm currently 130 lbs with 15% body fat, so *math math compute compute* = 16 lbs muscle mass to gain, 5 lbs fat to lose. :tongue:

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Depends on what %bf you want to acheive.

 

More reps will strenghten smaller inner muscles and make your muscles leaner. (burns less calories, but develops more endurance and your muscles get leaner)

More weight will strenghten your bigger muscles and make your muscles bigger. (burns more calories, you get bigger and stronger)

 

 

PS. I think that's how it goes.

 

Aiming for "bigness," so I guess more weight is the right direction.

 

How strong are you? If you are happy with where your strength is then adding more reps will make you bigger. If you are still on the quest to be stronger, then you should be trying to add weight every workout.

 

Not too strong, I think. :)

 

The best plans will use both.

 

Yeah, I think I read that somewhere. Maybe from Steve Kamb himself. Something about shocking the system so it keeps on guessing.

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My programming has both.

I AM going the distance

 

'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood.

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I've found a lot of people get great results doing higher weight, lower reps with the big compound lifts and then lower weight with higher reps for your supplemental lifts. Just for example a flat bench press for 5 sets of 5 reps followed by tricep pushdowns for 3-4 sets of 15 reps at a light weight.

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If you are weaker than you want to be, check out Starting Strength or Stronglifts 5x5 and start moving some real weight and progressing quickly. The big lifts will do far more than a routine made up of isolation accessory work.

My training log

Spoiler

 

2016

Hudson Valley Strongman presents Lift for Autism (USS), April 16th Contest report

2015

Hudson Valley Strongman presents Lift for Autism (NAS), April 18th Contest report

Eighth Annual Vis Vires Outdoor Strongman Competition (Unsanctioned), August 1st Contest report

 

"What's the difference between an injury that you train around and an injury that you train through?"

"A trip to the hospital"

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I've found a lot of people get great results doing higher weight, lower reps with the big compound lifts and then lower weight with higher reps for your supplemental lifts. Just for example a flat bench press for 5 sets of 5 reps followed by tricep pushdowns for 3-4 sets of 15 reps at a light weight.

 

 

If you are weaker than you want to be, check out Starting Strength or Stronglifts 5x5 and start moving some real weight and progressing quickly. The big lifts will do far more than a routine made up of isolation accessory work.

 

Those sound good. I've been doing 5x5 for at least 2 weeks now, I think. I try to lift heavy as much as I can, and when I'm "resting" between those heavy lifts, I do some cable exercises.

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Leave the cables alone. When it is time to rest, then rest. Cables are for people who just can't get over the discomfort of not being able to sit while they lift. The big lifts are your answer until you are strong enough to be happy.

My training log

Spoiler

 

2016

Hudson Valley Strongman presents Lift for Autism (USS), April 16th Contest report

2015

Hudson Valley Strongman presents Lift for Autism (NAS), April 18th Contest report

Eighth Annual Vis Vires Outdoor Strongman Competition (Unsanctioned), August 1st Contest report

 

"What's the difference between an injury that you train around and an injury that you train through?"

"A trip to the hospital"

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Absolutely what El Exorcisto said.

 

Lift heavy with low reps. Basically the heaviest you can lift for 5 sets of 5 reps and still have just enough juice in the tank for 1, maybe 2 more reps before you break something you need.

 

and yes, sit on your hands and REST between sets. Some folks like to mix in alternative muscle body weight exercise in between sets others like to lift engaging other muscle groups. This is sometimes called SUPER SETTING. It has some extra cardio benefits.

 

 But if you want to just get STRONG, then REST...maybe stretch the muscle group your currently working a little. Just chill and wait for the timer to count down.

 

hope all this helps a touch.

Lift big, eat big, sprint...repeat....

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Leave the cables alone. When it is time to rest, then rest. Cables are for people who just can't get over the discomfort of not being able to sit while they lift. The big lifts are your answer until you are strong enough to be happy.

 

 

Absolutely what El Exorcisto said.

 

Lift heavy with low reps. Basically the heaviest you can lift for 5 sets of 5 reps and still have just enough juice in the tank for 1, maybe 2 more reps before you break something you need.

 

and yes, sit on your hands and REST between sets. Some folks like to mix in alternative muscle body weight exercise in between sets others like to lift engaging other muscle groups. This is sometimes called SUPER SETTING. It has some extra cardio benefits.

 

 But if you want to just get STRONG, then REST...maybe stretch the muscle group your currently working a little. Just chill and wait for the timer to count down.

 

hope all this helps a touch.

 

Thanks for the helpful tips, guys. Tomorrow will be Week 2. I'll let you guys know where it leads.

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While I agree with resting when it's time to rest. ... I don't agree with the cable comment. Cable machines really the only machines worth using really and saying they aren't does people a disservice.

Although yes.. Compound lifts are great

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True story

If I had access to machines the one that I would probably use is the leg extension machine. Quad weakness at near full extension is why I have a hard time fully straightening my legs during things like l-sits and levers, hams drastically overpower the quads at that point in leg movement.

Sent from my RM-820_nam_att_100 using Board Express

currently maintaning

battle log challenges: 16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
follow me: myfitnesspal
don't panic!

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True story If I had access to machines the one that I would probably use is the leg extension machine. Quad weakness at near full extension is why I have a hard time fully straightening my legs during things like l-sits and levers, hams drastically overpower the quads at that point in leg movement.

 

I've been doing a superset on the leg extension machine which is DEATH to my quads, in a good way.

15 reps leaning back with feet flexed.

15 reps leaning forwards with feet pointed.

 

After 4 sets of those, my quads are on fire.  I've found it useful to exhaust them before calf work because then my quads can't help as much, heh. :)

You gotta experiment to find out what works for you.
PM me with any questions about, well, anything! :)
Current challenge: Catspaw Starts Strong

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Waldo and catspaw - good posts.  Too many people spend so much time completely dismissing the idea of any machine work or cable work or whatever.

 

There are so many awesome options out there.

 

I recently used the leg press machine during recovery from knee surgery b/c I wasn't allowed to squat but leg press was a-okay.  Kept me strong w/o sacrificing recovery. 

 

Oh and coach regularly writes programming for me that includes lat pull downs, leg curls, and so on.  A man with that level of experience knows a thing or two.  Machines are not all a waste. 

I AM going the distance

 

'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood.

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Too many people spend so much time completely dismissing the idea of any machine work or cable work or whatever.

 

There are so many awesome options out there.

 

I recently used the leg press machine during recovery from knee surgery b/c I wasn't allowed to squat but leg press was a-okay.  Kept me strong w/o sacrificing recovery. 

 

Oh and coach regularly writes programming for me that includes lat pull downs, leg curls, and so on.  A man with that level of experience knows a thing or two.  Machines are not all a waste. 

I won't dismiss them for isolation, but for pure strength you can't beat compound lifts be they power lifting or Olympic lifting.

 

I do use the cable machine a lot, but it's for isolating an individual muscle group for size and appearance not for strength.

 

As for the leg press, I used to swear by it but I can't stand it now. And it's actually because I have OA in both knees. My doctor said not to do squats and to use the leg press and I did, but it hurt my back (I'm tall and I would roll my back to just get in the machine). I started doing light weight squats moving back up to where I was and my knees did fine.

 

I will make a huge exception for the lat pull down. It makes an almost mirrored movement to the pull up and allows those who can't do a pull up to reap the benefits still.

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I won't dismiss them for isolation, but for pure strength you can't beat compound lifts be they power lifting or Olympic lifting.

 

I do use the cable machine a lot, but it's for isolating an individual muscle group for size and appearance not for strength.

After a while, eventually you will run into a situation where lagging individual muscles drastically impact compound strength progression.

Using my example, some good leg extension progress would probably get me at least a good 15 degrees of elevation in a v-sit (the exercise in my avi). Its subtle, but my legs are bent in that picture, stronger quads at that point in the ROM would be able to overcome the ham tightness to some degree.

currently maintaning

battle log challenges: 16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
follow me: myfitnesspal
don't panic!

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Not only did leg press save my legs during recovery, but there are many awesome other things I'm learning like the importance of shoulder work, how to improve grip strength, and building a bigger back - with dumb bells (and yeah, I can do pull-ups but they aggravate tendonitis).

I AM going the distance

 

'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood.

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They have their time and place.  I am a heavy freeweight user- almost more so than barbell- because I can take them to where I need them and not be locked into one area or another.... but I'll hope on a few machines- they are really useful for dialing in on specific things.

 

"Detailing" as we like to call it.

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