Lifting Reps or Heavy?

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  1. Lifting Reps or Heavy?


    Polling to see whether your body bulk responds better to:

    1) Lighter weights but high reps
    Or
    2) Heavy weights but low reps

    Researching this I find recommendations all over the spectrum.
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  2. I'm good heavy in the 5-6 rep range with a high volume finisher..
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  3. I can't remember the last time I did >5 reps...

  4. everything I usually do is 10+ reps with ~45 second rests. Unless its like squatting or something, than ~3 minutes or so
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  5. In relation to what? Muscle hypertrophy? I wouldn't neglect any rep range if looking for optimal muscular size improvements.
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  6. Your body bulk responds best and is influenced the most, by how much food you are eating, first. (I know guys who never do much more than 3-5 heavy reps. A few are still very thin as they don't eat as much food as a few others I know, who use the same rep schemes and are quite thick & bulky. (of course genes play a role too)
    *Loads at 75%-85% of a 1 RM, for multi sets of around 3-10 rep ranges, shows some of the most promise for muscle hypertrophy. Lower & your gearing for almost pure strength and higher, most likely has you using loads that do not tax enough of the fibers / systems to make the greatest inroads.

  7. Look into PHAT training by Layne Norton. It deals with both realms nicely.
    Always open light. Itís not what you open with, itís what you finish with. Louie Simmons

  8. both, you also didnt ask about total volume. one can do sets of 20 but 5 sets. someone else can do sets of 5 and do 5 sets and are they the same volume? maybe, but the intensity is different. they have to be as volume and intensity is inversely related.

    everyone will gain on both especially if they recently switch to the other setup after spending months on one. i am big believer that a person should have 1 main movement in a workout that they hit hi weight and low reps. then all accessory work done with lower weight and much higher reps and much more volume. i cover both ends that way.
    you can call me "ozzie" for short.

  9. For size, I respond best in the 75% 1rm range for 6-8 reps over 5-6 sets. Every 4 months I work in 6 weeks of GVT to really crush myself. These are my favorite workout ranges, but size is no good without strength, so between each routine, I do 4-6 weeks of heavy sets. Generally 3-5 sets at 3-4 reps- after warmup.

  10. Quote Originally Posted by bolt10 View Post
    In relation to what? Muscle hypertrophy? I wouldn't neglect any rep range if looking for optimal muscular size improvements.
    This. Week 1 i do 6-7, week two: 7-9, week three: 9-11 and week four: 11-15
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  11. My scale weight always goes up when I lift heavy, in the 3-5 rep range. I get noticeably thicker too.

    I typically lift in this range from now through the fall, then switch to higher rep training in the spring and summer where I get much more defined but lose strength and overall size per the scale. Some of this is no doubt due to diet but I do believe that heavy sets illicit more growth for me.

    That said, I've always been a better sprinter than long distance runner too. Could be due to muscle fiber make up and entirely dependent on the individual.

  12. This is a great question. I find myself varying depending on the exercise and the weight I'm using. Its nice to read the thought processes behind what others do and why.
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  13. 8-12 reps....sometimes on the last set i'll go heavy and not worry to much about the amount of reps...but it also depends largely on the movement, i'm not going to do 3-5 reps on a chest press machine or fly machine
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  14. My joints suck and now my tendons and ligaments are giving me trouble. What this means is low rep heavy weight is more or less a thing of the past. Most that have been training for almost 20 years like my self will understand this. 10 reps are now low for me and this is only when everything is clicking and feels good and I am warmed up thoroughly. Otherwise I hang out in the 15-50 rep range. Mind you I built a solid base with years of heavy low rep(4-8) lifting. I think once the base is built you can lighten things up and still get by.
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  15. Going on year 22 here and the sports I play have not been kind to my joints and body. I still have heavy routines, but they are starting to find their way out of the mix because as you mention, I have a very solid base and staying in the higher rep ranges works better for me now.

    My dad is 73 this year and still hits the gym 5 days a week, with focus only on high reps. He is 5' 10", 225 of mass and looks completely ripped. It is actually shocking to see when he is around other men his age. But his routine is like this:

    Chest/arms- bench 5 x 25 @ 135
    incline 5 x 25 @ 135
    curls 5 x 30 @ 95 (barbell)
    pushups to failure
    Legs- squat 5 x 15 @ 225
    leg press 5 x 10 @ 5-6 plates per side
    leg extensions to failure with the stack

    Back- Single arm row 5 x 15 @ 55 db
    bent over 5 x 15 @ 95 bb
    dips to failure

    Then he takes a day off and starts again. He has done this for the last 5 years and seems to really enjoy it because he is no longer limping up the stairs and having shoulder issues from all the heavy lifting.

  16. If you are not used to training in the 15 and up range it is a whole nother level of hard. Pushing past the pain barrier is the only limit. If you can do 15 you more than likely get 20. If you can get 20 you more than likely can get 25 and so on. The burn is intense and the pump insane.
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  17. Most definitely. If people are only used to 3-6 range, then it can be demoralizing for two reasons. You aren't used to loading up lighter weights and you need to reprogram your thinking, and secondly, after the few few sets you can't believe how hard it actually is.

  18. Quote Originally Posted by kenpoengineer View Post
    Polling to see whether your body bulk responds better to:

    1) Lighter weights but high reps
    Or
    2) Heavy weights but low reps

    Researching this I find recommendations all over the spectrum.
    I do wendlers 531 with high reps at the end so I am getting strength and hypertrophy. Works for me.

  19. There is no one answer fits all with this question. We all have genetic differences that effect how are bodies respond to different stimuli. So one person may grow tremendously in the 8-12 range while someone else grows better never doing more than 5 reps. Hell even on the same body different bpdy parts respond better to different rep ranges. My legs will grow like a mofo from really high reps. I also thing how you perform the amount of reps is a huge factor. Some people lift in the 20 rep range and they use light weight. Others lift in the 20 rep range and use weight that is basically max effort in that rep range. Huge difference between someone doing 20 squats with 185 and someone forcing themselves through a grueling 20 reps with 275.

    All in all especially for your specifically Kenpo I would look into a program that works all rep ranges, and hits every facet of conditioning. The level of functionality and muscular development you are looking for you do not have to solely focus on hypertrophy. That being said regardless of rep range as long as you are progressively loading the bar with more resistance in that rep range you are going to grow.

    I have actually been contemplating doing something like starting with a certain weight and working with it for reps and just sticking with the same weight to see how I progress just adding reps. Something like say 205 on bench and BB Rows and maybe 275 on squats and just going for either max reps or going up in weight once I get to 25 reps. I bet there would be a lot of progress both in muscle size and overall strength.
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  20. Quote Originally Posted by MrKleen73 View Post
    There is no one answer fits all with this question. We all have genetic differences that effect how are bodies respond to different stimuli.

    In the end, this is the only answer. There are proven methods and rep/set routines, but does that mean it is ideal for you? No, it simply means that it has been proven to work for a desired effect. One of the things I think that has provided the drive for me in the gym after so many years is the constant experimentation I am conducting in my own mind and body. Not just the basic strength and size goals, but adding in highest endurance, mental state, energy, alpha, lack of joint pain (lol), etc... Once I think I found it, I get bored and start again.

    Try explaining that lunacy to a person that hasn't dedicated as much time as many of us have to lifting weights!

  21. Quote Originally Posted by MrKleen73 View Post
    There is no one answer fits all with this question. We all have genetic differences that effect how are bodies respond to different stimuli.
    really genetic differences? so are you trying to say that the mechanisms behind stimulus and adaptation are different for all homo sapiens?

    or do you mean that the mechanisms behind all homo sapiens are the same but are affected by training age, past training, nutrition, sex, intensity, sleep, and i will go so far as to say belief, in the program. i would think those variables would place a many fold difference between optimal training for varying people. much more so that mice and men (2.5% difference in genetic code).
    you can call me "ozzie" for short.

  22. Quote Originally Posted by asooneyeonig View Post
    really genetic differences? so are you trying to say that the mechanisms behind stimulus and adaptation are different for all homo sapiens?

    or do you mean that the mechanisms behind all homo sapiens are the same but are affected by training age, past training, nutrition, sex, intensity, sleep, and i will go so far as to say belief, in the program. i would think those variables would place a many fold difference between optimal training for varying people. much more so that mice and men (2.5% difference in genetic code).
    No I meant exactly what I said. Genetically predisposed responses to specific stimuli. You and I are genetically similar obviously however you and I do not share the same genetic coding. I could have a higher concentration of Type 1 or Type 2 muscle fibers than you so my response to the exact same stimuli as you would be different. I might have far more androgen receptors in my muscle tissue than you and grow much easier. You could have more active myostatin keeping your muscle from growing as quickly. You may respond much better growthwise to high volume due to having higher higher Type 1 fiber count. I may be naturally very explosive and able to grow very well from very low reps, while you could get stronger in that range and not build much mass.

    Yes all of those factors you mention are also part of the equation but so are your genetics and when you are pointing out optimal training for a person then genetics HAVE to be a consideration. Sure genetically there may only be 2.5% difference between a mouse and a human, but it only takes a fraction of that fraction to make a huge difference in the resulting creature. Just between homo sapiens alone the obvious genetic differences are vast, and can not be argued. To assume the responses to stimuli would not differ greatly among such a diverse group or even not enough to be an important factor would be erroneous.
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  23. Quote Originally Posted by kenpoengineer View Post
    Polling to see whether your body bulk responds better to:

    1) Lighter weights but high reps
    Or
    2) Heavy weights but low reps

    Researching this I find recommendations all over the spectrum.
    Depends. I change it every 8 to 16 weeks. Right now im playing with tempo and I find if I slowly lower the weight and pause at the bottom then explode up I get more out of my workout vs banging out the reps. I do go heavy though. 4 to 8 reps is my sweet spot. Once I get to 10 reps I move up.
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  24. Quote Originally Posted by MrKleen73 View Post
    No I meant exactly what I said. Genetically predisposed responses to specific stimuli. You and I are genetically similar obviously however you and I do not share the same genetic coding. I could have a higher concentration of Type 1 or Type 2 muscle fibers than you so my response to the exact same stimuli as you would be different. I might have far more androgen receptors in my muscle tissue than you and grow much easier. You could have more active myostatin keeping your muscle from growing as quickly. You may respond much better growthwise to high volume due to having higher higher Type 1 fiber count. I may be naturally very explosive and able to grow very well from very low reps, while you could get stronger in that range and not build much mass.

    Yes all of those factors you mention are also part of the equation but so are your genetics and when you are pointing out optimal training for a person then genetics HAVE to be a consideration. Sure genetically there may only be 2.5% difference between a mouse and a human, but it only takes a fraction of that fraction to make a huge difference in the resulting creature. Just between homo sapiens alone the obvious genetic differences are vast, and can not be argued. To assume the responses to stimuli would not differ greatly among such a diverse group or even not enough to be an important factor would be erroneous.
    in other words you do not mean genetic differences. what i mentioned covers the bases for what you think is genetics. we are all homo sapien. therefore we all have the same anatomy. therefore we all the same physiology. therefore we all have the same mechanisms behind muscle stimulus and adaptation.

    a different genetic code while still being homo sapien would be like someone with down syndrome. the mechanisms for a person with down syndrome for muscle stimulus and adaptation are the same. genetics did not alter those mechanisms.
    you can call me "ozzie" for short.

  25. Quote Originally Posted by asooneyeonig View Post
    in other words you do not mean genetic differences. what i mentioned covers the bases for what you think is genetics. we are all homo sapien. therefore we all have the same anatomy. therefore we all the same physiology. therefore we all have the same mechanisms behind muscle stimulus and adaptation.

    a different genetic code while still being homo sapien would be like someone with down syndrome. the mechanisms for a person with down syndrome for muscle stimulus and adaptation are the same. genetics did not alter those mechanisms.
    So being blonde or brunette, or the color of a persons skin has nothing to do with genes? What about the Origin and Insertion points of muscle is that not genetically controlled either? It definitely has a major effect on strength due to leverage. What about the color of someones skin? Is that not genetically decided? I mean we all know that melanin / pigmentation of the skin happens to protect it from the damaging sun rays. Yet no matter how long you put a white man in the dessert he will never become as dark as a black man exposed to the same situation. He will get darker but he is not genetically programmed to have as much melanin as a black man. Basically genetic differences within the homo sapeins classification causing different varying degrees of results to the same stimuli based on a genetic trait / difference.

    You realize you are trying to really over simplify genetics. Certainly the structure of the double helix is common for all homo sapiens but the genes in each position of that helix determine the traits expressed and there are a plethora of traits to express with in the homo sapiens classification. These traits are "genetic differences" you can not possibly look at something with so many possible genetic trait variations and think each and every one of these will respond the same to external stimulus. I am not saying you do not have an understanding but your comment here is simply incorrect as far as genetics not having any part in the results a person gets from training. I agree with you that all the other factors you mentioned have an effect on how efficient a type of training is for you. However I completely disagree with your statement that there are not genetic factors to consider. Some people have naturally higher or lower insulin resistance making them more or less carb tolerant, thins of that nature which are passed down genetically when you look at most people family history. Some people have higher type 2 fibers naturally and grow better at lower reps. Others have higher type 1 fibers and it takes higher reps to really tax them for growth. All kinds of factors both external and genetic to take into account.
    Live Hard, Laugh Hard, Love Hard and Heal Fast! - KLEEN
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    http://anabolicminds.com/forum/workout-logs/276206-kleen-strong-body.html
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