What's better...one more rep, or more weight?

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    What's better...one more rep, or more weight?


    So lets say I normally do 3 sets of 8 reps of a particular exercise. Lets say after the second set I am feeling particularly strong that day. Is it better for me to up my weight just a bit for my next set, or squeeze out an extra rep or two at my normal weight? Why?

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    It depends on what you are after. If its muscle mass you are after, then add weight. If you are after definition then go for more reps.

    And i always do 4 sets, 8-12 reps.

    If you go for a higher weight and you are struggling after say 4 reps, pick up the next weight down and finish off your set.

    Hope that gives you a few ideas.
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    Read up on progression. You should be "progressing" in some way every workout, whether by increasing reps, weight, sets, intensity, or decreasing rest time. How you progress depends on your routine and current goals, and if you're not progressing, you're either not lifting hard enough, your workout is not proper, or some other part of your life is inadequate (diet, sleep, stress, etc.)

    If you're doing just 3x8, I'll wager you're fairly new to lifting and would recommend progressing with both added weight and added reps intermittently. I.e. one workout you could do say squats with 3x8 for 135lbs. Next workout, do 3x8 for 140lbs. Next workout shoot for 140lbs for 3x9.

    Or, better yet, focus for a month on getting your reps up from 8 to 12 per set. If you hit 12 for all three sets before the end of the month, up the weight so that you can only do 8 reps comfortably and start over. At the end of the month, switch up your routine and try 5x5 or 4x6 or some other rep scheme that your body is not used to and focus on strictly increasing weight each workout.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Resolve View Post
    Read up on progression. You should be "progressing" in some way every workout, whether by increasing reps, weight, sets, intensity, or decreasing rest time. How you progress depends on your routine and current goals, and if you're not progressing, you're either not lifting hard enough, your workout is not proper, or some other part of your life is inadequate (diet, sleep, stress, etc.)

    If you're doing just 3x8, I'll wager you're fairly new to lifting and would recommend progressing with both added weight and added reps intermittently. I.e. one workout you could do say squats with 3x8 for 135lbs. Next workout, do 3x8 for 140lbs. Next workout shoot for 140lbs for 3x9.

    Or, better yet, focus for a month on getting your reps up from 8 to 12 per set. If you hit 12 for all three sets before the end of the month, up the weight so that you can only do 8 reps comfortably and start over. At the end of the month, switch up your routine and try 5x5 or 4x6 or some other rep scheme that your body is not used to and focus on strictly increasing weight each workout.
    I have been lifting for about 15 years...not new at all. I don't do 3x8, I was just using that as an example that would be easy to explain.

    Personally, my progress is SLOW...and come in spurts. I try to keep my body fat in check, so I know I could grow faster if I consumed more calories. I am more than happy with the way I look though, and hope to have pics up in a few days that I just had taken this weekend.

    I posted the question more just for discussion to see what other people would do. Personally...I would add weight for my last heavy working set. Then for my last set I cut the weight in half of my last working set with no rest and do a STRICT form set of 12 to 15 reps to finish up.
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    Good for you! And my apologies, I did not mean to condescend in any way, I was trying to help!

    Progress is always slow, but it should be something you can shoot for. I too try very hard to keep my bodyfat down, but that does not prevent me from gaining lean mass with proper eating, lifting, rest and supplementation.
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    i like going up in weight personally - its a better way to track gains. instead of saying i got two more reps, i'd rather say i went up by 5 pounds.

    what works for me is doing sets of 6-10 reps. once i get up to 10 reps, i add 5 pounds to the movement and drop to 6 reps. next workout i try for 7 or 8 reps, etc until i get back to 10 reps, then add more weight.

    this way i can add reps and weight every week or two.
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    Quote Originally Posted by suncloud View Post
    i like going up in weight personally - its a better way to track gains. instead of saying i got two more reps, i'd rather say i went up by 5 pounds.

    what works for me is doing sets of 6-10 reps. once i get up to 10 reps, i add 5 pounds to the movement and drop to 6 reps. next workout i try for 7 or 8 reps, etc until i get back to 10 reps, then add more weight.

    this way i can add reps and weight every week or two.
    That is a good concept. right now i actually am doing 3x8 but that is a great idea, next workout ill try adding weight and dropping it to 6 then see if i can get to 8/10.
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    REPS...i'd rather bulid my strength through endurance so i get the best of both worlds! if you rep out 225 for 10 and get 12 in a few weeks chances are you max went up to. unless i am feeling froggy i usually only use a weight that i can get 10 reps for and that on a strength lifting day. when i am focusing on contractions i go for 14-18 (warmups can be upwards of 25). every 6 weeks or so i''ll train in the 6-8 range on heavy pressing movements, i.e chest, shoulders, and squats, but still follow up with some good'ol punishment through volume! there is method to my madness as thes probably made no sense!
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    Quote Originally Posted by suncloud View Post
    i like going up in weight personally - its a better way to track gains. instead of saying i got two more reps, i'd rather say i went up by 5 pounds.

    what works for me is doing sets of 6-10 reps. once i get up to 10 reps, i add 5 pounds to the movement and drop to 6 reps. next workout i try for 7 or 8 reps, etc until i get back to 10 reps, then add more weight.

    this way i can add reps and weight every week or two.
    Pretty much what I recommended too, though your wording is somewhat clearer.
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