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Strength & Size - Reps & Weights

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    Strength & Size - Reps & Weights

    I've come across discussions on hi weight low reps vs low weight hi reps, and learned that we need to do both of them with the reason that they target different muscle types available in our bodies, thus by doing both of them we can improve all muscle types, thus achieving optimal training.

    But I've also read elsewhere that hi weight low reps scheme produces strength and not size/mass, while low weight hi reps scheme produces size/mass and not strength. I am not sure whether this is because of the different muscle types addressed, any explanation?

    If above is true, does this mean if my main goal is to gain mass then I should concentrate more on doing low weights with more reps in my exercises? In fact, why should I cycle to the other scheme if I'm not that interested in becoming very strong? Or is mass so related to strength that eventually I have to work on strength as well if I want to continue gaining mass, thus like it or not I have to revert to hi weight low reps as well to gain more mass?

    - Josh

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    You've got it mixed up. When you do High reps low weight, your going for more strength and cut then size. Low reps, high weight yields more muscle mass and bulk.
    Just Shut Up and LIFT.

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    Hm..that's not what I read, or at least understand. I read that volume training aims to increasing size while increase in strength is not optimal; reverse, HIT style training aims to increasing strength while increase in size is not optimal. Now I interpreted volume training as high reps low weight, and HIT training as high weight low reps. Maybe my interpretation is not correct? Or maybe my reference is wrong?

    - Josh

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    According to the ACSM, optimal rep range for gaining musular strength is anywhere from 3-9 repetitions. How many works best can depend on a number of factors. As for size, generally when a muscle increases in strength the fibers in the muscle grow (hypertrophy) and this causes the increase in size. Lower weight and higher reps actually builds muscular endurance.

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    My own experience and reading suggests medium weight, medium reps of 8-15 per set. Medium reps put more emphasis on the muscle tissue vs. a greater emphasis/strain on ligaments, tendons and joints using higher weight. Medium resistance combines well with medium/high reps to create the best synergy and intensity on the tissue itself rather than on the ligaments, tendons and joints as experienced with heavy weights, which also translates to higher chances of injury. Medium and higher reps make injury unlikely if prefaced by a couple of warmup sets, and create a superior burn and pump in the tissue itself.

    You'll end up plenty strong, without much injury risk if resistance is continually increased using medium reps.

    There's some truth that using heavy weights creates a more powerful look, but if you've worked up to serious weight over years with medium reps that your ligaments have aclimated to, you'll have the same effect IMO. As far as using heavy weights for low reps for variety in workouts from time to time, it would help a little but to me the injury potential outweighs the marginal benefits, unless you're one of those who never seems to get injured.
    Last edited by pumpchaser; 08-13-2004 at 10:58 AM.

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    Generally low rep (1-5) are used to produce the greatest increase in strength which is usually accompanied by an increase in mass.
    Medium reps 6-12 are most often used for gains in mass.
    12-30 reps are more of a "toning" type workout in general. High reps are also used to achieve a pump and sometimes in cutting routines.
    "I don't like small cars or real big women, but somehow I always find myself in 'em" - KR

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    Quote Originally Posted by SJ69
    Generally low rep (1-5) are used to produce the greatest increase in strength which is usually accompanied by an increase in mass.
    Medium reps 6-12 are most often used for gains in mass.
    12-30 reps are more of a "toning" type workout in general. High reps are also used to achieve a pump and sometimes in cutting routines.
    ooooooohhhh.....You said the Dirty "T" Word, I am telling

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    Goodness, folks.

    There are 3 methods to gaining strength:

    1. Maximal Effort Method. Lifting, obviously, as much weight as you can. If you don't train heavy, you don't get strong.
    2. Dynamic Effort Method. Lifting low weights as FAST as possible. This isn't even done for reps. You do low reps (1-3) with very submaximal weights, but you lift the weight FAST.
    3. Repetitive Method. Lifting submaximal weights for reps. This doesn't mean loading 20% of your 1RM and doing 20 reps. This means working within the guidelines of something like Prilepin's Table, where you're working in what is truly between 70-90% of your 1RM.

    Now onto gaining size. SIZE IS DIET. If you don't eat enough, no rep range will make you grow. Likewise, if you eat a TON, you will gain regardless what routine or rep range you're doing.

    So, in conclusion, if you want to grow, eat. If you want to get stronger, train. And train correctly.
    yay.

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    Diet's a huge factor, but you can't simply distill it down to 3 of your very own favorite theories. Those 3 points are too doctrinaire, and it's best to follow general tenets rather than absolutist dogmas, things aren't that exact. For example, one of the most effective methods is to do max. work in minimum time. However, this doesn't mean only using light weights, not at all.

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    For size, diet is THE factor. If you think you're right and I'm wrong, ask the established bodybuilders on this site.

    As far as strength and my "very own favorite theories" I think you should do your homework before you try to discredit mine. Or you can try to convince me that your knowledge far exceeds that of the following people:

    Dr. Mel Siff
    Yuri Verkoshansky
    Dr. Prilepin
    Dr. Michael Yessis
    Dr. Fred Hatfield

    There are not just 3 random theories I pulled out of the air because they sounded good. These are not even theories. They are based on real evidence that science has proven. The methods have been tested on thousands of athletes. Prilepin's Table, alone, was created after studies done across close to 5000 russian athletes.

    For example, one of the most effective methods is to do max. work in minimum time.
    Effective for what and what basis do you have for this claim?

    Read Supertraining by Dr. Siff. It cites studies and research done by hundreds of the world's most respected and knowledgable people in the area of strength training, including his own works. It will open up your eyes.
    yay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pumpchaser
    For example, one of the most effective methods is to do max. work in minimum time.
    I don't think this is accurate, though I'm not entirely sure. I remember reading a study that indicated push-ups had one of the highest ratios of effort expressed (in terms of work done a second) related to amount of time, but it's typically not considered better than any kind of bar or dumbell press used to work the same muscles.
    "in the howling bleeding nights, the dogs plunge into the Volga and swim desperately to gain the other bank. The nights of Stalingrad are a terror for them. Animals flee this hell; the hardest stones cannot bear it for long; only men endure."

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    Again, you're simply off the mark thanks to your arrogance. Diet's key, that's obvious and was never part of this discourse until you brought it up.

    You can drop theories, 3 key points, all the literature and research that you want, and while there's probably some merit somewhere, but there are many, many useful studies, some of which discredit other, equally viable theories. Sometimes common sense and experience in generous dollops trumps or parallels name dropping and research studies de jour delivered in much the same self righteous fashion used by bible thumpers who bore us with passage after passage in a father knows best fashion. Praise the lord Jimmy!
    Last edited by pumpchaser; 08-13-2004 at 04:49 PM.

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    I think it's safe to say that, given the dissension between "experts" in the field that nobody (anywhere) is even relatively close to knowing exactly what is best. Perhaps we should respect people with differing opinions instead of talking down to them. I think the level of respect between forum users, despite disagreement, is what seperates Ironmagazine from so many others.
    "in the howling bleeding nights, the dogs plunge into the Volga and swim desperately to gain the other bank. The nights of Stalingrad are a terror for them. Animals flee this hell; the hardest stones cannot bear it for long; only men endure."

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    Precisely, that's why i always preface that it's only an opinion; nothing's curved in stone unless you're a preacher or are with Hari Krishna.
    Last edited by pumpchaser; 08-13-2004 at 04:54 PM.

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    It's really not all that complicated.
    Eat hard, lift hard = gains in strength and size.
    Lifting 50% 1RM isn't liftin' hard (sure speed reps esp as in West Side, but you still have to lift heavy)
    Ronnie said it best to paraphrase "Everyone wants to get big, but no one wants to lift heavy ass weights."
    "I don't like small cars or real big women, but somehow I always find myself in 'em" - KR

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