How Many Reps Should You Do?
Low reps (3-5) with heavier resistance builds strength, increase muscle density and muscle tone. This is myofibril hypertrophy, an increase in the muscle fiber number and size. More fiber equals more strength. More muscle also means faster fat burning, the proverbial “fat burning furnace” and “melt away fat while you sleep”. This type of resistance training is what woman should be doing if they’re worried about bulking up, even so, they don’t have the testosterone that men do so bulking is difficult to begin with.
Moderate reps (6-12) with moderate resistance yields some strength and larger muscles, but the strength will not be relative to the muscle size. This is sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, an increase in the fluid and other stuff between the muscle fibers. This makes larger fluffy bloated muscles, but does little for strength. Not a good choice for athletes or occupations requiring physical strength. Basically, it’s muscle for posers, “fake” muscle or useless bodybuilder muscle. Nice to look at, but nothing between the ears.
Catch Me If You Can
High reps (12+) with lower resistance is used mostly for building muscle endurance like runners, but it does little to nothing for muscle tone or strength.
That’s working out only one specific muscle. Good to use to strengthen a weak muscle that may be limiting your athletic performance, but not a good way for overall body training because it can lead to a chaotic mess like big biceps and skinny legs. This is also the type of exercise used by bodybuilders to make a particular muscle larger.
Exercises that incorporate more than one muscle group at a time. You’ll burn more fat and muscles will have more coordination and capable of moving and functioning better as a whole unit.
Metabolism and Fat Burning
Building just one pound of lean muscle will speed up your resting metabolism. That’s how many calories your body burns just to sustain life, that is, no movement, just breathing. Each one pound gain of new muscle will burn about 40-50 calories that wasn’t going on before. Gain 20 pounds of muscle and you’ll burn 800-1000 calories. Each pound of fat has 3500 calories. You do the math. Like I said, fat burning furnace.
To read more about fat burning, read The Fastest Way To Lose Weight.
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- Why High Intensity Interval Training Is Better Than Steady State Cardiovascular Training
- Are You Over Training?