Strength vs. Definition

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 04, 2011 10:01 PM GMT
    I started at the gym a little over 2 years ago to get in shape to pass some tests. I needed to increase my strength training and cardio. So now, the tests are a breeze, my finish times are fantastic and I have increased the amount of weights on my machines by probably double when I first started.

    Since I am so happy and in place with what i wanted to achieve, I would like to try and gain definition without losing what I have. Really I could care less about how I look, I'm in the best shape of my life, can run, have gained self confidence and understand that even though I don't look as chicelled as some of the other guys around, I'm in just as good if not better in some cases physical shape.

    For the strength training I have been doing 3 sets of 8 reps, which is what was recommended, and like I said probably doubled what I could do 2 years ago. From what i see in the gym and understand, doing less weight but more reps in my sets should help me get a more defined look?

    For example these are all 3 sets of 8 at the moment: chest press 160; arm curl 81.5; tricep press thingy 125; and other machines but this is just my example.

    What would you suggest I change the weight, reps, sets to withoutlosing what i have gained but to try and get a better look to me.

    (sorry for "thingy'). And the gut is slowly coming off, can't wait to see whats under that little layer icon_razz.gif Switching the eliptical for the treadmill has made a huge difference and helped my running goals as well.

    Thanks in advance!

    J
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    Jul 04, 2011 10:41 PM GMT
    Hypertrophy (or muscle size growth) is best achieved (based on the most common consensus) by an 8 to 12 rep / 3 to 4 set range at 70 to 85% of your one rep max (1RM or the most amount you can use and complete the full movement of an exercise). For example: if the most weight you can do one complete leg press with is 400lbs, the weight range for hypertrophy (8-12 reps/3-4 sets) would be 280-340 pounds.
    If endurance were your goal, the rep range would be 12-25 reps/1-3 sets at 50-70% 1RM.
    That all being said, for muscle definition to show, your body fat percentage will need to be low. More muscle mass though will increase your Basal metabolic rate thus burning more calories even when your body is at rest.
    I recommend following a split routine that focuses on a different muscle group each day totaling four days a week (for hypertrophy) and two days of moderate cardio for about 20 to 30 minutes (obviously one day left over to rest).
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    Jul 05, 2011 6:21 AM GMT
    3x8 is not strength which is why you lift such low weights after 2 years of weight lifting. Change to lower reps. Don't go above 5 reps.

    However, the heavier you lift the more important technique becomes, though the majority of injuries are still made from lighter weights combined with high volume.
    If you have low BF, the definition you get from strength training shows even when your muscle are relaxed due to CNS keeping the muscles partially flexed. That's a plus!

    You could Google Mark Rippetoe and Paul Tsatsouline for strength workouts.
    Both have books published.
    Mark Rippetoe's program is centered around squats. Paul Tsatsouline's is around deadlifts. Technically squats are much harder to master than deadlifts.

    I hope that helps.
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    Jul 05, 2011 9:20 AM GMT
    Definition... made in kitchen... bla bla.

    Eat what you would go to the greengrocer, butcher, fishmonger, or farmer's market for. Your greengrocer may sell candy and juice but that is not what you would go to a greengrocer for. They may also sell tp - you shouldn't eat that either.
    Do this strictly for 30 days and you will see a difference in definition. Even on you, even though there's not a lot of muscle to define. Start today and you will see a difference by 5th of August. If you need more help details then go here: http://whole9life.com/2011/06/whole-30-v4/ but I don't think you need it.