Repititions versus weight

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    Dec 03, 2009 6:22 AM GMT
    I am 40+, tall and rather slim and working for good defnfition, some light muscle build, but an over all lean fit look. Not looking to bulk up too much. I am mixing cardio with weights. When I train weights what are the relative advantages of high number of reps versus more weight?
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Dec 03, 2009 1:25 PM GMT
    In my opinion SG, I think more reps at lesser weight will define/tone your body. If you are looking for muscle growth try higher weights less reps lift to failure.

    Good luck.

    mike3
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    Dec 03, 2009 10:51 PM GMT
    Yep more reps, less weight = lean muscle (ex: marathon runners)
    More weight, less reps= More Mass (ex: Sprinters)
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    Dec 03, 2009 11:07 PM GMT
    Not quite that simple. Has to do with the combination of muscle fiber types in the genetics you possess. Typically, higher reps with lower weight leads to more tone; less reps with more weight leads to strength gains. Somewhere in between, you hit the magic formula for muscle hypertrophy (where the muscle actually grows)—and even that's dependent on your diet, stress levels and hormones. You need strength to lift the weight, so you've got to lift heavy. You want to have the endurance to have muscle quality, so you need to lift lighter weight to tone and shape. You've just got to lift the weight in general and EAT to get big.

    Don't want to bulk up? Don't eat like a heavy weight body builder.
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    Dec 03, 2009 11:35 PM GMT
    Xian_Buffed saidNot quite that simple. Has to do with the combination of muscle fiber types in the genetics you possess. Typically, higher reps with lower weight leads to more tone; less reps with more weight leads to strength gains. Somewhere in between, you hit the magic formula for muscle hypertrophy (where the muscle actually grows)—and even that's dependent on your diet, stress levels and hormones. You need strength to lift the weight, so you've got to lift heavy. You want to have the endurance to have muscle quality, so you need to lift lighter weight to tone and shape. You've just got to lift the weight in general and EAT to get big.

    Don't want to bulk up? Don't eat like a heavy weight body builder.


    WTF Chris! why do you have to make everything so complicated????
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    Dec 03, 2009 11:57 PM GMT
    hapakun saidYep more reps, less weight = lean muscle (ex: marathon runners)
    More weight, less reps= More Mass (ex: Sprinters)


    Actually, that's not true. There are two kinds of muscular hypertrophy, and you would do well to study about both. myofibrillated hypertrophy isn't size, but is dense muscle like you'd see in a power lifter. sacroplasmic hypertrophy is more about endurance, and what you'll see in competitive bodybuilder. They are EXTREMELY fit as well as STRONG at that level.

    More specific to size is calories. If you eat more than you expend, you'll get bigger. If you don't, you'll get smaller.

    Note that cyclists have HUGE legs, and, yet, so do football players. Note that your examples are flawed. Yet,....powerlifters often have lean, but small, legs. You gave some bad advice.

    Sacroplasmic hypertrophy is about calories and load type. Many power lifters don't have it, but, are very strong, and do low rep work. Bodybuilders have more variance in their training that's not so sports and strength specified.

    I'm afraid you need to study up on this a bit.

    If a person doesn't eat enough, they won't get big. That's how it works. Eating is most of the game.

    Xian_buff was right to correct you. He's correct.
  • TexanMan82

    Posts: 893

    Dec 04, 2009 12:49 AM GMT
    And what does "tone" even mean? You're either building muscle, or you're not.
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    Dec 04, 2009 3:29 AM GMT
    I'm a bit lost. Not sure where some people are getting the high reps/low weight from to get toned.

    Getting toned requires building muscle mass and maintaining a low body fat percentage so that those muscles are truly visible to the naked eye. Switching between reps/weight is good to 'trick' your muscles into further growth, so that they do not get use to the same workout and resist growth.

    Simply doing high reps/low weight all the time isn't going to make you magically get toned. It involves other things such as eating right to put on muscle mass, and doing cardio to get rid of fat that covers the muscle that you gain from eating.

    So to swede guy, you WILL have to 'bulk up' per se, but do cardio to burn off fat. THAT will give you the toned look. You need to find the perfect balance of nutrition, weight, reps and cardio that caters to your body.
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    Dec 04, 2009 3:42 AM GMT
    I.e. "the meat has to come first." (You gotta' be a real boy.)
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    Dec 04, 2009 10:03 PM GMT
    chuckystud said
    hapakun saidYep more reps, less weight = lean muscle (ex: marathon runners)
    More weight, less reps= More Mass (ex: Sprinters)


    Actually, that's not true. There are two kinds of muscular hypertrophy, and you would do well to study about both. myofibrillated hypertrophy isn't size, but is dense muscle like you'd see in a power lifter. sacroplasmic hypertrophy is more about endurance, and what you'll see in competitive bodybuilder. They are EXTREMELY fit as well as STRONG at that level.

    More specific to size is calories. If you eat more than you expend, you'll get bigger. If you don't, you'll get smaller.

    Note that cyclists have HUGE legs, and, yet, so do football players. Note that your examples are flawed. Yet,....powerlifters often have lean, but small, legs. You gave some bad advice.

    Sacroplasmic hypertrophy is about calories and load type. Many power lifters don't have it, but, are very strong, and do low rep work. Bodybuilders have more variance in their training that's not so sports and strength specified.

    I'm afraid you need to study up on this a bit.

    If a person doesn't eat enough, they won't get big. That's how it works. Eating is most of the game.

    Xian_buff was right to correct you. He's correct.


    I stand corrected in my own shame.... But, I have yet to see a cyclist with football player legs. I live in san diego and we have tons of cyclists and they always have very lean ripped legs. And watching the world strongest men competition, those guys are all power lifters and they have massive legs.
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    Dec 04, 2009 10:07 PM GMT
    SwedeGuy saidI am 40+, tall and rather slim and working for good defnfition, some light muscle build, but an over all lean fit look. Not looking to bulk up too much. I am mixing cardio with weights. When I train weights what are the relative advantages of high number of reps versus more weight?


    To be honest, I would read it first from a credible source because your going to get lots of different opinions here and most won't credit their source because of lot of it is here-say.

    For example I didn't pull my example of the sprinter and long-distance runner out of my ass, I remember reading it in a article somewhere but I couldn't tell you were.

    But one thing that every source I have read is that what and how you eat will effect your outcome tremendously.
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    Dec 04, 2009 10:19 PM GMT
    I've had a lot of success using heavy weight and high reps... my strength has increased, and my lean muscle mass has increased without having to deal with a bulky look. Try it.
  • ShagonTheHate

    Posts: 135

    Dec 04, 2009 10:34 PM GMT
    TexanMan82 saidAnd what does "tone" even mean? You're either building muscle, or you're not.


    Exactlyicon_rolleyes.gif.
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    Dec 05, 2009 4:51 AM GMT
    track cyclists, i.e. sprinters, tend to have massive legs, the red fast twitch fiber type if i recall.
    road racers often seem to have big legs but often it's just that they contrast so much to the rest of their meager lanky body. When you see them for real, their legs aren't that big, but extremely defined. The popping veins are amazing with a minimal fat rate.
    They don't look like tree trunks.
    I'm generalizing of course, there's a whole range of body types out there.

    top racers are like steel, but look fragile at the same time.

    anyway,
    i have no expertise about building mass or whatever. I was just adding to the cyclist statement.

    /edit

    btw, how do you use heavy weights and do high reps.
    They both sound mutually exclusive.
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    Dec 05, 2009 5:46 AM GMT
    xassantex saidtrack cyclists, i.e. sprinters, tend to have massive legs, the red fast twitch fiber type if i recall.


    Just to avoid confusion: fast twitch muscles (Type IIa and IIb - those relying primarily upon the phosphagen or glycolytic energy systems) are considered "white" muscles. slow twitch muscles (generally postural or repeat-action muscles) are the "red" muscles because they have 1) higher capillary density to supply those muscles with necessary amounts of oxygen and 2) greater levels of the red-pigmented molecule myoglobin which is the muscle's oxygen-storage space you could say.

    And to the original poster: listen to what two previous posters had to say about hypertrophy and low body fat - these are the real keys to the so-called "toned" look. If you don't want to bulk up, limit you caloric intake and, at whatever degree of musculature you are happy with, quit training for hypertrophy. This is a good point at which you can start training more functionally i.e. for strength or endurance gains. Good of you to check rather than hitting the gym mindlessly. Better if you seek your information from a peer-edited or scholarly source ; ) Good Luck!