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Unread 10-04-2013, 06:29 AM   #1
Irarenovo
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weight lifting

I hear posts about recommending low reps, high weight.. but can anyone throw out numbers?

I've been trying 3 sets of 10lbs, 8 reps. Should I do 15lb 4rep? Confused :/

Will also take recommendations of routines, new to this, arms/ legs whatever (not spot reducing, just want to up the str stat lol).
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Unread 10-04-2013, 06:38 AM   #2
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Right now I have 10/15/20 lb dumbbells not enough room for anything bigger
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Unread 10-04-2013, 08:03 AM   #3
lemuries
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I tend to give it all during my workouts with my personal trainer, so I get pretty loopy and everything starts to flow together. When I read your post, it made me think of when my personal trainer sometimes has me do something she calls "pyramids." The pyramid I do remember is on a machine I pull down on two separate cords to work my rear delts (I'm not strong there, so my numbers aren't very large).

My pyramid on that machine is:
First set of 15 at 15lb weight.
Second set of 12 at 25lb weight.
Third set of 8 at 30lb weight.

In the first set, I can feel the muscles start to get tired at the 9th rep, am struggling at the 13th rep, and the 15th is a quivery mess. In the third set, I am struggling so hard to get through it that my form is really sloppy, no matter how hard I focus on it.

So when you are looking at high weight, low reps, try for a weight that is REALLY hard for that muscle group. You have to get through the rep, but you have to find the sweet spot between "didn't have to strain to make it to the end of the set" and "not going to make it through the set".

I think the goal is to do reps "to fatigue": where the muscle utterly fails and you cannot physically finish one more rep no matter how much money/fame/love someone offers you.

----

Hopefully someone who uses this technique a lot will offer you better advice than my small experience.

Last edited by lemuries : 10-04-2013 at 08:08 AM. Reason: clarity, spelling
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Unread 10-04-2013, 08:54 AM   #4
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I second pyramids
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Unread 10-04-2013, 10:14 AM   #5
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The low weight high reps thing only increases endurance. If you are looking for your body to get, for a lack of a better word, toned you need to lift heavier weights. They pyramids work really well and I tend to do them with my arm but for the most part I do 3 sets at 8 reps. Pretty much either way you do it by the last rep you want to barely be able to finish, so choose your weight accordingly. Like I can probably do 8 or 9 reps of bicep curls at 20 lbs but probably only 5 or so at 25.

As a woman do not worry about gaining huge muscle. It wont happen no matter how much weight you lift. If anything you will get that "toned" look. One thing media has ruined for women is the word "toned" like in a magazine when you see a model that has muscle definition and they tell you to do workouts without weights to get there you will never reach the same goal. Truth is that model is pretty damn ripped for a woman. Take this model for example http://gymflow100.com/wp-content/upl...g-377x5001.jpg She didn't get this body by just doing body weight squats and lifting 5lb dumbbells. She got it by doing 200+ lb squats and picking up 30 lb dumbbells. Do not be afraid to lift heavy. If that is not the look you are going for, again don't worry. It can take over a year to get there. Somewhere along the way you will find what you are looking for.
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Unread 10-04-2013, 02:17 PM   #6
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High weight and low reps is to gain mass. Are you trying to get bulky? If so, then don't do less than 8 reps. If you're using weights so heavy that you have to set your limit at just 5, then you most likely shouldn't be lifting that much as you can injure yourself or cause longterm muscle/tendon/ligament damage.

To stay lean and just get toned, you'll want to use less weight and increase the amount of reps. Usually stick with the usual 3-sets-of-20-reps rule if you're just using simple weights/exercises like the bench press, military press, bicep/tricep curls (single or double), or the peck deck, among others.

For simple cardio exercises like lunges, squats, crunches, sit-ups, etc, you'll want to try to do a heck of a lot more.

Some general tips, (1) make sure you always stretch out well beforehand. You'll be surprised how less painful/bothersome the next couple days will be after a great workout. (2) Also make sure to always focus on proper breathing. When using weights, always breathe out as you push weights and breathe in as you bring them back. Same thing with cardio and if you're running, just try to maintain your normal rate of breathing. (3) Most of all, start slow. Don't jump up weights or reps dramatically. If you're working out at least 3 times a week, then increase your weight and reps slightly every week to 10 days.
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Unread 10-04-2013, 04:46 PM   #7
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I will try the pyramid idea, but it looks like I was on the right track with 3x8 too. at first I was having a hard-ish time with the 10lb but I think I could probably handle 15

I already walk 2-3 miles per day and stand 8 hrs at work [desk job, but better than sitting imo] so I'm just trying to supplement that with something quick to do at home. maybe adopt one of those cardio/lifting every other day routines.

my immediate goal is to up my endurance and strength for my costume next month, a big bug strapped to my shoulders lol. [also that big bug is taking up a lot of space in its construction, thus my space constraint] I'm not expecting immediate results either, but something is better than nothing~
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Unread 10-04-2013, 05:28 PM   #8
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It all depends on your goals. Generally speaking I have read that 12-15 rep sets are good for endurance 8-10 rep sets are good for muscle building and 3-5 rep sets are good for strength training.

The dumbbell weights you have should be good for your training at least in some exercises. I recommend going to a gym though, where you do not have to worry about whether or not you can go up in weight.
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Unread 10-08-2013, 04:51 AM   #9
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This is a good workout program--I have been lifting since I was 16 (stick to it and eat right) and just completed the first and second part of it (good for changing up workout):

http://www.muscleandstrength.com/wor...g-program.html

Since I did not have all the equipment required in this routine, I substituted similar exercises, but kept the same rep/weight and timing.
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Unread 10-30-2013, 06:00 PM   #10
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low rep/high weights are better for big lifts that utilize major muscle groups (great for squats, leg press, bench, deadlift, etc.).

5 sets of 5 is usually a good parameter to stick to - you should be exhausted; if you aren't you aren't lifting enough.

I would also recommend what is called a max effort set to increase strength:

pick a muscle group you want to improve, then, you will want to do do about 8 sets: 1st set of 8 at 60% of your max rep, then 8 x 65%, 5x70%, 5x75%, 3x80, 3 x85, then 1x90...and 1 more at 95% if you think you have it in you.

BUT you should have a spotter if the equipment you're using doesn't have safety features to prevent you from hurting yourself if you cannot make the final rep.

You should do this once a week for a month, one exercise at a time, then switch to the 5 x 5, and do the max effort set for another exercise (preferably, switching from upper body to lower body each month to play it safe)

Last edited by ty520 : 11-01-2013 at 10:29 AM.
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Unread 10-31-2013, 04:12 PM   #11
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Depends on your goals, the number of reps you do impacts what kind of exercise your muscles get.

Generally speaking 12 to 15 reps is used for endurance and toning. Doing any more than 20 reps is kind of pointless, it is better to only do 12 reps with a heavier weight than it is to do 20 with a light weight.

Next 8 to 10 reps is used for bulking, or so I have heard. I have never really been clear on what that number of reps is supposed to do.

Last 3 to 5 reps will hit strength and power. This will be the common workout you hear most body builders and competitive lifters doing.

Again it all depends on your goals. I have found that there are benefits to each kind of training, but I prefer strength training myself.
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Unread 11-01-2013, 12:50 AM   #12
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I second the 5x5, always worked for me.

Most importantly, don't skip leg day.
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Unread 11-01-2013, 08:01 AM   #13
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An example of a good strength routine would be Stronglifts 5x5 , and of course a lot of people swear by Starting Strength as well, but I don't really think it's worth all the praise. Here's a calculator for your one rep max: http://www.exrx.net/Calculators/OneRepMax.html I recommend that you do something like Stronglifts 5x5 or another beginner program before doing anything else. Something you might wanna add is core work. This will improve your lifts on the long run and it'll also prevent injuries! Perhaps this is listed on certain programs as ''accessory work''. I highly recommend that you do core work!If you want to see other options (with intermediate and advanced stuff as well, for when the time comes) pm me for a spreadsheet with a few programs that have good reviews!
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Unread 11-01-2013, 10:34 AM   #14
ty520
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joethehappydog View Post
An example of a good strength routine would be Stronglifts 5x5 , and of course a lot of people swear by Starting Strength as well, but I don't really think it's worth all the praise. Here's a calculator for your one rep max: http://www.exrx.net/Calculators/OneRepMax.html I recommend that you do something like Stronglifts 5x5 or another beginner program before doing anything else. Something you might wanna add is core work. This will improve your lifts on the long run and it'll also prevent injuries! Perhaps this is listed on certain programs as ''accessory work''. I highly recommend that you do core work!If you want to see other options (with intermediate and advanced stuff as well, for when the time comes) pm me for a spreadsheet with a few programs that have good reviews!
Compound lifts such as deadlift and squat are great for the core, as well as the other target muscles.

I second that core exercises will help everywhere else - shoot for 2-3 times a week for core exercises; I like to do them on cardio day: scissor lifts, planks, leg lifts, bicycles, and standing oblique crunches.

evidence is showing that traditional crunches aren't as good as exercises such as the plank, because a strong core is intended to keep your body upright and straight, not help you curl your back.
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Unread 11-06-2013, 01:42 AM   #15
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Different body parts respond to different number of reps, assuming you're lifting to failure.

In GENERAL:

6-8 reps (or even less) = strength building WITHOUT massive muscle size growth. Think powerlifters who still have some fat on them but can hurl giant beer kegs. Or small toned guys who have great power to weight ratio.

8-12 reps = bodybuilding WITH large muscle size growth. This is what bodybuilders like Arnold trained with. A lot of it is glycogen and "fluff" muscle. So a ripped bodybuilder like Arnold looks like he could lift 600 pounds, but in reality could only lift a "measly" 400 pounds. The powerlifter the same weight as Arnold would be able to lift the 600 pounds, but he would look a lot smaller and less defined than Arnold.

12-16+ reps = endurance. Some folks say this is also for toning, I can't speak to that.

Sports science is kind of an iffy field, but here's an easy to read non-journal source talking about myfibrillar (strength) vs. sarcoplasmic (size) growth and how it relates to reps: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/hale6.htm

It's important to note that in order to grow in size you have to intake surplus calories. If you're not, you actually get smaller but can still get stronger. I know a girl who just liked lifting low reps and high weight but wasn't a big eater. She lost a lot of weight and looked really toned.
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