Which is better to build strength, more repetitions or more weight? Which is better to lose weight? There’s a lot of discussion about these choices and a growing body of science to inform lifters about the best practices for their own program.
In truth, you can build muscle, lose fat, and improve fitness with almost any rep range, but some ranges are more optimal to your goals. Let’s look more closely.
More Weight Makes You Stronger
Low repetition with heavy weight increases strength, and high reps with lower weight increases endurance. This is related to muscle types: Low reps activate fast-twitch muscle fibers, more powerful fibers that fatigue quickly. High reps develop slow-twitch muscle fibers, which are endurance-based.
The more weight you lift, the stronger you become. You will build muscle and get stronger with more reps rather than more weight—but not as quickly, and not as strong as you will with with more weight.
Build Endurance with More Reps
Experienced lifters sometimes do a program with more reps fora different training adaptation. More reps trains muscles for better endurance. But adding reps can increase fatigue. Especially for inexperienced lifters, this can result in incorrect form—and injuries.
It’s easy for a set of 10-15 reps to get sloppy. When learning new exercises, it’s especially important to keep the number of reps low so your attention is always on form and you aren’t distracted by boredom or fatigue.
Weight Loss is Highest with Medium Reps
Lifting in multiple rep ranges helps stimulate a maximum number of muscle fibers to help burn fat and improve fitness. Change up your workout: Do some exercises with heavy weight and less than 6 reps, some with more than 15 reps, and mostly 6-14 reps.
Even Older People Can Lift Heavy Weight
Heart and lung patients will want to get a doctor’s advice before lifting, but most older people benefit from improving strength and endurance. With heavier weight, you get great muscle stimulation with less chance of injury due to fatigue.
Design Your Program with the Heaviest Weight You Can Lift
A correctly designed program starts with a weight you can lift. Heavier weight is added as you become stronger. It’s not dangerous to lift a weight you’re able to lift. Go up on weight gradually and enjoy getting stronger.
King Chiropractic Can Help Improve Your Performance
Any fitness program can result in injury, and lifting is no exception. King Chiropractic is here to help you recover from injury quickly and ease pain and inflammation. We help improve your performance so you heal faster, improve stability, and increase your range of motion.
Call King Chiropractic today at (910) 777-7228 for help with any part of your lifting program.