High reps beneficial or a waste of time?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by bank5, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. bank5

    bank5 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Messages:
    360
    I've heard both sides: that doing reps of 20 helps build endurance and also that it's not worth doing more than 12 reps.

    Are there any professionals in the strength training field that have info on this? Or are there any websites out there with professional studies?

    I just did a high rep workout and it kicked my butt. I think sticking to this workout will help my endurance on the court but wanted to read up on it. I wonder what Nadal does.
     
    #1
  2. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    5,997
    I heard the same thing, and don't know which is correct. I also hear that some people spend too much time working out and are wasting time getting nothing from the extra time spent. In sylvester stallone's book, he says he regrets how many hours of his life were wasted working out because he didn't know any better, when describing his countless hours of training for getting in shape for Rocky III.
     
    #2
  3. dave333

    dave333 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,018
    HIgh reps, low weight=leaner look, more endurance, less overall strength
    low reps (8-15), higher weight=bulkier, more muscle, less endurance

    Thats what I've heard.

    I read in a men's health magazine that its best to do 8-15 reps, 2-4 sets. Beyond that supposedly doesn't have as much benefit to strength and muscle size.
     
    #3
  4. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Messages:
    4,274
    Location:
    1.d4
    Lift heavy, be strong.
    Most of you guys are not genetically endowed either as bodybuilders or as tennis players, so as a lifestyle choice stronger is better for everyone, IMHO. If you lift heavy you will not put on much muscle if you are also doing cardio and tennis. I'm about 10% body fat. I'm 6', 174 right now. Yes, I could be very lithe at 160 lbs and maybe move a little faster, but I'd rather be strong and avoid injuries.

    I lift 3-4 days per week, do two days of longish cardio, two days of very short cardio, plus tennis about 3-5 days per week. With so much cardio I cannot put on huge amounts of muscle. I was once 232 lbs at about 8% bodyfat in my 30's, but those days are long gone as all I did then was lift.

    -Robert
     
    #4
  5. K-LEG

    K-LEG Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    237
    Okay...???!!!???
     
    #5
  6. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    5,997
    I spent my high school and early college days lifting tons and trying to bulk up. I couldn't get bigger than 200 lbs and came to the conclusion that most of the big guys in the gym are probalby on steroids or other crap, which I don't want to mess with. I ended up giving up that and went for more cardio fitness, so now I have less muscle but more endurance.
     
    #6
  7. Spector

    Spector New User

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Messages:
    92
    Very high reps (>18 ) with short rests will be good for endurance.

    High reps (8-16) with short rests will be good for hypertrophy.

    Low reps (3-5) with long rests will be good for stength training. The long rest period for strength training is to let the PCr system recover.

    NB: Those reps ranges are just rough guides for each type of training.
     
    #7
  8. Ano

    Ano Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    1,572
    Location:
    Jakarta, Indonesia

    What is your main training goal? Endurance, strength or muscle size?

    If your main training goal is endurance, high rep training is beneficial.

    If you want to build muscle size and strength/power, you need to do low rep training.

    Having said that, I love low rep training.

    It’s a myth that high reps training will burn fat.

    Most trainees are obsessed with "dieting" and love the color pink. As a result, they love to perform endless repetitions with those 8 pound pink dumbbells every chance they get, thinking that this will elicit more fat loss. Couldn't be further from the truth.

    Low(er) rep training increases the sensitivity of various motor units resulting in increased neurogenic tone. On the other hand, myogenic tone is correlated with the overall density of your muscles (specifically the contractile proteins myosin and actin) and is vastly improved by lifting heavier weights.

    Myogenic tone refers to your muscle tone at rest; neurogenic tone refers to muscle tone that's expressed when muscular contractions occur.
     
    #8
  9. bank5

    bank5 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Messages:
    360
    My main goal right now is to build endurance for tennis and really define my muscles. I like taking big cuts at the ball but it also can tire me out during long points especially in 90+ degree heat.

    I lifted for football for eight years so my bench press and other power lifts are pretty good. My football days are over though so I figure why not train for tennis. I'll probably try a high rep work out for 4 weeks and see where that takes me. Any suggestions on workouts would be great.
     
    #9
  10. DustinW

    DustinW Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Messages:
    690
    Location:
    USA
    Try switching back and forth... it will keep your muscles guessing. Typically I go 3 weeks with high reps (12-15 each set), and then 2 weeks with low reps (4-8)... all with the same workout. Then repeat the cycle again for a total of 10 weeks, and then switch my workout around and do it again.
     
    #10
  11. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Messages:
    4,274
    Location:
    1.d4
    www.charlespoliquin.com
    www.bodybuildingrevealed.com

    -Robert
     
    #11
  12. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,305
    It's not so much about the # of reps, but whether you're getting a burn. 12-20 reps is a rough guideline, but really the end is to get the burn. Or specifically, to push your "anaerobic/lactate threshhold".

    In that regard, it's more beneficial to work within a proper program designed to push AT in your muscle groups. This kind of training is brutal, but it builds endurance very quickly. It has many long term health benefits, not least of which is that it helps to build tendon and ligament strength, so that you avoid injuries oncourt.

    These programs are tuned to fat loss, but their primary function is as endurance programs. Also, they generally need to be scaled down to what is practical for the normal trainee.

    Charles Poliquin -- German Body Composition
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ryanm18.htm
    http://www.t-nation.com/findArticle.do?article=body_72cp

    Don Alessi -- Meltdown Training
    http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459809

    Charles Staley -- Escalated Density Training

    Crossfit training programs are also designed with pushing anaerobic/lactate threshhold as well.
    http://www.crossfit.com/
     
    #12
  13. bank5

    bank5 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Messages:
    360
    Cool this looks really good. I'm going to try it but without the recommended tempo (1 second positive, 4 second negative at 60% of my max weight).
     
    #13
  14. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,305
    Poliquin's very specific about his tempo count, BUT generally you want to go slower on the positive stroke. This helps to build fatigue in the area. In other words, whatever makes the rep more tiring.

    It's brutal stuff BTW. Most people feel nausea after their first go, so be very conservative. Also, avoid training to failure. If you can't finish a set (or if you feel that you're about 2-3 reps from a full stop) as prescribed, don't worry about it. Just finish it prematurely and then do another work set. This is the wrong program to do that type of stuff.
     
    #14
  15. richw76

    richw76 Rookie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Messages:
    358
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Yeah that tempo is right on. Thinking back I usually did about a 1-2 second up, 3-4 seconds down. Any faster up or down and you are probably using Leverage to move the weight and not your muscles. You are also probably bouncing the weight at the bottom, also not using the muscle.

    Throwing one or two "cheat" reps with a spotter is cool but not on every set. Maybe last rep or two of last set. If you can't finish any sets without "cheats" you are probably lifting to heavy and you're gonna injure yourself.
     
    #15
  16. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,305
    The key thing with this form of training is that, unlike true strength schemes like 5x5, it's more about total volume and overall "density" (i.e. how much work output you can fit in a short amount of time) than lifting heavier or with more intensity. I don't think Poliquin did a good enough job underlining this crucial distinction when he introduced his German training systems, which is why you saw so many people burn out on GVT and GBC.

    But basically the ultimate idea is density: you got X work output (reps * sets) in Y amount of time. To improve endurance, you try to increase density (X / Y) over a program's lifetime. That may mean increasing the # of sets without significantly increasing workout time, slowing the rep tempo, increasing the # of reps per set, or shortening your rest periods.

    All these system handle density differently. But as long as you increase density, you improve your anaerobic endurance for that muscle.
     
    #16
  17. r2473

    r2473 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,966
    I would listen to this guy (and ANO). They seem to know what they are saying.

    Holy sh*t. Were you really 232 with 8% bodyfat?
     
    #17
  18. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,305
    And keep in mind that Chess9's well into his silver years.

    I heard Chess9 was arm wrestling Chuck Norris and almost won. But he accidentally brushed against Chuck's beard, which cut his forearm open, and he almost bled to death from it.
     
    #18
  19. dave333

    dave333 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,018
    ^^^^ Lmao!

    Man, chuck norris jokes never get old.
     
    #19

Share This Page