High Repetitions Versus High Weight

If your goal is strength building, you should lift heavier when building strength than when building muscle mass and stamina. For strength training, we use a combination of high reps and high weights or high and low weights. We will use relatively high loads for each rep in each set and take a long break between sets, about three to five minutes. Sources: 0

Our neuromuscular system responds to heavyweights by increasing our ability to lift heavy loads. To put it better, we do heavy, low rep sets to train our nervous system, use our muscles faster to lift heavy loads, and increase muscle mass. Sources: 0, 4

You have probably also been told that lifting lighter weights for a higher number of reps will help you build more muscle. Exercising to lift heavier weights allows you to lift heavier weights, for example, but conversely, training to lift lighter weights for higher reps allows you to lift lighter weights for more reps. Sources: 4

However, there are many other research findings that show that high reps with lighter weights trigger more muscle growth than high reps with heavier weights, especially in the upper bodySources: 3

In a 2018 study, exercise arms with lighter weights (20 rep maxes) led to an increase in muscle size that was twice as large as those with heavier weights (max. 8 rep). Japanese researchers found that building muscles in the upper body with heavy weights with a maximum of 20 repo leads to more muscle growth than building with light weights. Sources: 3

Training with high reps and light weights resulted in muscle gains that were equivalent to heavy training, but not as large as gains with lighter weights. Sources: 3

In one study, Phillips and his team got a group of men to train their legs with both high and low reps, and they showed very similar increases in muscle mass after both exercises. Author of several studies investigating the effects of high repetitions and light weights on muscle growth in both men and women. Sources: 3

In 2016, the researchers divided athletes into two groups: heavyweight lifters who did high reps and low reps, and middleweight lifters who did moderate reps. At the end of the eight weeks, they found that those who lifted heavier weights for fewer reps had more strength. It also turned out that higher reps for people with low weight increased the amount of muscle mass in their upper and lower bodies. Sources: 5

This research conclusively supports the optimal increase in strength, but even high repetitions can lead to gains in strength, according to the researchers. Sources: 2

A study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham showed that dieters who lifted heavy weights lost more muscle than dieters who exercised only endurance – and weightlifters who lost weight were fatter, while the cardiovascular group lost muscle and fat. Some believe that heavy weight is only good for building muscle, but I recently switched to the former and have seen great results in terms of building muscle. Sources: 2, 6

To accelerate fat loss, low volume and small repetitions are equally effective overall compared to high volume workouts. While you can gain muscle mass with low reps and high reps, a mix of both can be a smart, long-term approach to getting bigger. To maintain muscle through fat loss, relatively low-rep heavy weights are the best choice. Sources: 1

While high reps and light weight fatigue can provoke muscular reactions, they do not remove fat in the same way as low reps or heavy weights. While further studies are needed to compare the effects of high and low body weights on muscle mass and fat loss, evidence is mounting that not necessarily the amount of weight you use, but the number of reps helps burn the most fat. So if you have a low weight as the only way to get really strong, or if your primary goal is to increase your 1-Rep maximum, you will benefit from incorporating moderate to high Rep sets into your workout. Sources: 1, 2

The goal is to create muscle failure with fewer rest breaks between exercises, so you have a better chance of seeing the afterburn effect. In addition to fat loss, proper nutrition has an even greater impact on muscle mass and body weight loss than high repetitions. Sources: 2

The goal is to create muscle failure with fewer rest breaks between exercises, so the exercise can have a greater impact on muscle mass and weight loss than high reps. Although further studies are needed to compare the effects of high and low weight on body fat loss, evidence is mounting that it is not necessarily the amount of weight used, but the number of reps, that contributes to burning the most fat. Although high reps and less weight fatigue can cause a muscular response, they do not remove fat in the same way as low reps or high weight.