Episode 160 – Which is better? Increase your gym weights VS more reps.
“I don’t want to get big and bulky”
“I only want to tone up and improve my shape”
“I want to keep lean”
Do any of these resonate with you?
If they do, that’s fine, most people in the masses would think this as well and instead of increasing their weight they would just keep the weight the same and increase the reps.
So, given these mainstream thoughts, today’s question is interesting because it challenges this conventional “truth.”
What is the truth?
Well, reality is different.
Muscle is constantly breaking down and you are aging – ie. your hormone levels are reducing as you read this – sorry!
So in reality you’ll never get too big and bulky – especially natural females for they don’t have the testosterone (and other muscle building hormone) levels of men – and because you’re constantly needing to keep up with the rising tide of aging and muscle breakdown. If you do get any instant of short term gains, it’s probably because of fluid retention or short term adaptations – so ladies never fear (and sorry to burst your bubble gents)!
Read on below.
What is the best way forward?
When you do weights, you’re basically doing it for strength and for muscle building purposes – and the best way to do that is to increase your weights as your lifting – because that’s what you want to do, you want to build muscle, you want to build strength. You want to build the fascia (ligaments, connective tissue and tendons, etc) system and bones to make them stronger!
You want to constantly challenge your body to adapt.
These purposes have a range of benefits of course and will keep you healthy and to be honest, keep you from fading away (ie. being too skinny, or skinny fat, too weak and fragile, feeble looking, etc.). Now if you’re doing it using reps only – meaning you’ll keep the same weights – you’re pretty much gonna plateau and – to be honest you’re probably wasting your time as well.
Well, you’re not really challenging your body.
So, always aim to increase your weights.
Side Note: reps do play an important role in exercise programming dynamics but to address a mainstream point of view of “losing weight and keeping toned,” aim for muscle building through increasing weights first.
Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
Chris Everingham lives and breathes health & fitness.
Chris Everingham lives and breathes health & fitness. International Athlete, Elite Performance Manager for the Philippine Volcanoes rugby teams, qualified Dietitian / Nutritionist and qualified educator. Chris Everingham combines more than 10 years of experience and education together to deliver the best strategies to grow your mindset, rewire your habits and transform your life.