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How many reps..how many sets?

Discussion in 'Female Health & Fitness' started by Danielle, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. Danielle

    Danielle Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone!

    I am always wondering whether to do LESS weight/more reps or MORE weight/Less reps and as for sets...I do 3 either way. What in heck is the "RIGHT" way? :confused: I still have some fat left, 10-15lbs or so, but it's the leg toning and lean muscle that I am looking for!

    What's everyone doing? What's everyone's take on this?

    Thanks a bunch,
    Danielle
     
  2. HobbesAB

    HobbesAB Well-Known Member

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    I would recommnd more weight/less reps simply because its what has worked for my wife to build muscle. She did 6-8 reps meaning she loaded enough weight to get 6 reps. She then tries to go to 7 on her next workout and then 8 on the one after that. Once she reaches 8 reps, she bumps the weight up until she can only do 6 reps again. Progresion is the key component whether its reps or weights.

    By the way, 3 sets is fine

    Also, you don't need to worry about becoming too muscular - you don't have enough testosterone for that to happen.
     
  3. woeisemma

    woeisemma Well-Known Member

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    I lift the Body For Life way. 12 reps 50%, 10 reps 60% 8 reps 70% 6 reps 90-100% or failure. It has worked for me..I can curl 60 lbs for 5 reps. QUOTE=Danielle]Hi everyone!

    I am always wondering whether to do LESS weight/more reps or MORE weight/Less reps and as for sets...I do 3 either way. What in heck is the "RIGHT" way? :confused: I still have some fat left, 10-15lbs or so, but it's the leg toning and lean muscle that I am looking for!

    What's everyone doing? What's everyone's take on this?

    Thanks a bunch,
    Danielle[/QUOTE]
     
  4. Chim-Chim

    Chim-Chim Well-Known Member

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    I follow the same routine as your wife and it works really well. I have made a huge improvement on my strength and I feel like I am constantly upgrading to heavier weights, which is what I wanted. :claphigh:
     
  5. guava

    guava Elite Member
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    What HobbesAB said makes the most sense to me.

    I think either workout style is probably fine. But why lift 12 reps of a weight, when you could do the same work in nearly half the time lifting 6 reps of a heavier weight?

    I think maybe I'll change what I'm doing now.
     
  6. FionaMaeve

    FionaMaeve Well-Known Member

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    I may change my workout as well. I've been pyramiding, but I'd like it if I could make my workouts more efficient.
     
  7. JeremyLikness

    JeremyLikness Well-Known Member

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    There is no superior method to sets and reps. Each has their own valid range. This is often confusing because there is a continuum of reps. For example, traditionally speaking, lower reps is more of a strength workout, moderate reps is more a workout for size/hypertrophy, and higher reps is more for local muscle endurance. However, all are important. For example, gaining muscle size can become limited if you don't train that muscle mass to be used efficiently (i.e. train with lower reps for strength). On the other hand, if you exclusively train with heavier weights, while you will possibly burn more calories during your workouts, you may not achieve as many size gains, and it is size gains that lead to a permanent, higher metabolism (muscle requires a lot of calories to maintain, even when you rest) and also produces more fat-burning enzymes and organelles. So pyramids or going through periods of working various sets/reps is the best way to cover the broad spectrum of possibilities.

    Keep in mind, too, that it is more important to consider the amount of time your muscle is under tension/contracted than the actual sets. In other words, doing 6 reps but taking 3 seconds per reps is similar to performing 9 reps but taking 1.5 seconds per rep. So sometimes while people say "12 reps is ideal for muscle gains" you might be fine doing 24 reps provided you are doing them more quickly.

    Jeremy
     
  8. Melissa Dennis

    Melissa Dennis Well-Known Member

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    Hey ladies (or anyone),
    I want to tighten and tone, but will a woman's legs actually get bigger while their getting firmer if you're not doing some cardio to burn fat??? This one always confuses me.

    Melissa
     
  9. JeremyLikness

    JeremyLikness Well-Known Member

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    If you are gaining weight, you can gain a combination of muscle and fat in your legs. If you are losing weight, you should not see a significant increase. There is a lot of psychology involved - I have had a lot of female clients tell me they were too bulky and muscular and that they wanted to stop training legs because they were getting too big, etc. When we actually took measurements and skinfolds, this was not the case. A beginner to training might gain a little muscle at first, but if your goal is fat loss and you are successfully dropping weight, no amount of training should cause significant increase in size in your legs. Instead, the fat will reduce and the detail will start to show.

    Jeremy
     
  10. Danielle

    Danielle Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much for all your feedback everyone. Jeremy, what you said made particular sense to me because I used to do the pyramid type but I hired a personal trainer and they have me doing drop sets, 12 reps (6 heavy/6 lighter), 3 sets. I wondered why this method, why not 6 at max, or 20 lighter...but I guess it is to shake things up a bit. She told me that because I had been doing the pyramid type for 8 mos, it was time for a a change. I had always changed the weights, etc to heavier as I was getting stronger, and changed exercises too, but she meant overall routine. I guess that's a good thing. Now, she has me working one body part/and it's opposite once a week but harder (3 types of exercise to hit all areas of the muscle). Just being a "rookie" and not really having any idea, I just wondered why the difference. I just figued if I can spend less time at the gym and have a more efficient workout, that would be great!

    Thanks again for your help,
    Danielle
     

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