If you diligently follow the recommendations outlined in this article, you will be amazed at the pace at which your body increases muscle size and strength. If you have been at a plateau and thought adding muscle was no longer possible, then rejoice in the knowledge that you have an arsenal of weapons at your disposal that can allow you to naturally maximize your muscle building physiology. More...
By dotFIT experts
on October 10, 2008
The athlete’s goal is to have their stomachs relatively empty while energy stores are full at the start of training or competition. Following a specific eating pattern can maximize the storage and production of energy. By properly loading your energy systems (phosphocreatine and glycogen) that are rapidly depleted during exercise, you can delay fatigue and optimize performance during activity. More...

Is it better to lift a higher weight to a point of muscle exhaustion or more reps at a lesser weight?

Is it better to lift a higher weight to a point of muscle exhaustion or more reps at a lesser weight?

Answer: That would depend upon your goal. If fat loss is the primary goal then it’s a simple formula: the more work you perform, the more calories you will burn – the work being a combination of time and intensity.

Example: if you weight train for 30 minutes, rest only long enough to quickly get to the next exercise and go to failure each time you perform a set. Following this format you will have burned the greatest amount of calories possible from a 30 minute resistance training session, including the increase in your post-workout calorie burn (exercise-induced post-oxygen consumption [EPOC]).
Therefore, in this scenario, it doesn't matter how many reps you perform in a set or how much weight you use because you are constantly moving and maximizing your calorie burn per unit of time.

If your goal is to build muscle, your training requires continuous unaccustomed workouts and a weight and repetition scheme that provides sufficient time under tension. This is best accomplished with moderate reps of 6-12 and weight that allows that to occur (typically 75-85% of maximum). In addition, maximum muscle growth ultimately requires a higher volume of work than general fitness or moderate size increases. For a beginner or one interested in general fitness, three sets of per body part done three times a week is fine; however, as one continues to push muscle growth, total volume per muscle may be 6-12 sets done 1-2 times a week. Also, calories must be sufficient to allow muscle size increases and will need to increase as lean body mass (LBM) increases.

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