What’s More Important: Reps or Weight?

There are two common questions people ask while training. They are ‘How many reps should I do?’ and ‘How much weight should I lift?’. What’s the difference between them and what should you choose? Let’s check.

Training for muscle size

If you’re aiming for muscle size, choose a weight at which you achieve muscle failure after 8-12 reps. Simply said, after your warm up sets you should select a load with which you can complete at least 8 reps but not more than 12.
It means if you can do only 6-7 reps, the weight you’ve chosen is too heavy. On the contrary, if you can do more than 12 reps, but simply stop at 12, the weight is too light. You should do a true which means that you fail within the target rep range of 8-12.

Choosing the right load for your muscle-building goal effectively targets the fast-twitch muscle fibers. They are more prone to growing bigger and stronger in response to resistance training. But these fibers fatigue fairly quickly. That’s why you can’t lift a very heavy weight too many times.

Training for muscle endurance

Aerobic exercises are of low-intensity training because oxygen plays a key role in energy or production. It allows you to maintain your activity level for a longer period of time. This energy process occurs primarily in slow-twitch muscle fibers. Thus performing low-intensity, high reps training builds up the mechanisms within the muscle cell that make it more aerobically efficient.

This type of training increases the muscle’s endurance without necessarily increasing the size of the muscle. If you want to focus on muscle endurance you should choose fairly light weights that can be done for 15-20 reps or more.

My muscles respond to heavy weight quickly. That’s why I prefer high reps training without heavy weight. This helps me to keep muscle tonus and health itself.

Can I try all of the ways at the same time?

If you want to achieve all of these goals at the same time, it would be harder for you, because every body type is different. The more goals you have for your body, the more complex the program you should have. So you’d better understand what you really want from your body and work out a program that will be the most suitable for you.

Which plan should I stick to right now?

Keep in mind your physical training.

If you just start your workouts or decide to gain muscles for the first time in your life, you should probably do lighter weights and a moderate amount of reps. Remember that muscle gain is a systematic process and your body needs constant training. Every workout you do is focused on your health, above all.

If you have enough gym experience and your main goal is to gain muscles, you should gradually add weights (don’t forget to take enough protein).

If you want to have a lean and toned body, you can add new exercises and cut down the rest time between sets.

The worst thing you can do while training is limit yourself to a specific rep range and just one type of exercise. If you want your body make progress, you should give it a new stimulus every few months. Interchanging between high weight and high reps and also different exercises ensures that your body is constantly adapting and growing but you muscles don’t stagnate.

What about rest periods between exercises?

It can be 45, 60 or 90 seconds. But let’s remember that we are all different and our physical features are also different. Thus we all have different recovery time, muscle gain speed, strength, etc. Your main task is to choose the most appropriate time for you depending on your goal. If you want to gain muscles, rest for 60-90 seconds. For losing weight, avoid long-lasting rest. Just rest as little as possible. You always should go by your feelings. If you can’t do 2-3 reps after rest, it means that you’ve rested little.

My best recommendation for you would be consulting with a trainer about workouts and nutrition to achieve your goals, especially if you are a newbie in the gym. And a good option for those who likes doing everything on their own is to download my HitFit App where you can find a plenty of workouts and meals programs that suit any taste. You can also track your activity, water intake and weight there. Don’t forget to record your daily progress to stay motivated.

Wish you the best of luck in building your perfect and healthy body!