The Great Debate: High Reps, Low Weight vs. Low Reps, High Weight
Weight and rep combination is one of the most regularly debated topics within the realm of fitness, and it has been for generations.
Luckily, we have the scoop on what makes the most of your workout using either method.
High Weight, Low Rep
High weight combined with low repetitions (1-6 reps) is generally used to build muscle in strength training. Lifting heavier weights with fewer repetitions challenges your muscles to meet the new demands you’ve given your body. As you become acquainted with heavier weight, your muscles grow in response. If you are looking for more exponential gains toward total strength, try utilizing higher weight.
Girls, fear not. Low rep, high weight training won’t make you look manly — It’s actually a high-yield fat burner!
But is higher weight the only way to gain muscle?
Low Weight, High Rep
Lower weight paired with higher reps helps develop stamina within your muscles. As you increase repetitions during your workout, you stimulate your muscles in a different way. Rather than exhausting your muscles in a sprint-like workout, your muscles get worked thoroughly like they would in a marathon.
Fortunately, lifting lower weight for longer periods of time, while keeping good form, effectively builds muscle fiber. Not only does your body become more conditioned, it becomes stronger in the process, too.
The Take Away
To maximize muscle performance, utilize both techniques interchangeably. Try dedicating half of your week to higher weight and the other to higher reps. This way your body will reap the benefits of gaining strength while building the necessary stamina that allows your body to work harder for longer. When you mix these two different methods, you provide healthy diversity to your fitness routine. Keep your muscles guessing and adapting! Doing so will allow you to hurdle plateaus, leave your muscles trembling and make continuous strides toward your fitness goals.
Be well, Auburn.
Photography: Julia B.