How many reps should I do?
This is quite a heated discussion for most people in the gym, some have it right and some have it horribly wrong due to bad information. However it’s quite simple.
It all depends on what your goals have, however there are some basic rules no matter what your goal. At all times you need to be in control of lifting the weight, this means no jerky movements as this can cause serious injury. You should control the speed at which you do the reps. A good rule is to do the negative rep at half the speed you do the positive rep.
What is a negative and a positive rep you ask? A negative rep is when you lower the weight or the eccentric rep as it is called. Positive reps are when you lift the weight or push it up and are called concentric reps. Studies have been done and it has been discovered that negative reps cause more micro muscle tears in the muscle so it’s best to concentrate on the negative motion. If we take an exercise for example as bench pressing the negative rep would be to lower the weight to your chest and the positive rep would be to press it back up, with a bicep curl the positive rep would be to bring the weight to your chest and the negative rep to lower it back down parallel to the floor.
How many reps should I do if my goal is to gain muscle & strength?
To build muscle you need to stimulate that muscle and force it to grow. This can only happen when you use really heavy weights and tear the muscles. Thus you should be lifting a weight where you can only manage to do 4-6 reps, if you can do more than 6, the weight is too light, and less than 4 it’s too heavy and you can injure yourself. Doing heavy slow reps is the best exercise to build muscle and strength fast. You should only do about 2-3 sets per exercise using this method with 1-2 minutes rest between each set.
How many reps should I do if my goal is to lose fat and tone my muscles?
Doing higher reps with a lower weight is very good for endurance and toning the muscles. Some people train using this way as it still builds muscles, but at a much slower rate. You should be doing about 10-12 reps in order to tone muscles. The effect you get with this many reps is that you feel your muscles starting to burn and this is due to lactic acid which tones muscles and burns fat. Most people make the mistake of doing reps until they fatigue their muscles moving to lower and lower weights, this does not build muscles it builds endurance.
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