BIG vs small
weights question what is the difference between using small weights for lots of reps or using big weights for small reps?
im trying to improve the strength of my arm muscles would big weights or small wieghts be more benifitial?
From what I've learned, BIG weights with a low number of reps is mainly to build Muscular Strength. This is burst lifting, and is usually for football players. The set weight is about 60-80% of the highest weight you can lift once. Every time you start progression, raise your set weight by 3-10% depending on the weight.
Small weights with many reps is for Muscular Endurance. This is how long you can hang in there, and at the same time, pretty good for strength. You can't have muscular strength without good muscular endurance as a base. Endurance is for wrestlers or any other sports that require you to be at optimum performance all the time. Boxing and other MA's would greatly benefit from endurance as well.
So basically, build up your endurance with small weights and more reps first, then gradually increase the weights (but keep the reps the same) to build progression. But different sports require different kind of training. So for your arms, go endurance first, then hit em up with muscular strength.
You can balance the weight set and reps together to benefit both strength and endurance, just use mild weight/mild no. of reps.
Personally though, I don't like weight lifting that much. I just do around 50 pushups every day without stopping. After I did that the first time, I was dead sore for two weeks, unable to even lift my arms to pick up my backpack. But after I recovered, I tried it again and again, to the point where I couldn't even feel soreness after 60 pushups. Today, my triceps bulge like hell and I can do around 70 push ups without stopping (hurts like hell though). All in 2 months. I went from 105 pounds to 133 in just six months with push up training.,
Last edited by Vik; 10/15/2005 9:11am at .
Originally Posted by Vik
I disagree with you sir. Your logic seems sound, but it is not. Heavy weightlifting is not just for football players, and "endurance" lifting, if such a thing exists, is mainly for pussies. There, I said it. There are a shitton of threads out there on compound lifts (you know, the ones where you use more than one muscle and it doesn't involve a machine that consists of more than two bars). Look those up, get good form down, and throw away your "endurance" lifting theory. Sure, you might be able to do 2.2 million pushups, but when you have a 200lb. gorilla on your chest pinning you down, you'll wish you'd done some benchpresses. :eatbabies
fair point, but I didn't say it's good to be exclusive to endurance lifting. I said 'usually' for football players, I didn't say it's the only thing. The best way to get the most out of lifting is to implement BOTH strength and endurance. I not only do push ups and other endurance lifts but also do heavy lifts like 300+ leg presses, 200+ squats and some benching. I basically suck at strength lifting since I weigh so little, but I'm working on it nowadays.
Originally Posted by oldman_withers
From p. 131 of the Nov 2005 issue of Men's Health, by their main fitness consultant Michael Mejia, C.S.C.S.:
Myth: The age-old advice: Do 8-12 repetitions.
The Claim: It's the optimal repetition range for building muscle.
The origin: In 1954, Ian MacQueen, M.D., an English surgeon and competitive bodybuilder, published a scientific paper where he recommended a moderately high number of repetitions for muscle growth.
The truth: This approach paces muscles under a medium amount of tensions for a medium amount of time, making it both effective for AND detrimental to maximum weight gains.
A quick science lesson: Higher tension - aka "heavier weights" - induces the type of muscle growth in which the muscle fibers grow larger, leading to the best gains in strength. Longer tension time, on the other hand, boosts muscle size by increasing the energy-producing structures around the fibers, improving muscular endurance. The classic prescription of 8-12 reps strikes a balance between the two. But by using that scheme all the time, you miss out on the greater tension levels that come with heavier weights and fewer repetitions, and the longer tension time achieved with lighter weights and higher repetitions.
The new standard: Vary your repetition range - adjusting the weights accordingly - so that you stimulate every type of muscle growth. Ty thism ethod for a month, performing 3 full body sessions a week: Do 5 reps per set in your first workout, 10 reps per set in your 2nd workout, and 15 reps per set in your 3rd workout.
(also listed in this section is why "3 sets per lift" isn't necessarily the best guideline, and why doing 3-4 lifts per muscle can be counterproductive)
During lifting, high weights is the way to go (but not so high that you have to sacrfice form, of course). For endurance training I like bodyweight workouts off www.trainforstrength.com. But my first priority is explosive power, and when I'm in the gym, I need to use my limited time for that.
That's probably the best information I've ever read from Men's Health although they are just barely catching up to what competitive lifters and bodybuilders have known for years.
Originally Posted by samurai_steve
Lifting 70-90% of your 1RM will increase your muscle strength the fastest.
For muscular endurance, isometric lifts would be the way to go but it's very time consuming and only improves your endurance and strength at the angle of your static lift. I always do 3 positions 45 degrees apart.
Normal endurance work (high reps) illicits a cardiac response to work in combination with your muscles towards improving your endurance. Personally I feel that one set of 3-4x10-15 per muscle group 1-2 times a week is enough. Leave the 4 exercises per muscle group to the people taking steroids.
Originally Posted by Vik
This whole thing is just utterly wrong and needs to be scrapped.
I do strictly power lifting, and I did 78 pushups in a minute on my last PT exam. If you call 200+ squats or 300+ leg presses heavy then you need to be kicked. Endurance is a facet of muscular strength, not the other way around. Pushups suck, progressive resistance is needed for strength gains.
It doesn't improve either the strength or endurace at that particular point, but at the particular activity as the CNS adapts to the specific activity. Why in the hell are you doing iso's anyway? Are you a bodybuilder?
Originally Posted by Honor
It's not a cardiac response, it's a metabolic response. The 3-4x10-15 is for reason specifically? You referring to "endurance" lifting? I sometimes do 4 different lifts per area, but I do single sets and break them up between the areas. Such as I'll do a 20x2 for the day and split that up into four compound lifts.
Well the rocket was set to liftoff and then blew up on the launchpad.
Originally Posted by SavetheWhalesSteve
The varying intensity and volume is great, but full body sessions serve no purpose except to overtrain and illicit a sarcoplasmic hypertrophy response. And varying your lifts too quickly (per day in some scenarios) won't serve to provoke the CNS to a specific response for one's specific goal, IE it's a time waster. No one ever needs over 10 repetitions for any reason at all (Ronnie excluded.) More sets, less reptitions. My lifting program for example is predominately focused on maximal strength increase with a lesser focus upon hypertrophy and speed strength.
Read some pubmed. It can be difficult to locate the right articles but they are there. If you truly want to learn you'll take the time to comb through them like I did. I value actual recent scientific journals conducted by actual scientists over the opinions of random internet people. Obviously there are elite coaches who know what they are talking about but anything they claim can be backed up or disproven through science.
Originally Posted by AkiraMusashi
The data in the studies I've read show that endurance lifting elicits a cardiac response. I'm not discounting your statement. There is no reason that it cannot do both and I may have even heard that before. I'll look into it on my own before confidently saying "you're wrong."