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  1. Cullion is offline
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    Everybody was Kung Fu fighting

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    Posted On:
    7/23/2007 4:21pm

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     Style: Tai Chi

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The lighter the weight, the less recovery time your muscles need between sets. So, generally speaking, one can utilize shorter rest periods when lifting light than lifting heavy. Of course, everything varies from person to person. I've read of body builders that lift hella heavy and still have, like, 30 seconds rest between sets. However, I know that for myself, if I'm lifting a weight that keeps me in the 6 rep range, I have to rest longer between sets to stay at 6 reps (i.e. recover for the next set) than I do to stay at 15 reps with a lighter weight.
    I see. I haven't tried this experiment because I rarely lift above the 8-rep range.
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  2. Matt W. is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/23/2007 4:35pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I much prefer lifting heavy. Unfortunately I haven't had access to a decent weight room since I got out of prison (*grin*). So I mostly do a lot of low weight high rep stuff now because I'm doing either bodyweight stuff and have access to only about 80lbs of weights.

    Which brings up another interesting point. It is possible to still build muscle mass with high reps. That's another thing that goes against some of the "common wisdom" surrounding low weight - high rep.
  3. Cullion is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/23/2007 4:46pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    As I understand it the charts which show the effects of different rep ranges are talking about the optimum range. There is cross-over effect between different ranges.

    Although most of the 'muscle growth' you get above 8 reps is supposedly sarcoplasm rather than muscle fibre (which is apparently why some highly-developed looking bodybuilders aren't as strong as they look).

    Besides, there's a lot you can do with just bodyweight. I'd consider myself damn strong if I could do 5 reps either side of 1-handed chins, or 10 handstand pushups, or ten clean ass-to-ground pistols either side.

    The only thing I can think of that I'd have to have a barbell for would be deadlifting. I can't think how I would replicate the load on those muscles with just bodyweight.
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  4. Matt W. is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/23/2007 4:51pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    *nods* I miss deadlifting.

    "Sarcoplasm"?
  5. Cullion is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/23/2007 5:18pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcoplasm

    Basically bodybuilders often get their muscles looking big and firm by increasing the fuel storing jelly in each muscle fibre. This because they tend to do higher reps and less weight (8-12 range). People who have made their muscles look big by just developing sarcoplasm from doing more reps with lighter weights are the origin of the 'bodybuilders aren't as strong as they look' idea (although not all bodybuilders train like this).

    Raw maximal strength and power work with high weight and low reps tends to work on the nervous system (teaching it to recruit more fibres in a movement and contract them with tension) and to induce hypertophy by thickening the myofibril strands.

    They're the strands which do the actual contracting.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myofibril
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  6. Bang! is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/23/2007 5:20pm

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    There are some ranges that are theoretically best for different goals, but -- assuming that nutrition is in place -- the only way to know for sure is to do them. Every body is different.

    For hypertrophy, time under tension does seem to work well for most people, so there are some high-rep schemes that could potentially be effective. You'd have to be smart about rest periods, pre-exhaustion and all that other jazz, though.

    Light weights can potentially make you big. However, like Cullion said, the type of strength developed is going to be markedly less impressive than from heavier weights. I personally don't know much about the physiology of increasing intra-cellular fluid, but from the perspective of your CNS (beyond peripheral strengthening), you're not going to rise far above the weights you're pushing.
  7. Teh El Macho is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/23/2007 5:29pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    For the record, I spent most of the last 14 years lifting in the 9-12 range, being timid to play with anything heavier than 6RM... big mistake. You make gains, but after a few years, you plateau and you gradually become weaker and weaker.

    As RM said, people react differently to different workouts, and whatever strenght gains one makes when lifting lightly, they are not as great as the ones obtained with heavier loads.

    Slow-mo reps, or sets with 9-12 reps are great at the beginning (or when mixed with heavier sets). But by themselves, they really can ruin your gains (strenght/size) over time.
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  8. Cullion is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/23/2007 5:30pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I don't think for even for strength/function it's healthy to do low reps high weight all the time. I start to feel a bit burned out if I try to do it for more than a month 2-3 times a week. I think there comes a time to work on reps.

    Maybe my body just needs time to build up that fuel storing tissue to support the new thicker fibres or something and give my nervous system a bit of a rest.

    I haven't studied this more complex 'waving of load' or 'periodisation' stuff yet. Is that basically what it's aimed at ?
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  9. Bang! is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/23/2007 5:41pm

    supporting memberBullshido Newbie
     Style: Wu Style TCC + BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Periodization has very little to do with high-rep, low-weight schemes outside of increasing lactic threshold and maybe power. However, de-loading is an essential component and anyone lifting hard -- regardless of intensity -- is going to need to rest. You have to listen to your body about stuff like that.

    Wave loading is another can of worms.
  10. Matt W. is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/23/2007 5:47pm

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     Style: Judo, TKD BB

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Mixing it up is definitely essential. I find I can plateau after doing anything the same for too long. Not to mention that it helps you stay in the game mentally.
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