HIGH REPS PRODUCE LONGER LASTING MUSCLE!
If you do strength training with heavy weights, you build up more muscle than if you work out with moderate weights. But if you stop doing weight training, your body breaks down the muscle you built up with heavy weights more quickly. Sports scientists at Democritus University of Thrace in Greece discovered this when they did experiments with twenty elderly people with an average age of 65. Ageing and muscle decline go hand in hand. Weight training helps, but elderly people are more often ill than young people, and therefore train less than younger people. So older people do well with a training schedule that means as little decline as possible during periods when they are unable to train. The researchers were curious as to whether the number of reps makes a difference. Ten elderly subjects tr ained for twelv e weeks at 80 percent of their 1RM [HI]. Another ten trained during the same period at 60 percent of their 1RM [MI]. Imagine that on the bench press you can manage just one rep at one hundred kilograms. That’s your 1RM. Eighty percent of that is eighty kilograms; sixty percent is sixty kilograms, and so on. After the training period the subjects then did nothing for twelve weeks. In technical terms, sports scientists call this detraining. Then the researchers looked at the amount of muscle strength and muscle mass the test subjects managed to retain. The results showed that the HI group showed more progress during the training period, but that they lost more strength during the detraining period. Muscles built up from higher reps last longer when training stops! What can we learn from this study? If you want to hold onto more muscle mass you are better training in accordance to your goals with standard rep ranges and not focusing on 1RM. Also maintaining joint integrity should be important especially as we reach mid life. We not only want to look great but also have 100% mobility!