HIGHER REP­E­TI­TIONS FOR BUILD­ING MUS­CLE MASS

Australian Natural Bodz - - Train Smart -

If you do weight train­ing to build mus­cle mass, you may as well use weights that you can do 30 reps with in­stead of weights that you can only man­age 10 reps with, Amer­i­can sports sci­en­tist Brad Schoen­feld dis­cov­ered. But if your aim is strength gain, high reps re­sis­tance train­ing is less suit­able. Study Schoen­feld did an ex­per­i­ment with 18 young men, who had been do­ing weight train­ing on av­er­age for over three years. Schoen­feld di­vided the men into two groups, all of whom did a full body work­out three times a week for eight weeks. The sub­jects did seven ba­sic ex­er­cises: bench-press, mil­i­tary-press, lat-pull­down, ca­ble-row, squat, leg-press and leg-ex­ten­sion. They did to-fail­ure sets. Half of the sub­jects trained us­ing weights that were 70-80 per­cent of the weight at which they could just man­age 1 rep [1RM]. Their sets con­sisted of 8-12 reps. [High load] The other half of the sub­jects trained us­ing weights that were 30-50 per­cent of the weight at which they could just man­age 1 rep. Their sets con­sisted of 25-35 reps. [Low load] Re­sults At the end of the eight weeks both groups had gained the same amount of mus­cle mass. Ap­par­ently for mus­cle mass it makes no dif­fer­ence whether you train with rel­a­tively heavy or light weights. The weight with which the sub­jects could just man­age 1 rep [1RM] in­creased by more in the High load group than in the Low load group. The in­crease in 1RM for the bench press in the Low load group was not even sta­tis­ti­cally sig­nif­i­cant. But by the end of the ex­per­i­ment the sub­jects in the Low load group were able to per­form more reps when they did bench presses with 50 per­cent of their 1RM. The study showed that the to­tal num­ber of kilo­grams that the sub­jects in the High load group were able to shift in a to-fail­ure set with 50 per­cent of their 1RM ac­tu­ally de­creased a tiny amount – but not sig­nif­i­cantly. Con­clu­sion “Low-load train­ing can be an ef­fec­tive method to in­crease mus­cle hy­per­tro­phy of the ex­trem­i­ties in well-trained men”, Schoen­feld con­cluded. “The gains in mus­cle size from low-load train­ing were equal to that achieved with train­ing in a rep­e­ti­tion range nor­mally rec­om­mended for max­i­miz­ing mus­cle hy­per­tro­phy.” Yet again science re­flect­ing the truth be­hind what ac­tu­ally works when it comes to build­ing mus­cle mass. You don’t need heavy weights to build mus­cle, and can eas­ily avoid in­jury by fol­low­ing a more mod­er­ate lift­ing pro­gram, with less rest be­tween sets. Ref­er­ence: J Strength Cond Res. 2015 Apr 3.

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