Re-Thinking High Rep Training

Who says you can’t build muscle with high rep training? Scientists have found that low-load, high volume training caused a greater time under tension, power, force, work output and total volume than a workout involving high loads and low volume. Many other recent studies have shown that protein synthesis is greatest in response to light loads and high volume. Experts are starting to understand that maximizing time under tension may be one of the best way to make muscles grow. You can read up more on one of these studies here:

This doesn’t mean you should ditch the heavy, low-rep HIT style training immediately. Low rep ranges (5-8) are still the best way to increase strength, which you can then build off of for hypertrophy. The message here is to stop thinking in terms of high reps/lighter weight being strictly for “toning” and low reps/heavy weights are for building size.

The real key factor to consider when it comes to weight training and building muscle is intensity – taking sets to failure and whether or not you’re subjecting your muscles to something they couldn’t lift before – setting a new PB. I’m hoping studies like this will help to clarify the popular myth as well as to help people to understand why I incorporate higher rep training as one phase in my training cycles.I like to train people based on science, not bro-science.

If you still have doubts, I invite you to come out to train with me during one of my 25-rep, glycogen training days and tell me how you feel the next day.

Low-Load High Volume Resistance Exercise Stimulates Muscle Protein Synthesis More Than High-Load Low Volume Resistance Exercise in Young Men

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