Post # 1
M says I shouldn’t increase my weights but my reps because I will build bulky muscle if I increase my weights and not lose weights or tone. The personal trainer says I should increase the weights and do smaller reps. I have seen difference by increasing the weights every week but of course the scale isn’t really moving. The definition is coming though and it’s quite stunning to me lol…
What’s your take? Increase weights or increase reps at a lower rate?
Post # 3
I would increase reps…but that’s because I am a wimp. lol.
Post # 4
I think if you increase weight and decrease reps you actually gain more muscle…which weighs more than fat. if you increase reps with a decreased weight you just tone up. so thats what i would do is just increase your reps with a doable weight!
Post # 5
What Ms. Teddy said is correct. They tell us that at the gym every day in class. If you do heavier weights, it breaks up the fibers more, which means they grow bigger and repair them. Smaller weights with lighter weights build them up gradually, making you toned but not bulky.
Post # 6
Weights! If you want to lose weight definitely increase weights with fewer reps and it’s extremly unlikely you’ll get bulky. The vast majority of women are not capable of getting truly bulky without steroids. There are exceptions of course and women who put on big muscle but rare! Like, you’ll be Jessica Biel bulky – not bulky at all just defined.
Post # 7
The increase in muscle will make you burn more calories just resting still so you’ll be in better shape and will lose more fat.
Post # 8
Increase the reps… I use 5lb weights and do as many reps as I can. You want to have tone body parts… I just want really tone arms for my wedding. 🙂
Post # 9
Increase reps. You want to build lean muscle, not bulk. Trust me. That’s what you want. When I was intending to go into the navy, my recruiter (an ex-navy baseball player) said that that’s the best way to lose weight and not become super muscular, which is what the goal is, I’m sure.
Post # 10
Increase the reps. If you want strength then you increase the lbs lifted and do less reps. If you want to be toned/loose weight then 100% do more reps (12-15 reps) with proper form. Having said that… you should be struggling on the last 4 or 5 reps. If you are not just add a couple lbs but do not decrease reps.
🙂 good luck!
Post # 11
- Wedding: June 2010 - Claxton Farm
When I was learning about weigh training, I was told that the best technique is to “extinct the muscle”. If you want to get stronger and build muscle (it is rare that women develop bulkiness), you want to use higher weights and fewer reps. High reps at lower weights basically just makes you have to work a long time for basically the same goal: wearing out the muscle so that the fibers tear and have to heal, forming new muscle tissue (or muscle extinction).
Also, I’ve read a couple of places that while weight training is excellent for you in terms of balance, cardiovascular health, mental acuity, stress mgmt, etc. it takes A LOT of work to develop enough muscle to really see a difference in weight loss. Basically the only thing that really results in weight loss is calorie restriction (yeah, I was bummed too!). I read something to that effect in both Gina Kolata’s book, Rethinking Thin, and in this NYTimes article:
I’m always interested in weight loss tips, ideas, etc. given my personal history with losing and maintaining weight loss. I think that article also says that exercise helps you maintain weight loss once you have it off. In the end, lifting weights in any form on a schedule is good for you:)
Post # 12
Definately increase weights! You should not be able to get through your reps without any struggle- iyou should feel a significant burn. You will not get bulky as women rarely do without “help”.
Post # 13
As snow mentioned, I believe that nutrition trumps excercise in terms of weight loss. But, you want your workout to be worth something! I actually love lifting weights and read a lot about it. Definitely increase the weight!! It is really difficult to gain a lot of muscle without eating a lot (like thousands of calories) or taking steroids. So, keeping calories in check will prevent much muscle gain.
In regards to reps, it ain’t lifting “weights” if you can do it 50 times. (To me, its also really boring.) Our bodies need to be continuously challenged to keep getting fitter. Think about it–you could keep adding reps so that your workout lasts forever!! So, when weight lifters talk about “low” reps, they are talking less than five. (Think of the power lifters in the olympics who lift once.) If you are staying up in the 8-15 range, that is fine for general fitness. So, the last few reps should be tough. When I do 15 reps at a tough weight, it is a major cardio workout too!! Women regularly lift much more than 5lbs–about lifting children or grocery bags or shopping bags on a shopping spree!! Over the last few months, when I was going to the gym less, I noticed how much more difficult it was to drag my groceries up to my second floor apartment.
Now, if you have a particular body part that likes to grow (ahem, my thighs) I would avoid working those out as often. So I don’t hold back on any upper body weights, or even things that work my hamstrings or glutes, but I will hold back on anything that works my quads because they do put on muscle faster than the rest of my body. A few of us in the workout buddies group is doing “new rules of lifting for women” which explains a lot of this much better than I could!
Post # 14
Increase the weight!
It’s a common misconception that women bulk up easily. More reps faster will make you leaner, yes, but to get definition and results faster, I’d increase weights. To really add in the one-two punch, do your workout in a circuit style so you’re combining cardio and strength. It’ll make your strength more effective because your heart rate will be higher.
Post # 15
I”d honestly say that if the advice your trainer gave you isn’t helping then either increase reps or start increasing your cardiovascular workout (aka running)! That’s the best way to lose weight. Lifting for the most part only creates muscle definition.
Post # 16
I am just finished up P90X, and Tony Horton recommends that to increase muscle size, use a weight where you can lift 8-10 reps (and start feeling the burn at rep 4) or for a more lean look, 12-15 reps (with a burn starting around 10-11). Like another poster said, lifting 50 reps of a small weight ain’t going to do much for you. I really wouldn’t worry about bulking up – it’s a common myth that women who lift weights will look bulky. Right now I am lifting between 10-20 lbs for arms and back exercises, with shoulders and tricps between 5-8 (these are my weaker muscle groups, and I had to start low), and I am definitely not bulky, but my arms, shoulders, and back look DARN good ;). Lifting weights, used in conjunction with a cardiovascular workout and healthy eating, is a weight loss tool for success. I usually alternate lifting days with cardio days. Good luck!