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  1. #1
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    Question 8-10 reps or 15 reps?

    Hi guys,

    long time lurker here. So I've been trying to improve myself in the gym for 4,5 months now, starting of with just 2 times a week (now 3 + cardio day). But I've got a few questions about losing fat. I'm currently at a weight (176lbs) that I want to maintain but lose fat and increase muscle. The first three months I lost 3% bodyfat, going from 23 to 20 which I'm happy with (measured at the gym, it's free yay). And in the mean time I've increased lean mass by some lbs which are mainly in my abs. But although I'm happy with the gains, reading the forums it can go a lot faster.

    I'm eating at a 300 cal deficit so that shouldn't be the problem. But I've always been doing my exercises 3 sets of 15 reps, except for my crunches which are 3 sets to failure. The strength and stamina increase are amazing, but the fat isn't really coming off. Here and there I've been reading about doing 8-10 reps for weight loss but I thought that range was mainly for increasing muscle mass? Also I've been wondering about doing cardio on an empty stomach vs full stomach. As in, doing cardio before you eat anything when you wake up.

    I'm on a 3 day split:
    Mo: Chest, Triceps, Abs + 30 min cardio after
    Wed: Back, Biceps, Abs + 30 min cardio after
    Fri: Legs, Shoulders, Abs + 30 min cardio after
    Sat/Sun: 1 hour cardio when I wake up.

    Cheers for any advice!
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  2. #2
    Blackmill Music 10/10 th3pwn3r's Avatar
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    If I had to choose I'd definitely go with 8-10. Increase weight if you can hit 10 though.
    "Everyone thinks they're on their way to single digit body fat as soon as they see a blurry four-pack in the right lighting.Your final body weight at 5-6% will be a lot less than what you think.Talk to me again when you get in contest shape." I'd be willing to say that 95% of people on this forum accomplish nothing in years, don't be one of those people. It's sad,they seem to have the knowledge many don't but can't utilize it.
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  3. #3
    Registered User kusok's Avatar
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    - You should be doing some low rep work as well (3-6 reps) All rep ranges have benefits.
    - Fat loss = eat less calories.
    - You don't have to do fasted cardio. Fed cardio or fasted cardio doesn't matter at all.
    - There is no need to do more than 3 days cardio 30 minutes moderate.
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  4. #4
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    So then how should I implement the low reps? Do a progressive set count or change the reps up every few weeks? Also, I'm one of the few people that like doing cardio and abs, so I don't mind doing them at all.
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  5. #5
    Registered User kusok's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by VDEngineer View Post
    So then how should I implement the low reps? Do a progressive set count or change the reps up every few weeks? Also, I'm one of the few people that like doing cardio and abs, so I don't mind doing them at all.

    Doing too much cardio may be fun for you, but it can mess with your recovery from weight training.

    Abs, lower back and core definitely should be worked a little bit, say 2x per week a couple of sets a pop.

    Easiest way is to do low reps on big lifts, followed by high reps on secondary exercises. for example:
    - bench 3x5
    - inclines 2x8
    - dips 2x12
    - tri pushdowns 2x15
    etc
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  6. #6
    Registered User Mightymuff's Avatar
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    Your rep range has practically zero influence on your fat loss.

    If you want to lose fat then eat less or burn more calories.
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  7. #7
    we flawless illiniStrive's Avatar
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    Your training program has no influence on fat loss.
    comp. (gym) 236.5(260)/126.5(155)/302.5(340)

    journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=163014501

    BTK OG

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  8. #8
    Blackmill Music 10/10 th3pwn3r's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by illiniStrive View Post
    Your training program has no influence on fat loss.
    Wut?
    "Everyone thinks they're on their way to single digit body fat as soon as they see a blurry four-pack in the right lighting.Your final body weight at 5-6% will be a lot less than what you think.Talk to me again when you get in contest shape." I'd be willing to say that 95% of people on this forum accomplish nothing in years, don't be one of those people. It's sad,they seem to have the knowledge many don't but can't utilize it.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Electricheadd's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kusok View Post
    - You should be doing some low rep work as well (3-6 reps) All rep ranges have benefits.
    - Fat loss = eat less calories.
    - You don't have to do fasted cardio. Fed cardio or fasted cardio doesn't matter at all.
    - There is no need to do more than 3 days cardio 30 minutes moderate.
    ^^This^^

    Don't shy away from doing light and heavy days or changing up your workout every so often to switch back and forth. I find my body gets beat up from going heavy for long periods of time. Every few months I switch over to a higher rep range for a few weeks to let it rest and repair. I suspect your joints have a hard time coping with constant overload.
    My Reverse Diet Log
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=153750981&p=1077733831#post1077733831
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  10. #10
    we flawless illiniStrive's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by th3pwn3r View Post
    Wut?
    Training on a cut is to preserve muscle, maintain strength, and/or increase strength, not lose fat.
    comp. (gym) 236.5(260)/126.5(155)/302.5(340)

    journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=163014501

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  11. #11
    Blackmill Music 10/10 th3pwn3r's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by illiniStrive View Post
    Training on a cut is to preserve muscle, maintain strength, and/or increase strength, not lose fat.
    "no influence on fat loss".

    Any increase in activity does in fact have influence on fat loss if it aids to create a caloric deficit. Also, supersets tend to get heart rate up a good amount as well which if I'm not mistaken, has an influence on fat loss.

    I'm just clearing things up for people who come into this thread who might get confused.
    "Everyone thinks they're on their way to single digit body fat as soon as they see a blurry four-pack in the right lighting.Your final body weight at 5-6% will be a lot less than what you think.Talk to me again when you get in contest shape." I'd be willing to say that 95% of people on this forum accomplish nothing in years, don't be one of those people. It's sad,they seem to have the knowledge many don't but can't utilize it.
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  12. #12
    we flawless illiniStrive's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by th3pwn3r View Post
    "no influence on fat loss".

    Any increase in activity does in fact have influence on fat loss if it aids to create a caloric deficit. Also, supersets tend to get heart rate up a good amount as well which if I'm not mistaken, has an influence on fat loss.

    I'm just clearing things up for people who come into this thread who might get confused.
    Pardon my ineloquent-cy but DUH.

    My point: You should not be choosing a lifting routine based on which one is going to be best at "burning fat". Because that's not the point of lifting.

    If there's a stall in fat loss, look to the diet. It's always diet.
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  13. #13
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    Wait, what are supersets?
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    Originally Posted by VDEngineer View Post
    Wait, what are supersets?
    Doing 2 sets of different exercises one after another with no rest inbetween. But as said above, your diet controls your fat loss.
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    In my opinion, you should be doing all types of workout sets, with varying loads. Check this article out. It is a bit dated (around 2004) but it is sound information. I don't follow this directly, but I have taken quite a bit from this and applied it to my own regimen.

    http://www.prrstraining.com/sample.htm
    Livestrong!
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  16. #16
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    Like that one guy said. 1-6 reps. Go for power. And you might actually see some strength gains! Whenever I come off of a cut, I start lifting even heavier than before.
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    I did 8 reps yesterday (except for my abs) and everything has never been sorer. I'm thinking of upping my protein intake. I don't take protein shakes as of yet, but I'm seriously considering them.
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  18. #18
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    Solid Thread. Lots of info.
    Live. Learn. Pass it on.

    It starts and ends with your mind - the greatest thing to build. The rest of your body goes along with what the mind says.

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  19. #19
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    Originally Posted by illiniStrive View Post
    Training on a cut is to preserve muscle, maintain strength, and/or increase strength, not lose fat.
    here we go again.


    routine plays a role in how much muscle/strength you preserve.
    routine determines what is muscle and what is fat loss.

    if you do a buncha high repetitions i am sure you wont preserve the same amount of muscle as if you did low reps.
    if that high reps are the case then the WEIGHT LOSS will be more directed toward muscle

    if i did high reps i am sure i would have more of a performance loss over these past 31 pounds


    weight loss=calories spent>calories intake
    exercise=determines fat vs muscle ratio

    i would also like to add the more muscle you have the increased chance of strength/muscle loss.
    New lifters dont have to worry the same as a intermediate/veteran lifter


    if you are doing a 3 day split i think full body workouts would be better
    4-7 reps would be my suggestion
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  20. #20
    "boulder shoulders" fade2green514's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Delgadido View Post
    here we go again.


    routine plays a role in how much muscle/strength you preserve.
    routine determines what is muscle and what is fat loss.

    if you do a buncha high repetitions i am sure you wont preserve the same amount of muscle as if you did low reps.
    if that high reps are the case then the WEIGHT LOSS will be more directed toward muscle

    if i did high reps i am sure i would have more of a performance loss over these past 31 pounds


    weight loss=calories spent>calories intake
    exercise=determines fat vs muscle ratio

    i would also like to add the more muscle you have the increased chance of strength/muscle loss.
    New lifters dont have to worry the same as a intermediate/veteran lifter


    if you are doing a 3 day split i think full body workouts would be better
    4-7 reps would be my suggestion
    ^agree... i used to think you didnt need to lift to burn fat because my friends all told me lifting burns muscle. what idiots.... i was like 16 at the time though lol... i ended up being skinny fat even though i did tons of cardio and crunches and stuff.

    so, lifting keeps on muscle, which prevents your metabolism from dropping drastically, and also prevents you from having to lose 20 pounds to get to a low body fat when you could be losing 10 pounds to get to an even lower body fat.

    if you've ever seen the average guy that goes to the gym, he has huge arms, tiny chicken legs, and a gut, because his routine isn't proper. he works abs and arms every day because he doesn't know what he's doing
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    Originally Posted by fade2green514 View Post
    ^agree... i used to think you didnt need to lift to burn fat because my friends all told me lifting burns muscle. what idiots.... i was like 16 at the time though lol... i ended up being skinny fat even though i did tons of cardio and crunches and stuff.

    so, lifting keeps on muscle, which prevents your metabolism from dropping drastically, and also prevents you from having to lose 20 pounds to get to a low body fat when you could be losing 10 pounds to get to a low body fat.
    bingo


    EDITED: thats why alot marathon runners arent lean as you would think they would be
    Last edited by Delgadido; 07-26-2011 at 07:17 AM.
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    "boulder shoulders" fade2green514's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Delgadido View Post
    bingo


    thats why marathon runners arent lean
    some are but mostly the very very serious ones. my dad runs marathons but he has a big fat gut.

    im not denying that nutrition will probably effect body composition, but your workout routine matters more when it comes to keeping on the muscle. you can eat all the protein you like, but if you dont lift, your body wont add or retain muscle.
    "pain is weakness leaving the body"

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    Originally Posted by illiniStrive View Post
    If there's a stall in fat loss, look to the diet. It's always diet.
    Originally Posted by Mightymuff View Post
    But as said above, your diet controls your fat loss.
    If you stall you can also add more NEAT or exercise. Cutting calories isn't always the answer unless you prefer to eat small and remain relatively inactive. So, it isn't always diet but rather that you're expending less than you're taking in. Taking away from what you take in is only one form as you can also expend more. As long as you maintain a reasonable lifting routine, adding additional, low impact activity won't negatively affect muscle.

    For example, doing something extremely low impact like walking one hour a day helps enormously as it won't affect strength (since the heart rate is kept quite low) and it helps burn an additional 300+ calories a day, which is an additional 2100 calories burned a week.

    Of course, you could just not eat that sandwich each day but it's up to the person. I personally prefer to be more active and being able to eat at the same calories.

    That's why when you cut you don't use all tools such as more lifting sessions, more volume, running, etc. Cutting calories is only one form of losing fat.

    Originally Posted by Delgadido View Post
    bingo


    thats why marathon runners arent lean
    Elite marathon and distance runners typically have low body fat levels. Their physiques aren't impressive because they have low levels of muscle. So, they are lean but aren't aesthetically impressive because their muscle mass is quite low.
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    Originally Posted by PerpetualMotion View Post
    If you stall you can also add more NEAT or exercise. Cutting calories isn't always the answer unless you prefer to eat small and remain relatively inactive. So, it isn't always diet but rather that you're expending less than you're taking in. Taking away from what you take in is only one form as you can also expend more. As long as you maintain a reasonable lifting routine, adding additional, low impact activity won't negatively affect muscle.
    The topic was about changing rep ranges, not whether to add cardio or not. I agree that you can create the defecit however you want, but in this case it's not his rep range he needs to be concerened about if he isn't losing weight but getting his diet in check.
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    I'm VitaminVendetta PerpetualMotion's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mightymuff View Post
    The topic was about changing rep ranges, not whether to add cardio or not. I agree that you can create the defecit however you want, but in this case it's not his rep range he needs to be concerened about if he isn't losing weight but getting his diet in check.
    My response was to you saying that fat loss is dictated by diet only, as that is what was implied by the vocabulary used. I was simply responding and disagreeing with that notion.
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    I go 2-8 reps on the big lifts, 8-12 on assistance work
    Who do men say that I am?
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    I've been thinking. If you increase your muscle mass you increase your caloric need right? So if you then keep the same diet you increase your deficit which accelerates your fat loss. That means that if you go to 8-10 reps you increase your muscle mass faster, or is that wrong? If it isn't that should in theory mean that in the long run a lower rep count will aid to a faster fat loss. Or am I missing something here?
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    Here's how I think of reps/sets

    To maximize efficiency, you want to do 15+ reps for a warm-up set. Perform 10 reps after a ~15-20second rest.

    Than I base most of my reps off a 10rep/set idea. If you can do 10 reps, increase the weight. If you can do 8 reps, increase the weight. If you can do 6 reps, do another set. If you can do 6 reps on the second set, increase the weight. If you can do 4 reps, do another set. And soo forth until you hit your max.

    This will require muscular endurance and muscular strength. Also, have a spotter once you hit the 4 rep range since it will get increasingly more difficult.
    6 Rules of Life by Arnold:
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    4. Don't listen to nay sayers
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    Originally Posted by illiniStrive View Post
    Your training program has no influence on fat loss.
    Disagree. If you don't lift hard, you won't work your muscles, thus lowering your metabolism. And also lose some muscles that you already have.
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    Originally Posted by Delgadido View Post
    here we go again.
    Worrying about overall volume on a cut is more constructive than in terms of rep ranges. Just as an FYI.
    comp. (gym) 236.5(260)/126.5(155)/302.5(340)

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