So whenever I do an exercise, like dumbbell bench press, I normally use 45's and go to failure in each set, which is about 12 reps. However, a lot of the guys I work out with say I should be using a higher weight, like 55's, and going to failure with those (which would be like 4-5 reps) as it is a better way to devlop muscle. Now the thing is I feel like I'm getting a better workout using the 45's. I can feel it a lot more in my chest and it just feels all around better. With the 55's, I don't feel the burn as much. So my question is, if my main goal is to develop muscle mass, are my friends right that I should be using a higher weight and go to failure (4-6 reps), or should I continue to use a lower weight and go to failure (10-12 reps)? I know a lot of people are are gonna say I should just do what I think is best, but I'm kind of sick of people telling me that I'm not get the most out of my workout
02-09-2013, 12:12 PM #1
Low reps, high weight vs High reps, low weight
02-09-2013, 12:40 PM #2
Getting the most out of your workout is retarded.
If you lift weights right, you'll go in and do a moderate relative effort, recover relatively quickly and then repeat very soon after, causing you to be able to increase the weight sooner. If you "get the most out of your workout," aka beating yourself up with as much exercise as possible per workout, all you'll do is chew yourself up. You'll spin your wheels a lot and never go anywhere, like all of the guys who do 53891731974 sets of 8492937234 reps of 751389 exercises every time they lift and wondering why they can't get stronger or gain weight. You'll have a "good workout" and then spend the next 10 days being sore, and nearly all of the protein you consume will be wasted on simply recovering your muscles to where they were rather than building them up stronger. I know that is a true statement, because I have many lifts that are getting extremely strong but on many days I only need to eat 30-50g protein. The reason I can do that is because I don't make my body waste it on unneeded recovery - I work out as much as I need to to get stronger and not much more.
I personally avoid going to failure and generally try to do everything in the 10-20 rep range. That has not failed me yet and I'm still getting stronger for it.
If you are sick of people telling you you're doing stuff wrong, I'd suggest you exercise sensibly until you're way stronger than them so you can tell them to STFU. Nobody gives me crap about "not getting the most out of my workouts" after watching me seated shoulder press into the 200's.
Other than these two points nothing else in this post was worth commenting on because it all rested on faulty assumptions, like the importance of training to failure or the importance of listening to others' opinions on lifting weights.
02-09-2013, 06:14 PM #3
Your form is probably better on the 45s, which is why you feel a better connection with them compared to the 55s.
You know what IS important? Repping until you fail. There's no difference whether you fail on an eighth rep or a tenth rep.
"The size principle and interpolated twitch studies support the contention that if maximal motor unit activation is desired, a maximal or near maximal effort at the end of a set of repetitions—regardless of the amount of external resistance—will elicit maximal motor unit activity" - R. Carpinelli
Progress to heavier weight if you can keep your form.
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