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Thread: Reps Vs Weight

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    Default Reps Vs Weight

    Here, I just want to start a discussion about the importance of reps and weight. The actual point is that which one of these is more suitable, more reps or more weight. People have different views about this matter and personally I am in the favor of more reps although with less weight. What you think about it.. any good source to favor the one of them..?

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    Default Re: Reps Vs Weight

    The primary principle of resistance training is overloading.

    You can overload by:
    * using greater weight
    * performing more reps
    * allowing shorter rest periods between sets
    * increasing sets
    * adding exercises for individual muscle groups

    Which way you address the question, depends upon which goal you are attempting to achieve. Are you attempting to add definition to muscle mass (hypertrophy), increase power, or increase endurance. It seems there is much more to the question than just adding weight, or adding reps.

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    Default Re: Reps Vs Weight

    It's even more than what Michael mentioned for a martial artist and what the goals are. You need to be very specific with your training if you want to get the most out of it. Michael is right in his information and that is a good method for someone who wants to use lifting to "get fit".

    For a martial artist it is more about increasing strength and muscle speed. For the most part, we aren't concerned ONLY with getting bigger. Here is a study that was done and posted on a karate blog ( for the whole article http://www.karatebyjesse.com/karate-...ternal-battle/ )

    Scientist Schmidbleicher and Buhrle compared three types of strength training, conducted with three groups of people, for a couple of weeks.

    • Group 1 used very heavy weights, and lifted them a few times only (90% RM, 3×3)
    • Group 2 used light loads and lifted them a couple of times (45% RM, 5×8)
    • Group 3 used moderate loads and lifted them many times (70% RM, 3×12)

    Another very important thing: Group 1 & 2 were give instructions to “explode” up when they lifted. This wasn’t said to the third group.
    This was the result:

    • Group 1:

    Maximum strength: 18% increase
    Speed-strength: 34% increase
    Activation of motor units (the “speed” of the nervous system): 8 % increase
    Hypertrophy (increase in muscle mass): 10% increase


    • Group 2

    Maximum strength: 17% increase
    Speed-strength: 11% increase
    Activation of motor units: 3 % increase
    Hypertrophy: 10% increase


    • Group 3

    Maximum strength: 21% increase
    Speed-strength: 4% increase
    Activation of motor units: 4 % decrease (!)
    Hypertrophy: 18% increase
    As you can see, method 1 (powerlifting method) increased "how much" muscle is used to do the task, it also increased both speed and strength. So did method 2. Method 3, which is the traditional "bodybuilder method" increased muscle size, but did actually DECREASED how fast the muscles were activated to support the task.

    So I would argue that looking at the question of reps/weights it is more important to stay consistant with a method that focuses on HOW the weight is being lifted. For martial arts, you should focus on lifting explosively instead of the often given advice of "time under tension" or lifting slowly.
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    Default Re: Reps Vs Weight

    It really depends on what your goal is. Are you looking for strength, endurance, muscle size? Depending on your goals, your methods change.
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    Default Re: Reps Vs Weight

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny View Post
    It really depends on what your goal is. Are you looking for strength, endurance, muscle size? Depending on your goals, your methods change.
    It's like Lenny said...what are you trying do?..are you wanting endurance based strength or do you want size? are you looking for short rep power? or are you looking at more of an increase in functional strength?
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    Default Re: Reps Vs Weight

    Well, I want a good body shape with normal muscles not like a heavy bodybuilder..

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    Default Re: Reps Vs Weight

    Contrary to popular belief, one does not accidentally get huge like a body builder. It requires years, hard work and good diet to get to your genetic potential. And if you want to compete, it also requires some pharmaceutical help to over your normal limits (with all the bad side effects).

    Try a combination of heavy lifting (any program will do) and sprinting.
    If you need a program, try "Westside for skinny bastards", "Starting Strength" or "Huge in a Hurry."

    If you are more into combat sports, try Ross Enamait's Infinite Intensity or Never Gymless - http://www.rosstraining.com/
    殺意の忍者猿コーディング
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    ‎"In Tai Chi, practitioners are classified as being either turtles or fish. A turtle swims by just using it limbs. A fish swims by using its whole body. Be a fish." - Lee Wedlake, "Kenpo 301"

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    Default Re: Reps Vs Weight

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank222 View Post
    Well, I want a good body shape with normal muscles not like a heavy bodybuilder..
    I might suggest that a 'good body shape' will be best attained by focusing upon your diet, rather than specific exercises.

    This does not mean you should not do resistance training, cardiorespiratory training, and flexibility training; but rather, no matter how much training you perform, if you are taking in more calories than you are expending, you'll acquire the traditional 'Kenpo Physique'.

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    Default Re: Reps Vs Weight

    Diet alone will not help. Even if he "just" wants top get rid of extra body fat, diet is only part of the answer. Mainly because weight != weight.

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    殺意の忍者猿コーディング
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    ‎"In Tai Chi, practitioners are classified as being either turtles or fish. A turtle swims by just using it limbs. A fish swims by using its whole body. Be a fish." - Lee Wedlake, "Kenpo 301"

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    Just my .02 but if you're looking to slim down and get in shape without bulking up, many hours on the mat combined with a lighter weight/higher reps lifting program works really well. Make sure you stretch after every workout, hydrate and pay some attention to your diet.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Has anyone tried athleanX for training?

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    Default Re: Reps Vs Weight

    Never heard of that before. But normally you get what you put it.
    Even a bad program will give you results if you really give your best effort. OTOH the best program will do nothing for you if you half-ass it.
    殺意の忍者猿コーディング
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    "A belt only covers two inches of your ass and the rest you need to back up on your own." - Royce Gracie
    ‎"In Tai Chi, practitioners are classified as being either turtles or fish. A turtle swims by just using it limbs. A fish swims by using its whole body. Be a fish." - Lee Wedlake, "Kenpo 301"

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    Default Re: Reps Vs Weight

    Quote Originally Posted by punisher73 View Post
    It's even more than what Michael mentioned for a martial artist and what the goals are. You need to be very specific with your training if you want to get the most out of it. Michael is right in his information and that is a good method for someone who wants to use lifting to "get fit".

    For a martial artist it is more about increasing strength and muscle speed. For the most part, we aren't concerned ONLY with getting bigger. Here is a study that was done and posted on a karate blog ( for the whole article http://www.karatebyjesse.com/karate-...ternal-battle/ )



    As you can see, method 1 (powerlifting method) increased "how much" muscle is used to do the task, it also increased both speed and strength. So did method 2. Method 3, which is the traditional "bodybuilder method" increased muscle size, but did actually DECREASED how fast the muscles were activated to support the task.

    So I would argue that looking at the question of reps/weights it is more important to stay consistant with a method that focuses on HOW the weight is being lifted. For martial arts, you should focus on lifting explosively instead of the often given advice of "time under tension" or lifting slowly.
    I think the results listed have a lot to do with isolation. Traditional body building (body sculpting) trains muscles to work in isolation under load and then incorporate more groups when the muscle becomes overwhelmed whereas power lifting trains muscles to immediately incorporate more groups. Body weight excersise and use of functional trainers also train incorporation.

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    Default Re: Reps Vs Weight

    There are different kinds of strength out there:

    Absolute Strength:
    The amount of force your muscle can exert under involuntary muscle stimulation. Maybe in biology class you dissected a frog, then hooked a battery to a leg muscle and saw it contract. Absolute strength is the amount of work your muscle is capable of with a big enough electric jolt.

    Maximal Strength: This is the maximum amount of force your muscle can exert under your own power (with out an external jolt). This is what power lifters train for, lifting the max amount of weight. It will never be larger than absolute strength.

    Explosive Strength: The ability to express significant tension in the shortest time. This is considered the strength quality most characteristic of athletic activities.

    Speed Strength: The ability to quickly execute a movement with small to no external resistance. You have to train fast to be fast.

    Strength Endurance: the ability to maintain proper muscular functioning during work conditions of a long duration. Where a NFL player may want more explosive strength, a boxer will need some decent strength endurance.

    Pretty much you need to get strong so you can get explosive. Once you are explosive and can control it, you can get real speed. Where strength endurance is well suited to martial activities like boxing, MMA and intense martial arts workouts, it's my opinion it is less important to actual street encounters then explosive strength.

    So then on to your goals...

    many people just want to "tone" up, and tone is nothing more than the absence of fat. Once the fat is gone you have your tone, and muscles without weight training will not show much definition. Note, that strength training and training for hypertrophy are very different (hypertrophy is when you want to get large muscles).

    Losing weight is, for most people 80%-90% diet and the remainder exercise. Getting that "good body shape" you refer to is pretty much the same as losing weight, it's mostly diet. Strength training while controlling calories won't lead you to hypertrophy, however resistance training can lead you to strength and better definition once the fat is removed.

    Get strong to get fast. Get fast to kick a$$.

    Heavy resistance training will make you stronger. Once you are stronger, lift heavy weights explosively (which will really help martial artists) to get faster.
    Do this 2 to 3 times weekly and do some good cardio 2-3 times a week and you will build up strength, speed and endurance, mix that with a solid diet and eventually you will look that way too.

    It has become trendy in many circles to poo poo good cardio these days, but a good mix of some cardio workouts that are high impact, and others that are low, with some some zone 2 and zone 3 heart rate can go a long way to getting you to your goals.
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    Thumbs up Re: Reps Vs Weight

    Quote Originally Posted by punisher73 View Post
    It's even more than what Michael mentioned for a martial artist and what the goals are. You need to be very specific with your training if you want to get the most out of it. Michael is right in his information and that is a good method for someone who wants to use lifting to "get fit".

    For a martial artist it is more about increasing strength and muscle speed. For the most part, we aren't concerned ONLY with getting bigger. Here is a study that was done and posted on a karate blog ( for the whole article http://www.karatebyjesse.com/karate-...ternal-battle/ )



    As you can see, method 1 (powerlifting method) increased "how much" muscle is used to do the task, it also increased both speed and strength. So did method 2. Method 3, which is the traditional "bodybuilder method" increased muscle size, but did actually DECREASED how fast the muscles were activated to support the task.

    So I would argue that looking at the question of reps/weights it is more important to stay consistant with a method that focuses on HOW the weight is being lifted. For martial arts, you should focus on lifting explosively instead of the often given advice of "time under tension" or lifting slowly.
    That was an excellent article, I started using the information in it and I have seen results right away. Thanks much for posting it.

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