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Weight lifting... size vs strength?

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  • Weight lifting... size vs strength?

    I'm confused... I've been reading other threads and am wondering what the difference is between say doing 5 reps vs doing 12 or more reps... and what about reps to exhaustion? What type of results do you see from depletion workouts vs high weight/lower rep workouts. Sorry if this is so scattered... like I said I'm confused! lol
    I asked a guy in my gym and he said that as long as I keep the weight in a range that I can do 10-12 reps I wouldn't get big from that. I like lifting heavy though!

    Compared to what I've seen of the other females in my gym I lift, I lift fairly heavy but not so much compared to what I've read of other female posters on this forum.

    For example... the last benchpress I did my 1st set was with 2 40lb dumbells for 5 reps, next set was 2 35lb dumbells for 8 reps, and the next was 30lb dumbells for 12 reps. On single leg deadlifts the first set was with 2 35lb dumbells for 10reps, then 30lb dumbells for 12reps, and last was 25lb dumbells for 15 reps.

    And then sometimes I'll do lower weight/higher reps. I weight train 2-3 days a week, run sprints 2 days a week and run, jog, walk about 1 day a week. Any advice on what kind of program I should start?

  • #2
    The trainer I hired said that if you do more reps you'll get more sore. So far she is right.

    If you are female, you're not going to get big no matter how heavy you lift. I recommend hiring someone to show you how to use the barbells. It's way more fun. These are the lifts that my trainer taught me:

    Squats
    Single leg squats (back lunge squats)
    Bench press
    Military press
    Romanian deadlift
    Discussed regular deadlift and clean and jerk but I didn't actually do them

    Additionally I do some other things:
    Dumbbell rows
    Planks
    Assisted pullups
    Cable wood chops
    Bridges using a stability ball
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
      The trainer I hired said that if you do more reps you'll get more sore. So far she is right.

      If you are female, you're not going to get big no matter how heavy you lift. I recommend hiring someone to show you how to use the barbells. It's way more fun. These are the lifts that my trainer taught me:

      Squats
      Single leg squats (back lunge squats)
      Bench press
      Military press
      Romanian deadlift
      Discussed regular deadlift and clean and jerk but I didn't actually do them

      Additionally I do some other things:
      Dumbbell rows
      Planks
      Assisted pullups
      Cable wood chops
      Bridges using a stability ball
      Thanks sbhikes! So what does the soreness mean result wise? I'm not really worried about getting bigger because I don't think I'll get big and grosteque. lol I've read the thread you started... it's great thread!

      I'm familiar with most of the lifts you mentioned... My workouts usually consist of single leg deadlifts, squats, bench press, cable rows (I guess that's what it's called), lat pull down, planks, shoulder press (is this the same as military press?) and leg press.

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      • #4
        The soreness and your results aren't really correlated. At all.

        Muscles need to be stimulated beyond their capacity, so that they can recover and rebuild stronger. You should be regularly adding weight. As a female, you probably don't have enough testosterone to ever get big. Know your plan, and stick with it. The only advice I like in the gym is if my form is jacked up.

        Your workout looks like big compound lifts to me- so, pretty much perfect. Make sure you're progressing regularly, and you'll be fine. As a beginner, this means that every workout, or every few workouts, you should be adding weight. Do this consistently and it won't matter where you started, because you'll get to where you ought to be. Make sure you keep track (the Strong iPhone app is pretty good) so you don't have to try to remember.

        The only thing that stuck out was that you are doing leg presses- is there some reason you are adding this on top of your squats? It doesn't really matter, I'm just curious what you feel you are gaining from them.
        Last edited by jfreaksho; 11-02-2012, 07:29 PM.

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        • #5
          simple terms; 1-3 reps is power, 3-6 reps is strength, 6 and up is endurance.

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          • #6
            And after your warm up sets you should always go to failure.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dirlot View Post
              And after your warm up sets you should always go to failure.
              Unless your on a program like SS?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Dirlot View Post
                And after your warm up sets you should always go to failure.
                You shouldn't always go to failure at all.
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                • #9
                  To the OP - there is actually probably a greater correlation between higher rep work (10-12) and increasing muscle size than there is at lower reps. Unless you're over-eating though you are not going to add much in terms of size.
                  Sandbag Training For MMA & Combat Sports
                  Sandbag Training Guide on Kindle
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                  Brute Force Sandbags
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                  • #10
                    It's okay to go to failure on your last set of your main lift, but it shouldn't be the goal. Every program should have three methods of movement: A heavy weight day, a repetition day, and a speed day.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kingofturtles View Post
                      simple terms; 1-3 reps is power, 3-6 reps is strength, 6 and up is endurance.
                      This.

                      In practical real terms for a genuine woman (me):

                      Lower reps/heavier weight = strength building, better muscle tone, less fat, soreness seems easier to manage
                      Higher reps/lower weight = no strength, no muscle tone at all, still fat, debilitating soreness on occasion
                      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=The only thing that stuck out was that you are doing leg presses- is there some reason you are adding this on top of your squats? It doesn't really matter, I'm just curious what you feel you are gaining from them.[/QUOTE]

                        Only because I like to lift for 40-45 minutes and I use it as a time filler. lol I guess maybe I don't need to be so worried about the amount of time spent lifting as long as I get in the all the compounds.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dirlot View Post
                          And after your warm up sets you should always go to failure.
                          Warm up sets? huh?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Coach Palfrey View Post
                            To the OP - there is actually probably a greater correlation between higher rep work (10-12) and increasing muscle size than there is at lower reps. Unless you're over-eating though you are not going to add much in terms of size.
                            Thanks! That's so funny though bc all the bro science I hear in the gym and have read in says that heavier weights with lower reps build bigger muscles and lighter weight with higher reps "tone".... so dumb!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                              This.

                              In practical real terms for a genuine woman (me):

                              Lower reps/heavier weight = strength building, better muscle tone, less fat, soreness seems easier to manage
                              Higher reps/lower weight = no strength, no muscle tone at all, still fat, debilitating soreness on occasion
                              It's nice to have input from a feamle with experience in this area. Do you do the same number of reps with the same weight for all your sets? I wonder what the benefit is from doing reverse pyramid? That's what I normally do.

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