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Thread: Sets vs. Reps for fat burning and strength/muscle building page

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    HERC0's Avatar
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    Sets vs. Reps for fat burning and strength/muscle building

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    Is there an optimum amount of sets and reps when doing weights for fat burning and building strength and muscle?

    For example, what's the difference between 5 sets of 4 reps, and 3 sets of 7 reps?

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    it's not the sets and reps, it's the weight. the difference between 4 reps and 7 reps is that you can lift more weight in the 4 rep set. that is better for building strength and burning fat.

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    If you are new to lifting use a good strength routine like Starting Strength (or Stronglifts) or any other beginner 5x5 or 3x5 program.
    Lift heavy and lift hard - the results will come.
    Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
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    Don't forget to play!

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    wolfman's Avatar
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    Fat burning is a culmination of many things, but what rob said, More muscle on your body will burn more fat throughout your day. Lifting heavy is good for building lean dense muscle, but lifting for higher reps with short rest will increase the fat burning during the lifting session, but the sets and reps don't mean anything except for strength (low reps, heavy weight) or high reps (hypertrophy, mass building, endurance)

    Examples:

    Strength: 5 sets of 3 - heavy weight, 2 min rest
    Endurance: 3 sets of 15 - light to moderate weight, min rest
    Fat burn: 5 sets of what you can do for an easy 10 reps, 15-20 second rest.

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    it's not the sets and reps, it's the weight.

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    It is about the sets and reps, it plays a big part in determining your goals as well as the weight you are using.

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    So at what point does the lowering of sets/reps due to an increase in the weight stop being beneficial?

    E.g. right now I can do 4 sets x 5 reps of squats and deadlifts @ 70kg.
    I could change that to 3 sets x 4 reps @ 75kg.
    I could also maybe change it to 2 sets x 4 reps @ 80kg.

    But at what point does the decrease in sets/reps and increase in weight stop being beneficial to strength building?

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    two popular programs are starting strength and stronglifts. both are similar, both have low reps and sets, and both have you lifting heavy...which is about all about strength. but, the important part is that both are progressive. you increase the weight you are lifting at every workout until you stall. check one or both of them out.
    i did stronglifts, which is a 5x5 program for beginners. you start with an empty bar, but before you know it you'll surprise yourself with how much you're lifting.

    to answer your question above, i like the second option...as long as you're throwing some extra weight on there the next time.

  9. #9
    wolfman's Avatar
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    A heavy weight that you can only do twice will build strength, as primal rob said you do have to progress, but strength isn't just measured in weight, if you can only lift 225x2 and then next week you can do it x4 you got stronger, the key is just to have a balanced program, but to answer your question it stops being beneficial when you are grinding out your 2 reps, with bad form, and missing your lifts. A good program has 3 things,

    Max effort training: heavy weight you can do for 2-3 reps
    Repeated effort training: high reps
    and speed effort: using bands for resistance, explosive movements

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