Exercise! - Reps or Weight?




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Sunnyserendipity
02-04-2014, 06:11 PM
Hey all! :D I'm rather new at this exercising stuff, so I thought I'd consult all you lovely chickies. I'm excersising to lose weight- but I'd also like to gain some strength. I'm currently alternating days of pushups and sit-ups and doing a 15 minute weight or resistance band workout 6 days out of the week. I've only been doing this for about 2 weeks which I realize isn't much, but I'm excited to be seeing a bit of progress. Anyway, I hope this isn't a silly question but..... do reps matter more than weight? Or vice versa?


nelie
02-04-2014, 08:35 PM
if you want muscle endurance, go for more reps/lighter weight, if you want muscle strength, go for weight. I tend to do a mix of both but usually less reps, heavier weights.

Mad Donnelly
02-04-2014, 09:02 PM
if you want muscle endurance, go for more reps/lighter weight, if you want muscle strength, go for weight
I'm having trouble from a practical standpoint how to define endurance different from strength. Can you help me out?

I've been thinking that, to see the best results in my core, for example, that at least for now I'd go for more weight. It's not like I'm worried about looking like a body builder. Also, frankly, the thought of more reps bores me.


nelie
02-04-2014, 09:34 PM
I'm having trouble from a practical standpoint how to define endurance different from strength. Can you help me out?

I've been thinking that, to see the best results in my core, for example, that at least for now I'd go for more weight. It's not like I'm worried about looking like a body builder. Also, frankly, the thought of more reps bores me.

Well both have functional applications. If you worked at UPS loading boxes, you would want both but especially muscle endurance because lifting 10 50lb boxes would do you better than lifting 1 500 lb box.

Also, a good comparison in sports would be sprinters vs marathon runners.

Mad Donnelly
02-04-2014, 09:39 PM
Oh, okay. I get it. So, yeah, I'm thinking I want "strength".

CherryPie99
02-04-2014, 10:09 PM
In my opinion and experience, more reps with lighter weights has more functionality in the "real world", whereas lifting really heavy with low reps just builds big muscles.

Think of these boidy builders that have HUGE muscles buty little functional fitness...

Jen

Defining
02-04-2014, 10:11 PM
Hi Sunnyserendipity; nelie hit it right on the head - reps vs. weights actually target different aspects of your muscle development. So really, the answer to your question depends on what exactly your goals are. :D

There are a few threads in the weight lifting forum as well right now, discussing different rep/set patterns for different goals and how muscle/strength develops. In terms of healthy muscle/connective tissue development, a 'bit of everything' tends to work quite well.

To add to what nelie said: strength has to do with your muscles contracting with more force, whereas endurance is about them contracting for longer. The two aspects actually use different metabolic pathways in your cells (aerobic vs anaerobic). Mid-high rep schemes (ie. ~8-15 reps for women) will also cause some hypertrophy (muscle growth). Low reps (3-8) aim closer for strength, and higher rep sets (15+) develop endurance.

I like to think of strength as picking up a toddler vs. endurance as holding the kid for 2hrs. ;)

I'll also mention for Mad Donnelly: A) kudos for not worrying about looking like a bodybuilder! and B) take a look at your training progression, and maybe ask yourself how much direct ab/core work you actually want. While women don't put on upper body muscle as quickly as guys, we're still very capable of growing, especially in body parts that we work - it's very possible that you could increase your waist circumference from ab/oblique exercises (not sure if that's a concern/goal, but it's worth mentioning just in case ;)).