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Resistance or time?

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Old 10-06-2008, 06:53 AM   #1
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Default Resistance or time?

I'm not sure if this is right thread however I was wondering is it more effective to have more resistance over a shorter period of time, or is it more effective to have normal resistance and go for longer?
Currently I am trying to slim down my thighs and hips and I am getting the feeling that I may end up increasing their size. For example I am doing 20 leg presses and 5 reps (ie. a total of 100). Is this too much?

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Old 10-06-2008, 07:41 AM   #2
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I'm not a personal trainer or an expert but I *believe* it's a balance between the two. If you can easily do 100 reps you might want to look at building the resistance. For example if you can easily do 3 x 10 reps and feel they require no effort you should add resistance until again they seem easy, then add a little more.
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Old 10-06-2008, 09:41 AM   #3
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Honestly, if you are doing 100 total reps of anything, unless you are getting your heart rate way up there, you really aren't doing too much. If you are doing high reps, then it should be related to circuit training with an associated high heart rate.

I really like time efficiency which means heavier weight, lower reps for weight workouts.

When I was going to the gym, I was using hundreds of lbs for leg presses and my legs never got bigger, they always got smaller. Now at home, I do squats, so I can't use as much weight (no back support, relies on core muscles and isn't in isolation), but I usually squat around 100 lbs or so which means squatting my weight plus 100 lbs.

Which of course brings up another point. I'm all for working out multiple muscle groups which means not using machines and instead using free weights. I'd look into doing squats/lunges/etc. You may not be able to do as much weight at first but you'll be more efficient in that you'll be using more muscles to help stabilize your body and the weight.
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:17 AM   #4
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Everything Nelie said, x2.

100 reps of anything is too much. Ideally you should be doing 3 set of 8-12 reps and by the end of the 3rd set, you should barely be able to complete the exercise w/out losing form.

But ideally, as she said above, you should be doing fewer machines and more free weight/body weight types of things in order to work your muscles functionally and as groups, rather than isolating them.

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Old 10-06-2008, 02:55 PM   #5
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Loosely - lower weights with higher reps are for firming muscles (15-20 reps per set), heavier weights with fewer reps (8-10 reps per set) are for building muscle.
It's the difference between fast and slow twitch muscle fibers.
Even with lighter weights, you should feel some fatigue on the last few reps.

Doing a 100 leg presses doesn't seem to be the best method for slimming your thighs down. I would try different exercises like squats and lunges with just bodyweight to start.
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Old 10-06-2008, 04:13 PM   #6
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You also need to know that you can't spot reduce on your hips and thighs.
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Old 10-06-2008, 06:43 PM   #7
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Thanks

I do know that I can not spot reduce.
I have never liked lunges, but now will be giving them a go most definitely.
With the presses I tend to keep to a weight (number 6/7) that is comfortable but still challenging. I usually find that by the time I hit 15 or so I really want to give up but always continue to the 20.
I have simple been doing so much because I have been desperate to tone down and somehow got in my head that the more may equal quicker results.

So Nelie, will using more weight not increase thigh size? You see thats what I have been worried about.
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Old 10-06-2008, 06:53 PM   #8
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I've heard that time will build more lean muscle while resistance will build bulk, but I'm no expert.
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
I've heard that time will build more lean muscle while resistance will build bulk
No no no no no no no no no! Just in case you missed that ... NO!

WOMEN. CANNOT. BULK.

(Ok, women can bulk, but it takes an intense amount of work - like hours a day - and a serious overhaul of diet. It takes concentrated, hardcore effort for a woman to bulk because women simply do not have enough testosterone in their bodies to bulk the way men do.)

There is no such thing as building "lean" muscle vs. building "bulk" muscle. It's a myth that's perpetrated by the fitness industry.

Either you're building muscle and strength or you're not. Period.

If you're not working hard enough to work the muscle and build strength, then you're not making progress. A bazillion reps with "barbie weights" is not going to give you "long lean muscles". A bazillion reps of anything is just wasting your time and your effort.

The only way to get the lean, cut, fit, "toned" (don't even ask me what I think of that word) look that most women talk about - is to lift weights. Real weights. Heavy weights. And to do it regularly and to allow plenty of recovery time - because it's the recovery time that builds strength and muscle, not the actual lifting part.

Toning by doing 150 curls just ain't gonna happen.

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Old 10-06-2008, 10:04 PM   #10
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Quick question to ask yourself - after your workouts, like the next day - do you feel like you are going to fall on your face when going down stairs and do you wish your bathroom had one of those call buttons to get you off the toilet? If no, then you are not working hard enough. Increase the weight, decrease the reps. When you can answer yes to those questions - you're doing something right!

And now I will recommend a movie called Run, Fat Boy, Run. It's a fitness flick, first directoral debut by David Schwimmer, and there is a hilarious gym scene related to a staircase after a spin class. I'll leave the rest to Netflix or Blockbuster, but put it on your list!
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Old 10-07-2008, 08:02 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by sportmom View Post
Quick question to ask yourself - after your workouts, like the next day - do you feel like you are going to fall on your face when going down stairs and do you wish your bathroom had one of those call buttons to get you off the toilet? If no, then you are not working hard enough. Increase the weight, decrease the reps. When you can answer yes to those questions - you're doing something right!

And now I will recommend a movie called Run, Fat Boy, Run. It's a fitness flick, first directoral debut by David Schwimmer, and there is a hilarious gym scene related to a staircase after a spin class. I'll leave the rest to Netflix or Blockbuster, but put it on your list!
Oh Fran. That's funny. I've been there. By the way, I watched this movie with Mom last weekend. We both loved that scene. Actually, there were so many that were really funny. The blister really grossed us both out. David Schwimmer...I didn't know.



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No no no no no no no no no! Just in case you missed that ... NO!
(Tears streaming down my eyes) Kelly it's okay. Oh and to the forum if we haven't already said that. You have to understand we recently or rather I recently had a little rant about three pound weights and Gweneth Paltrows personal trainer's recommendations in another thread. And boy is it ever perpetuated. Yesterday I was driving the boys home and saw a billboard for an all women's gym. She had definition and was curling what looked like a five or maybe an eight pound dumbbells. Okay. I've got biceps like hers (actually better) and I can tell you it took a a lot more than an eight pound dumbbells.
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportmom View Post
Quick question to ask yourself - after your workouts, like the next day - do you feel like you are going to fall on your face when going down stairs and do you wish your bathroom had one of those call buttons to get you off the toilet? If no, then you are not working hard enough. Increase the weight, decrease the reps. When you can answer yes to those questions - you're doing something right!
Oh my god, this is how I've felt for the last few days. The physical therapist killed my calves and everytime I take a step down the stairs, I'm scared of falling down.
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:27 AM   #13
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Photochick is absolutely right. As a woman, even with very high weight, you are not going to bulk up -- it is not in our physiology. It takes hours of lifting a day and a whole lot of other changes as well.

Low weight with tons of reps is just wasting your day. 2 or 3 sets of between 10-15 -- when you can barely finish the last one -- will let you know you have the right combination. If you want to slim down your thighs, you have to slim down the rest of you. As you do it, if you do the weight lifting correctly, those long lean muscles will start to show.
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:42 AM   #14
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Now that we've totally hijacked this poor girl's thread - will I ever progress beyond curling 15lbs for biceps? Lydia, this is your fault! I seem perpetually stuck there, although it is getting easier than it was a few months ago. I don't want to leave my left arm behind, so I'm using it more for daily tasks to strengthen it too, and hammer curls are easier than regular curls, but I just wonder if I'll ever see a 20.......on both arms.
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
will I ever progress beyond curling 15lbs for biceps?
You will, you will!!

I just moved to 20lbs for my dumbell presses ... OUCH. But I felt like I was at 15lbs for-freakin'-ever with them. It just sort of ... happened one day.

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