Training Routines: Heavier Weights Or More Repetitions?

Anyone who goes to the gym or trains at home has probably asked themselves this question at one time or another: What is better when you train? Heavier weights or more repetitions?
Exercise routines: heavier weights or more repetitions?

We have to choose one or the other option depending on our goals, since we have to use different routines to lose weight than to gain muscle in certain areas. Anyone who goes to the gym or trains at home has probably asked themselves this question at one time or another: What is better when you train? Heavier weights or more repetitions?

It all depends on what we are trying to achieve. To find out more, continue reading this article.

Heavier weights or more repetitions: What should I do?

Woman lifting weights

It can be said that this is the big question, accompanied by other questions, for example: what is the most effective method of strengthening and gaining muscle, or how can one  lose weight faster?

  • First and foremost, we need to clarify something very important: in order to progress at the gym and achieve our athletic and physical goals, we can not always train in the same way.
  • This means that it is important to implement certain changes or improvements on a regular basis.

If we always lift the same weight, perform the same number of repetitions or run at the same speed, the body gets used to the routine and reaches a “low” threshold or ceiling.

In this way, it tells us that we have achieved our goal, and that we no longer need to make an effort. Thus, the result or consequence of this habit is precisely no change or improvement.

Although the body is becoming increasingly resistant to exercise (also good news), we can not get stuck in the same routine. Why? Because it’s very boring.

Variation is important because it allows us to get better and reach our goals or at least get closer to them.

If we want to build muscle, we need to lift heavier and heavier weights than we are used to.

It does not matter how many repetitions we run, but rather the number of kilos that we can add to the exercise machine. Progress is very important, considering that the body gets used to the routine.

But make sure you do not strain yourself, as this can lead to muscle and joint injuries which, in addition to being painful, can prevent us from reaching our goal.

It is not advisable to add too much weight at once, but to walk slowly.

More repetitions = more progress?

When it comes to repetitions, we may have “permission” to change them to our liking and even reduce the number if we lift more.

The problem is that soon after, the body will be comfortable again (when a roof), and if we do not introduce a change, we will not get better or we will not make any progress.

Instead of increasing the load, it is advisable to do several repetitions with the same weight. When that weight and these repetitions are no longer challenging for you, you change one or the other variable.

Thanks to the repetitions, you will become stronger, because you will develop the muscles, and the body will be more resistant to getting tired. In addition, you can burn more fat and calories.

Increasing the number of repetitions does not always mean that you also have to increase the load; rather, you can alternate the changes.

A good technique for lifting weights consists of fewer loads, but more repetitions. Thus, we focus on movement and avoid injuries caused by excessive weight without preparation.

It is recommended not to exceed 16 repetitions when lifting weights. If it seems low, it’s because you need to gain weight.

In order to progress gradually, it is important to alternate. As soon as you can lift more weight, you can increase the repetitions and vice versa.

Building strength: heavier weights or more repetitions?

Woman lifting smaller weights

Hypertrophy (more muscle) is one of the main goals in the fitness world.

To achieve this, we must produce muscle damage, which leads to protein synthesis and construction of muscle fibers (during the recovery process).

  • Three factors affect this process: mechanical stress, metabolic stress and muscle damage.
  • To develop muscle mass, we must perform between 3 and 5 sets of up to 12 repetitions and breaks of 1 to 3 minutes.

Strength and resistance are the other two pillars that athletes aim for.

The type of combination weight series depends on what we want to achieve.

  • To build strength, it is recommended between 4 and 8 sets of 1 to 3 repetitions at the maximum capacity that we can lift.
  • On the other hand, to build resistance, the loads must be lowered and the repetitions increased (between 12 and 16).

High-load sessions increase strength, but this type of exercise can have consequences and risks. For example, it can cause damage or negative adjustments.

Low load is less “harmful”, but the results are less prominent.

As long as they are done with planning and guidance, both routines can be healthy.

Burning fat: heavier weights or more repetitions?

Woman exercising with weights

This is another common question in gyms.

Although there are many myths associated with this topic, the truth is that exercising with the right weight and performing the right number of repetitions, as well as increasing them regularly (according to our progress) is the right way to go.

Many people burn calories with aerobic exercise (such as a treadmill or the stationary bike) and not with weightlifting.

The reality is that both can complement each other so you can achieve your weight loss goals.

It is also not true that we will reduce more fat by performing more repetitions. It all depends on the intensity of the training.

  • High loads and few repetitions result in more muscle mass and thus less fat.

If we are trying to burn calories and gain muscle, it is better to perform repetitions with heavy weights instead of light ones.

However, if your only goal is to lose weight, several sets of low loads are recommended.

So, if the question of heavier weights or more repetitions has been on your mind, now you know the answer.

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