Follow Studio 41Follow us on Facebook
7 May, 2012
Lifting too light weights for the rep bracket – Understanding Failure
At Studio41 personal training studio here in Wellington, allowing someone to lift a weight that is effective for their rep range is a skill that is taken seriously, as every set counts. Understanding the 1st “Biggest Mistakes of Strength Training” – “The objective of any good strength training protocol is to take musculature to failure” – in fact I would say that this is the key to getting results. I often see people lifting weights (let’s say 15) and stopping when they reach 15. However if I asked them to keep on going they probably could have done another 10 – 15 reps. This means that they were really using a weight that was suitable for 25 – 30 reps. Understand that 12 – 15 reps means that if you can do 16 reps with good form then the weight is too light. This goes for any rep bracket. If I am lifting 8 – 10 reps for 4 sets and I manage to lift my weight for all 4 sets for the maximum of 10 reps each then next time I will be using a heavier weight when I train. However the previous 2 points still take priority – keep good form and keep the tempo.
“I don’t wont to bulk up”
I think one of the major reasons why the above happens is that people (females) don’t wont to bulk up and feel that if they lift to failure then this will happen. However muscular endurance is determined by a set lasting longer than 70 secs, (this is where 15 reps = toning comes from), however the people who said that you should increase the reps to 15 if you want to stay away from hypertrophy still meant that you train to failure. You just fail at 15 reps and not the classic 8 – 10.
You have to consider 2 things –
Muscle is denser than fat. If you carry a pound of fat then it may look like this when it is around muscle
However if you develop muscle – this will raise your metabolism (muscle takes more energy to maintain than fat) and you will burn more calories at rest helping to shred that fat. However even with small muscle growth you will still look leaner and your clothes will be fitting better as your body now looks like this,
And so yes – your muscles have got bigger – you look smaller.
2. Repairing damaged muscle fibre take 48 – 72 hours which burns calories.
People often think it is the actual exercise that is important and hence the time that they exercise (it is often these people who train for hours for very little result). However what is important is the adaptive respond from that exercise. During long continuous cardio – your metabolism has been shown to be raised post exercise for 30-45 minutes. However because weights cause a greater degree of muscular damage – the repair process involves a higher thermogenic effect and has been shown to raise your metabolism for the post 48 – 72 hours. So – relative to greater fat burning over the whole week – weights are a far superior choice………well maybe. If you are using light weights for your rep bracket then no muscular damage occurs and you may as well be taking a walk in the park. Remember – muscular failure for your rep bracket is the key.