Posted in: Muscle Building Workouts
One thing about bodybuilding is there are literally limitless ways to skin a cat. Some people like to stick to a certain way of training (and if it works for them, hey, great) while others like to mix it up a bit and get best results that way.
Probably one of the major variations you can add to you training regime is changing the reps, sets, and weight you use. This can have a dramatic impact upon results even if you continue using the same exercises.
The body is made up of different types of muscle fibre. It has a spectrum ranging from very slow twitch to very fast twitch. It’s true that, higher reps tend to be the best for overall muscle size because the average person’s muscles are made up of a majority percentage of slower twitch muscle fibres. It makes sense doesn’t it?
Now let’s examine why our muscles are made this way…
Slow twitch muscle fibres are endurance orientated muscles. They are good at continuing sub-maximal effort for a long period of time. It’s evolution. Think of our ancestors jogging after prey for a long time, and then dragging as much as they can miles back home after the kill. That’s endurance. Our day to day lives (in modern times, walking to the shop and carrying bags home) are the same – it’s about endurance. When was the last time you had to sprint to the shops full speed with an army backpack, fill it with half a ton of cans (as much as you can lift) and sprint back? It’s hard to imagine because it’s down right impossible to do… here’s why…
As our maximal lifts improve, our previous maximums allow for more endurance. What we benched for one rep 2 years ago we can maybe now do for 10, etc. As our lifts progress we begin recruiting and strengthening even higher echelon twitch fibres.
That is why we have a much lower percentage of fast twitch fibres. The force generated is far beyond the slow twitch, but it doesn’t last anywhere near as long simply because our day to day lives aren’t all about maximal effort, muscle wise.
Right – now to the point I’m going to make about low rep training. When training with low reps and heavy weight, what you are doing is, you are training your faster twitch muscle fibres so they can grow. The benefit here is, you are training the percentage of fibres which most bodybuilders neglect completely. And, it could equate to a sizeable percentage of muscle size, not to mention the far greater amount of explosive power you are going to gain from it.
The best way to do this is simply to start with a 1 rep max, then a 2 rep max, 3 rep max, and so forth – up until 6-7 rep maxes. That way you are covering all of the bases and truly hitting the wide spectrum of fast twitch fibres.
My advice is to always do both low reps and heavy weight and higher reps and lower weight, that way you develop power and endurance, and you get the size benefits of developing both aspects of your muscle. Anything less, I feel, is incomplete and a waste.If you're struggling to build muscle then I urge you to get my free hardgainer course where you will discover my former skinny-guy secrets to fast muscle growth and learn how to overcome your hardgainer genetics: Get My Free Hardgainer Course Now >>
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