Since we’re talking about training for fat loss, I want to share a thought I’ve had for a long while.
So the common recommendation is that people should train “heavy while cutting to avoid muscle loss.” Somehow this is made sound like the only way to keep muscle is to never go above maybe six reps with the heaviest weight possible during a cut. The rationale is that you have to signal your muscles that they are “still needed.”
I don’t buy into this. The people who say this are extremely inconsistent in my opinion because they are the same ones who say that “muscles only know tension, not the weight on the bar.” I have also heard these people saying, “what builds muscle keeps muscle.” Do you only do triples to build muscle?
In my opinion, you CAN go high reps to keep muscle so long as you’re going as heavy as the rep range will allow. Muscles know effort. And if you do a set of 15 to true failure, there is no way your muscles haven’t done work. What do you think, your muscles will go, “oh we just shit a kidney doing this set of presses but the reps were above ten so we’re free to disappear now”?
The program I followed during my cut was centered around reps from eight to 15. Right. No set was under eight reps. And most were 10-15. There were even two sets of 100 reps!
But I can tell you that my 15 reps sets felt heavy from the first one and toward the 12th rep I needed all my mental strength to complete another three.
This has taught me most of this is in our heads. Train HARD, like genuinely hard, knowing you did the best you could ask out of yourself, and you’ll succeed.
I get it when people say that light weight doesn’t keep or build muscle. So what? Light weight high reps doesn’t work, and neither does light weight low reps. We need to stop thinking about light and heavy the way a scale would. If I do 100 reps with the 5 kg plate on front raises, rest assured that weight will feel HEAVY AS FUCK. So when you hear heavy weight high reps don’t think in terms of heavy as in “high 1rm%,” but more like “I’m about to do twelve reps with a weight that feels challenging from the very first rep.”