T Nation

High Repetitions and Fat Loss

ok, i’m telling this guy that high repetitions will not make you cut and he disagrees

said by me :

it’s a complete myth that high repetitions make you cut…

said by him:

well that all depends, it really depends on what percentage if your normal lifting weight your lifting.
lets say you can bench 100 pounds max.
you lift 80pounds on your regular days @8-10reps and 100pounds on only your max days.
thsi means that if your cuting and you think lifting 25% of your total weight 18-20 reps is totally wrong.
25pounds 20 tims is sinply burnout and is gay.
BUT if you take say 50-65% and lift 50-60 pounds 11-14 thats not a different story because insted of lifting almost nothing you at least got some weight behind you.
its not really a myth it just needs to be done correctly.

in my opinon i would still lift heavy in the cutting stage but thats just me.

said by me:
and besides, cutting has almost nothing to do with exercise and everything to do with what you eat

said by him:

come on bro, your killing me

can someone give me scientific facts to back up how not eating + exercise = cannabalize your own muscle (like a short explanation of which energy systems are used) thanks!

80 lbs * 10, if 100 lbs is your max, is pretty damn tough. That’s not high-rep anymore, because… well, you wouldn’t be able to do it.

I am right here, right guys?

[quote]lmjudek wrote:
80 lbs * 10, if 100 lbs is your max, is pretty damn tough. That’s not high-rep anymore, because… well, you wouldn’t be able to do it.

I am right here, right guys?[/quote]

Depending on muscle fiber type one person can get considerbaly more reps out of their 1rm than another person. Also, exercise selection plays a role. So you may be right, you may not.

With that said I doubt high reps leads to fat loss as the total caloric expenditure is still relatively low with weight training. Generally, weight training should be used as a tool to “preserve” muscle when dieting, not to strip away fat.



i would love to have information on this as well…the other day i was talking to a friend about the same thing. But lets remeber one thing…even if you give them all the info in the world…they will not believe it. Cause Arnold and ronnie and every other steroid joe do it the other way and hey, look at them.

at the end i mean that

what you eat is just a little MORE important than how you exercise (i’m not saying that eating right is the only thing you need)

thanks for the responses

well actually if you use like a 1 rep max calculator

8 reps of 80 leads to about a 99 lb. bench press max

Your fat loss depends on your diet and cardio. The same heavy weights that helped build that muscle will be the same ones that help you keep it when dieting. I don’t change how I train between the efforts of gaining and dieting. The only concern is the usual decrease in weights because of the lower caloric intake and depressed glycogen stores. Higher reps (as in above 8-10) do not help you “cut”.

I think many people still believe this myth because it allows them to think less about everything that is necessary outside of the gym…as long as they believe that what they do in the gym will take care of all of the work. The truth is, when dieting, what you do outside of the gym is even more important. Dieting is the only time where I can tell you what I plan on eating on Thursday when it is only Monday.

His first mistake was using somebody with a 100 pound bench press as an example. If somebody only has a 100 pound bench press max he has bigger problems than just getting cut. And for the last time, get rid of the 1 RM calculators!

depending on body type but for the most part lift as heavy as you can for 3 to 4 reps and try taking a 30 tp 45 sec. rest peroid. Beleive it or not you will not be able to lift very heavy but will get max muscle contraction, your muscles will not be able to tell how much weight you have on but will be able to sence the tension. Lift as heave as possible but with sort rest periods

Check out CT’s “Lifting for Fat Loss” article for some good info on what weights to do during a cutting phase. He mainly recommends low volume such as 5x5 with compound exercises.

I’ve been doing higher reps mostly for the last few months and don’t find them to be worth a damn.

I don’t see my body changing the way I saw it change almost daily when I was lifting heavy.

I’m going back to heavy weights, 8-12 repetitions.

Also, 15-20 reps is brutally boring.

[quote]futuredave wrote:
I’m going back to heavy weights, 8-12 repetitions.
Also, 15-20 reps is brutally boring.

i consider 8-12 as middle to high rep sets. 5 and under is heavy rep sets. laters pk

Though slightly off topic lets not forget the EPOC of a good full body weight training session. A study was done that showed a 12 set full body routine burned 700 Kcals over the next 2 days following the routine. That is certainly significiant and shows another great reason to be weight training during diet besides just muscle and strength preservation.

Just a question…

Why is it that I seem to have used a sort of high rep training in the past and experienced incredible fat loss while stuffing myself with food. Not that I recommend this, but when I worked as a mason’s helper, which was brutally difficult manual labor, and then did some pushups and pullups in my free time for a summer, with no diet at all, I lost a ton of bodyfat. Before that, I found that wrestling in highschool, (which is like 1-2 hours of daily high rep lifting ), stripped me of my bodyfat, and I was actually in a postition where I had to eat a lot to remain in my weight class. Finally, I have a friend who did a German Volume training style workout, except that there was only 10 seconds between sets instead of a minute, and one lifted 6 days a week, with very light weights (I think Vince Gironda is responsible for this program). Anyway, he lost a ton of fat, seemed to get a little bigger, but we took no measurements so he might have just looked bigger being leaner, and he did not gain much 1 rep strength at all. I am not recommending people ignore their diet and use these painfull means to loose fat, but, in my admittedly limited expreience, it is hard for me to say they don’t work.

Two words: Caloric Expenditure

As both a laborer and a wrestler you likely had a much higher daily caloric expenditure than you otherwise would.

The equation for weight loss is quite simple: Calories In < Calories Out. Period. During those periods of your life you created a huge caloric deficit by engaging in highly demanding activities.

What you do, however, (read: training, macronutrient profile, food combining) will determing what is lost (FM vs. LBM).

BTW, X is right. Those that subscribe to the “high-rep fat loss” B.S. are simply too damn lazy to accept responsibility for the things they do outside the gym. Remember, if you are not losing bodyfat, “It’s your diet stooopid!”

P.S.: I used to have a hard time buying this, as well. I finally bit the bullet and started taking responsibility for my shitty diet.

Wouldn’t ya know, I’ve dropped from ~12% to 7.5% BF in the last 8 weeks. Now here’s the crazy part: I’ve been training heavy, and I’ve gained 3lbs of LBM all the while. Go figure!