T Nation

Working Out with High Rep, Low Weight?


#1

I'm still really a novice with figuring out things with fitness despite having worked out for a number of years. Usually just did a routine someone gave me or what my coaches told me to. So, apologize if any questions are a bit naive.

At my gym, I've seen a number of the larger built guys doing high reps, but low weights. I read that's for cutting. Is there any other benefit to doing that? About half the members are local competitors or aspiring, so I have no clue regarding the hows and whys of what they are doing.

As I have an interest in checking out fitness as a possible second job, figured I'd ask questions and learn.


#2

Have you asked THEM why they are doing what they are doing? is it part of their program? Are they short for time that day and doing something different? Do they have a show coming up and they are following their coach’s advice?

Pick a program in line with your goals (lots to choose from).

Do said program as written (or as close as possible) for 3-4 months.

Eat for said goals.

Learn about peri workout nutrition.

Re evaluate.

Repeat.


#3

[quote]JFG wrote:
Have you asked THEM why they are doing what they are doing? is it part of their program? Are they short for time that day and doing something different? Do they have a show coming up and they are following their coach’s advice?

Pick a program in line with your goals (lots to choose from).

Do said program as written (or as close as possible) for 3-4 months.

Eat for said goals.

Learn about peri workout nutrition.

Re evaluate.

Repeat.[/quote]

Very much this.

If you want to progress you need to engage on all levels with your training. Turning up and doing the work is a huge part of getting results - but you can’t overlook learning about the process. The more you know, the more tools you have at your disposal. Not least, the ability to discern between what is worth doing and what isn’t.


#4

Higher rep, lower weight work has its place. It works well when combined with short rests between sets (30-40secs) and high volume sets at least 5 with the same weight. It focuses the work on the muscles rather than joints. Its good for hypertrophy of slow twitch fibres, working around injuries, or as a “light day” in a more conventional strength focused workout.

Despite the weight being relatively light it doesn’t mean the workout is less intense, due to the short rests.


#5

How much reps are we talking about and what exercises are they doing them with?

Some exercises do not lend to high reps and some would be purposeless to do with low reps (e.g., high pulls, lateral raises, etc.).

Many advanced lifters are at a point in which they are just maintaining the size they have because they are peaked out, even if drug aided.

Some exercises might even be done unsafely with high reps by noobs. For example, squats, power cleans, deadlifts, overhead presses, because with a lack of strength and a sturdy body with a foundation of muscle, form can break down in the beginner, whereas someone who has developed very good coordination and a good sense of body awareness can handle money exercises for high reps with good form. It can sometimes be actually easier to teach someone the money exercises with low reps in the beginning.

I think I’ve done OK for myself body-wise (perhaps not great), and I do 6 to 15 reps for exercises.


#6

some people’s joints just can’t handle low rep stuff.


#7

[quote]Yogi wrote:
some people’s joints just can’t handle low rep stuff. [/quote]

That’s why I do higher rep workouts - I might do a couple 5 rep sets on some exercises then drop the weight for higher reps because I’m getting old & broken


#8

[quote]ecjim wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:
some people’s joints just can’t handle low rep stuff. [/quote]

That’s why I do higher rep workouts - I might do a couple 5 rep sets on some exercises then drop the weight for higher reps because I’m getting old & broken
[/quote]

yeah me too. I’m not that old but I’m pretty fucking broken! Haha


#9

[quote]Yogi wrote:

[quote]ecjim wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:
some people’s joints just can’t handle low rep stuff. [/quote]

That’s why I do higher rep workouts - I might do a couple 5 rep sets on some exercises then drop the weight for higher reps because I’m getting old & broken
[/quote]

yeah me too. I’m not that old but I’m pretty fucking broken! Haha[/quote]

be careful - the broken parts get worse as you age. I’ve been able to squat now for 2 months now - 2X per week - that might be the longest run in a couple years


#10

[quote]ecjim wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:

[quote]ecjim wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:
some people’s joints just can’t handle low rep stuff. [/quote]

That’s why I do higher rep workouts - I might do a couple 5 rep sets on some exercises then drop the weight for higher reps because I’m getting old & broken
[/quote]

yeah me too. I’m not that old but I’m pretty fucking broken! Haha[/quote]

be careful - the broken parts get worse as you age. I’ve been able to squat now for 2 months now - 2X per week - that might be the longest run in a couple years
[/quote]

mate, tell me about it. Seems like the list of exercises I can’t do pain free is twice as long as the list of ones I can!

I’ve got a handle on it these days now, though. I know what I can and can’t get away with so I’ve actually been injury free for a while now


#11

Find cold water (your bath will do but something you can submerge your entire body in is better) and get in it for 10 minutes. Once per week is magic, you will no longer feel any aches and pains (partly because your testicles will disappear into your abdomen making all other things seem insignificant - joking)


#12

[quote]tsantos wrote:
Find cold water (your bath will do but something you can submerge your entire body in is better) and get in it for 10 minutes. Once per week is magic, you will no longer feel any aches and pains (partly because your testicles will disappear into your abdomen making all other things seem insignificant - joking)[/quote]

Easy there, Satan.


#13

[quote]tsantos wrote:
Find cold water (your bath will do but something you can submerge your entire body in is better) and get in it for 10 minutes. Once per week is magic, you will no longer feel any aches and pains (partly because your testicles will disappear into your abdomen making all other things seem insignificant - joking)[/quote]

Do you add ice? I could do ice water in the bathtub. I’ve seen the MMA fighters do that for recovery - Eastcoast Jim