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|Why You need to STOP with the Low Reps if You want to build Muscle by Kenyans247(m): Wed Nov 2019 02:56pm|
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To talk about FITNESS finally, I got a great email yesterday that I HAD to share with guys. This gentleman’s problem is one that many many people experience.
Its one of those ridiculously chronic problems that has “secret” solution that SHOULD NOT be a secret.
But for whatever reason it is.
What am I talking about
LOW REPS DO NOT BUILD MUSCLE FOR MOST PEOPLE
Here is the conversation below. The gentlemen’s correspondence is in italics. Mine is in Bold.
I’m 6’4″ and find it extremely difficult to put on weight. Despite lifting weights for 4 or 5 years now I’ve been hovering at 195 lbs body weight for a long time and still can’t even bench 225. Additionally, I struggle with that same weight during squats. I know it’s simply from not eating enough food–the appetite is just not there. Anyway, I’ve decided to take a few months hiatus from the gym and focus on basic bodyweight movements before trying again.Realistically, how much muscle and strength can a person obtain with pushups, pullups, and air squats, especially given my build and prior experience? How might I optimize my time while currently not attending the gym?I would be very grateful to hear your input,
How have you been training?
I have made some gains in strength and size, certainly. I got to about 3 x 180 on bench. 5 x 200 back squats, 3 x 300 DL, and weighted chins with 60 lbs for reps. I definitely was getting stronger over a long period of time, but my progress was far too slow and shoddy. I know it’s from not eating enough because I was doing everything else correctly (novice program, sleep, etc). Using a fitness app I tracked that I ate 3,000-3,500 cals./day and still made little to no progress. Basically force-feeding still wasn’t enough.
Did you ever train with higher reps?
On occasion, but 90% of my workouts were low reps high weight.
Why Don’t Low Reps Build Muscle?? Is that really all it could be
YES. Yes it is.
Here is the reality, and some background history:
Years back when I got into lifting weights “hardcore” and the fitness community was in its infancy, POWERLIFTING became something of an online phenomenon.
Big, Burly men lifting massive weights. 400 and 500lb and 600 bench press, 700 and 800 and 900 and even 1,000lb squats.
Powerlifting is all about the ONE REP MAX. How much weight can you lift for ONE REP?
Subsequently, the training around powerlifting is all about LOW REPS.
Why would you 10 reps when the whole sport is based on doing 1 rep?
Now, what I saw happen over a few years is that beliefs and practices in the powerlifting community completely took over mainstream fitness.
Most average Joes and Janes have never watched powerlifting videos, BUT the mainstream is always Downstream of the “hidden springs” communities.
Basically, the extremes are what dictate the middle, to say it another way.
So what happened was that 3×5 training, 5×5 training, they became popular.
Statements like “Muscles comes from STRENGTH” became accepted as fact.
And an entire generation of Average Joe lifters got caught up in the idea that they had to lift heavy all the time, that anything over 5 reps was “cardio”, and that if they could just get their 1 rep maxes up, then they’d be BIG and STRONG.
The problem with all of this?
ITS NOT TRUE.
Only about roughly 1 in 5 people I’d estimate have the GENETICS to actually get “Big and Strong” on low reps.
See, on the physiological level, Muscle does NOT come from strength. Strength is the result of MUSCLE.
Meaning if you want to get stronger, you need to prioritize muscle GROWTH.
Low reps DO NOT:
Create sustained tension on a muscle long enough for sustained damage to occur that signals increased muscle growth
Low reps do not train a muscles metabolic systems that lead to increased muscle growth
Low reps do not fully stimulate the full range of muscle fibers within a muscle to lead to sustained muscle growth
Low reps train the NERVOUS system to get more coordinated. BUT this plateaus fast because strength is ultimately dependent on muscle SIZE. Past the “newbie phase” of strength gains, you will NOT get any stronger without training to be BIGGER (which means higher reps, AKA bodybuilding)
BUT BUT BUT I know someone who got HUGE on low reps? What about the powerlifters who are Huge?
They are OUTLIERS. The Best Powerlifters in the world are genetic OUTLIERS. They are NOT the norm at all.
If you had the genetics to get HUGE on low reps.
You’d already know it.
And ESPECIALLY if you are tall and lanky, training almost exclusively with Low reps it is the WORST training decision you could make.
You’re likely to just beat up your joints, never see significant muscle growth, and probably think you’re a hardgainer, like this gentleman unfortunately.
The Solution to all this is SIMPLE though,
If you want to finally build muscle,
TRAIN WITH HIGHER REPS.
In 10 years of training people, I’ve NEVER had anyone fail to build muscle in the 8-20 rep range.
This is range that I would argue that 80% of people NEED to be training in if they want to build size and strength. The majority of your training should be in that range.
It optimizes the rep ranges you train in
It optimizes the exercises
It shows you how to lift, not hit plateaus, and finally achieve sustained muscle growth.
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