Low Reps Are Better Than High Reps For Toning Up
Updated: Jan 26, 2018
“Light Weight and High Reps are for Toning Up.”
“Heavy Weight and Low Reps are for Building Muscle.”
If you’ve been interested in fitness for any length of time, I’m certain you’ve heard these statements…or should I say lies.
They’re completely false! In fact, Using Heavy Weight and Low Reps is the Best Way to Tone Up.
1) First, What Does “Toning Up” Actually Mean?
I used to despise the phrase “toning up.” I hated it because you can’t actually tone a muscle.
These days I realize it’s just what people say, and I know what you mean when you say it, so I roll with it. But what does it actually mean to tone up?
To tone up, you need to build muscle and lose fat. Any muscle tone or definition is simply the result of having a decent amount of muscle and less fat in that area.
So if you want to tone up, what you’re really saying is you want to lose fat and build muscle!
2) What’s the best way to lose fat and build muscle?
We know the most important factor for fat loss is controlling your diet. You are doing that aren’t you? The second most important factor in fat loss is building muscle, because more muscle leads to a faster metabolism which ultimately leads to more fat loss.
And the most important factor in building muscle is…well…building muscle!
That’s why building muscle is the best way to lose fat and build muscle.
3) Why Low Reps Are the Best Way to Build Muscle and Tone Up
We know that training for muscle growth is the best way to get the results we’re after, so now we have to figure out how to best build muscle.
To optimally build muscle, you want to do anywhere from 10-20 “Hard Sets” per muscle group per week. But that begs the question: What is a “Hard Set?”
A hard set is not a set that burns, leaves you fatigued, or makes you sweat. In fact, those are terrible ways to gauge the effectiveness of a set.
A hard set is a set that takes the muscle close to failure, or to the point of not being able to complete another set with good form.
When you do sets with a relatively heavy weight for somewhere between 4-8 reps, you know when you can’t do another rep. You’re just not able to move the weight anymore. It’s easy to measure hard sets this way.
When doing high rep sets, most of you are cutting your sets way before failure. You stop your set because you’re tired, sweating, or the muscle is burning. But again, those are bad indicators of effectiveness.
In theory, high rep sets can be used for muscle growth. But if I have the choice between 5 rep Squats with a heavy weight or 20 rep Squats with a light weight, I’m choosing the 5 reps every time.
High Rep Sets, especially for legs, leave you exhausted and sometimes nauseous. One high rep set sucks. I can’t imagine doing 10-20 per week!
And the fact of the matter is none of you are taking your high rep sets anywhere near failure.
If you’re ready to take your results to the next level, it’s time to stop believing the myth that Light Weight and High Reps is the Best Way to Tone Up.
When it comes to transforming your body, heavy weight and low rep are the way to go.
If you're ready to take your results to the next level and start training with heavier weight and lower reps, we'd love to help. Our program is designed specifically for people new to lifting weights.