Q: Should I just do light weights and higher reps if I want to lose fat and tone up?
A: It has been a long held belief that if you want to ‘tone up’ you need to do more reps (i.e. 12-15) with a lighter weight and if you want to build strength and size you need to do fewer reps (i.e. 4-8) with a heavier weight.
Women in gyms all over the world have tended to stick with the high rep scheme in an attempt to trim their body and avoid ‘getting bulky’. However, a study out of Bergen University in Norway has showed that improvements in strength and muscle size were apparent even when working in the 12+ rep range.
Similarly, working in the 6-8 rep range is also beneficial for building lean muscle tissue, therefore boosting resting metabolic rate and burning more fat.
The key to effective fat-loss and body shaping results is to lift weights in a structured and periodised but varied range of reps in order to stimulate all of the various fibre types (type I, type IIa and type IIb) that our muscles are comprised of, rather than only working one set of fibres over and over.
Always working in the higher rep ranges will soon lead to a plateau in your results because your body adapts to whatever you throw at it.
So, vary your rep ranges and rest assured you will not only improve your strength and build muscle, but you’ll also boost your metabolism, burn more fat and sculpt the body you have always wanted – without stagnating and getting frustrated at your lack of progress.
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