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  1. #1
    Charlie Golf is offline First Set
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    Question Best Rep Range for Fat Loss?

    I know this has probably been covered elsewhere but the search function was kinda futile for this. I apologize ahead of time if so.

    I know common knowledge says use low reps (i.e. 1-5) for "strength" gains, mid-range reps (6-12) for "size," and high reps (13-20) for "endurance."

    I would imagine that each one of these rep ranges however recruits and builds certain muscle fibers and therefore increase overall muscle mass.

    But, I also equate "size" to "mass" and mass to higher metabolism. So would it therefore be a somewhat correct conclusion that someone looking to lose fat and gain/maintain muscle stay in the 6-12 rep range and increase weight, change exercises accordingly?

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  3. #2
    dswithers is offline Verge of Overtraining
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    Most fat burning occurs AFTER exercise not during, due to the calories required for recovery and altered hormone levels caused by exercise of appropriate intensity, so do NOT worry about what rep range or heart rate burns more fat.

    More important is the total number of reps per exercise per session. Most shoot for 24-30 total reps. This can be achieved by performing 2 set of 12 reps, 3 sets of 8-10 reps, 4 sets of 6 reps, 5 sets of 5 reps, 10 sets of 3 reps, etc. Most people find some form of cycling different rep and set ranges over time promotes the most long term improvement in both strength and body composition. Typical cycle periods are every other workout, or every 2 weeks, every 6 weeks, etc.

    Or you can use different reps ranges for different exercises. For example, use lower reps (3-8) for compound movements and higher reps (10-15) for isolation movements.

    Or you can use pyramid sets, where each consecutive set you use more wieght and do less reps; or or wave loading, where every set you use a different weight and rep range, typically using more and less reps on every other set.

  4. #3
    wesrman is offline Verge of Overtraining
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  5. #4
    Chillen is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Golf View Post
    I know this has probably been covered elsewhere but the search function was kinda futile for this. I apologize ahead of time if so.
    No need to apologize. Asking fitness questions to others in the same game, is what its about.

    I know common knowledge says use low reps (i.e. 1-5) for "strength" gains, mid-range reps (6-12) for "size," and high reps (13-20) for "endurance."
    This is "close" to the baseline (blanket) recommendations. But, at the same time, it can be inaccurate.

    I would imagine that each one of these rep ranges however recruits and builds certain muscle fibers and therefore increase overall muscle mass.
    Yes, rep ranges can effect which muscle fibers (are recruited, and mostly recruited)

    But, I also equate "size" to "mass" and mass to higher metabolism.
    This is a "loaded question" actually, when we speak in terms of a diverse public. But if you are speaking simply in terms of gaining muscle (say for example, only), and weight going up, then yes one can expend a tad more calories due to the increase in muscle. However, the increase in muscle mass (and its rather minor calorie expenditure increase), can NOT out perform a bad diet.

    So would it therefore be a somewhat correct conclusion that someone looking to lose fat and gain/maintain muscle stay in the 6-12 rep range and increase weight, change exercises accordingly?
    No, I wouldn't so easily put the rep range in this area to lose tissue. Truth is, any rep range can induce tissue loss, if diet is calorie restricted enough.

    You have to experiment what will work for you.


    My approach to training, is rather simple. I want power/strength, but I want to be "well rounded", and have endurance, vitality, and dexterity. I like to think of it, as a cross between the elements of a gymnast and a weight lifter, as much as these two together can bring me at my age.

    First: I do not only perform resistance training; I also blend in station based body weight/endurance training (with added weight resistance where appropriate) that is usually (but not always) coupled with short burst (and sometimes steady state) cardio that gets my heart rate up. I react very strong in this area above all else.

    I generally cycle my rep ranges every few weeks; For about 6 to 8 weeks, I will perform within the 6 to 8 rep ranges (variable rest), and then change to 8 to 12/13 rep ranges (variable rest), and kick in intense station based body weight training cycles coupled with cardio bursts cycles. After each 6 to 8 week periods, I take one complete week off, and then begin again.

    With the exception of the body weight station based training, what I follow is pretty close to what Lyle McDonald suggests for training (in this area), and it agrees with me (I did away with DC Training, and went with what my past has taught me). Weight training, isn't going to keep my endurance up as I age, so I can go outside and play B-ball with my sons in their prime. Plus, I like the POWER that endurance and strength brings to the "overall" living life table.

    Second: What I do depends on the position of my diet (because I cycle calories and macro nutrients), as this effects the base culture of my recoverability.

    As an example: If in a calorie surplus (and say carbohydrates normal), the frequency is 4 times per week. Rep cycle doesn't change, dependent on which I am in or entering at the time. Even at 47/48 I rock this out, just fine.

    As an example: If I am in a calorie deficit (cycling carbohydrates low), the frequency can be reduced to 2/3 times per week. Rep cycle doesn't change, dependent on which I am in or entering at the time.

    Third: it depends on whether I am attempting to deplete my glucose stores.

    This is the only time, that my training takes on a "significant" change. The focus is higher reps, and attempting to obtain the incredibly annoying burn within the set. Additionally, the main focus here is to reduce body fat (in my personally stubborn areas, and likewise, the diet is even more restrictive than it generally already is).

    After setting a diet trend/perimeters appropriate prior to the upcoming week, I give about 1 week to attempt to deplete glucose stores, within about 4 rather intense and "awful" (wanting to vomit, just feeling like utter sh^t) training sessions. These can be FBW's or splits, dependent on work and other lifestyle variables.

    If I am attempting to deplete glucose stores, sets can get modified a bit higher, rest periods shorter, and reps generally are 15 to 20 for the larger muscle groups, and 12 to 15 for the smaller muscle groups, and generally I maintain the same set/rep ratio for station based body weight training (which are usually at the end, at this period of time). I generally do no cardiovascular when depleting glucose stores, as I have learned this isn't necessary for me. Diet and weight training sessions bring the results I seek at this time.

    After which, I will take a weak off of training (to recover), eat in 1,000+ surpluses (with carbohydrates higher than the norm) for the first 2 to 3 days (approximately), before dropping the calories to about +300, and carbohydrates to normal personal levels. Love this period

    Then I revert back to the weight training/station based training -opposite I did last. And, each session is recorded. And, I do perform better than the last session........or I do not leave the gym (another post).


    Best regards,

    Chillen
    Last edited by Chillen; Feb. 12/09 at 03:12 PM.

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