Three to six repetitions

Many still believe that DeLorme got it right back in 1945: Heavy weights and low reps will increase strength, but to increase muscle mass you need to do more repetitions with lighter weights.

I, too, used to believe that, until I shifted to heavy weights and lower repetitions in my own training. That's when I made what may be the most important discovery of my thirty-five years of training: I could build much more muscle, and build it much faster, with heavy weights and low reps.

A 2002 study in the European Journal of Exercise Physiology backs me up (kind of): It shows that, when novice lifters were put on low-rep, heavy-weight programs, they gained at least as much muscle as novice lifters on medium-rep, medium-weight programs, and quite a bit more than the beginners doing high reps with plastic Barbie weights.

I think the fact that someone as experienced as I am made sudden gains on low-rep, heavy-weight programs shows two things:

1. The longer you lift, the heavier you have to go to see gains.

2. You'll almost always see results when you do something you haven't done before.

There's also a pretty good testosterone response to low-rep training, which should help build bigger muscles. Another benefit: If you're doing a technically complex lift, something that takes a lot of practice, it makes more sense to do low-rep sets, since your form will start to break down as you get into higher reps. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Body Building Secrets Revealed

Body Building Secrets Revealed

Ever since the fitness craze in the 1980’s, we have become a nation increasingly aware of our health and physique. Millions of dollars are spent every year in the quest for a perfect body. Gyms are big business, personal trainers are making a tidy living helping people stay fit, and body building supplements are at an all-time level of performance.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment