This is a very controversial dilemma among athletes: let’s try to understand if it is better to do more repetitions or to lift a lot of weight.
If you regularly go to a gym (or if you simply train at home), you will no doubt have heard the question numerous times: ” is it better to do more repetitions or to lift a lot of weight?”. As many times as there are people who believed they knew the right answer.
In this article, we finally try to solve the dilemma that poses a greater weight and a greater number of repetitions.
This is the eternal dilemma of the gym and the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise study solved it. After analyzing different types of sprints by some cyclists, it concluded that doing a few repetitions, even just two, offers different benefits for your physical fitness and the health of the cardiovascular system.
The same opinion was expressed in 2014 by a study of the University of Lillehammer according to which performing exercises with weights for five minutes, after finishing a bike session for at least 185 minutes, improves performance.
The question is: “can we extrapolate this elaborate result on cycling and apply it to the weight room of a gym?”
Before going into the matter, it is important to clarify that if we really want to improve from a sporting point of view, we cannot think of doing just one type of training.
Change the type of training
If we always lift the same weight, do the same number of repetitions and the same exercises, the consequence will be that our body will eventually get used to quickly reaching maximum performance.
In this way, the body tells us that it is trained enough to do what it is asked without much effort. This will no longer guarantee us any improvement or further benefit.
But there is no mistaking it. The fact that our body has increased endurance is certainly a positive aspect, but we cannot stop at this result.
This is the phase in which we must begin to introduce variations in our training and it is the moment in which the question arises: more weight or more repetitions?
Actually both of these options are necessary in order to improve your sporting goals, but the two types of training perform very different functions. Your choice will depend on the state of the form you are in and the goal you want to achieve.
Lift more weight
Basically the theory is very simple: if our goal is to be able to lift more weight, we will have to try to slightly increase the weight that we usually lift.
However high the number of repetitions we do, if our goal is to lift 10 kg instead of 5, we should progressively accustom our muscles to a greater load.
A fundamental thing is to avoid forcing our bodies beyond their possibilities, especially if we are at the initial stage of our training. This is because of the likelihood of suffering muscle joint injuries when the proper attention is not paid to performing such exercises.
So what is it advisable to do? The ideal would be not to add too much weight in one go, but to gradually increase gradually.
As for the number of repetitions, we can do less than we do with a lower load, given that the impulse we are giving to the muscles is totally different.
When our body has become accustomed to weight gain, then we can move on to the next phase, which is to get our muscles used to the greater effort, in order to continue to exceed our limit.
Do multiple repetitions
If the n ostro body recovers and comes back relaxed back to even raise that ceiling that prevents us from improving, even with increased weight in no time. Unless we introduce some variation to our training.
There is an alternative to weight gain, that is, increase the number of repetitions.
You will decide the duration of this ‘second part’ of the training cycle, at least until you are free to increase the load again.
Contrary to what many people think, increasing the number of repetitions also helps you to ‘ get stronger ‘, only in a different way than you would by increasing the weight.
Thanks to this training we will strengthen the muscles and increase resistance to greater fatigue. In addition to improving endurance in the long run, the fact of practicing a high-intensity activity will cause us to burn more calories and fat.
It is not necessary to increase the load when we increase the repetitions. We can simply start by lifting the weight we are used to, as we have already said. It is in fact a great way to improve muscle strength, endurance, and weight lifting technique.
Integrations: feeding and rest
Keep in mind that the workout in the gym is as important as pay close attention to the other two pillars of sport development: diet and rest.
Firstly, we need to know how to choose the diet that best suits our goals.
A diet rich in high protein foods is more suitable for muscle gain, without forgetting the need to integrate carbohydrates, fats and other nutrients.
As a third fundamental element, there is the need to make a good recovery to make sure that the improvements obtained with training remain in our body.
For a beginner it is ideal to train two or three days a week; for an intermediate level it would take three or four days and for an advanced level it will take up to five or six days a week.
Although this is not always taken for granted. There are actually many factors that can influence us by forcing us to partially change our training program.
One of these is certainly stress, which can negatively affect or even cause injuries.
Conclusion: alternate the two
Instead, the importance of making gradual progress could be discussed, which is where the heart of the matter lies.
When we get to the point of lifting a lot of weight, it will not be easy to do many repetitions and vice versa.
So the best advice we can give to anyone who wants to work on strength is to be patient. There is no hurry! Since the goals you can achieve are potentially infinite by training with a lot of effort and in a constant way.