High Reps vs Low Reps for Fat Loss And Muscle Definition
So, in this video, I’m going to be talking
about one of the biggest misconceptions about fat burning,
which is that high reps burn more fat
than low reps when it comes to weight training.
I’m going to talk not just about the fact
that that’s not exactly how it is.
I’m going to talk to you about why people came
to that misconception.
Hopefully it’ll help you understand
a little bit better and also help you
in your training choices.
So, in this video, I’m talking about
the differences between high rep training
and low rep training for fat burning.
And before I go any further,
I’d like to acknowledge everyone
for their tremendous support with this channel.
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My goal, my mission is to make this channel
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from my 30 years of experience as a personal trainer
and as a natural bodybuilder.
So back onto the topic, high reps
versus low reps for fat burning.
So, the common idea is that if you want to burn fat,
you need to do higher reps, like 15, 20 reps per set.
If you want to build muscle, you do lower reps
somewhere between the course of six repetitions
to maybe as high or a no higher than 12.
And that’s really set in stone bro science idea
that most people in most gyms talk about
and there is some background as to why
that would be a perception, but it’s not exactly true.
Why Weight Training Is An Ineffective Fat Loss Strategy
First of all, let’s talk about how your muscles grow
and how you burn calories.
So, weight training is anaerobic.
Anaerobic means without oxygen.
And because it’s without oxygen,
it’s only something that can be done in very short bursts.
You can’t squat nonstop for a half hour,
nor can you do a bicep curl with any appreciable weight
for 20 minutes.
Weight training is a short burst activity,
and it’s a series of short burst activities.
There’s a lot of time in between resting.
Even if you do a high intensity training
there’s still a lot of time in between actual work.
Or if it’s high intensity as well
the duration of the workout, isn’t going to be very long.
So, you don’t burn that much in terms of calories,
from weight training and that’s just,
let’s just be very, very straight with that, you don’t.
Weight training is not an effective way to burn calories,
but some people do rely on it as a method to burn calories.
It’s an ineffective way of doing it
and what they tend to employ is a very high rep regiment
that lasts for an hour, hour and a half,
sometimes even two hours with the idea
that by doing all those repetitions,
it’s going to carve out definition into the muscles
and the idea as well that training
with high repetitions carves out definition.
That’s just not true.
Understanding How Muscles Respond To Weight Training
Here’s how your muscles work.
If you train and you lift something
and in the lifting and lowering phase
of that particular exercise you do,
if the angle is different from what your muscles
are used to doing, if the load is an overload
that goes to a point where your muscles
have difficulty doing it or cannot do it
and get to the point of momentary muscular failure,
or if the stimulation from the exercise
is a novel one and you haven’t exercised
that particular exercise or exercised in general,
there is going to be an adaptation response.
That adaptation response means your body’s going to say,
we weren’t able to do that particular movement
So, we’re going to build ourselves up to be bigger
and stronger in order to do it better next time.
That occurs on a cellular level by an increase
in protein synthesis in that particular muscle group.
That increase in muscle, in protein synthesis,
means there’s going to be a little bit more protein
in that particular area which we experience
as an increase in muscle strength and an increase
in muscle size, which we call hypertrophy.
Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption: How Weight Training Really Stimulates Fat Loss
Now there is energy required
in order for muscle growth to happen.
And if you’re training at a high enough intensity,
at the end of your workout, you are going to burn calories
because your body needs to go back to equilibrium.
If you’ve ever done a really intense workout
and I mean really intense, you feel like a truck hit you
and your body has to go back to equilibrium
to go back to that place where you don’t feel like
a truck hit you.
To do that requires energy.
That’s called post exercise oxygen consumption.
That is what most people refer to as the afterburn.
And that’s really where the bulk of the energy
and calorie burning of any kind of weight training activity
happens, not actually during the training itself,
because during training itself
you’re not burning that many calories.
You’re exerting yourself, yes, but as far as calorically
and energetically, you’re not burning that much.
And again, our bodies are very conservative.
Why High Rep Training Can’t Increase Muscle Definition
So, that being said, if I did 20 repetitions from my biceps
it’s not going to magically start carving out
all these lines and that and the other,
it’s just not going to happen.
We have this idea.
Well, you know, I’m working the muscle,
and by doing higher repetitions
I’m burning off the body fat and making everything
Understand this definition is simply a matter
of not having that much fat over a muscle.
Training a muscle locally cannot do that.
Like I said, all it does is to create
an adaptation response, that’s it, nothing else.
There’s no localized fat burning.
In fact, your fat burning system
has nothing to do with lifting of weights.
One is completely devoid and separate from the other.
That all has to with your diet, your energy intake,
what you’re eating, how you’re eating, when you’re eating.
Completely and 100% that, and we can prove it.
We can definitely prove it.
A Comparison of Natural Bodybuilders Shows The Effect Of Intensity on Overall Fat Loss
We can prove it because the majority of natural bodybuilders
from the tradition that I come from,
train in low reps, heavy weights all the time,
as much as possible, all the way up to contest time.
In fact, if you look at some of my training videos,
you’ll see me training pretty heavy
and the repetitions aren’t that high
and I’m in contest shape and I didn’t get there
by doing high reps.
In fact, I’ve never done high reps
to get into contest shape.
I never will.
High repetition is something I do as part of a cycling
my routine so there’s always something new
in terms of the stimulation to my muscles
that allow my muscles to be in a place
where they constantly are forced to adapt
to any kind of stimulation they’re not accustomed to.
But I don’t employ high reps at all
as part of a cutting strategy.
I don’t do it.
Never have, never will.
My clients haven’t done it and
there’s always the error of small numbers.
So, I can’t take my own experience and say, well,
I haven’t done high repetitions to get cut
and therefore, that’s how it is.
It doesn’t work that way.
But my clients, the competitors I’ve trained over the years
and also, the bodybuilders, the natural bodybuilders
I’ve been around for so many years as well,
we all have that tradition of heavyweights
all the way through.
If heavyweights got you, that look,
then that’s what you have to keep doing
as much as possible all the way up to contest time.
The Origin of the High Reps for Fat Loss and Muscle Definition Myth
Now, where did the high reps equals
burning more fat myth from?
Very simple: observation.
You see, most people who come up with the ideas
as to what someone should and shouldn’t do
are those who don’t actually do it themselves.
If you were to look at all the natural bodybuilding
champions over the years, I mean over the decades
and find how many of them actually talk about what they do,
what works, what doesn’t work,
how many of them are really popular
in comparison to their drug using counterparts
who are in a completely different sphere,
completely different world when it comes
to effectiveness of exercise and how exercise plays out.
And also, how it’s relevant to you
the average non-drug using human being.
There’s not that much of it.
But what I can tell you is, when bodybuilders
who have always been the people who others
would look to in the gyms as far as figuring out
what to do to get into shape, people would see
competitive bodybuilders lifting really heavy,
really, really heavy in the off season.
And the off season they’re bigger,
they’re eating more calories and they’re pushing
So, they’re pushing anywhere between six to 12 reps
and going really heavy.
And then people start seeing those bodybuilders
all of a sudden doing higher repetitions.
So, you’re seeing also while they’re doing higher repetitions
that their body fat percentages are plummeting.
They’re getting cut. They’re getting ripped.
You’re seeing lines where they weren’t lines before
because that’s how most bodybuilders
tend to get ready for competitions.
They restrict their calories so much so
that they can’t lift the heavy weights
that they were able to lift in the off season.
And because they can’t lift the heavy weights
they used to lift, instead they elect
to work the muscles by doing higher repetitions
because they just don’t have it in them both mentally
and in terms of motivation to lift the heavyweights.
Now, anyone who has gone on a restrictive calorie diet,
especially a low carb diet,
can understand that it’s really tough
and takes a certain fortitude, inner fortitude,
inner grit, to be able to train really heavy
when you’re dieting really strictly.
It’s very difficult.
That being said, the transition
from low repetitions to high repetitions
is correlative, not causative.
The high repetitions that they’re doing
isn’t what’s getting them cut.
What’s getting them cut is their diet,
It’s the way that they’re eating,
the changes in the way they’re eating,
not the changes in the gym.
People see that, however, even some of them.
Some people say, “Well, when I do high reps, I’m more cut.”
But you have to look at it
from a bigger perspective.
There’s more than one thing going on.
If you did low repetitions and ate the same way, which I do,
which my clients have done, which the bodybuilders
I’ve always been around have always done
and it’s something that they were doing
even before I was born, they get just as cut.
They get just as defined.
They don’t have any, there’s no difference
in muscle definition from someone whose biceps
or abdominals, who does high reps or low reps.
It doesn’t really make a difference.
What matters is that you have the muscle mass
and that you remove fat from on top of the muscle
to make it look more defined and also
you have enough muscle development.
Because if you’re muscles aren’t big enough,
it doesn’t matter how defined you are.
You’re not going to look impressive.
There has to be some development.
That comes from low repetitions, heavier weights.
Now that being said, if you do a lot
of high repetitions and you also do heavyweights
because some people do both, they do high repetitions
with heavy weights.
I do that sometimes. [My clients as well]
When I do employ any kind of high repetitions
it tends to be heavy weights as well,
which is kind of an insane way to train,
but it’s really effective.
That’s also not going to necessarily make you more cut
than someone doing low reps.
Not necessarily ’cause the differences in calories
being burned during exercise isn’t that much.
It’s what happens afterwards.
And what happens afterwards is completely proportional
to your intensity.
So, at the end of the day, it’s really not about high reps
versus low reps to burn fat.
If you are training intensely enough
that alone is going to increase and make a tremendous
difference in your body fat percentage over time.
I’ll give you an example.
I specialize in high intensity training.
I train all my clients, high intensity,
all my competitors I was training high intensity,
completely 110% all the time.
Now I also do a lot of online dietary coaching.
And back in the day I would do dietary coaching as well
for those who didn’t want to do the high intensity training
They just wanted my dietary advice.
What that did it gave me two groups,
and I’m always talking about the groups
and the [controlled] comparisons to compare with.
I would have two groups of people getting ready
One group is training more or less conventionally,
not high intensity at all.
The other group is training high intensity.
And they’re both eating diets
that are pretty close to each other
in terms of relative calorie intake, macronutrient intakes.
Is there a difference?
Yes, a big difference.
The ones who were not training high intensity
never lost as much body fat as those
on the high intensity training programs.
The higher the intensity, the more body fat
you’ll lose for over time.
Because there’s a much greater post exercise
Post exercise, though,
after your workout, not during, after.
Training Intensity Is More Important Than High Reps or Low Reps For Fat Loss
That’s what’s most important.
In fact, in the natural bodybuilding circles
when someone isn’t cut, we [coaches] look at them and say,
there are two things going on.
Either they aren’t eating well enough
or training hard enough.
It’s all about intensity.
Now, if your intensity includes high reps,
and you’re doing high reps at really high intensity,
that’s worth something. [And Can Build Muscle]
But don’t think the number of repetitions itself
is what matters.
What matters is how hard you push yourself.
Remember, any improvement is about adapting
to what your body’s not used to.
if you are training within your comfort zone
or you don’t go out of that comfort zone
your body has no reason to adapt
because it’s already adapted.
That’s why there is a comfort zone.
You got to that comfort zone by adaptation
when you first started training
or first doing a program.
So, my advice:
Keep the intensity high & rely on your diet, be really
on point with your diet to change the way your body looks.
Hopefully, this information helps you on your path.
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for regular and daily motivational tips.
I’m always here cheering you on,
I’m really happy to have you.
And thanks so much for tuning in.