Homeweight trainingHigh Reps vs Low Reps for Fat Loss And Muscle Definition

High Reps vs Low Reps for Fat Loss And Muscle Definition

High Reps vs Low Reps for Fat Loss And Muscle Definition

See the video: High Reps vs Low Reps for Fat Loss And Increasing 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.

Stay tuned.

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.

It really is appreciated

and do be sure to like and subscribe.

That way you’ll get all the new content as it comes in.

My goal, my mission is to make this channel

a one stop shop where you can benefit

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.

It’s impossible.

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.

Calories burned during high rep weight training


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

Muscle Growth Chart- high reps vs low reps

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

very well.

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

high reps to burn fat

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

high rep training cannot 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

more defined.

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

natural bodybuilder contest prep

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.

the author training at 5th Avenue Gym
The author training at 5th Avenue Gym.

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.

Correlative not causative- high reps don't burn fat

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

heavier weight.

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.

Intensity and Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC)

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

with me.

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

for competitions.

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

oxygen consumption.

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.

Intensity matters.

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.

Do be sure to like and subscribe.

Check me out also on Instagram [@naturally_intense]

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.


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242 41
Kevin Richardson
Kevin Richardsonhttps://www.naturallyintense.net
Featured everywhere from the Wall Street Journal to CBS News, celebrity Personal Trainer NYC and with over 2.6 million readers of his blog, Kevin Richardson is the creator of Naturally Intense High Intensity Training, one of the top lifetime drug free bodybuilders of his time, the first International Fitness & Nutrition Consultant for UNICEF, 2020 and 8 Time Winner of the Best of Manhattan Awards for Personal Training and a world recognized authority on high intensity training. Kevin has helped thousands, from celebrities to CEO's over the past 30 years achieve their fitness goals with his 10 minute high-intensity workouts done just three times a week in conjunction with his holistic nutrition approach. You can learn more about about his diet and training services at www.naturallyintense.net

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