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  #1  
Old 11-02-2001, 04:04 PM
jesse morrison jesse morrison is offline
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Fitness---high reps vs. low reps

I am trying to set up an experiment at the local Gold's Gym, to determine which is better for overall fitness, high reps, or low reps in weight lifting.

The position of the personal trainers at the gym, is that it is better to perform 12 reps per set and do circuit training with 30 seconds to 1 minute rest between sets for 30 minutes total time.

My debatable opposition position is that one should do as many foot pounds of work as possible during this 30 minute period.

From my past experience of weight lifting, I am guessing that high reps instead of low reps will produce more foot pounds of work per 30 minutes of work.

I am defining fitness to be (most work per 30 minute period), and strength to be (most work per repetition).

To set up the experiment I will have to measure how far the weight stack is moved per repetition, and multiply this by the number of reps in one set, times the number of sets performed in a 30 minute period.

I plan on using 4 different compound exercises using different muscle groups, using the upper body muscles only, since I already do one hour of aerobic body work for my lower body (semi-recumbent bike).

1. Sitting leverage bar dips.
2. Sitting close grip pulldowns.
3. Sitting leverage bar bench presses.
4. Sitting cable pulley rows.

All the machines are by Bodymaster. I plan to circuit the exercises in the sequence above.

My normal routine is 50-100 reps per set, reducing the number of reps per set as I fatigue, but have recently started reducing the weight instead of the reps.

My plan is to compete with one of the personal trainers, letting the personal trainer use 12 reps per set, and I will use 50 reps per set, and then total our respective foot pounds of work, then reverse this, and see if there is a difference. My guess is that the lines will cross and the optimum number of reps will be somewhere between 12 and 50 reps per set.

If anyone has expertise in the above, or thoughts on this subject, please reply.
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  #2  
Old 11-02-2001, 04:59 PM
Ikujinashi Ikujinashi is offline
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This sounds really interesting. Please post the results when you get them.

As far as evaluating which type of exercise is better, I think you should measure this differently. It sounds like you're going to be measuring the amount of work done during a workout. This is interesting, but I think you should also examine whether or not doing the most work per workout is the best training practice.

How about evaluating progress made following a regimen of high reps vs. low reps? Measure: max reps at a low weight, max weight at low reps (one, two?), and muscle girth (*I* certainly don't lift for vanity's sake, but I, um, know a friend that does). I'm not sure how you could quantify tone, but that'd be interesting as well. Take those before and after a training period, then switch techniques.

The big question there is how long a training period should be. I'd say 6 weeks ought to show a benefit one way or the other, but I'd definitely bow to an expert opinion.

Getting more people to try your experiment (well the longer version I'm proposing) would lend more credence to the results.
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  #3  
Old 11-02-2001, 06:29 PM
Kamandi Kamandi is offline
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Don't forget diet. In order to elimiate that variable, both of you should have equivalent diets. That doesn't necessarily mean you should eat exactly the same thing, but you shouldn't be scarfing pizza and beer if the trainer is eating well.
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  #4  
Old 11-02-2001, 06:35 PM
Kamandi Kamandi is offline
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That's not to imply that you're not eating well, jesse, because from your OP it looks like you know what you're doing. Just pointing out a possible influence on your experiment.
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  #5  
Old 11-02-2001, 06:51 PM
treis treis is offline
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Quote:
My normal routine is 50-100 reps per set
50 to 100 reps? Thats a lot, what are your goals?
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  #6  
Old 11-02-2001, 07:14 PM
DSeid DSeid is offline
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FWIW, I can tell you what the excercise physiologists say ... although I suspect that you've heard this before.

The high rep/low resistance vs low rep/high resistance choice is decided by what you want to accomplish with training.

The first encourages more endurance and definition; the second more strength and bulk.

For an extreme example of your experiment compare the marathon runner with the power lifter: both may be expending the same calories during an hour of excercise but with very different results. Is one more fit?

Since you define fitness as endurance, then very likely high reps will win out ... the trainers may be thinking of the needs of the all around athlete or vanity client.

Competitive athletes do all sorts of variations ... the one that makes the most sense to me is the "multipoundage" or "reverse pyramid" routine - you do a low rep/high weight set to exhaustion, take off enough weight to enable you to immediately do ten more reps and exhaustion and repeat for a third set right away. Some competive athletes do "periodization" - aiming for an event date, they'll do 4 weeks of high rep/low wt, then 4 of moderate of each, then 2 of low rep/high wt, and finally 1-2 of "active rest" (cross training or low rep/low wt. They cycle round again as needed.

My expertise on these subjects (and fitness) would be enhanced if I spent more time excercising and less time playing here!
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  #7  
Old 11-03-2001, 06:38 AM
jesse morrison jesse morrison is offline
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Originally posted by treis

50 to 100 reps? Thats a lot, what are your goals?
____________________________________________________________

Thanks for the question treis, suprisingly, I do not think I have thought that much about it, as being a goal, but now that I have--------

I think my goal at the deepest level, is to out compete other males, for the attention of females. This probably goes all the way back to the beginning of sexual reproduction. Seems like females of all species are looking for the most fit male.

I tend to favor the marathon runner over the power lifter as being more fit, but do not know why I feel this way, other than humans design machines (extended phenotypes) for endurance.

People have jokingly called me a machine at the gym, and I find it strange that most people do not think of the human body as being a machine, although we invent machines that extend our bodies, and then take better care of the machines than we do our bodies (SUV's).

Even though I have not researched this yet, I have the thought that we should be looking at our mitochondria as being the limiting factor in fitness, and how this can be improved, along with exercise.
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  #8  
Old 11-06-2001, 09:30 PM
treis treis is offline
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That is still quite a bit. 12-15 reps are good for forming the lean muscular look. 50-100 seems just like a waste of quite a bit of time to fatigue the muscles.
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  #9  
Old 11-06-2001, 10:30 PM
YWalker YWalker is offline
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Re: Fitness---high reps vs. low reps

Quote:
Originally posted by jesse morrison
I am trying to set up an experiment at the local Gold's Gym, to determine which is better for overall fitness, high reps, or low reps in weight lifting.
<snip>
I am defining fitness to be (most work per 30 minute period), and strength to be (most work per repetition).
I think the basic disagreement you have with the personal trainers is your definition of fitness. IMO, fitness is not defined as the most work done (by the mechanical definition of work you gave) per 30 minute period.

I am certified by the YMCA to teach strength training. We recommend the 12 reps per set rule for general strength training --- that is, select a weight such that you can successfully complete 8 - 12 repetitions with good form. If you can't make 8 reps with good form, you're lifting too much and risking injury. If you're knocking out 50 - 100 reps, you're doing a lot for the endurance of the muscles, but not nearly as much to increase strength and muscle mass. (You're probably also setting yourself up for a repetitive stress injury. At the very least, you're probably getting a lot of angry looks from the people waiting in line to get to the machine/bench you're tying up for so long.)

But I guess you won't be back here to discuss this any more.
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  #10  
Old 11-08-2001, 03:16 AM
dude dude is offline
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or..

Quote:
Originally posted by jesse morrison
Originally posted by treis

50 to 100 reps? Thats a lot, what are your goals?
____________________________________________________________

Thanks for the question treis, suprisingly, I do not think I have thought that much about it, as being a goal, but now that I have--------

I think my goal at the deepest level, is to out compete other males, for the attention of females. This probably goes all the way back to the beginning of sexual reproduction. Seems like females of all species are looking for the most fit male.

I tend to favor the marathon runner over the power lifter as being more fit, but do not know why I feel this way, other than humans design machines (extended phenotypes) for endurance.

People have jokingly called me a machine at the gym, and I find it strange that most people do not think of the human body as being a machine, although we invent machines that extend our bodies, and then take better care of the machines than we do our bodies (SUV's).

Even though I have not researched this yet, I have the thought that we should be looking at our mitochondria as being the limiting factor in fitness, and how this can be improved, along with exercise.
its less effort just to get the girl drunk !
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  #11  
Old 11-08-2001, 03:20 AM
dude dude is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2001
being super fit

I have a royal marine training book and the basic idea is you run a set distance each day and slowly increase it.

You then start from the first distance again but carrying a bag with weights on your back and then increase the weights.

Its pretty easy to see who is the fittest on this scale i.e. who finishes the race first.


If you have running machines at the gym why not do a gym marathon ? or perhaps some kind of massive workout i.e. 10 mile run followed by 50 sit ups followed by 50 this and 50 that and a 10 mile run to finish ?

BTW females looking for fitness, they want 'fitness of purpose' - you could be physically super fit but lacking in other areas. This is why male models get more girls than athletes.
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  #12  
Old 11-15-2001, 06:33 PM
jesse morrison jesse morrison is offline
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Re: being super fit

Originally posted by dude

BTW females looking for fitness, they want 'fitness of purpose' - you could be physically super fit but lacking in other areas. This is why male models get more girls than athletes.
____________________________________________________________

"fitness of purpose"----What does this mean?

Male models and athletes both have the same fitness indicator---Bilateral Symmetry. My guess is that the average male model has more facial bilateral symmetry than the average athlete. I also guess that a female will choose the athlete for a husband (protector), but choose the model for genes (offspring), of course this depends on availability, and the beauty of the female.
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  #13  
Old 11-16-2001, 09:40 AM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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Is the opinion of the trainers (30-minute workout, going for pure 8-12 rep sets) based on anything other than pure fitness? Like, say, coming up with a workout routine people can fit into a lunch hour? You may be comparing and contrasting workout regimens which have very little in common, which will drastically compromise the validity of any findings.

You have to bear in mind that one of the goals (not necessarily the main goal, but it's way up on the list) of any employee of a gym is to get people to keep paying their membership fees. If people get into an exercise routine that they can't handle, either because of physical inability or not enough time in their day, then they'll stop coming and let their memberships lapse.

I've heard that basic description of a 30-minute workout from several different sources, described as a reasonable way to get people into exercising regularly without hurting themselves, and seeing results within a short period of time (a few weeks to a month).
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