High Reps For a Toned Body – Does it Work?
One really important aspect in whether you’ll achieve the look you want is how you train.
Perhaps, like many women, y you’ve been led to believe one of the oldest myths going around – that performing very high reps will burn fat and enhance muscle definition. Sadly, nothing is further from the truth.
This is one of the biggest mistakes that many women make as they go after their fat loss goals. They’re consistently using incorrect rep ranges for the overall results they’re looking for.
And, if you’re not seeing results your ongoing commitment to maintain your fitness program is going to become more difficult.
Let’s look at what you need to know about the high rep toning myth so that you can put this to bed once and for all.
The Lack Of Challenge
One big problem that’s associated with the high rep toning protocol is that it’s really not going to challenge your body in any way, shape or form. Sure, you may get a few muscular endurance benefits, and burn a few calories, but you could achieve that by going out for a run as well.
The whole point of a weight lifting workout program is to provide an overloading stimulus to the muscle cell, which it then must react to, adapting and growing stronger and bigger as it does.
If you aren’t providing your muscles with this challenge, you’re not giving your body any reason whatsoever to change and you’ll simply maintain your current conditioning level and physique.
Increasing muscle tone is about developing slightly larger and denser muscle tissue and then reducing body fat levels so the muscle definition is visible under the skin.
There are far better ways to accomplish both of these goals than a high rep training protocol.
Quick point to make – do not be afraid of growing huge manly muscles! I have been lifting heavy weights for well over 10 years and at 5’3” am still petite sitting around 50kg. What’s very much different about my body these days is the feminine shape and definition in my figure, even after having a child early in my 40’s. So, even small amounts of lean muscle will do amazing things for long term figure enhancement.
The Truth About Calorie Burn
Another problem with high rep training is that it doesn’t provide for much of a calorie burn. As hinted at above, the weight you’re lifting will need to be very light to be able to execute all those reps and thus not a lot of calories will be expended.
In order to get in 15-20 reps total, without doubt you are using a weight that is not nearly challenging enough for you. It’s heavy weight lifting that is not only going to demand more energy from your body, but also spike your metabolic rate for hours after your workout has finished.
The real secret behind weight lifting’s ability to help you get lean fast is the post-workout calorie burn you get from it and this is best accomplished by lifting heavier, challenging weights.
But, to lift heavier weight it means your rep range needs to decrease.
The Smarter Way
So, how do you make a workout effective to get the tight, toned body you’ve been aiming for?
Use a weight that fully challenges you so that you can’t do any more than 8-12 reps total.
Try using the 8 rep range for the compound movements you do (such and squats, lunges, bench press, pull ups) as these are the key strength builders. Take the rep range up slightly higher to the 10-12 rep range for any isolation exercises (such as biceps curls and triceps extensions) in your program plan.
Now, you can still add supersets and giant sets, drop sets, pyramid sets and all sorts of things to make it interesting – but keep the reps low. This will ensure you are challenging your muscles, as well as your heart so you can get a great cardio and strength/hypertrophy workout combined into one.
If you do this, you’ll see greater strength, muscle and fitness gains and you’ll notice that you’re becoming far leaner as your metabolism increases from enhanced fat burning all day long.
Don’t stay stuck in a high rep training program any longer. Give this myth the flick if you want to move forward and achieve much greater results from your training efforts!