High reps and low weight or low reps and high weight – that is the question.

Enter any gym nowadays and you can see in action an age-old argument being brought about by stereotypes in the fitness world. Namely, that if you’re looking to tone your muscles and not bulk up, you should lift a light weight millions of times, and if you’re looking to pack on the pounds like many in the gym are, you should be lifting a heavy weight just a few times. But is it really as simple as all that? Let’s look a little closer.

The Strength Continuum is a framework for building muscle where strength and endurance are both looked at for defining the relationship between weight, reps, and training outcomes. Strength in a one repetition maximum (1RM); endurance is the ability to lift a certain amount of weight over time. Low repetitions with heavy weight increases strength while high reps with a low weight increases endurance, but, following the concept, strength transitions to endurance, no matter the weight or rep started with.

So, lifting that light weight a thousand times a day for so long and you will inevitably end up stronger, and lift that heavy weight a few times a day and you will inevitably end up with more endurance. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t benefits to analyzing your goals before you begin though. Are you conditioning for a specific sport? Are you working out for aesthetic purposes only? How is your nutrition? Asking yourself these questions before you begin training will give you more of an idea of how your training program should look.

After hanging around with us here at Bodies by Brandon, you will learn the most practical way to meet the goals that you are trying for.