If you follow me on Twitter, then you may remember a study I mentioned last year that reported you can put on muscle just as fast with a high rep, low weight workout of 30% intensity to failure as you can with a low rep, high weight workout with 90% intensity to failure.
Just this month, a new study was released that reports a similar finding.
It turns out that when it comes to building muscle, it’s not about how heavy you go or how many reps you do – it’s whether or not you lift to failure. This flies in the face of the traditional assumption that lifting super heavy weights for 6-12 reps to failure is the only way to maximize muscle growth.
But before you ditch any heavy weight training, it’s important to realize that although training load did not seem to matter when it came to building muscle, it did (in both studies) have a clear impact on maximum strength gains – with the heavier groups gaining significantly more strength.
So if your goals are both to build muscle and to get strong, it’s important to use 80-90% of your one repetition max. But if you just want muscle, grab any weight, and lift it until you’re tired. Your body will know what to do from there.
If you have questions about how many reps are necessary to build muscle, then ask away at the Get-Fit Guy Facebook page.
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