When doing a weight lifting regiment, are reps more important than weight to burn calories?
I recommend to my clients a few things when they try to burn calories into their weight training regiment:
1) do reps between 10-12 reps with lighter weight and 30 sec rest in between sets. When you can do 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps easily for an exercise, bump up the weight.
2) Work as many muscles and joints as possible in one exercise as possible to burn more calories (for example, squat to shoulder press with dumbbells) will burn more calories at once then individually doing shoulder press with dumbbells by itself.
Yes and no.
I've had similar conversations in the past where people have told me they do all their weight training with sets of over 30 reps, because they want to burn more calories.
In my opinion, burning calories is not your primary objective when performing a weight training workout. If you want to burn calories, you're probably better off doing a simple interval program (for example, run up a hill, walk down the hill, run back up the hill) instead.
The purpose of a weight training workout is to build muscle. By doing high rep sets, we mostly train the Type 1 slow twitch muslce fibres. It's important to also train the Type 2 fast twitch fibres which (for most people) make up the larger percentage of the muscle tissue.
One positive side effect of increased muscle mass is an increased metabolic rate, which means you are burning more calories at all times throughout the day and night, even at rest.
Personally I like to mix it up with higher and lower amounts of reps. Early in the workout I'll start with a set of 25 reps as a warm up, before doing 3 more heavier sets of the same exercise for around 12 reps. Later on when I'm already nicely warmed up I reverse the order, starting with the heavier sets and then doing a lighter set of 25 as a "pump set" at the end.
You can mix these rep ranges up a bit as well for extra variety.
It will depend on what your fitness goals are... if it is to gain muscle then it is important to increase your weight.
If you want to tone then it is more important to increase your reps and lower the weight.
However the ideal situation would be to do both, vary your routine because your body will adjust to whatever you do after a while, and shocking your system can be a benefit to your fitness goals.
Actually it's kind of neither - you are not lifting weights to burn calories there and then. You are lifting to a) increase your metabolism and b) release hormones into your bloodstream that are fat-fighting.
So my advice is to do 'whole body' exercises to activate as many muscles as possible during a movement.
"Actually it's kind of neither - you are not lifting weights to burn calories there and then. You are lifting to a) increase your metabolism and b) release hormones into your bloodstream that are fat-fighting.
So my advice is to do 'whole body' exercises to activate as many muscles as possible during a movement."
She got it right. Follow this one's advice.
In a nutshell: you are asking the wrong question but this is understandable given the amount of poor quality information communicated in the internet ! (often the blind leading the blind).
Anyway a good fat burning routine:
1. Uses intense whole body exercises with the heaviest weights you can exercise with whilst maintaining the correct exercise form (if experienced, less than 10 reps and up to 15).
2. Has short breaks between sets (you should be breathing heavily throughout) and warm down stretching routines to finish.
3. Is accompanied by many other lifestyle changes (e.g. what you eat, drink and how you live your life) and tailored wellness regimes (e.g. body detox, food intolerance tests) depending on your specific health status.
So, keep the weights heavy (assuming that you are otherwise healthy) and the reps low.
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