Most bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts trying to gain weight fast are always told that in order to gain muscle mass they should stick to heavy weights for low reps.
This weight training myth stems from many believing that “heavy weights for low reps” are for “size”, and that “light weights for high reps” are for “endurance”.
Well, nothing could be further from the truth.
As a matter of fact, if gaining muscle weight is a challenge for you, heavy sets with low reps could be a huge mistake.
Why do I say this?
Well, the European Journal of Applied Physiology posted some research done on how different gene-types in the body responds to different workout routines, based on sets, weight, and reps.
What they discovered was significant.
First off, there are basically two different kinds of gene make-ups for every individual:
1) ACE II
2) ACE DD
In one of the studies conducted, scientists took 99 weight trainers and placed them on two types of workout routines:
o One workout program was made up of multiple sets for high reps and lighter weight (reps were in the 12-15 per set).
o The other workout routine was made up of multiple sets for low reps with heavier weight (reps were in the 8-12 per set).
What they found was that the weight trainers that had a harder time gaining weight and muscle had predominantly ACE II genes.
These individuals responded great to the higher reps for lighter weight program.
Yet, when following the lower reps for heavier weight routine, they made no progress at all in terms of building muscle mass.
Sure, they may have gotten stronger, but we’re focusing on gaining muscle weight and size, not strength.
(No, size and strength don’t go hand in hand, as many would have you believe. Which is a huge reason why most natural bodybuilders / fitness enthusiasts never truly achieve their goals. They get stronger, but not bigger. Is this the case with you??)
One of the reasons for why higher rep training is much better for those that are predominantly ACE II is because they have greater tissue oxygenation, which can elevate contracting of the heart and skeletal tissue.
More reasons why higher reps are better than lower rep for heavy weights to gain weight fast:
o The high volume of blood forced through the veins and arteries while working out with high reps will carry with it important muscle building nutrients to feed the training muscles.
o High rep training enhances capillary density (the thickness of the capillaries within the muscle).
o High rep training increases the diameter (size) of the blood vessels within the muscle.
o High rep training stimulates the formation of new blood vessels.
…..all of which are responsible for making your muscles bigger in size and mass.
(Hey, isn’t that what you’re after in the first place????)
Leave the heavy weights for low reps to the powerlifters.