Reps vs Heavy Weights

Post dated: 04 Feb 2016, 18:27 in PlatZinum University by Tom Platz

You will not get big by only lifting heavy!  You must do reps as well!  

Are you an ectomorph, a mesomorph, or a endomorph?  Usually ectomorphs are tall, and have long extremities. (legs and arms) They are good at endurance work and reps.  They can train often.  Arnold is more of an ectomorph!  

A mesomorph is usually short and stocky.  Is good at lifting heavy weights, and not so good at reps.  I am more of a mesomorph!

An endomorph (not many bodybuilders are endomorphs) usually have a big rib cage, and a barrel chest.  They like mesomorphs are usually good at lifting heavy weights, but usually have thick skin, and have a difficulty losing fat, and have a slow metabolism.  Usually their legs seem small compared to their upper body.  Ed Corney is more of an endomorph. 

Ectomorphs have more red fiber muscle.  Mesomorphs have more white fiber.  Endomorphs have more white fiber, and are not usually good at endurance work.

Most modern day bodybuilders have ectomorphic tendencies, with mesomorphic traits.  I usually in lecture refer to them as pink fiber athletes.  They are good at reps, as well as being good at lifting heavy!

With years of practice I got better at reps, but one can never change their fiber type.  You must work with what you have!  I became know for reps squats, and I was not good at reps initially.  

Reps maintain more actin and myosin sliding at the cellular level, more friction, hence forth more damage or desired microtrauma, and more adaptation or growth is apparent.  

Size and strength go hand in hand, but specialization is required.  I remember watching Tiger Woods doing 275 pound bench presses, but his reps were always maintained at a low level.  He desires strength, but not size!  Many very strong lifters do not look strong! Many bodybuilders look strong, but are not as strong as strength athletes.  

Case in point; Zane could do Roman Chair Sit-ups for one set, which lasted one hour.  I went to failure in reps on Roman Chair Sit-ups, and could not do more that 25 reps!  My set lasted 1 Minute compared to Zane's one hour set!  Zane had to work on getting good at lifting heavy weights, I had to work on getting good at endurance work!  

Your selected workout weights should fall somewhere between 50% to 90% of your 1RM most of the time.  Below 50% there is a lot of time but not enough tension,  Above 90% there is a lot of tension but not enough time for actin/myosin sliding, and related myofibril cell division, which is determined genetically.

There are 4 main things that you can alter:  Intensity, volume, frequency and work load.  Along with tempo, rep speed, and cadence.

In closing you need to do reps as well as heavy weights.  Of course this must be based upon your specific goals!

This should also propagate your questions and posts.  I look forward to communicating with all of you!

Leave a Comment

Guest Great article, Tom! I think that most people don't even know how important this is. I hope more people will join in Platzinum to see the truth and educate themselves.
12 Feb 2016 Reply
Guest That explains a few things I suppose. I never called myself an ectomorph, I do have long legs and arms but I have gained muscle.. I wouldnt say easily but to a certain point certainly easy. I would always train in a rep range 8-15 so slightly higher, It seems extremely painful to go beyond 20 and I do not feel enough stimulation from lower reps.. What do you think ?
16 Mar 2016 Reply
Tom Platz
Tom Platz There is a direct correlation between your rep range, and your body type! Beyond 20 sometimes and under 8 reps is your next step!
17 Mar 2016
Tom Platz
Tom Platz Your instinct is guiding you, but you have to trick it as well and do what you are not sometimes!
17 Mar 2016
Paulius Gužas
Paulius Gužas Hey, Tom! Nice article! By saying that you should do both heavy and reps, what do you mean? Do you mean that 1 training session heavy and other reps, or at the same training session do both? And also what is heavy and what is more reps. For example, if I put 225lbs, first set I do around 20 ant tenth set I manage around 8, all sets to failure or past failure, so this would be more reps work?
01 Nov 2016 Reply
BPFIBROS 30 I do a six week high rep squat program with a week off and then a six week heavy leg program.
31 Oct 2017 Reply

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