How do you build bigger muscles? Do you think it’s lots of sets and reps?
Most people are not lifting heavy enough weights: Lifting heavier weights will get you results. When you were a beginner at weight lifting, you could gain size and strength as long as the weight you used on any given exercise was at least 60 percent of the amount you could lift for a single max-effort repetition. Most people start out lifting with a weight they can lift 15 to 20 times in a single set.
As you gain experience and get comfortable with the technique, you need at least 80 percent of your 1-rep max to grow bigger and stronger. Now, we’re talking about a weight you could probably lift about 8 times, but that 8th rep should be hard to complete.
Understand this concept: If you typically perform multiple sets of 8 to 10 repetitions for each exercise the weight may be too light. If you are using the right poundadge (80 percent of your max for 3 or 4 sets), each set would consist of 5 or 6 repetitions only.
If you are a serious lifter and have been lifting consistently for much of your adult life, you might need 85 to 90 percent of your 1-rep max to see further progress. In a normal workout with multiple sets of each exercise, this might mean only 2, 3, or 4 repetitions per set. There is a problem with this: Nobody can lift near-max weights on every exercise of every workout. You could get hurt and it is exhausting.
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