I heard of different ways of how to handle weight increase (and decrease) when doing exercises for muscle training. I wondered which technique is the most efficient one when trying to train muscles.

For instance me and my buddy currently train after the following principle, any muscle group/exercise:

20 KG x 15 repeats to begin with
wait 60 seconds
25 KG (= next possibly higher weight) x 15 repeats
wait 60 seconds
30 KG (= next possibly higher weight) x 15 repeats
(where the weight of course varies among the different muscle groups and exercises)

It often happens that you cant complete the third one (i.e. second repeat) because your muscles get limb. If so, we try to make it next time, i.e. a few days later starting again at 20 KG. If you can make it, next time (a few days later) we try to start with 25 KG in the first place, and so on.

So much to what we do. I've seen also people training like this:

Start at a weight where you can barely make 15 repeats, let's say 60 KG. Wait 60 seconds. Lower the weight by minimum possible value (eg. 5 KG) and make as many repeats as possible with that weight, so 55 KG. As many as you can. Then, wait 60 seconds and start over. And repeat.

Are there significant differences in those methods? Which is better? And why?


1 Answer 1


There are many different variations out there. It depends on your goals, how your body works, what kind of training program you're doing.

For example, some people can go straight to their repitition weight whereas people like me, need to warm-up to it. This is where the variation of the weights come into play.

Since I am unsure of your goal, I'll take my goals as an example. My goal is to gain strength and mass. Therefore I warm up for two sets. One set with light weight at first for 15 reps (60kg) and another with more moderate weight for 12 reps (84kg).

Once I get into my real sets (aka no more warm ups) then I will put on 100kg and and go for 6-8.

The difference with my kind of method is that I will gain mass and strength. I doubt there is a "better" method for everyone. What I mean by this is, everyone is different and everyone may find something works better for them. You need to figure this out on your own.

As for the differences in methods, the higher reps you go to with short amount of rest - you tend to work the endurance muscle fibers. Whereas the shorter reps with longer rest periods will get you more into the strength and mass portion.

There are many different ways to "tear" your muscles in order to make them grow during your rest periods (days off). Someone who starts high and gradually lowers their weight may work better for them. As I said, this is a subject with many different variables. The human body works in magnificiant ways and not everyone's body works in the same way.

In my honest opinion, you will have to go out there, train your butt off and see what works for you. It took me 5 years to realise what worked for me - hopefully you'll figure out sooner than I did!

Good luck.


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