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I've been hitting gym regularly for two weeks and doing workouts 6 days a week. My program includes 3 sets - 10 reps for each workout. So, my question is related to whether one has to lift heavier weights or ligther weights in order to gain muscle mass or to get bigger. I did some researches in muscle physiology and saw that the recent studies do state that both ways work. On other hand, lifting heavier weights causes more muscle tension, which lighter weights do not. Do you think I should decrease reps and increase weight? Below is my build:

Weight: 60 KG

Height: 1.75m

Regards

  • Could you be more specific - what do you do, what do you mean with lighter or heavier weights, how do you build in progression and so on? Also please take it easy. Learn the movements first before pushing your limits. You shouldn't worry too much about that for now, you will gain muscle mass almost no matter what (newbie gains) for a while. – Raditz_35 Feb 17 at 17:51
  • I put here in the link a playlist of Eric Helms, a well-known natural bodybuilder and researcher. Here is the playlist link: youtube.com/… – Michael C. Mar 10 at 21:02
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First of all, definitely worth pointing out that training 6 times a week won't get you anywhere if you're not on some kind of juice or another. If you're doing it naturally stick to 3 times a week.

Secondly, it's not the weight that matters but the exercise that you're doing. No matter how heavy is the barbell you're lifting, doing bicep curls won't make you any bigger than you are already.

Instead, you should focus on powerlifting classics: squat, bench press and deadlift. All this exercises engage multiple muscle groups and produce massive muscle tension which itself launches the hypercompensation mechanism.

With that being said, back off to your initial question: which weight should you work with? Since you're only starting you have to teach your muscles how to move, how to produce tension. You should not decend lower than 10 reps in any given exercise. The perfect range is 10 to 12 reps.

The program for the first 3 month should be something like this:

+---------------+-------+-------+-------+------+
|Exercise       | Set 1 | Set 2 | Set 3 | Set 4|
+---------------+-------+-------+-------+------+
|Military Press |  12   |  10   |  10   |  10  |
+---------------+-------+-------+-------+------+
|Bicep Curl     |  12   |  10   |  10   |  10  |
+---------------+-------+-------+-------+------+
|Bench Press    |  12   |  10   |  10   |  10  |
+---------------+-------+-------+-------+------+
|Squat          |  12   |  10   |  10   |  10  |
+---------------+-------+-------+-------+------+
|Bent over row  |  12   |  10   |  10   |  10  |
+---------------+-------+-------+-------+------+
|Crunches       |  25   |  25   |  25   |  25  |
+---------------+-------+-------+-------+------+

3 times per week, with at least one day in between any 2 training sessions. If you feel yourself tired, put it off until tomorrow.

Consume at least 1.5 grams of protein per kilo (you weight 60 kg => 60 * 1.5 = 90) and lots of carbs, since you're serioucly underweighted.

Watch and learn proper technique for every exercise, especially for them squats. Ask your coach if unsure whether you're doing it right.

Add plates, when you feel ready to make more than 10 reps in every working set (the first one being your warm up)!

If you're under 20-22 years old, replace your mid day with the following complex:

  1. 3 Superset - 20 deep barbell squats immediately followed by 15 dumbbell pullovers.
  2. 30 wide grip pullups (in as many sets as it'll take you to hit the number).
  3. 100 parallel bar pushups (in as many sets as it'll take you to hit the number).
  4. 100 crunches (in as many sets as it'll take you to hit the hundred).
  • 1
    Why did you state that "training 6 times a week won't get you anywhere"? – Bobtrollsten Feb 17 at 18:14
  • Because that's what the science says. When you train you tear your muscles, you literally do damage to the muscle fiber. Then, your body needs time and energy (read food) to recover. Most muscles need 36 to 48 hours to recover after a weightlifting workout. So, if you'll train 6 times per week you'll either quickly fall into overtrained condition (means your body experience more stress that it can deal with) or you will train so light, that it won't have any impact. – tnsaturday Feb 17 at 19:03

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