Above, the Back of BIG Kevin Tolbert
It's a bit confusing to me as I've been reading a lot of books about building up muscle & strength.
Many of them said reps should be around 8-12 and anything more is a waste of time. I hear you're saying that we should go for high reps to obtain muscle.
Please tell me the difference between doing high & low reps? What impact does it have?
You see I've only started training recently & want to build up my muscle.
I've been subscribing to many magazines & I still don't see much improvement.
Great question my friend. There is so much information out there nowadays, that confusion for the beginner is bound to happen. Regarding the magazines nowadays, most of them are completely fabricated stories of how the top guys train and have little or nothing to do with what happens in the REAL world. In addition, we are not talking about natural lifters when we talk about most of these magazines.
Sorry, no sugar coating here.
The greatest magazines were out in the early 70's and before. I have a stacks of 100+ Health & Strength Magazines from the 50s, 60s and 70s and they are GOLDEN - filled to the brim with awesome muscle building info.
The basics are constantly hammered home in these older magazines.
Basic lifting, Basic eating, Basic LIVING. Nothing fancy. I love it, I wish I had those magazines myself when I was a teen.
Gaining muscle comes down to eating, training, recovery and mind set. Certainly, your genetics also play a role but I've seen many non gifted lifters get strong and jacked through dedication on ALL fronts.
Regardless, ALL Success in Strength Training require consistency for years on end. There is no 30 days to this or 6 weeks to that. It's a LONG road and if you want some BS answer I can't help you.
If ANY of the above is not followed with commitment, then we have removed 50% of your muscle building formula already, and the results will be slow and average at best.
With regards to high reps and low reps, especially in regards to the question about Dr. Ken Leistner's son, Kevin Tolbert, look at the BIG weights he used for his lifts:
- Bench Press: Over 400 lbs on the bench press for over 10 reps
- Squats: 500 - 600 lbs for 20 - 30 reps
Look at those numbers again.
Those are HUGE weights AND for high reps. To get big you need to get strong first. When you get strong you can eventually move BIG weights and HIGH reps. This is a brutal style of training as it requires guts to keep digging through the pain barrier.
You can't go wrong with 5 x 5 barbell work, then perform calisthenics or dumbbells for reps in the 10+ range.
I utilize both high rep and low rep methods often during the same training session. We implement heavy weights on the basic barbell lifts and then do our rep work with calisthenics, dumbbells, kettlebells, etc.
Here's some More Basic Advice to build muscle which doesn't just come from training but your lifestyle as a whole:
Stick to the basics in food, get plenty of rest (8-9 hours of sleep each night, nap 1 hour when time allows), basics in training and be consistent. One step after another, slowly, slowly, the gains will come. But it's through the endless months and years that we see the progress, not after only a few weeks.
Last but not least, do not copy other people's programs without assessing if this program truly fits your needs. I used to copy the programs written in the bodybuilding magazines when I was young and that was a HUGE mistake. As I mentioned before, these were all fabricated workouts and articles and had nothing to do with a beginner who was drug free.
The bodybuilding magazines of today are packed with advertisements for magic supplements and magic this or that. It's ALL BS, which in the end, will NEVER replace the hard work, dedication, sweat and effort that goes into putting on solid muscle.
Getting strong in the basic lifts comes first. The basics, over and over will do the job. Don't let anyone tell you differently. The movements such as squats, bench press, military press and the like are Kings in the weight room. But, learning to organize and plan a workout program is also critical.
I'm not into the hype, I'm into what works.
Here's a sample week of training from Gladiator STRONG.
If the volume is too high for you, remove an exercise and / or remove 1 set from every exercise. Training 3 or 4 x week is best for gaining size and strength so you have plenty of time to recover.
Live The Code 365