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Q&A: Rep Range

Blog Article ImageQuestion: “Will increasing my reps in my training burn muscle?”

Increasing your reps in training will not burn muscle. In fact, it may actually lead to the body burning more fat. This, however, is for a totally different discussion because it is exercise intensity (and other factors) that has a greater effect on fat loss than repetition number per set. There are two negative effects of increasing your reps in training. The first is simply that it can detract from the goals you are trying to attain from your training. If strength or power increases are your training goals, then higher repetitions (i.e. generally more than 8) may prevent you from achieving those goals. Typically, higher repetitions are reserved for muscle hypertrophy and strength endurance. The second negative effect that increasing your reps in training can have is burning muscle, BUT this has far less to do with the number of reps performed per set and far more to do with nutrition. If you drastically deprive the body of calories, the body will likely burn muscle as a fuel source. Of great importance here are muscle glycogen stores, which are maintained with intake of quality carbohydrates. This is why pre- and post-workout nutrition are so essential to recovery and muscle growth. Theoretically, higher repetitions may burn more calories than lower repetitions, so in a body that is already deprived of the necessary nutrients, increasing the rep range will only add to the problem of the body using muscle as an energy source.

Posted on July 15, 2013


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