High-rep exercise does not always mean a big amount of repetitions within each set. Everything relies upon your goal. For those who aim to pump muscles, high-rep routines include a bit more reps than the low-rep cardio workout contains. The amount of weight (load) is what really counts in bodybuilding. At the same time, high-rep workouts in the context of cardio training involve zillions of reps.
Loads and Volumes
It is a no-brainer to choose between a low-load and high-load training, just clearly outline your fitness goal. If you want to “work out” the bigger muscle mass, consider incorporating more high-load exercises into your workout routine. In case you do not want to become the Ironman but just to shape up your curves a bit, focus mainly on low-load training sessions in order to increase your calorie burn and grow some muscle mass. Remember that high-load workouts are the bodybuilding solution. Why? Just because your muscles will exhaust and “refuse” to function sooner than you expect.
The Number of Reps
As it was said above, the number of reps depends on your fitness goal. When it comes to a low-rep workout, the bodybuilder guys perform no more than three or six repetitions within one exercise, which makes sense only with the maximum possible load. As for the high-rep bodybuilding workouts, they include from 8 to 12 repetitions per set, of course, using only 60-70% of your maximum possible load. Why is the number of reps so low in both cases? Because the both are high-load, meaning that they involve heavy weights only. So, it’s impossible for you to perform multiple amounts of reps.
If you don’t want to change your aerobic route but aim to add some resistance to your cardio workouts, wrap around your wrists resistance bands or use light (no more than 3-5 pounds) dumbbells.
If you want to build the maximal muscle mass, do every rep as slow as possible, making a pause between uplifts and downlifts. Thus, your muscles will make more efforts in order to prevent gravity from “pulling” your dumbbell (or else) down and momentum from letting you easily bounce back. However, it doesn’t work when it comes to the weight loss or improving muscular endurance. In this case, perform reps quickly, make gravity and momentum work for you. Thus, you’ll prevent your muscles from getting fatigued and endure much more reps.
It doesn’t matter whether you want to turn into Hulk or just get into your prom dress, the proper warm-up is always the rule of thumb. But never rush to lift heavy weights or else! Just start your training sessions with low-resistance vigorous movements in order to set your body for an intense workout. Do the jogging in place, perform jumping jacks, or do arm swings for a couple of minutes. As soon as your heart rate gets elevated and the blood flow reaches your muscles, proceed to the planned exercise sets. As soon as your workout is over, don’t rush to the nearest bench to take a breath. First, switch off your “workout mode”: perform low-resistance exercises in order to gradually normalize your heart rate and body temperature. Complete your cool-down phase with a proper stretch.