Unfortunately, this is what most people think they should do. This is what most people have been told to do. However, this exactly what you should not do.

One adage that you should sear into your brain is to let the weights build the muscle and let your diet remove the fat. High reps and lower weight will not efficiently allow this to happen.

For some reason, most people think that by using lighter weight and increasing the reps you’ll burn more fat. Not true. Not true at all. Weightlifting, no matter how high your reps, is not anaerobic exercise. The number of reps you do has no direct bearing on the amount of fat your body burns during the exercise. In fact, lighter weight will indirectly make it more difficult to decrease body fat and increase your definition.

I know, that goes against all that you have ever been told about weight training. Well, I’m here to tell you that most of what you have probably learned is wrong. And if it’s not completely wrong, in most cases it’s certainly not the “optimal” way.

Whenever you lift weights you are doing so to build, strengthen, and tone the muscle you are training. This is accomplished most effectively by overload. Overload is accomplished by using a weight that allows between 4 to 6 reps. You don’t lift weights to burn fat so you shouldn’t attempt to use weightlifting for that purpose.

High reps will not supply the overload needed to efficiently ignite a muscle growth response. You may get a slight response but not at all efficient or anywhere near a maximum response.

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When you are attempting to decrease your body fat levels while maintaining or increasing your muscle mass, maximizing the overload for 4 to 6 reps is far more effective at obtaining the desired result.

Following this overload principle allows you to induce muscle growth while you let your diet effectively decrease body fat. Conversely, decreasing the weight and increasing your reps will set you up for failure because the lower weight and higher reps will not be supplying sufficient overload to maintain adequate muscle mass, much less build more. This coupled with a calorie-restricted diet will cause your body to preference lean mass for its energy need instead of fat stores.

Also, as your body is preferencing muscle tissue for its energy needs, it is making your body become less and less efficient at burning calories. This makes it more and more difficult to burn body fat and easier to burn muscle tissue. This is just the opposite with overload training. Overloading the muscle will build more muscle tissue creating a more efficient metabolic environment for burning stored body fat.

So if you want to effectively decrease your body fat levels and maintain as much muscle mass as possible train to build muscle while you let your diet control the fat burning process. This means maximizing overload to the muscle while you train. This means heavy weight for 4 to 6 reps.

To learn more about this training method sign up for the Max-OT training program.

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How should I train if I want to get more definition without losing muscle? I’ve been told I should lighten up on the weight and increase my reps.

by Paul Delia time to read: 3 min