Best Rep Count for Maintaining vs. Building Muscle

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There are all different types of goals when it comes to body composition. Some women want to slim down and tone up without putting on too much muscle. They want to maintain what they have and chisel things out a bit more.  Others want to shed fat while building muscle so they look fit and strong. Neither is right or wrong, but each goal has implications in terms of your workouts.

Maintaining muscle.

If you simply want to get a little more fit looking, without having a super toned look, then high reps with medium weight is the way to go. You don’t want to go too light with your weights, because you still need to challenge your muscles and require them to work hard. The harder they work during your workout, the greater the effect on your metabolism after your workout. So, super light is never where it’s at! However, a medium load with a high number of reps (15-20) and 2-3 sets will help you stay slim, without any bulging muscles.  

Many women want to maintain their muscle tone, while still having soft lines. If that’s you, this is the way to go! Hit those medium weights with 3 sets of 20 and you will be in business!

Building muscle.

Are you one of those ladies who wants to look like a chiseled piece of rock? You want the six pack, the biceps and those sleek lines down the side of your legs? Then it’s time to hit the heavy weights. If you want to look super fit, then you’ve got to build muscle. That, paired with a protein rich diet is the best way to get a chiseled look.

In terms of rep ranges in the gym, you are going to want to lift really heavy for fewer reps. Staying under 10 is ideal, and when going for your heaviest weight, stick in the 3-5 rep range. If you are trying to hit a PR, obviously you are going to go for 1-3 reps! This might not feel like a lot, but when you are lifting heavy, you are requiring significant work out of your muscles, which will reap some pretty huge gains in terms of size and cut!

Regardless of your goal, hitting the weights is only going to help you increase your metabolic rate and burn fat more effectively. So, whether you want to build, build, build, or maintain and slim down...weights are always a good idea!

If you are unsure of how to incorporate these strategies to reach your goals, please check out my programs here and let's chat! 



Weight LiftingJenny Mire