How Many Reps and Sets for Fat Loss?
“How many reps and sets for fat loss when training?” That’s a very common question among fitness enthusiasts in the gyms these days. When it comes to fat loss and sets, there are a lot of moving parts to the equation. Fat loss is a combination of various factors. If you implement them consistently, overtime you will lose body fat. Below, we are going to breakdown the fat loss equation. Follow it, and you will lose fat.
Weight Training to Build Muscle
When you are weight training you are not building muscle. Weight training tears muscle down. Your muscles only grow and get stronger when you rest and eat. If you keep training a damaged muscle, it will never grow or get stronger. An example of this is training your legs 2-3 times a week. Training your legs to that degree never allows for muscle recovery. Think of it like this; you scrape your arm and it forms a scab. If you keep picking at the scab the wound will never heal. However, if you leave it alone and let the wound heal (recover), the abrasion goes away. Even if your goal is fat loss, it’s important to build muscle because it kicks-up your metabolism. A high-powered metabolism makes fat loss easier.
Reps and Sets for Fat Loss
Fat loss, endurance, muscle building, and even strength training fall under the same umbrella. The difference lies in the intensity of the training. Most people tend to think that intensity is how hard they are training. That’s not necessarily true. Intensity is the power behind your training, such as training heavy to failure with low poundage. Volume is training with more exercises, more reps, and more sets. To build muscle you want to train with maximum intensity and lower volume. If you want more fat loss, you want to shift to light to moderate poundage and more volume.
General Reps and Sets for Fat Loss Rundown:
1 – 5 Reps: Neural: Strength, Power, and some Hypertrophy
6 – 8 Reps: Neural & Metabolic: Strength and Hypertrophy
9 – 12 Reps: Metabolic & Neural: Hypertrophy & some Strength
13 – 20+ Reps: Metabolic: Muscular Endurance, some Hypertrophy, and a little Strength
The above is not a one-shot answer though. Just doing more reps and sets isn’t the fat loss answer. Increased reps and sets with shorter rest periods between sets make your training more aerobic. It’s the “cardio” factor that picks up your metabolism and allows for a bit more fat loss.
The Real Fat Loss Factor to Zone-In On
It’s not just the weight training in the 12-15 rep range that’s going to help kick the aerobic intensity up. You also have to be eating a balanced diet with protein-rich foods to keep your metabolism running. Your diet is about 85-90% of the fat loss equation. High volume training can help. In addition, let’s not forget about supplementing your fat loss program with cardio. Do cardio as an extra, not an all-out. If you do too much cardio you can lose muscle, which is metabolically active, and lower your metabolism.
Train Like a Pro
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Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT
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