I have been reading a lot lately that heavier weight and less repititions is better than lighter weight and lots of reps.  Which, in your opinion is better?  What difference does it make to your body?



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I read a pretty informative article in the most recent Oxygen Magazine regarding heavy, moderate, and light weight. The overall conclusion was to do all three. Heavy weights and low rep range like 4-6 reps tend to increase your strength and to some degree effect the shape and size of the muscles, mainly fast twitch muscles.

Moderate weight with a rep range of 8-12 increases the shape and size of the muscles, which also works both fast and slow twitch muscle fibers. The range most fitness experts regard as the most effective since it effects size and shape.
Light weight and high reps- 15-20reps or more focuses on slow twitch muscles which help with the endurance of the muscle which is why you usually feel the build-up of lactic acid. Also light weight and high reps help strengthen tendons, ligiments in the joints as well as increase endurance. All three have merit. Which is why I incorporate all 3 in my fitness regimen.
Keep in mind that much of it also depends on your goals. If you want to build on strength, lift heavy, if you want size and shape go moderate. If you need endurance go light.
Many weight lifting experts tend to favor heavy to moderate. I think that is because you get more overall strength and changes in size and shape of the muscle. Also, women in particular tend to veer away from heavier lifting out of fear of getting "big and bulky". But, unless you are a genetic freak, it is difficult for women to attain that type of muscle hypertrophy without any chemical inducements.
For my money I love doing Jari's workouts, but I make sure on other days I incorporate a vast variety of methods in terms of weight lifting. Within this catagorie there are sub-categories that get into particular methods of strength training such as supersets, giant sets, pyramids, circuit training etc.there's a whole science to this topic. Don't take my word as gospel, read up more, since this topic often changes with studies after studies. The more inform you are, the better you can decide what fits your lifestyle and goals. I hope I was helpful. Good luck with your fitness goals :) M
My body doesn't like lifting heavy weights at all. I tried it and I was always hungry and no fat melted off. But when I do Jari workouts, I do lose fat and gain muscle agility and a nice shape. I don't know how much "stregth" they are talking about, but I don't plan on lifting any cars anytime soon.

As for not bulking, if they mean you will look like the incredible hulk or Arnold, then yes, they are right that women can't do that. However,I have heard stories of women who use heavy weights (like #20, #30) and DO bulk up in their thighs. My body responds so much better to functional training than traditional weight lifting. Iguess it depends on who you are.

In a comparison of videos, someone pointed out how cut and lean Jari's people were compared to the women in the other video. That's what I'm after so the light weight/high reps is what I will do.
Hi Martha,

I would have to agree with you on this. I think that Jari's DVDs are the main workouts that I will always go back to, but that doesn't mean that I'm limited to that type of fitness. I would encourage anybody to visit different websites and/or ask questions to get the most out of learning about health and fitness. The site that may interest some people is www.oxygen.com. The magazine Oxygen has rated Jari's DVDs quite highly and that was where I became interested in her videos.


I've been doing Jari's workouts for 3 years now and I am taking a break from them and have just started Cathe's Gym Style series. There are three programs: Legs, Chest & Triceps, and Back, Shoulders & Biceps. I did Legs on Monday, and Back, Shoulders & Biceps on Wednesday. Tomorrow will be Chest & Triceps. I actually want to work each body part only once a week instead of doing a total body routine 3 times a week. I did find that Jari's workouts gave me a great foundation for the challenging lifting in this new program I'm doing. I was able to use heavier weights and still keep good form. I also am using a resistance band and stability ball in this routine, neither of which I have ever used and I love the band because to me it is just as hard as lifting dumbbells, maybe even hard because there's no cheat factor. The ball is used in the Legs DVD and you work your abs while you're working the legs and butt. I plan to do this rotation for quite a while, then switch back to Jari again. I also got 5 of Cathe's new STS shock cardio DVD's: Travel Fit (uses a band), MMA Boxing, MMA Kickboxing, HIIT, and Cardio Core Circuit. I will incorporate those in my rotation for new cardio routines. I think the key is to mix it up, go heavy for a while, go light, just keep your body guessing.
Hi Ginny,

Both are great! Variety is key when it comes to keeping in shape and avoiding the dreaded plateau. The more creative you are with your workouts the better!

Keep up the great work!

As someone who started out doing the light weight more reps, who then moved to heavier weight with less repetition. I found I got and saw more definition when I used the heavier weights w/ less repetition. So in believing that, I do twice a week using a heavy weight less repetition routine.I believe I have achieved that toned/definition look from using heavier weights less rep. For example, I am ready to move up to 25lbs for a single arm row.
I might add when I first started doing the light weight more reps, my body size was bigger and I had not lost all the unnecessary fat from the different parts of my body. As much as I did lighter weights with my DVD programs, I did not get definition. I know I was building muscle because I could feel the hardness. But lifting the heavier weights to exhaustion, gave me the burn/soreness that I would feel for the next few days. Especially when using 20lbs in each hand for seated shoulder press! Whew!
I find for me that moderate/light weight and lots of reps works best for me right now. I find I like the shape of my arms and legs better. When I lifted heavier weight what I liked is that I could see increased muscle very quickly what I didnt like is that I did look and feel bulkier than I wanted. This is primarily because I still have a lot of fat to lose so until I reach my weight loss goals I will continue with the moderate to light weights and lots of reps. When I am as lean as I want to be then I plan to go back to using heavier weights.



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