As a trainer, I am often asked by our gym members, which is better? I want to tone up my body, and get stronger, so should I do more repetitions with less weight? Or should I do fewer repetitions with more weight?
You will often see women at the gym with lighter weights, completing more reps, for 1-2 sets, however, you will see men lifting much heavier weight for fewer reps, and usually 3 sets of each exercise. For example, some women will curl 6-8-10 lb dumbbells for 25 reps in an effort to tone their arms, while some guys will bench a ton of weight for only a few reps in an effort to put on muscle and increase strength.
What differentiates these two concepts is that high reps help you lose fat and make a muscle more “toned,” whereas low reps can help you build muscle and increase strength. BUT…is it really this simple; High reps for fat loss, and low reps for strength and muscle building? Not so much!