The tried-and-true rep scheme for hypertrophy is 10-12.
The tried-and-true rep scheme for building strength is 3-5.
A combination of both these is best.
Very high reps (15-20) are sometimes incorporated into programs to bust through stalls in training, but still at a challenging weight. If by "low weight" you were meaning 3-5 pound DBs, for instance, then no. That weight is not challenging to do anything to anybody, evenm doing 100 reps.
If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you
Fitness Minutes: (79,333)
12/5/12 8:07 A
There are well established programs of weight lifting, tried over many decades on many people (e.g. 5x5, 3x5, 5/3/1 etc). You should read about them if you seriously want to achieve functional strength and muscle mass.
I am not aware of any results obtained consistently by many people over many decades using small weights but very large number of reps.
Why spend hours and hours lifting those pink light weights and millions of reps to get no where fast. It's about challenging yourself. Why not lift heavy and less reps and get stronger. Why not see real definition.
Fitness Minutes: (3,076)
56 12/4/12 6:48 P
I think Tracy Anderson should have any certifications ripped from her until she sits and studies the science for a while.
In addition to what was said above, heavier weights will promote bone strength more than light weights. (I can dig up the studies if you want to see them.) Also, using heavier weights will better prepare you for situation requiring strength, like lifting luggage, moving furniture, playing sports, etc.
Fitness Minutes: (301,393)
12/4/12 12:01 P
Tracy Anderson incorporates quite a few body weight exercises as part of her "strength" routine. Yes, she's said in past that she doesn't believe a woman needs to use a weight heavier than 5 pounds in order to get a good strength workout. If you do enough repetitions with that five pounds, you will eventually start feeling a lactic acid burn. She also uses baseball bats in ways similar to how they used Indian clubs back in the good old days. So, in a way, she isn't always using higher reps with low weight, that's just one selection of exercises she does use in her workouts.
Personally, I do a combination of strength training exercises. I teach a class similar to Body Pump and I do traditional strength training. I've found that both have their benefits. I will also say that for me personally, using a higher weight with lower reps has helped me increase my lean muscle. Using lower weights with higher reps has helped increase endurance.
Once again, personal opinion, a person should do a mix of routines to see what works best for THEIR own goals and needs.
Do you like Tracey Anderson's workout ? If so, stick with it. BUT, consider adding at least one day of traditional strength training where you lift a heavy weight with fewer reps. Women do not get bulky. That's a misconception. Can women get bulky ? Yes, but it requires a higher than normal level of testosterone combined with an obscene amount of strength training.
Fitness Minutes: (15,905)
9,717 12/4/12 11:39 A
You're wasting time. Eventually, you can get results, but it will take twice as long.
There's no reason to lift low weights for high reps; by challenging your muscles as Jen just described, you get the most bang for your time buck!
The idea of lifting low weights for high reps to avoid "bulk" is a fallacious one; that isn't how muscle development works. :)
All that high rep, low weight stuff does is promote muscular endurance. It will not build muscle, and you likely won't get stronger because you're not going up in weight. You'll just be able to do more reps. Perhaps, eventually, you'll be able to do more reps at a higher weight, but it's not building significant muscle or strength.
To build strength, the general rule is to lift at a weight that is challenging to you for 3-5/6 reps. For hypertrophy (building muscle), you should lift a weight that challenges you in 8-10/12 reps. 2-3 sets for each. (Or, there are programs like 5x5 for strength as well.) Once you hit the max reps (5-6 for strength or 10-12 for hypertrophy) you should go up in weight.
Strength training has so many benefits, and I try to fit it into my routine. I am curious about programs, such as Tracy Anderson's Method, in which hundreds of reps are performed with a low weight. Does this provide the same bone and muscle strengthening benefits as 8-10 or 12-15 reps performed with moderate weights?