Do High Rep Bodybuilding Workout Sessions Enhance Muscle Definition?

By: Francesco A. Castano


One of the most popular bodybuilding goals is maximum definition, where body fat declines so that muscles appear far more impressive, yet exactly how is this goal achieved while at the same time sustaining already built muscle mass? This difficult question has left bodybuilders confused and angered as they chart substantial muscle loss when seeking to enhance muscular definition. While certain bodybuilders may realize that enhancing definition is dependant upon changing specific diet variables for significant fat loss, others feel as if particular weight training principles are the primary fuel for enhancing muscle definition. When adopting such a mindset, one of the most popular bodybuilding techniques is to enhance rep range, where lighter weight is utilized to allow for a higher than normal amount of reps per set, and numerous bodybuilders believe that this weight training method will propel muscle definition to new heights, therefore some accept an exclusive lower weight and higher rep methodology to weight training during a fat loss period.

I cannot vouch for exactly where this bodybuilding theory has its origin, but can guess that because lactic acid accumulation in muscles occurs when engaging in high rep muscle building workout sessions, and therefore results in a muscle "burn" that is missing when using heavier weights, some are convinced that this focuses on the muscle in a more direct way, and thus must bring definition to a level that exceeds what is seen with a lower rep range. It's also possible that cardiovascular fatigue accompanying higher rep weight training workouts causes certain bodybuilders to believe that they are burning more fat, and they then pursue such methods when muscle definition is the primary intention. The problem with such ideas is that the weight training portion of a workout session is not meant to reduce fat or improve definition, but rather to boost muscle size and strength, and thus should be pursued with this particular intention.

By increasing rep range to target muscle definition, the bodybuilder reduces the overload he or she provides to muscle tissue, and will potentially begin to lose a portion of muscle mass that was built with lower reps and greater weight. Instead of boosting definition, this particular weight training method will interfere with this very goal by harming muscle, as a larger number of reps per set have no more of a beneficial impact on muscle definition than low rep workout sessions, but they do offer a lower level of overload and fatigue, negatively impacting muscle gains, and risking the loss of muscle mass when following a reduced calorie diet plan for fat loss.

Therefore, a bodybuilder should continually structure each weight training workout with a proper hybrid of low and high reps in order to sustain muscle mass while working towards enhanced definition, and focus on modifying diet variables to encourage fat reduction, which is the key behind greatly enhancing definition in every muscle group. But is there a workout addition or modification that will accelerate the fat reduction process? Yes, and the technique does not involve any modifications to the weight training workout, but does stimulate the cardiovascular system to enhance metabolic rate and overall fat burning capability; aerobic activity is the key to boosting the rate of fat reduction, and is often ignored by bodybuilders to the detriment of muscle definition. Even when pursuing muscle mass gains, cardiovascular activity assists in controlling body fat percentage, so in addition to a disciplined weight training workout plan comprised of both high and low rep ranges, aerobic activity is a vital concept in producing maximum muscle definition, and should become standard practice in any weight training workout system.

If you are seeking muscle definition, and find fat loss to be disappointing, do not adopt a high rep range for your weight training workouts, but rather first restructure your diet routine, which is the primary factor behind body fat gain or loss, and then pursue regular cardiovascular activity, five days per week if you are able, and once these variables are intact, you will begin to experience body fat reduction and definition improvements that will bring muscle gains to the skin's surface. If you are currently performing regular aerobic activity, make sure intensity is adequate, as a walking pace is not sufficiently challenging to the cardiovascular system for any substantial metabolism boost, and remember that no workout variable, whether it be weight training or cardiovascular activity, can substitute for a correctly designed fat reduction diet, so focus on how you eat for the most noticeable improvements in the definition of your muscles.

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Francesco Castano authors MuscleNOW.com, a diet and weight training program teaching the exact techniques for muscle building without supplements or drugs.

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