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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 9:44 am 
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I'm not a scientist but came across this article today: npr. org/blogs/health/2012/04/30/151710725/lighter-weights-can-still-make-a-big-fitness-difference?ft=1&f=1001 (note intentional space between npr and .org.)

It describes new research that claims that using lighter weights and higher reps-- up to 25-30--promotes the same amount of muscle strength as the conventional 80% of max for 8-10 reps.

Article has link to scientific journal but it costs to see the paper.


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 10:59 am 
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bobgr wrote:
)It describes new research that claims that using lighter weights and higher reps-- up to 25-30--promotes the same amount of muscle strength as the conventional 80% of max for 8-10 reps.
No, it doesn't say that. Read the abstract of the study, it gives you a better view than the article.
What the study cites is, that there was no difference in muscle volume, aka size/growth. HOWEVER, the study also says that:
"Isotonic maximal strength gains were not different between 80%-1 and 80%-3, but were greater than 30% -3 (P=0.04),"
Which means that you get stronger with higher intensity. Tadah. No suprise there.

What I also want to note that the abstract itself didn't mention if the test group was allowed or infact did any other exercising. Also diet wasn't even mentioned, which is one of the most important factors for muscle growth and strength gains. One could also point out that the test subjects were beginners, and we all know what happens when a beginner is put to the weight room. Usually there is some sort of progress and hyperthrophy. The study, or atleast the knowledge I can read from it, is seriously lacking to prove anything for me.

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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 12:33 pm 
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The study also just measured a muscle protein that is supposed to accompany muscle growth, therefore a proxy for what it said it was testing.

Further to Dub's point, the health benefits of more muscle come from increased strength and power. There has never been any benefit shown from muscle size increase. It's also interesting that that article was aimed at older adults but the test was done on 21 year olds. 21 year olds grow from just looking at iron.

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