Ask or answer questions, discuss and express your views
3 posts • Page 1 of 1
There are 3 main reasons to exercise; strength, endurance and size. Almost all goals are variations of these. You can build strength with a wide range of loads, but usually heavy. Endurance requires light loads and very high reps. Size requires moderate loads and more volume. There is some carryover but that's the general case. Some exercises may be better suited to one goal over another so therefore the exercise and rep range are related in that regard. Isolation exercises are usually used for building size, therefore the higher rep range recommendation.
Firm muscles fall into the same area as building muscle, just not to the same extent. Size needs volume, intensity, not as much. Since you want firmness and not a lot of size, you can get by with less volume. Reading back, I didn't directly address intensity. First, intensity needs to be defined. I define it as loads close to maximum. It can also mean done with great effort, even if the loads are light. Endurance athletes would use this definition. In any case, intensity is a 2 edged sword. It builds capability but also increases recovery demands. You need it sometimes in order to make progress if you've stalled but too much is detrimental. You need to find the balance for your own goals.