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Question
Posted by: Lilly | 2007/03/08

Light or heavy weights for toning

I am very confused about the whole, light and many reps vs the heavy and few reps debate, i read many different articles that support both sides. I am 23 years old, i weigh about 80 kg and i am really wanting to firm up my arms and inner thighs as i have extra fat in these areas and i really dont know if i must use lighter or heavier weights.

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Our expert says:
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Hi Lilly

It is confusing because what is light to one person is not light to another, and even judging it just on how it feels is not a great guide. So in otherwords, you could be lifting what you perceive to be very light when it fact it's too heavy, given your goals. So it can be a little confusing, but the basic principle is that if your goal is tone and build some muscle (because this is the other confusing thing - people seem to think that toning means you don't build muscle, and you do) then you need to do a high number of reps. Try to forget about the weight for now, just keep that in mind - the idea is to do between 12 and 15 reps, maybe even 20 in some cases. Because of this, the weight must be light, to allow you to lift this often. If the goal is to build muscle much more and try to bulk up, then the idea is to do heavy weights, which means low reps - maybe 6 to 8, sometimes even less. So given your goals, you should be aiming for high reps with a low weight.

Good luck

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