Going for More Reps

Mistake #14

Fewer reps with heavier weights will make you stronger and leaner.

Fewer reps with heavier weights will make you stronger and leaner.    Photo: Library of Congress

Light weights with too many reps
Doing eight to 12 reps, the numbers so many of us have come to associate with proper weight training, is an aerobic exercise that mostly builds endurance. To gain strength and push your body hard enough to burn fat, you need to lift heavier weight and perform fewer reps. “You won’t get huge and bulky—that’s a common myth,” says Ben Bergeron, owner of CrossFit New England in Natick, Massachusetts, “but training this way will make you stronger and leaner.”

The Fix
Lift no more than five reps. Bergeron says to start with slightly heavier weights than you’ve been using to do 8-12 reps. “The fifth rep should be very slow and difficult to lift,” he says. “Each time you go to the gym, try increasing the weight a little more.”

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