In the world of fitness, squats are considered a staple. No exercise program is complete without them, and no bodybuilder can claim bragging rights if they don’t do them at least once a week. An ideal compound exercise that helps with the formation of strong, defined legs, squats are recommended for both guys and girls.
Repetition in Exercise
Repetition is key when carrying out any exercise. It is that continued recruitment of the muscle that forces its growth. Reps are determined by the nature of an exercise program. The more intense the weights, the lower the reps, while the lower the weight, the higher the reps. These are the unspoken rules of lifting, with the notion being the former will lead to hypertrophy and the latter to endurance.
For recreational lifters and bodybuilders, the 8-15 rep range is thought as the ideal in eliciting changes in terms of both fat loss and muscle building.
200 rep vs. 20 Rep Squats
With the high regard squats are given, there are some folks who dare to push beyond the recommended rep range by pushing not 20, but 200 consecutive reps. Needless to say, light weight is used.
The argument is that you need to push as far as is humanly possible, you will achieve peak muscular endurance. While it is not something that should be attempted by someone who just got initiated into squatting, going this many reps, is within the realm of possibility.
Some studies have demonstrated that high rep exercises can result in gains in strength, trivial as they may be. As far as fat loss goes though, the script reads very differently. Pushing high reps with low weight does not lead to any more significant losses in fat than doing low reps with weight.
In other words, it is not the number of repetitions conducted that stimulate the breakdown of fat, but rather, the intensity of the workout itself. Similarly, high reps do not lead to that ‘toned’ look, contrary to what many gym going men and especially women believe. It all goes back to the intensity.
How Many Reps Should You Squat?
That depends on what your overall bodybuilding goals are. It is generally agreed that doing 5-8 reps with very high weight will lead to muscular hypertrophy, whereas doing 8-15 reps with relatively heavy weight will lead to both gains in muscle size and strength. This latter methodology will also lead to notable gains in muscular endurance too. This does not mean that you should eschew 200 rep squats. If doing so lines up with your overall fitness goals, by all means, go ahead.
There are many online sites, forums and discussions that delve into the issue of the ideal number of sets. You don’t have to subscribe to the beliefs shared. Rather, you should define your goals, and take it from there. That said, performing squats within the 8-12 range, for four to six sets should bring a dramatic change to your quads and hamstrings. The 200 rep challenge should only be taken as that- a challenge that you can take up only on occasion.
I recommend these Squatting Books. Learn how to squat correctly, think long-term.
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