12 reps at low weight or 8 reps of one slab heavier?

Options
I have a weak upper body. Just started machines at a local gym. I do 3 sets. Which is better? 12 at the lowest weight or 8 at thenext weight up. I can't seem to do more at the higher weight.
2) Why does every machine handles have 2 hand grips and which one should I use.
Thank you everyone.

Replies

  • davemacdonald31
    davemacdonald31 Posts: 196 Member
    Options
    I say higher weight lower reps. I'm no pro obviously, but that is what I would do. What do you mean two hand grips? What machines?
  • Cherimoose
    Cherimoose Posts: 5,209 Member
    Options
    Newbies usually do better with higher repetitions - around 9 to 14. It gives you more practice with form, and the lower weight is safer.

    It's also better to do mostly freeweights if possible. Don't do your own thing though, follow a program like NROL or Stronglifts, or a trainer's program.
  • toddbradley1969
    toddbradley1969 Posts: 1 Member
    Options
    Hi Joaniee2003,

    I have been a Personal Trainer for a number of years, so I will try to explain and I hope it helps!

    If you are looking to gain strength, you should start at 12 reps with the lowest weight on your first set. This will get the blood flowing without tiring you out. Then go up to the next plate and try to do 10. If you can't, stick with your 8 reps, x 2.
    Try that for two weeks, then start with what used to be the "next weight up", and try to do that for 12, 10, and 8 reps.
    If you follow this pattern, and keep adding a little weight at 2 week intervals, you will notice a remarkable improvement in your strength gains.
    Most important aspect of any type of training is have fun!
  • saraonly9913
    saraonly9913 Posts: 469 Member
    Options
    All the machines have 2 places to put your hands on. The seated row, the bench press etc
  • davemacdonald31
    davemacdonald31 Posts: 196 Member
    Options
    You need to use both hands for both those machines. I suggest that you ask somebody who works there to give you a hand if you don't know how to use the machines. If you don't know how to use them, you can get really hurt. You can also google it, and there will for sure be videos on how to use them!
  • Hornsby
    Hornsby Posts: 10,322 Member
    Options
    In the grand scheme of things, it matters very little which one you go with so I would say pick the one you are more comfortable with. (this is assuming that both of them (8vs12) take you to near failure.
  • FitnessTrainer69
    FitnessTrainer69 Posts: 283 Member
    Options
    Low reps with high weight for strength and high reps with moderate weight for size. Both are equally important. I would recommend doing 1 day of each during the week. Make sure you go just short of failure with each workout and ensure you properly warm up whatever body parts going to be worked. So, if next week the weights seem lighter, just raise the weight to failure and repeat.

    Im not sure what you mean by "Two grips". If your talking about 2 grips for each hands then its to work a different angle for the body part. If your referring to each side has an independent isolated grip, then its to ensure both sides of your body are equally worked.
  • saraonly9913
    saraonly9913 Posts: 469 Member
    Options
    Yes! The two handles for different angles! I couldn't find that answer anywhere. Does it really matter which I use? Should I alternate them each time or is it not that important? I have been doing 2 sets w one grip and the third with the other grip. Are they that important?
  • uconnwinsnc1
    uconnwinsnc1 Posts: 902 Member
    Options
    "Heavy" weight at "high" reps. I have quotes around those words because they are subjective. For some people 100 lbs might be heavy, for others it might be light. For some people 100 lbs at 5 reps might be a lot of reps or for someone else it might be a very little amount of reps.

    It isn't exactly right to call it light/heavy or low/high reps.

    My muscles do best when I rep the most weight I can as many times as I can. That is just how I am as a 24 year old male. Some might respond differently to different workouts.
  • Iamkim73
    Iamkim73 Posts: 924 Member
    Options
    Hi Joaniee2003,

    I have been a Personal Trainer for a number of years, so I will try to explain and I hope it helps!

    If you are looking to gain strength, you should start at 12 reps with the lowest weight on your first set. This will get the blood flowing without tiring you out. Then go up to the next plate and try to do 10. If you can't, stick with your 8 reps, x 2.
    Try that for two weeks, then start with what used to be the "next weight up", and try to do that for 12, 10, and 8 reps.
    If you follow this pattern, and keep adding a little weight at 2 week intervals, you will notice a remarkable improvement in your strength gains.
    Most important aspect of any type of training is have fun!

    This might be the nicest PT post I have seen.
  • FitnessTrainer69
    FitnessTrainer69 Posts: 283 Member
    Options
    Its up to you if it's important. For me yes, because I want to have a full 3D effect for each body part. Just take your time and make sure you contract/Squeeze/control the negative/stretch and repeat.
  • saraonly9913
    saraonly9913 Posts: 469 Member
    Options
    Hi Joaniee2003,thank you so much for your detailed messagr

    I have been a Personal Trainer for a number of years, so I will try to explain and I hope it helps!

    If you are looking to gain strength, you should start at 12 reps with the lowest weight on your first set. This will get the blood flowing without tiring you out. Then go up to the next plate and try to do 10. If you can't, stick with your 8 reps, x 2.
    Try that for two weeks, then start with what used to be the "next weight up", and try to do that for 12, 10, and 8 reps.
    If you follow this pattern, and keep adding a little weight at 2 week intervals, you will notice a remarkable improvement in your strength gains.
    Most important aspect of any type of training is have fun!

    Thank you very much for the detailed information.
  • DavPul
    DavPul Posts: 61,406 Member
    Options
    2) Why does every machine handles have 2 hand grips and which one should I use.

    Depends. What day of the week is it and which phase is the moon in?
  • uconnwinsnc1
    uconnwinsnc1 Posts: 902 Member
    Options
    Yes! The two handles for different angles! I couldn't find that answer anywhere. Does it really matter which I use? Should I alternate them each time or is it not that important? I have been doing 2 sets w one grip and the third with the other grip. Are they that important?

    Different hand positions target different muscles. For a press machine, if the hand is palm down then it will use more chest and delts. If the hand is palm in, it will use more triceps.

    Just alternate and get the feel for which muscles it works.
  • saraonly9913
    saraonly9913 Posts: 469 Member
    Options
    Thank you all ! This will help me.