generation ironTips from the 8 time Mr. Olympia himself.

We’ve all heard it before, the notion that higher reps with moderate weight is the key to shaping and sculpting lean muscle mass. In a sense there’s definitely great things that high reps can do for you, particularly building muscle endurance. But if you want to look like a statue carved out of granite then you better reconsider your approach. Just because you do 100 reps doesn’t mean you’re gonna get the body you want.

Well, if you were ever wondering which was the way to go: higher reps with moderate weights or low reps with heavy weight, we have some great tips to live by from none other than the 8 time Mr. Olympia champion Ronnie Coleman.

Quantity over Quality?

There’s been an idea floating around that somehow the more you do something the better you become at it. That’s true, if you’re doing things right. But if your form is crap and you do it 100 times then all you’ve been able to prove is that you can perform something incorrectly at high reps. Coleman emphasizes that no matter what your workouts should always be about the quality, correct form, and technique of your lift. It’s the only way you’ll get a pump.

How light is too light?

Ronnie has always been an advocate of lifting heavy ass weights, but the former champ cautions that if you’re going to lift lighter you better be able to get a pump out of it. Coleman claims that if after 15 reps you’re not getting a good pump then you better up the weight. Nothing wrong with lifting light, just can’t be too light.

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Every body’s different

Some people can pack on muscle easier than others even with a low rep count. Everyone has a different make up, so what works for you may not work for everyone else. Safely experimenting with your lifts is always a great idea. You’ll understand whether or not your body requires heavy weights and lower reps or moderate weight with high reps.

Get started right

Following the typical training program of a pro may not be the way to go in all cases. It can be a great road map, but if you’re a beginner you want to start off slow and build from there. Try to find a weight and routines that will allow you to get a good pump after 12 good reps. Don’t cheat yourself with bad form and that could be all you need to start seeing some good results.


What do you think of these words of wisdom. Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.



Jonathan Salmon
Managing editor of Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. He has been writing about bodybuilding, combat sports, and strength sports for over 8 years. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.