Myth #2: Training With High Reps Builds Endurance
It’s often claimed (since distance running is endurance oriented) that the use of high reps with low weight is the best way to build endurance to running-specific muscles. The thought process is that high repetitions, just like higher mileage, will improve muscular endurance. That’s why you often see runners lifting the 5-10lb dumbbells for shoulder raises or even in the running-man motion (don’t worry if this is you, I used to do lots of this myself).
Unfortunately, high reps and low weights don’t build muscular endurance.
First, recent research has shown that performing repetitions in the 12-20 range does not increase muscular endurance any more than the 6-8 repetition range. Second, you’re already working on your muscular endurance when out on the road and when doing track workouts. The purpose of strength work is to build strength so performing routines and rep ranges that target this goal is idea.
Therefore, rather than using light weight and high repetitions, you should lift the maximum weight you can safely handle for 6-10 repetitions. The 6-10 rep range allows for maximum muscle overload and will recruit the greatest number of muscle fibers, thus leading to increased strength.
The next time you head to the gym for your strength training session, consider reducing your repetitions and adding more weight to your exercise. You’ll maximize your strength gains much faster this way.