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A High Rep Weight Lifting Program Designed for Hard Muscle

author image Miguel Cavazos
Miguel Cavazos is a photographer and fitness trainer in Los Angeles who began writing in 2006. He has contributed health, fitness and nutrition articles to various online publications, previously editing stand-up comedy and writing script coverage as a celebrity assistant. Cavazos holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and political science from Texas Christian University.
A High Rep Weight Lifting Program Designed for Hard Muscle
Hard muscle training makes you look stronger, leaner and healthier. Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

A high rep weight lifting program designed for hard muscle improves muscular definition and your physical appearance. You can track your progress by undergoing regular body composition testing, because your body fat percentage goes down as your musculature increases. Your healthcare provider or fitness trainer may use skin fold or circumference measurements, bioelectrical impedance or other diagnostic devices to determine your body fat percentage.

Muscle Hardening

Hardening your muscles requires a weight lifting program that reduces extramuscular fat, because this fat reduces muscular definition and makes them appear soft. Weight lifting programs designed to harden your muscles typically also target muscular growth. Larger muscles appear harder by popping out, and revealing the striations in your muscles tissues. Depending on your fitness level, the first phase of your muscle-hardening weightlifting program emphasizes fat reduction, and progresses to muscle growth after several months.

Repetition Range

A high rep weight lifting program designed for hard muscles involves exercises that exhaust your muscles within 20 to 25 repetitions. This repetition range targets muscles fibers that contain the most fat-burning mitochondria, according to the National Federation of Personal Trainers. Your muscles adapt by manufacturing more mitochondria, which hardens your muscles by burning extramuscular fat. Emphasize muscular growth by reducing the repetition range after approximately six months of training. These exercises involve weightlifting exercises that exhaust your muscles within 12 to 15 repetitions.

Compound Versus Isolated

Developing harder muscles typically involves compound and isolated exercises. Compound movements, such as bench presses and squats, are a critical component of muscle hardening because they maximize mitochondrial production. Compound exercises also recruit the most amount of muscle tissue and provide the greatest muscular growth. Isolated weightlifting exercises offer hardening benefits, particularly during the latter part of your program. Isolated exercises help you target individual muscles groups to overcome muscles imbalances and poor development.


Your body adapts to individual exercise movements in approximately three to four weeks. High rep weightlifting programs for muscle hardening require exercise variation to optimize fat reduction and muscle growth. Changing your exercises also helps prevent overuse injuries in your joints. Perform different exercises movements that target the same muscle group substitute. Also introduce subtle variety, such as changing the order of your exercises or using a different grip.

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