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can you build muscle with high reps

Posted by: John H

I've been reading your site and find it very informative. I wanted to ask you a few specific questions about my weight training.

I am a life-long athlete. I have had several injuries including full Rotator Cuff repair 18 months ago. I'm 46 and have been experiencing problems pushing my weights up. The shoulder joints get really painful and tight on bench, but I am determined to keep up my weight. I race mountain bikes and ride 2-3 times a week for 2 hours or more, which is a hendrence to gaining muscle, but my caloric intake is off the chart. I have also started taking Glucosimine/Condrotin for joint relief.

My question is, can I experience significant muscle gain over the winter by pushing a little less weight, with more reps, 12-15 per set? What recommendations could you make to help me maximize my weight gain. I'm looking to bump back to 195 from about 182. I ride a lot in the summer and have really dropped the muscle this year, due to no weight training through the summer.

My typical workouts are 80-90 minutes with primarily power set lifting, from one exercise to another with no or little rest between sets. Generally, I do 20 sets of Back and 16 sets of Biceps 2-3 days a week and 20 sets of Chest and 16 sets of triceps 2-3 days a week. I do abs every workout with a duration of 15-20 minutes. I haven't been lifting much with legs due to my bike riding schedule, 75-100 miles per week, mostly off-road.

As I mentioned, I'm looking to maximize my muscle build, while not gaining a gut from all the eating.

Any feedback you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Blue Skies,

John H

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