Is lifting light weights just as effective as lifting heavy weights for strength and muscularity?
The conventional thinking among men and women is that the only way to get bulky and jacked is to lift heavy weights regularly. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology sets out to prove that this belief may be wrong and discusses the merits of doing resistance training with light weights instead of heavy weights.
The key to getting the most from doing lighter weights is to do the exercise to exhaustion. The study author, Stuart Phillips, states that “Fatigue is the great equalizer here”.
In addition, the researchers concluded that it’s not the hormonal makeup of the individual that determines the strength and muscularity but the frequency of the lifts.
Women should not avoid lifting weights
Many women have avoided doing resistance exercises because they think it will make them look too bulky. However to develop lean body mass and decrease fat it’s incumbent that they do resistance exercises. Lots of previous studies have proven this to be so and that it’s never too late to start.
In fact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all adults do at least 150 hours of cardio each week and two days of resistance exercises. Remember this time can be cut in half by doing hiit weight training.
And contrary to popular belief doing resistance training will not make you look like Miss Olympia or Arnold’s little sister. It takes years of dedication to add bulk to our bodies from lifting weights.
The benefits far out weighs any downside to lifting weights.
For example, resistance is one of the best ways to strengthen your bones and keep osteoporosis at bay. If you are tired of taking calcium tablets or other supplements for bone support then starting doing some multi-joint resistance exercises.
A great way to start is by using exercise bands at home.
If cellulite or jiggly butt is a problem then doing squats and lunges once each week in combination with other hiit workouts is the answer. It tightens your glutes and give your legs definition.
As we age our chest become saggy and baggy. The best way to deal with this is to start doing incline and decline flyes and incline and decline bench presses ( one set of each).
And to increase our muscle endurance? – You guessed it – hiit weight training . . . . it’s the very best way to increase not just your endurance but you agility and do it a quick and effective way.
So, although summer has gotten underway, there is still time to look good for the pool party coming up soon.
There is no need to lift heavy weights . . . . just the need to incorporate resistance exercises in your daily workouts and do them with good form and technique.
If you are a maturing man . . . . .
Lots of older men are finding that they can’t lift as much as they did just a few short years ago. This is mainly due to the fact that they have reached a plateau in the their strength potential because of age or have developed a debilitating illness such as diabetes.
If you find yourself in this situation you can still benefit from doing hiit weight training. Instead of doing 10 to 12 repetitions of 225 lb. bench presses like you used to in your younger days you can develop a good physique and muscle growth by repping out fifty to seventy percent of that amount.
Unless you are about to enter the latest bodybuilding competition for the over fifty age group there is no need to lift heavy weights. By doing lighter weights and more repetitions you will build strength and muscularity.
As stated above, the research has shown that doing higher repetitions with less weights is just as effective as doing heavy weights with less repetitions in order to build muscle and increase strength. So give those joints and tendons some reprieve by cutting the heavy stuff.
I am currently doing a combination of maximal weight training interspersed with training sessions using lighter weights and I can see and feel the difference after about two weeks.
If you want to break free of your current workout plateau them try switching to hiit weight training by doing all your sets with lighter weights.