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Lifting Heavy Weights Against Light Weights: Why One Is No Better Than the Other



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Choosing a workout weight is not always black or white.


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When it comes to training, there's plenty of information about whether you should lift heavy weights or not ̵

1; and it can get pretty confusing, fast. Some people choose heavy weights if they want to achieve more visible muscle or "volume," and some people are afraid to lift heavy weights for just that reason.

Unfortunately, many women still believe in the myth that they get bulky muscles by lifting heavy weights. Therefore, they choose light or no weights and go to classes that promise "long, lean muscles" instead.

But is any of this information true at all? (Spoiler alert: not really). When choosing the right weight for lifting, it depends on how you train, not the number on the dumbbells.

It only depends on the repetitions.

People lift weights with the aim of strengthening their muscles (and for some, to get those bulky biceps or slender arms). If you want to build muscle, you will probably opt for a higher weight, while people who want to be leaner, on something smaller.

The truth is that there is no right strategy – both are valid decisions. If you lift heavy dumbbells, kettlebells and barbells, you will certainly get stronger. But lighter weights can also help you get stronger – it can only take a little longer.

It all depends on one important factor: muscle fatigue. This means that the goal of your workout should be to train your muscles to exhaustion (that is, if you can not do another repetition), regardless of how much weight you use. So, if you do five dumbbell curls weighing 20 pounds or 20 repetitions weighing 5 pounds, you'll get stronger as you get to the point of muscle fatigue.

And science pulls this back on. A 2010 study found that a group of men lifting heavy weights to the point of "failure" or muscle fatigue built up the same amount of muscle and improved their strength as the other group did for more iterations lifted lighter weights. This 2016 study showed the same results.

Some workouts that you may perform with light weights include a barre class, yoga sculpting classes, Pilates classes, or "sculpting classes." Or a light workout may look like you're doing biceps curls with a lighter weight (like 8-10 pounds) until you can not lift with good shape. At the other end of the spectrum, squats are performed with an Olympic barbell that tires your muscles after just a few repetitions.

The benefits of lifting light weights

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For what reasons can you lift light weights over heavy? If you are new to training or starting a new fitness program, light weights may be a good choice. "Someone can choose to train with less resistance as he learns the form in new exercises, and if he loses shape and feels good, he can increase the resistance," says fitness trainer Heather Marr. Other things you can take into account are that light weights are a good option for reducing the risk of injury – it is less likely that you'll hurt yourself at a weight of 5 pounds over, say, a weight of 50 pounds.

You can also use light weights in other types of exercise to resist more and maintain your heart rate . For example, in some of my cardio dance classes, we perform dance routines while holding a weight of 2 or 3 pounds, which increases resistance (my arms always burn at the end) and cardio training encourages heavier people , At the end of the song, my arms feel that they can not hold the 3 pound weights – let alone anything that is heavier.

However, lifting heavy weights has its own advantages and can definitely increase the challenge if you are looking for your workout program.

What advantages does it offer to work with heavier weights? [19659008] If you want to build muscle and increase your power as efficiently as possible, lifting heavy weights is a good option for you. When you gain strength, you need to work hard on your muscles. Heavy weights bring you to your destination faster. It only takes longer to get tired when you curl a 5-pound weight against a 25-pound dumbbell. "Heavy compounding exercises are the best way to spend your money, they can use the heaviest load and train more muscle in less time, making them more efficient and beneficial for weight loss," Marr said.

And if you're looking for more cardio in your routine, you can do it with heavy weights if you're strategic in terms of your strength training. "You can even do the exercises one at a time and get the added benefit of one-step conditioning work," Marr said.

How do you know when to lift harder or easier?

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It's a smart idea to start lifting heavy weights slowly and at your own pace.


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Let's say you've been training for a while and the 5 pound weights do not really feel like they're doing anything. What should you do? Of course, get heavier. Just make sure that you move at your own pace.

According to Marr, you should slowly work your way up over time and always try to challenge yourself. "No matter what range of repetition you train for your work sets, the last two reps should be a serious challenge and a tough fight, if not, you know you need to increase resistance," Marr said.

Aside from all scientific and coaching advice – the most important thing about your fitness and exercise routine is that you consistently do . And that's probably the kind of training you enjoy the most and that excites you no matter what kind of weights you use.

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