A new study pitted participants using heavy weights versus light weights in resistance training. The results were surprising!
1.Both Groups Performed Identical Muscle-Building Workouts For A 12 Week Period
Some of the exercises they performed were:
- leg presses
- knee extensions
- barbell bench presses
- biceps curl
Half of the subjects lifted heavy weights (75%-90% of their one-rep maximums). The other half raised only 30%-50% of their one-rep maxes.
Both groups experienced failing to lift. In the end, the former group raised 8-12 reps per set. The latter group lifted 20-25 reps per set.
Amazingly, both groups gained the same amount of muscle over the 12 week period: 2.4 pounds.
2.Muscle Tissue Was Biopsied
Here are the findings:
- Neither of the two types of muscle fibers showed a significant difference.
- Science supports that the key driver of muscle growth is activating as many fibers as possible.
3.Here’s How To Build Muscles
- Regular activity or easy exercise utilizes only type I or smallest muscle fibers. Once you add muscle demand, your body recruits type II fibers. Type II muscle fibers have greater potential for growth.
- The study showed you do not necessarily have to lift heavier weights to activate type II fibers. Instead, you can induce fatigue.
- The downside to lifting lighter weights: They’re probably not efficient as building strength in the long run.
4.Strength Is Not Just A Function Of Muscle Size
- It also relies on practice. So, guys who lift heavy weights will be better at lifting heavy weights than those who lift light weights.
- Lighter weights allows you more choices.
5.The Bottom Line
It’s okay to give your muscles or joints an occasional break. Or, lifting lighter weights are an excellent way to reduce the stress on your ligaments, joints, and tendons without sacrificing gains.