Does lifting heavy really make you bigger or not? Does lifting lighter weight with higher reps really tone your body?
Higher reps or higher weight? There’s a common misconception about bodybuilding and lifting the heaviest weights in the gym. Lifting heavy does NOT mean you will build the most muscle. Study suggests that higher reps assist you in gaining the same amount of muscle mass, as long as you’re hitting higher reps with lighter weight and lower reps with higher weight.
Lifting in the 6-12 rep rate is best for greater body composition changes. You can build muscle, increase strength, or lose fat with just about any rep range. Some rep ranges are better than others for each training outcome. Results are dependent upon how intense the workout is as well as your diet. The lower rep-range is for strength.
There is also another misconception that lifting light weight with higher reps will help you tone. Toning is relative to your diet. Low repetitions with heavy weight increases strength, whereas high repetitions with light weight increases endurance. According to the concept, as repetitions increase there is a gradual transition from strength to endurance.
Some believe heavy weights are only good for building muscle, but what about fat loss? Can lifting heavier help you burn more fat, or does it cause you to Hulk out?
A study done at the University of Alabama showed that dieters who lifted heavy weights lost the same amount of weight as the individuals who did just cardio, however, all the weight lost by the weight lifters was fat while the cardio group lost muscle along with some fat. The common belief is that high reps magically get rid of fat. While high reps with light weight to fatigue can create a muscular response, it does not necessarily remove fat better than low reps with heavy weight.
Although, more studies need to be conducted to compare the fat loss effects of high reps vs. low reps, substantial evidence shows that it’s not necessarily the amount of weight lifted, or the number of reps that helps burn the most fat, but the intensity of the workout. The goal is to lift till muscular failure with little rest between exercises, which can have powerful hormonal, metabolic, and calorie burning results. In addition, for fat loss, proper nutrition will have a MUCH greater effect on fat loss than the specific rep range, or even workout.
Above all, regardless of how much weight you pull in the gym, PLEASE make sure you are using proper form! It doesn’t do you any good to be going harder than everyone else in the gym if you’re lifting improperly, you won’t be lifting at all if you injure yourself. And, if you do happen to get hurt, be sure to recover by using Deer Antler Spray. Also, take a minute to read about our blueprint to bigger arms.
Written by: Abby Cain