Using Heavier Weight Loads

Mission Monday Episode 10

The Perfect Workout helps you achieve great health and fitness through challenging but safe workouts.

Part of the challenge that leads to such great results is working against a relatively high amount of resistance on each exercise.

However, this challenge can be tough to adjust to…

Use Heavy Weights

If you understand the “WHY,” you will embrace the challenge of working against a resistance that will fatigue your muscles in about 60 seconds.

Working against a lighter resistance is more comfortable. A lighter resistance starts easy and can be lifted for a while before muscles start to fatigue. Light resistance, though, is NOT ideal for what your body needs.

This is easy to see when looking at the research.

A study published in 2017 tested the effectiveness of training with light weights and more reps versus heavier weights with fewer reps.

Despite performing about one-third of the reps, the heavier weight group gained more muscle and 3X more strength.

This isn’t surprising when diving into exercise physiology.

Our muscles feature slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers. Slow-twitch muscle fibers focus on less challenging and longer-duration activities, such as walking and standing.

Fast-twitch muscle fibers work most in challenging activities, such as lifting heavy objects and walking up steep stairs. Fast-twitch fibers are also the fibers that grow the most and are the muscle fibers that atrophy the most with age.

When we lift lighter weights, we do little to nothing for those fast-twitch fibers. To fight aging and maximize strength and muscle gains, we need to lift heavier weights.

Challenging weights are also critical for another important strength training benefit: bone density.

A study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that heavier weights with fewer reps increased bone density while lighter weights did not.

With all of this in mind, here’s our recommendation

  • Work with your personal trainer to use weights that lead to Muscle Success at about 60 seconds
  • If you are reaching Muscle Success at 90 seconds or longer, increase the weights until you are finishing sets at about one minute
  • Performing a set for two minutes means the weight is way too light

Challenging weights are going to help you maximize your muscle strength, size, and bone density.

If you would like to learn more about our method of strength training, read about our methodology. If you are new to The Perfect Workout, try a workout with us and start with a FREE Introductory Session.

  • Jenkins, N.D., Miramonti, A.A., Hill, E.C., Smith, C.M., Cochrane-Snyman, K.C., Housh, T.J., & Cramer, J.T. (2017). Greater neural adaptations following high- vs. low-load resistance training. Frontiers in Physiology, 8, 331.
  • Kerr, D., Morton, A., Dick, I., & Prince, R. (1996). Exercise effects on bone mass in postmenopausal women are site‐specific and load‐dependent. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 11(2), 218-225.
  • Kraemer, W. J., Adams, K., Cafarelli, E., Dudley, G. A., Dooly, C., Feigenbaum, M. S., … & Newton, R. U. (2002). American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Progression models in resistance training for healthy adults. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 34(2), 364-380.

Using Heavier Weight Loads

Mission Monday Episode 10

The Perfect Workout helps you achieve great health and fitness through challenging but safe workouts.

Part of the challenge that leads to such great results is working against a relatively high amount of resistance on each exercise.

However, this challenge can be tough to adjust to…

Use Heavy Weights

If you understand the “WHY,” you will embrace the challenge of working against a resistance that will fatigue your muscles in about 60 seconds.

Working against a lighter resistance is more comfortable. A lighter resistance starts easy and can be lifted for a while before muscles start to fatigue. Light resistance, though, is NOT ideal for what your body needs.

This is easy to see when looking at the research.

A study published in 2017 tested the effectiveness of training with light weights and more reps versus heavier weights with fewer reps.

Despite performing about one-third of the reps, the heavier weight group gained more muscle and 3X more strength.

This isn’t surprising when diving into exercise physiology.

Our muscles feature slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers. Slow-twitch muscle fibers focus on less challenging and longer-duration activities, such as walking and standing.

Fast-twitch muscle fibers work most in challenging activities, such as lifting heavy objects and walking up steep stairs. Fast-twitch fibers are also the fibers that grow the most and are the muscle fibers that atrophy the most with age.

When we lift lighter weights, we do little to nothing for those fast-twitch fibers. To fight aging and maximize strength and muscle gains, we need to lift heavier weights.

Challenging weights are also critical for another important strength training benefit: bone density.

A study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that heavier weights with fewer reps increased bone density while lighter weights did not.

With all of this in mind, here’s our recommendation

  • Work with your personal trainer to use weights that lead to Muscle Success at about 60 seconds
  • If you are reaching Muscle Success at 90 seconds or longer, increase the weights until you are finishing sets at about one minute
  • Performing a set for two minutes means the weight is way too light

Challenging weights are going to help you maximize your muscle strength, size, and bone density.

If you would like to learn more about our method of strength training, read about our methodology. If you are new to The Perfect Workout, try a workout with us and start with a FREE Introductory Session.

  • Jenkins, N.D., Miramonti, A.A., Hill, E.C., Smith, C.M., Cochrane-Snyman, K.C., Housh, T.J., & Cramer, J.T. (2017). Greater neural adaptations following high- vs. low-load resistance training. Frontiers in Physiology, 8, 331.
  • Kerr, D., Morton, A., Dick, I., & Prince, R. (1996). Exercise effects on bone mass in postmenopausal women are site‐specific and load‐dependent. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 11(2), 218-225.
  • Kraemer, W. J., Adams, K., Cafarelli, E., Dudley, G. A., Dooly, C., Feigenbaum, M. S., … & Newton, R. U. (2002). American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Progression models in resistance training for healthy adults. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 34(2), 364-380.

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