Heavyweight V/s lightweight lifting

By:Himanshu Sharma, Onlymyhealth Editorial Team,Date:Dec 04, 2014

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Lifting lighter weights and heavy weights are equally effective in building muscle and developing symmetrical physique. Take a look at what differentiates one from the other.
  • 1

    Heavyweight Lifting vs. Lightweight Lifting

    Working with weights is more than just a way of exercising. You have two options – light weight and heavy weight lifting. You may have heard many times that heavy weights should be preferred over light weights or vice-versa when it comes to building muscle mass. Both are equally effective in building muscle and developing symmetrical physique. There is no one clear distinction, but both approaches need you to work all the muscle groups. To back the claim, there was a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology that suggested that one can build muscle by lifting lighter weights. (Image source:Gettyimages.in)

  • 2

    The Difference

    You can gain the same amount of strength by lifting lighter weights that you will by lifting heavy weight if you do more repetitions. Light weights incorporate the stabilizing of muscles that enable you to perform different movements. This is effective in producing overall muscular strength and power gains. Lifting heavier weights does affect the type of muscle fibers that are recruited when you lift. It makes the body release more muscle-growth and fat-burning hormones than what happens when you lift lighter weights. (Image source:Gettyimages.in)

  • 3

    Light Weight Training Exercises

    “Heavy weights are needed to build muscle” is a myth. The truth is – any kind of resistance exercise (light weights exercises) can build muscle as it can make the muscles constrict, giving them a good workout. Moreover, one can do a wide variety of exercises with a simple set of dumbbells. You can hold the weights with your palms facing forward and by facing your body or facing the wall behind you. These three different exercises will work your muscles in different ways. (Image source:Gettyimages.in)

  • 4

    Heavy Weights Workout

    According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine, ideal heavy weight lifting is one in which you can only lift up to five times before your muscle gets tired. If you are not exhausted after five reps, increase your workload during the next sessions. Since the amount of weight is more, there should be a team interval between three and five minutes to help muscles’ energy replenishment. Balancing is the key while exerting force, so you must use a precise technique. (Image source:Gettyimages.in)

  • 5

    Muscle Fibres

    Slow-twitch and fast-twitch are two kinds of muscle fibres that our muscles are made up of. Their activation depends on the type of exercise and exertion level. It takes 2-3 sets of heavy lifting to activate fast-twitch muscle fibres for explosive power. On the other hand, lifting lighter weights for more than 20 reps can activate slow-twitch muscle fibres for muscular endurance but takes 2-3 sets of the same to activate fast-twich fibres. When training with weights, you must work as many muscle fibres as possible. More muscle fibers involves more gains in strength and muscle mass. (Image source:Gettyimages.in)

  • 6

    Increasing the Size of Muscles/Building Endurance

    If your sole motive is bulking up, it is advised to go with lifting heavy weights. A few explosive reps of heavy weight lifting release muscle growth hormones to stimulate faster muscle growth. However, it can’t be as beneficial for women since they have less testosterone. Lifting lighter weights for more reps when combined with cardio activities such as long-distance running and cycling can help you increase your muscular endurance. (Image source:Gettyimages.in)

  • 7

    Burning Fat

    Want to train with weight for burning fat? Lift heavy weights. The heavier the weight, the more calories you will be able to burn. Heavy weights recruit fast-twitch fibres to get rid of fat and also continue the fat burning process after your workout. It is the fast-twich fibres that tap into fat deposits for energy as it is easily available than oxygen. This releases a lot of fat-burning hormones to continue burning fat for hours after your workout. On the other hand, light weights can also burn fat. However, as it recruits slow-twitch fibres so the fat burning process stops with your workout. (Image source:Gettyimages.in)

  • 8

    Boosting Your Metabolism/Bone Density

    Your metabolism depends on your muscle mass. More the muscle mass, the faster your metabolism. If you have more muscle mass, you'll continue to burn fat even when you're not working out because muscle mass burns fat. Lift heavy weights a few times and you will do a lot of good to your metabolism. With better metabolism, you will be able to burn more calories and be in a better position to lose belly fat. Moreover, heavy weights build more bone density than light weights. (Image source:Gettyimages.in)

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