Light weight baby.
You’re a bodybuilder, or something like it. You don’t want to lift light, right? While your initial answer maybe yes, there’s something to be said for the other side. Sure, conventional wisdom tells you lifting heavy weights will recruit more muscle fibers and get you bigger, but what if you told you that lifting lighter weights to failure can produce comparable results in size and strength as well as adding range of motion to your set routine. Still don’t believe us, read on.
More strain on the intended target
Lighter weights means the intended muscles do all the work. When you lift with more weight than you can handle you tend to lose form and use momentum instead of putting the intended strain on the muscle. How many times have you seen guys curling heavy barbells only to turn into a back workout, exactly. Try staying with weight you can actually lift with perfect form.
Going back to the first point, when you lift weights suitable for the intended body part, it tends to build more hypotrophy gains in the muscles you want to grow. Hypertrophy is the enlargement of an organ tissue from the increase in size of its cells.
Better Range of motion
Lighter loads allow for the exercise to be performed through the full range of motion. Lifting heavier weights tends to shorten the range of motion, not fully taking advantage of the intended movement. In a study published in the January 2014 issue of Journal of strength and Conditioning Research, it was found that after 12 weeks of strength training with full range of motion, the strength and size of their muscles were greater than those observed in the group that used movements with a shorter range of motion.
In a game changing study published by the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers at McMaster University found that effort, not load, increases muscle growth. This means dispels the previous myth that hypotrophy only occurs with heavyweights. Subjects that lifted lighter weight until failure gained just as much size and strength as the subjects who pushed big weight.
The study also found testosterone and growth hormones elevated just as much in subjects that lifted lower weight to failure as those that hoisted bigger weight with less reps.
In short, both lightweight and heavyweight can beneficial in size and strength, it just depends how you use them. We’re not saying you can’t max out on a set with less than ideal form, just don’t think it’s the only way to achieve your goals. Use lighter weights on days your feeling sluggish or to top off your daily routine and you’ll be surprised at the results.
Hit us up in the comments section below and let us know what you think about light weight routines. Do they have their place in bodybuilding or is it no guts no glory?