Light vs. Heavy Days

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    Dec 30, 2011 3:44 AM GMT
    Does anyone here do light lifting days and if so could you offer some advice or share your results compared to heavy days.
    I'm thinking of alternating between light/heavy days but not sure if they're necessary. Everything I read contradicts everything else.
    I'm aware heavy days would stimulate more muscle growth, but light days apparently compliment them in some way.
    Any personal experiences would be appreciated, as well as your recommended frequency of light days. I'm thinking every other workout... but not sure.
    Please reply if you are somewhat knowledged.
    Thanks gang!!
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    Dec 30, 2011 5:51 AM GMT
    For muscle growth, it's not as simple as light versus heavy lifting. Hypertrophy is the key to growth. Drop and do 100 push-ups. When you're done, you'll notice that your pecs and parts of your arms are pumped. Another example would be soccer players. Those guys have big legs, but not from doing 500 lbs squats in the gym. It's from short burst running.

    I like to mix things up in the gym. Like I'll do heavy flat bench press. Then do lighter reps/sets of incline dumbbell chest press to get that extra pump and muscle stimulation. You have to experiment and see what routines/methods work best for you. But in the end, there's nothing wrong with light/medium lifting.
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    Dec 30, 2011 4:19 PM GMT
    naivenewbie saidDoes anyone here do light lifting days and if so could you offer some advice or share your results compared to heavy days.
    I'm thinking of alternating between light/heavy days but not sure if they're necessary. Everything I read contradicts everything else.
    I'm aware heavy days would stimulate more muscle growth, but light days apparently compliment them in some way.
    Any personal experiences would be appreciated, as well as your recommended frequency of light days. I'm thinking every other workout... but not sure.
    Please reply if you are somewhat knowledged.
    Thanks gang!!


    I've found that the best thing is to do is just whatever you find works for you. I think there's so much contradiction because everyone's different.

    If your muscles respond better to lighter weights, do that. If they respond to heavier ones, do that. If it's a combination of both, there you go.

    For me, I'm having the most success with sets of five reps right now.

    That said, if overtraining is an issue, a light day can let you still lift and make long-term progress, but give your muscles a bit of a break. I do squats three times a week, for example, but go light on one of those days just because it's too much otherwise. It's a good way to perfect your form.
  • monet

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    Dec 30, 2011 4:34 PM GMT
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    Dec 30, 2011 4:42 PM GMT
    monet said


    Yes. Thank you.
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    Dec 30, 2011 4:43 PM GMT
    Uhh, you can definitely get big by lifting heavy
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    Dec 30, 2011 4:46 PM GMT
    This thread title keeps making me think of menstruation
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    Dec 30, 2011 4:55 PM GMT
    GreenHopper saidThis thread title keeps making me think of menstruation


    LOL I thought the same thingicon_lol.gif
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    Dec 30, 2011 4:57 PM GMT
    Monet wins the prize for making the first reference to tampons in this thread. - Congratulations! We were all thinking it.

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    Dec 31, 2011 1:51 AM GMT
    Lol yes that crossed my mind as well, but seriously any more personal experiences or advice, specifically how frequently you change it up?
    Thanks to you 2 or 3 guys who shared your thoughts. Any others? Please...
  • gcoastmark

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    Dec 31, 2011 2:02 AM GMT
    Light weight + "high reps" = muscle form.
    High weight + "lower reps" = muscle size .

    In either case, make sure you control the movement and take your time with it. Start with a 2 or 3 count...don't hammer them out like its a sprint.

    Rather than do a switch every couple days, do it for 4-6 weeks at a time. You'll notice a difference by the time you get through the second rotation.
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    Dec 31, 2011 2:25 AM GMT
    gcoastmark saidRather than do a switch every couple days, do it for 4-6 weeks at a time. You'll notice a difference by the time you get through the second rotation.


    This. You can also cycle it with different calorie intake and focus on building when lifting heavier and then restricting calories and stripping fat when lifting lighter and more reps.
  • dc415

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    Dec 31, 2011 2:38 AM GMT
    the reason why people program in "light" days (e.g. in the Texas method) is because they're lifting so heavy that they can't sustain lifting heavy all the time and they need the extra time to recover.... can't say i'm there yet, myself...
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    Dec 31, 2011 2:52 AM GMT
    dc415 saidthe reason why people program in "light" days (e.g. in the Texas method) is because they're lifting so heavy that they can't sustain lifting heavy all the time and they need the extra time to recover.... can't say i'm there yet, myself...


    So would you say the main purpose they serve is to take it a bit easier when you feel you may be close to overtraining?
    I read that doing a light day a few days after a heavy day totally fatigues the muscles and results in much more muscle than if just doing heavy days. That's why I figured alternating them each workout may be best?
    Any thoughts on this?...
  • gcoastmark

    Posts: 83

    Dec 31, 2011 4:07 AM GMT
    naivenewbie said
    dc415 saidthe reason why people program in "light" days (e.g. in the Texas method) is because they're lifting so heavy that they can't sustain lifting heavy all the time and they need the extra time to recover.... can't say i'm there yet, myself...


    So would you say the main purpose they serve is to take it a bit easier when you feel you may be close to overtraining?
    I read that doing a light day a few days after a heavy day totally fatigues the muscles and results in much more muscle than if just doing heavy days. That's why I figured alternating them each workout may be best?
    Any thoughts on this?...


    So the other questions are...how many days are you going? Are you looking to do multiple days in a row on the same muscle group? Are you only hitting one muscle group at a time ? Remember, muscle growth requires rest - fatigued muscles that get pushed too far can result in injury. Ask anyone who has torn a pec or bicep and they will tell you how important rest is....btw....I've only seen one thing more disturbing than a guy with a torn pec on the gym floor...that's a guy who dropped a 405lb barbell on his chest doing a bench press when one arm gave out. Just nasty....cleared the gym out too...yikes.

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    Dec 31, 2011 4:12 AM GMT
    I don't think I've ever heard of light vs. heavy days. You could change it up every other week or every few weeks or just change your tempo. I'm always trying to increase the amount I can lift every time I workout so the only time I lower the load is if I'm increasing the reps or tempo.

    As some other guys on here wrote however, just do what you find to be working for you.
  • dc415

    Posts: 255

    Jan 02, 2012 12:11 AM GMT
    naivenewbie saidSo would you say the main purpose they serve is to take it a bit easier when you feel you may be close to overtraining?
    I read that doing a light day a few days after a heavy day totally fatigues the muscles and results in much more muscle than if just doing heavy days. That's why I figured alternating them each workout may be best?
    Any thoughts on this?...


    i think that's right, no reason to do light days if you can sustain doing heavy all the time... otherwise you're just delaying your progress. but at some point you'll get to the point that you can't recover fully in 2-3 days.
  • mybud

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    Jan 02, 2012 12:29 AM GMT
    My opinion for what it's worth...Light lifting days are used to refine your form...lighter weights focus more on building muscle....Heavy weight days by contrast ...focus more on building your physical strength....BUD