Lifting Lighter, Not Heavier, Weights Can Be Just as Effective

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    Aug 04, 2016 4:13 AM GMT
    well_weights-tmagArticle.jpg

    NYT: In a study, participants’ muscles got bigger and stronger whether they lifted heavy or light weights — as long as they lifted until they were tired.

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/07/20/lifting-lighter-weights-can-be-just-as-effective-as-heavy-ones/?
  • leanandclean

    Posts: 344

    Aug 04, 2016 12:21 PM GMT
    I will lift light with less rest, it is easier on the joints
  • Brandon_Dale

    Posts: 16

    Aug 05, 2016 2:33 AM GMT
    I'm a huge believer in this. It allows for better technique, as well as working more muscle groups. It can be hard on joints but I have supplements for that. It also has less chance for injury, becuase you not overloading you muscles to quickly. And, ideally, it will build you muscles with more stamina then the old, lift as much weight as you can then rest a day.
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    Aug 06, 2016 2:04 AM GMT
    DING DING DING DING! After a severe bought with tendonitis in both elbows, I was forced to go VERY light. My DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy) told me "if you can't do at least 15 reps, don't do it!" And I have followed his orders to the T. And you know what? I've gotten more muscular as a result! I'm getting more compliments on my body than I ever have. So I've decided to keep this up. Why lift heavy if there's no benefit?
  • JohnLan

    Posts: 4

    Aug 30, 2016 4:36 AM GMT
    Interesting article. It makes sense that whether the weight is light or heavy you can still make progress just as long as it's challenging.
  • JackNNJ

    Posts: 1180

    Aug 30, 2016 5:16 AM GMT
    So how's it working for you?
  • whytehot

    Posts: 1192

    Sep 08, 2016 3:30 AM GMT
    I didn't need a study or doctor to tell me this. Just do super-sets. Use progressively-smaller weights during the same set so that you can quickly get to fatigue and use that last bit of strength on a weight you can actually lift.
  • stratavos

    Posts: 1866

    Feb 10, 2017 3:03 PM GMT
    it's more about proper form than anything.
  • Triggerman

    Posts: 539

    Feb 18, 2017 2:05 AM GMT
    glad to see posters talking about form. That has always been my religion. You short yourself if form is bad because you are using momentum or other muscles to help you do that exercise. Example: Military press... shoulder exercise. But guys squat slightly and push with legs to do a military press. Or a tricep kick back when they take the weight forward of straight down and use momentum to swing the weight back. Most trainers use legs for upper body and don't even know they are doing it. Small bounce at the bottom? legs just did what did what anterior deltoids should have done. I am certified and I know what I am talking about but 20 years before I learned how to do it right. if I am working arms, the rest of the body should not move an inch

  • jostam32002

    Posts: 222

    Feb 18, 2017 4:34 AM GMT
    i lift light weights too( i'm 57), with almost no rest in between,it's easier for my old jointsicon_smile.gif,but i lift untill the muscle burns!
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 15252

    Feb 26, 2017 8:31 PM GMT
    Even if I took this approach to lifting, my stubborn physique will still not growicon_exclaim.gif I am pretty much through with the gym and the sport of bodybuilding along with the idiotic draconian diets that restrict your freedom of choice in eating.
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    Mar 01, 2017 12:42 AM GMT
    roadbikeRob saidEven if I took this approach to lifting, my stubborn physique will still not growicon_exclaim.gif I am pretty much through with the gym and the sport of bodybuilding along with the idiotic draconian diets that restrict your freedom of choice in eating.


    You never miss an opportunity to say you're through with bodybuilding and the awful diets. I wonder why.
  • Zack6736

    Posts: 94

    Mar 01, 2017 5:37 AM GMT
    Have been lifting lighter with more reps due to both rotator cuffs needing repaired from bone spurs shredding tendons. I've really been surprised at the results I've had from doing this method. I see the younger men in the gym pushing much heavier and used to feel hesitant to use the 20-30# dumb bells and only 105# on the bench, but get 20+ reps with each set and easier on my body so figure I'm getting the results I want with less wear and tear on the body so let the younger guys tear up their joints to show off and I'll stick to the lighter stuff. Good thread.
  • MuchoMasQueMu...

    Posts: 198

    Mar 06, 2017 2:31 AM GMT
    Well, if you have to lift lighter due to injuries or physical limitations then you have to obey your body's limits. But there are studies to support that a combination of both heavy lifting with moderate weight and lighter weights with much higher reps is what creates superior muscle growth. Heavy weight with low reps stimulate slow twitch muscle fiber and lighter weight with higher reps stimulate fast twitch muscle fibers for the best overall muscular stimulus.

    I don't agree with this article at all and its claim that lighter weights can be just as effective. If your goal is to develop the most muscular body that you can, light weights won't cut it.
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    Mar 08, 2017 4:01 AM GMT
    MuchoMasQueMusculo saidWell, if you have to lift lighter due to injuries or physical limitations then you have to obey your body's limits. But there are studies to support that a combination of both heavy lifting with moderate weight and lighter weights with much higher reps is what creates superior muscle growth. Heavy weight with low reps stimulate slow twitch muscle fiber and lighter weight with higher reps stimulate fast twitch muscle fibers for the best overall muscular stimulus.

    I don't agree with this article at all and its claim that lighter weights can be just as effective. If your goal is to develop the most muscular body that you can, light weights won't cut it.


    Agreed. I WISH I could lift heavy but have injuries and other non-mental limitations. (Which also preclude gear, hgh, txt, and even creatine makes me bloat.) I train moderate to light, mostly light. Imagine me if I were able to go heavier. *SIGH*
  • MuchoMasQueMu...

    Posts: 198

    Mar 10, 2017 12:59 AM GMT
    ^ Too bad about the creatine. I use it five days a week and have noticed a dramatic improvement in overall gym performance, endurance and strength. I do notice a little bit of bloating but I tolerate it since I benefit in other ways.
  • LifeCoachRVA

    Posts: 3

    Mar 18, 2017 3:36 AM GMT
    It's an interesting idea and I'm sure it has some validity. However, if you're lifting heavy for gains, it's really a good idea to do 4 or 5 sets to failure. The heavy lifters in this study did 3 sets. That's not enough to get maximum gains from the program.

    Of course if you have injuries, or problems that wont' let you do 80-90% of your predicted 1 rep max, it's a great idea to lift lighter and you will definitely benefit form the program.