Lifting Light can be Just as Beneficial as Going Heavy
Strength training is often seen as an intimidating form of exercise to both men and women. Women especially fear bulking up or injuring themselves with weights. Both genders may be hesitant due to the misconception that you won’t get anywhere unless you lift heavy. However, if you’re looking for a well rounded fitness regimen, you will certainly come across the recommendation of adding strength training into the mix. So what can you do to ease into this style of exercise? Lift light! Start where you’re comfortable and work your way up as you become stronger.
A new study funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and published by the Journal of Applied Physiology, found no significant difference between those who used light or heavy weights. Muscle strength and size was nearly identical across the board. In addition, no connection between changes in hormone levels and gains in strength and muscle size was found. The key to becoming stronger and building more muscle seems to be attaining complete muscle fatigue. Working your muscles until exhaustion jump-starts cellular mechanisms that help you develop a sculpted figure.
The best way to approach starting a new fitness plan that includes weights is to choose a pair of weights that feel comfortable overall, but become challenging once you reach the final 2 reps of each exercise. This is the sweet spot for challenging yourself and achieving results without stressing out your joints or quitting while you’re ahead due to burn out.
Browse our strength training playlist for a variety of routines for all fitness levels: