High Reps and Light Weights for Muscle Growth?

body-articleLight weights have traditionally been thought to be a waste of time if you were trying to build muscles. New research, however, shows that light weights can indeed be just as effective as lifting heavy weights for strengthening your muscles and building mass.

Small Weights For Big Results

A study published the “Journal for Applied Physiology” concluded that lifting less weight for more repetitions is as effective as lifting heavier weights for lower reps.

The research authors noted that the key to achieving optimal results is lifting to the point of failure. An earlier study published in the journal went one step further and concluded that lifting light weights for high reps is more effective at inducing muscle growth than using heavy weights for lower reps.

More Reps And More Benefits

High rep, light weight workouts offer several benefits. They are particularly helpful for new or older exercisers or people with joint issues who might be unable to lift heavier weights.

Even seasoned lifters can benefit from incorporating this type of training into their workouts. Changing the way you train every few weeks prevents your muscles from hitting a plateau.

Your muscles gradually get used to your workouts and stop growing — so if you’re lifting heavy, choosing lighter weights will confuse your muscles and you will continue to see strength gains.

Always Choose Safety First

Regardless of how heavy you lift, always start your workout by stretching and lifting lighter weights to prepare your joints for the work ahead. If you are just getting started, speak to a trainer to learn the proper form of lifting weights.

Lifting with improper form can lead to injury. Stop exercising immediately if you feel sudden or sharp pain as you lift. Always end your weight training session with a stretch of the muscles you have worked. Weight training can shorten your muscles so stretching will help maintain your range of motion and help your muscles recover.