Should you use light or heavy weights in the gym? We’re going to look at this from a strength-building perspective, as it’s a common goal and extremely useful in daily life.
This is often a heavily contested question, with personal preferences and exercise styles providing support for both sides. Thankfully, there has been plenty of research on the topic, so we can offer a balanced review of this topic.
Firstly, to settle an old score, lifting heavy whether you’re a man or a woman won’t automatically make you bulky. This outcome depends on some large factors such as your routine, your goals and what you’re eating as well as many smaller ones. So much goes into creating a body-building aesthetic, you’re not going to do it accidentally.
What’s the difference?
Training heavy or light
Recent research has shown that while there are many factors that go into growing strength and muscle size, like eating properly and training frequency, the actual weight doesn’t really matter. To gain strength you either need to lift a heavier weight than you did previously or lift a lighter weight more times before. Your muscles grow bigger and stronger independent of load, as long as you train to or close to failure.
There are some other results you might want to pay attention to. Lighter weights at higher reps can help improve endurance, and heavier weights may increase your strength more rapidly. You may also feel more motivated as you add on heavier weights every week.
Health-wise, any kind of weightlifting is great for your body. improved cardiovascular health, reduced body fat, and increased muscle mass are just some of the things you can enjoy when you regularly weight train.
So, what’s the bottom line? The answer is not one-size-fits-all. If you have specific goals in mind it’s worth researching those or speaking to staff to see what they recommend. We also recommend picking the workout style that suits you, the one you can do regularly and enjoy as ultimately that’s what’s going to keep you coming back to the gym and achieving your goals. And hey, one of those goals could just be to have fun.
Need support with an exercise programme or don’t know where to start? You can claim a free one-day pass at an Anytime Fitness gym and speak to one of our friendly and expert team about your health goals.