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8 Benefits of Lifting Heavy

Want results from your workouts? Add more weight!

For years only a finite number of dedicated fitness enthusiasts have practiced a sure-fire method of achieving results from exercise: lifting weights with the heaviest loads possible.

While technically NOT lifting, pulling (or pushing) a car is great for developing lower body strength because muscles are working to overcome a maximal load . Most common gym routines are derived from the bodybuilding world and focus on moderate-to-high repetition ranges, usually 8-15 reps, to increase the size of a muscle. Serious strength-training enthusiasts know that lifting heavy for five repetitions or less, while extremely challenging, is the quickest way to increase muscle strength. Want to learn a little more about strength? CLICK HERE

There is a distinctive difference between training for muscle size – technically called hypertrophy, and training for strength – increasing a muscle’s ability to generate force. Here’s the interesting thing, lifting heavy can improve the force output of a muscle without significantly increasing it’s size whereas training for size can increase muscle volume without necessarily improving strength. Lifting with high repetitions can increase the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy of a muscle by increasing the amount of fluid in the sarcoplasm of muscle cells. However, using a heavy weight for fewer repetitions results in myofibrillar hypertrophy by increasing the thickness of individual muscle fibers. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy increases the size of a muscle while myofibrillar hypertrophy results in thicker muscle fibers capable of generating higher levels of force.

Bodyweight exercises like chin-ups (even when assisted) are a great option for strength training. The bottom line: Lifting heavy will make you STRONG, but not necessarily big!

If you are looking for a way to supercharge your workouts or move past a plateau, consider using a weight heavy enough to limit you to five repetitions or less. WARNING: Using heavier weights requires using machines or a spotter to maximize safety. In addition, when lifting with maximal loads it’s important to allow for longer rest periods of at least two-to-three minutes to allow muscles to properly recovery before going back to work. Here are 7 benefits of how using heavy resistance can maximize the results from your fitness program.

Muscles generate force – that’s just what they do. Newton’s 2nd Law of physics is F = ma; a force is the produce of a mass and it’s acceleration. To train muscles to become stronger requires either adding more mass or moving with a faster acceleration. Using heavier weights recruits more muscle fibers; moving at a faster rate of speed teaches them to contract faster.

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