Heavier Weights vs More Reps: Which is Better for Muscle Growth?

Have you been told that lifting heavier weights can help you grow bigger muscles? It’s easy to assume that the heavier you lift at the gym, the larger and stronger your muscles become. However, recent studies suggest that this may not always be the case. 

Researchers have reason to believe that lifting heavier weights can have the opposite effect on people and lead to smaller, weaker muscles. According to them, lifting lighter weights and doing more reps – aided by safe and natural legal steroids – can be more beneficial. Some even suggest lifting a combination of both heavy and light weights. 

So, how much muscle can you gain by doing everything correctly? We uncover all that (and some) in this article. Keep reading to learn more!

Heavier Weights, Fewer Reps

Traditionally, lifting heavier weights and doing fewer reps was how bodybuilders developed muscles and increased strength. They would put on their weightlifting straps and throw around weights that were twice as heavy as they were. Although recent studies have found this method less effective now, one can’t help to wonder why this method of lifting weights and building muscles survived for so long.

The simplest answer is: because it worked – even if only for a short period.

According to experts, lifting heavier weights can activate what is known as “fast twitch” muscle fibers in the body. These muscles play an important role in developing muscle strength and growth. While this was true, it had a few pitfalls here and there. 

For instance, because fast twitch muscle fibers produce and use a lot of energy, they also tend to fatigue much more easily. Since muscle growth relies heavily on how long you can continue carrying a certain amount of weight, due to shorter endurance, you can’t promote hypertrophy (muscle growth) as effectively. 

Lighter Weights, More Reps

Lifting lighter weights can allow you to do more reps. Research shows this technique allows athletes and bodybuilders to build endurance and increase strength. However, does it help you develop bigger, much more defined muscles? 

As mentioned earlier, muscle growth depends heavily on how long you can carry a certain weight. For those who wish to build bigger muscles, this is around 90% to 95% of their body weight. 

When you do more reps with lighter weights, the most you can lift is 50% to 60% – which is hardly enough to promote hypertrophy. 

In other words, it’s good for building muscle endurance, but it doesn’t make your muscles look any bigger. 

Studies have proven that beginners gain more muscle mass by lifting to failure than experienced lifters. So it’s important that beginners find a balance between lifting light weights to work on form but heavy enough so they struggle to lift the final rep. This when coupled with a well-balanced diet not only leads to sustainable fat loss but increase in lean muscle mass. 

What Does “Lifting to Failure” Mean?

Lifting to failure or “concentric failure” simply means you select a weight that makes you struggle with the last few reps of a set during exercise. When muscles use up their ATP supply – the energy that fuels muscle contractions – lactic acid starts to build up and the muscles fail or slow down. Thus, the lactic acid needs to be flushed out for the muscles to complete another set and create more ATP.

Risks of Lifting to Failure

Although lifting to failure can help beginners progress faster in their workouts, as well as assist experienced weightlifters through a plateau, there are some risks and drawbacks tied to the practice. 

For instance, a 2006 study found that exclusively lifting to failure can increase a person’s resting cortisol levels and suppress anabolic growth simultaneously. In other words, consistently making every set lead to failure can hinder long-term muscle development. 

Additionally, overdoing the practice can result in you using improper form during exercises – which puts you at potential risk of injury. 

It’s best to err on the side of caution when using the lifting-to-failure technique. Find a balance that helps you achieve your muscle growth goals without risking your health or safety.

Combining Lighter Weights with Heavier Weights

Instead of isolating your routines to a single method, experts suggest that doing a combination of the two can be more beneficial. 

Lifting heavy weights and constantly driving up the number can be exhausting for your muscles. You need to give your body time to adjust to the new changes it’s going through. Doing a session or two of lightweight exercises can provide your body with the respite it needs to grow stronger. 

Alternating between heavy-weight and lightweight workouts is a great way for you to enjoy the best of both worlds. You can even add testosterone boosters into your routine to give you that extra push during your workouts. 

How Much Should I Lift During Reps?

The simplest answer is enough to challenge your current strength. 

Whether you’re doing more reps with lighter weights or fewer reps with heavier ones, you should use weights that challenge your muscles; otherwise, your muscles don’t receive the message to get healthier, stronger, and bigger. 

Generally, you want to pick weight plates that make the final two or three reps of a set a little tougher to make. Just be careful to make it too heavy that you start to fail to do any reps. This is crucial, especially for those who are new to weightlifting.

Increase your limit in small increments. If you feel your muscles have become accustomed to the current weights you lift, go up one level to achieve better and faster results. 

Achieving Better Results

Using performance-enhancing substances is often frowned upon, especially in the world of athletics. Regardless, there are several merits to using thoroughly tested and legal steroids like D-BAL, MOAB, and Winsol. 

When combined with light-weight or heavy-weight exercise, steroids can help increase muscle growth, reduce body fat, increase red blood cell production, and even reduce recovery time for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. 

As steroids will increase your metabolic rate, an increased appetite is also a typical side effect. If you’re using steroids to reach your fitness goal, it’s highly encouraged that you also maintain a healthy diet. 

Final Thoughts

People respond differently to various workouts. Results won’t always look identical between two people. Knowing your body and listening to what it needs is the key to making the most out of your workouts. If you wish to build stronger, bigger muscles, finding a balance between light and heavy weightlifting is the key to your success. Don’t restrict yourself to one method. Diversify and determine what’s the best option for you.

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