By Julie Pollard
3 tips to decide between heavy vs. light weights
1. The longstanding debate
Over the years, there has been much debate surrounding the weights we should use when we are exercising. Some people swear by using lighter weights between 2-10lbs, others pride themselves on lifting hundreds of pounds. But how do you know what is best for you?
We will share with you the secret that can end this debate:
light weights are just as effective as heavy weights for resistance training. It's been proven that the most important aspect of strength training is working your muscles to fatigue. This means exercising to where you feel a burn in the muscles or feel like you can't do another repetition.
2. Your exercise goals
Your exercise goals play the biggest role in deciding which weights to choose when you begin a resistance program. Different resistance amounts target different types of muscle fibers. Want to refresh your knowledge on the types of muscles our bodies? Check out our blog post about it.
Light weights are best for targeting our endurance muscles, or Type I muscle fibers. Exercising with light weights helps people who have goals to tone their muscles or improve endurance. Endurance exercises can be useful for activities of daily living such as carrying items, walking, and going up stairs.
Heavy weights are best for targeting our power muscles, or Type II muscle fibers. Exercising with heavy weights helps people who have goals to gain muscle or increase muscle mass. High resistance exercises can be useful for activities such as lifting heavy objects, getting up and down, moving quickly, or performing more physically demanding tasks.
3. Individual Ability
Individual ability is an important consideration when choosing which weights to start with. If you are new to weight training, lighter weights might be a more comfortable transition. Light weights also allow more time to focus on form and safety techniques because your body is handling a more manageable load. Heavy weights require excellent form and safety techniques because at higher weights, there is a greater risk of injury. However, high-resistance weight training helps build more powerful muscles and more muscle mass.
Which one do I choose?
It is important to take into consideration your goals, abilities, and exercise experience. Remember, you don't need to choose one or the other! Both types of resistance training are beneficial. If you would like to learn more about how to incorporate an effective resistance training program into your exercise routine, feel welcome to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at (805)-845-7277. Our exercise specialists would love to help you reach your goals!
Ageless Fitness is expanding! If you are interested in bringing an Ageless Fitness to your area, read more about our franchise opportunities.
Julie is the co-founder of Ageless Fitness and director of operations.