Is it mad to say that you should lift light weights in the 20 or more rep range in order to build muscle? Everyone knows that heavy and high intensity weight lifting is what makes the muscles to grow. So should you lift light at all? The answer is yes, you should lift light, in addition to heavy (as well as moderate) weights.
And today we’re going to give you 5 very important reasons why that is true. You will see that adding light weight training can and will improve your muscle growth and your overall fitness. So let’s begin.
There are two main types of fibers, slow-twitch (type I) and fast-twitch (type IIA and type IIB) fibers. These types of fibers are recruited as a response to different muscle load. Type I fibers respond to low intensity and long activity like walking, jogging, slow cycling, etc. Meanwhile the fast-twitch fibers are recruited when power is required.
So where does light lifting come in, in this context? While type IIB fast-twitch fibers are involved in short bursts of explosive power movement, type IIA muscle fibers are actually more resistant to fatigue and are recruited during sustained power activities. Activities like light weight training. These fibers, being fast-twitch fibers, are still bigger than slow-twitch fibers and by recruiting them, you will be growing your muscles too.
Check Your Form
When lifting heavy it’s very difficult to master the perfect form of most exercises and contract the muscles as much as it’s possible. Your muscles tend to compensate movements as a natural reaction to overload and you lose on the peek contraction. Lifting light will allow you to fix your form.
Lighter weights will give you the opportunity to really focus on the form and muscle contraction, and you will feel the burn at the end of a set if you do this in slow and controlled motions.
Lifting lighter weights in the 20 or more rep range allows you to train your muscles for endurance. This goes back to the type of muscle fibers that are being recruited. By improving your resistance to fatigue you will be able to train more intensely even as you go back to heavy lifting in low rep ranges.
As we all know, high training intensity is one of the requirements for muscle growth. By performing an exercise in high reps you’re able to increase the intensity and go for the burnout. You can add intensive light weight sets at the end of your workout routine to complement high and mid weight lifting to really break the muscles down.
Lifting light weights can help you with muscle recovery by pumping the blood to your sore muscles and promote healing. That’s true especially if you’re feeling out of shape and can’t perform well with your normal weights. Doing some lightweight lifting will allow you to ease in to the workout without having to skip the gym entirely.
So there you have it, 5 reasons why you should add lightweight lifting to your workout routines. Hopefully these reasons are enough to convince you to take advantage of this muscle building technique.