So, you’ve finally decided to get on the weight training bandwagon. Good for you. You know that weight training will boost your metabolism, make it easier to lose weight, maintain lost weight, strengthen your bones, decrease belly fat, and give you a rockin’ hard body. But you’re confused. One trainer says you should lift heavier weights with less repetitions, but another claims that lighter weights and more reps is better? Who’s right?
Well, they both are, but for different reasons.
If you want to get toned and improve your muscle strength, then it’s time to hoist heavier weights. Choose a weight that you can lift for 6-8 reps and make sure to do 3-4 sets of each move. Researchers have found that when you lift heavier weights at lower repetitions, you burn twice as many calories in the two hours post-workout compared to lifting a lighter weight for 15 reps. You want to choose a weight that’s 85% of the maximum weight you can lift if you were doing only one repetition. For example, if you can do only one biceps curl at 20 pounds, then choose a 17 pound dumbbell for your workout. If you choose a weight that’s too light, you won’t challenge your muscles enough to get the best results.
Lifting weights that are heavier will not bulk you up. In order to achieve that, you have to also consume a high-calorie diet and a commit to a long-term power-lifting training program. If your goal is to be toned and lean, then create a calorie deficit through sensible clean eating and regular workouts, incorporating heavier weights.