5 Reasons I Lift Heavy
In my 10+ years of being in the fitness industry, I am beyond hearing these statements every day.
I lift light weights with more reps to ‘tone.’
If I lift too heavy, I will get ‘big.’
I want ‘definition’ and don’t want to bulk!
All these are myths and completely false long-standing beliefs that the media, popular muscle magazines etc., have fed us.
Lifting heavy weights doesn’t mean bigger muscles in the same way that high reps performed with light weights will not make you toned.
For a chiseled-cut look, you need to lift. Heavy. You need to work your butt off and keep your muscles working hard. And it takes time.
Muscle tissue is like iron. It’s dense and will make you look leaner, toner and sexier. Whereas fat tissue is like cotton, it makes you look bigger and fluffier.
Paste this statement where you can see it every day
‘You will not look like a bodybuilder if you lift heavy.’
Ladies, start squatting and lifting kickass weights, and I promise your body will shape and tone in a way you will love. If you are one of those whose life had changed by completing a marathon, I applaud your commitment and dedication.
But if you plan to continue with your extended runs and solely rely on it for your fitness needs, then just take out 2 minutes and read this article written by my sister on her blog about marathon runners! 1http://fitbuthow.com/why-running-a-marathon-is-not-a-good-fitness-goal/
There are exceptional benefits of building muscle, which you can read.
Related Article: Top 4 Benefits Of Building Muscle That You Probably Dont Know About
Excessive steady-state cardio burns a lot of muscle, and that’s not a good thing! At the same time, aerobic training is not an effective way to lose fat; neither is doing higher reps with light weights. (Articles coming soon on both these topics. Stay tuned!)
Coming Back To Why I Lift Heavy? Here Are 5 Reasons
1) Lifting Heavy Helps Me Build Muscle
A meta-analysis of 140 studies was done in 2003 in relation to strength training, and the researchers concluded that ‘training with a mean intensity of 60 percent (15 reps) of one repetition maximum elicits maximal gains in untrained individuals, whereas 80 percent (6 – 7 reps) is most effective in those who are trained.’ 2http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12618576
What this means is that the weight should be heavy enough for you to perform (5 to 7 reps) in perfect form. Once you are able to comfortably do these many reps for a particular weight, your body has no reason to grow more muscle, and in order to keep growing, you need to overload progressively, i.e., increase your weight while staying in the same rep range.
2) Lifting Heavily Helps Me Burn Fat
I don’t do any kind of aerobic training. I find it really, really boring, yet my body fat is under 15%. Usually, people do aerobic training for two reasons.
a) To lose fat
b) To improve their cardio fitness
My resting heart rate is under 60, which is exceptional, and I haven’t done any steady-state cardio for years now!
Did you know that a study clearly suggests a direct link between how many times your heart beats per minute and the risk of heart disease? 3http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1434592
One study even claims that people with low resting heart rates cut their risk of diabetes in half. 4http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21309059 You see, losing weight is simply an equation of calories in and calories out. When I am lifting heavy weights, glycogen stores in my body act as fuel that supports my workouts.
The magic starts when I finish my workout, and the energy needed to support my muscle comes from my fat reserves.
Weight training has an EPOC effect and can boost your metabolism for up to 16 hours (sometimes more, depending upon the intensity of your workouts!). 5http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11882927 So basically, you are burning extra fat all day to support your elevated metabolism! Isn’t that awesome?
At the same time, muscle tissues are catabolically more active than fat, meaning they need more energy to survive. If you gain 10 pounds of muscle, you will burn approximately 50 to 70 extra calories per day without moving.
3) Lifting Heavy Saves Me Time
Weight training is concentrated work. I don’t train for more than 3 hours a week with weights. That’s not even 3 percent of your week!
Do note for the other 2 to 3 hours, I incorporate a lot of walking, Yoga asanas and HIIT sessions. I created the FBX training system that incorporates all these activities. So you can enroll in my course, The FBX Training. It’s 100 percent Free!
4) Lifting Heavy Makes Me Look Good
There is no doubt that enough muscle (provided that your body fat is below 15%) will make you look better than the majority of people out there. However, I promise you won’t look like a bodybuilder if you follow the workouts I provide with my FBX training.
You’ll build a V-shape physique. Your clothes will fit better, you will lose a lot of inches from your belly, and your face will start to look more angular.
5) Lifting Heavy Makes Me Strong
Strength is celebrated. Over the centuries, men have played the role of protector, defender, and warrior.
In these modern times, with all the technological advances, men are often required to sit behind a desk all day. Still, even then, there is something primal in us that makes us want to become a stronger version of ourselves, to take care of ourselves and our families if need be, to push back if being pushed, etc. It’s my belief that strength is an essential virtue for every man to have.
In my experience, the strength that we build in the weight room does transcend into other forms of strength (strength of character, the strength of spirit, etc.), but that’s a topic for some other day.
Do you lift heavy? Have any questions you’d like to ask me? Let me know in the comments below!
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About Akash Sehrawat
Akash is a creator of 25+ programs and certificate courses in which more than 200,000 students have enrolled both on Udemy and Fabulous Body's native platform. Akash is also an author of three books that can be found on Amazon. His answers on Quora have gathered more than 12 million views in less than a year.