Does NOT make a difference. Yup, you heard that right. Some bold claims have been made in the past regarding the effects of training with lighter weight and the effects of training with heavier weight; as if the effects were different. Turns out, a recent study done at Southampton Solent University in the UK by exercise scientists James Fisher Ph.D and James Steele Ph.D shows that the same improvements in both muscle size and strength can be made by using either heavy or light weight.
But heres the catch.. the exercise must be performed to Momentary Muscular Failure. This is the point where you can no longer move the weight in GOOD form. When MMF is reached, all of the muscle fibers in the movement have been fatigued. Thats all that is required for an improvement!
The findings were based off of an in depth review of 65 peer reviewed research articles published in reputable science and exercise journals. After digging deep into each study, it was evident that the results indicate that it makes no difference if the weight is “heavy” or “light”, as long as the muscle fibers are deeply fatigued though muscular failure.
The principle behind exercise is simple; fatigue the muscles deeply in a short amount of time and allow adequate recovery time to allow your body to improve. It is the DEEP level of muscular fatigue which stimulates the body to make the improvements!
There are many ways to do this as you can see though the hundreds of fitness “programs” and classes available. But when it comes to the most effective and time efficient method, HIT takes the cake. High Intensity Training focuses on slowly and safely brining the muscles to muscular failure. With expert instruction, your workout becomes MUCH more effective and you’ll spend less time in the gym.
Fisher, J., Steele, J., & Smith, D. (2016). High- and Low-Load Resistance Training: Interpretation and Practical Application of Current Research Findings. Sports Medicine, 1-9. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net.