Excessive Metal

Heavy or Light Weight for Muscle Growth?
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There is only one way of training for Dorian Yates...heavy! Get out your barf bucket if you want to perform one of his Blood & Guts training sessions. In the past, researchers believed that only higher-loading intensities (70% of a one-rep max) increased maximal strength and induced muscle growth; however, recent data have cast doubt on the premise that using heavy weights is the only way to go. A Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research article reported that using heavy weight is not the only way to train to increase muscle mass. Subjects were assigned to two different loading schemes: high-load (70% 1RM) training at slow speed, or low-load (35% 1RM) training at high speed (explosive lifting). They found that when explosive and low-and-slow schemes were equated by volume, the lighter load for the most part resulted in greater time under tension and workload. From the results of the study, when considering the total volume of the two formats, it seems that lighter weights lifted faster may offer an equal if not better training stimulus for muscular adaptation than the heavy-weight protocol, because of the greater time under tension, power, force, and work output.

 

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