Heavy Lifting vs Lighter Lifting
I get asked all the time if its ok to just lift light and do more reps. The answer to this is.. read below and then you decide.
But my own personal belief is if you are injury free, technically safe and your mobility is good you should lift heavy (relative to your ability) weight at least once a week.
Lifting lighter weights for more repetitions works your muscles just as much as doing just a few reps with very heavy weights, so you’ll gain the same amount of strength either way.
The weight amount does affect the type of muscle fiber recruited when you lift, which determines whether you’re building endurance strength or explosive strength. Lifting heavier weights also releases more muscle-growth and fat-burning hormones than lifting light weights.
Your muscles in basic terms are made up of two types of muscle fibres – slow-twitch and fast-twitch. All your muscles have both types, but the type of fibre activated during an exercise depends on your load and exertion level. Lifting weights so heavy that you can’t quite manage 5 reps requires fast-twitch muscle fibres for explosive power. Lifting lighter weights for more than 10-20 reps recruits your slow-twitch muscle fibres for muscular endurance.
Will I Get Bulky?
If your goal is to increase the size of your muscles only, then you’ll want to lift heavy weights for a few explosive reps only ( power lifters) but as Crossfitters we want to be able to do everything well nothing specialized. So we do lift heavy but we also lift light and move weight free.
Lifting heavy will cause more muscle growth hormones to be released, stimulating faster muscle growth. This won’t cause women to “bulk up” but they will get strong and that is sexy! Since women have less testosterone than men, the benefit of more muscle growth hormones in women is that while your muscles don’t get as big, the explosive power you gain from lifting heavy weights is amazing and equal to abilities. This is the type of muscle growth required for jumping, sprinting and other explosive functional movements.
Muscular endurance is gained by lifting lighter weights for more reps or (bodyweight) gymnastic style movements for high reps and in turn helps with extended cardio activities such as long-distance running, rowing, swimming and cycling.
Boost Your Metabolism – Burn Fat
By lifting heavier weights for a fewer reps, which usually calls for a shorter workout, actually builds more muscle than a longer workout using lighter weights. The more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism. You’ll burn more fat even when you’re not working out, simply because more muscle burns more fat.
Health and Safety – ward off old age
Heavy weights build more bone density than light weights. Because you naturally lose bone density over time, maintaining a high bone density is crucial for warding off osteoporosis, especially for post-menopausal women and senior men. As long as you do as instructed and pick up heavy weights by bending at the knees, rather than piking at the hips pulling with the back. You will stay healthy and strong.
Squat, deadlift, Press & Pull, These are safest ways to lift heavy weights. You can build that bone density, fast twitch muscle fibers, burn fat and get strong by lifting a few explosive reps using free weights, (so you can create balance & stability.)
If this is all you do and you avoid the 7-15 minute lighter/gymnastic workouts or the 20 min plus endurance workouts or the mix of Heavy, endurance and gymnastic… then you are missing the program we are prescribing. You will get stronger but you will not get fitter.
So after reading all that,
Whats your thought? Lift heavy? or stay light?
Either way you think, we will demand that your technique will be perfect today and you will work hard.
Friday December 1, 2017
14 Min E2MOM – From the Rack
Building to heavy set.
WOD: 25 mins to accomplish
6×1 ( Use your heaviest set from Focus above the entire workout)
From a Rack (or be prepared to go from the ground depending on the class size)
Thruster/Push Press/Push Jerk/Split Jerk
Score is your Weight
Check back each night at 8pm for the next days WOD