One of the motivations that lead many people to exercise and join the gym is to grow muscles to have better muscles, achieving a toned, firm, and strong figure.
In the case of men, muscle development is of the utmost importance. This leads them to use large loads in each of the exercises they perform, especially about the upper extremities such as arms, biceps, triceps, back, shoulders, and chest.
However, a large load is no guarantee of increased muscle mass. In general, it is an integral and constant work in which food and supplements such as amino acids and proteins play an important role in the formation or development of muscles.
Also, getting flashy muscles is not a matter of a couple of weeks. Obtaining a remarkable musculature requires time, effort, dedication, and a lot of work in the gym, about the load and distribution of this in a weekly training routine.
Contrary to the widespread idea that to obtain well-developed muscles, it is necessary to lift large loads. A recent investigation showed that for these results to be achieved, it may work to lower the load or weight and lift a smaller amount in the execution of the exercises.
It is possible that for many people, it is inconceivable to think that effective muscle growth may be due to light weightlifting. The normal thing is that the more weight, the more work there is and, therefore, better muscle development.
A scientific basis
According to a study by scientists at McMaster University in Canada, which was later published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, which in Spanish would be Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, the use of light weights is effective, because being Low weight is possible to do a greater number of repetitions. In general, it allows us to do more frequently the training routines, being this positive when increasing the size of the muscle.
In contrast, the study suggests that doing less training routines with a heavier load is a less favorable action in the formation and increase of the muscles. The old standards and myths that lead both coaches and athletes to do are broken training routines focused on a large load.
Research has a solid foundation. To conclude that light-weight exercises are effective in increasing muscles, the scientists tested 15 different subjects, each being young, healthy, and 21 years old. The objective of the investigation was to compare the factors that affect resistance, so the intensity, volume, and time that the muscle in tension should spend were taken as a basis.
This group of subjects was asked to do light weightlifting and heavy loads in different exercise routines with different repetitions. During this process, the researchers were responsible for measuring the level of cellular fatigue. This was achieved by examining the results of muscle biopsies performed between four and 24 hours after training routines.
Studies have shown that heavy lifting causes muscle contractions. However, these are not determining factors in the development of muscles during the exercises’ execution.
For the investigation, the subjects were separated into several groups, so that the results were varied, and the researchers could obtain the conclusions from there. In the first instance, the group that was responsible for developing low-intensity training routines with a light load, but with a greater number of repetitions, obtained a muscle stimulation that was similar and as effective as that presented by the group that performed the exercise routines with greater intensity or load, but with fewer repetitions.
These results are positive and important, as seen from a public health perspective. According to the researchers, skeletal muscle mass contributes to daily energy expenditure and helps control body weight.
According to the research, training routines with low weight, but greater repetitions lead to maintain for days the same response in muscle development, something like a residual effect.
However, there is an exception in everything. For low-intensity exercises (light load) to affect the athlete’s muscular development, it is necessary to reach the maximum point of fatigue. In other words, exercise routines should be done until more can not.
In case it is exercised oppositely, there will not be a good result. In other words, for lightweights to be functional to achieve muscular development, it is necessary for the person to train for a longer time, which eventually means that they spend more time in the gym.
According to the researchers, this study represents a positive impact for men whose goal is to develop better muscles. This goes far beyond something aesthetic. The results are favorable for the analysis of diseases in which muscle mass is compromised. For example, some cases are patients suffering from cancer or who are overcoming an injury or surgery.
In this regard, Nicholas Burd, who led the study, explained that it is a perspective with application in public health. Also, the researchers ruled that lightweights are easier to control and reduce the risk of injury than heavier weights.
Thus, this study represents an important advance for methodologies and research in fitness and physical training, which can have an important result in people with physical activity limitations.