If lifting heavy weights made you bulky then I should look like a bodybuilder by now. I have lifted weights both lite and heavy since I was 16 and I would not say I have big muscles or that I am big and bulky. Why is that? First, my goal is to be fit and healthy because it’s my job. Second, it makes me feel better and thirdly it increases my performance in running and triathlon. If my goal was to get big muscles I would have to lift weights every day and eat more calories than I expend in order to get big muscles.
This goes to show you that you can lift weights, and you should lift heavy weights because you will not get big and bulky unless you train and eat like a bodybuilder, who’s goal is to build muscle mass.
Now that we know lifting heavy will not make us gain size then what are the benefits? Lifting heavy weights will increase your strength and power for sport and life. Lifting heavy weights will also stimulate weight loss. Lifting heavy things ramps up your metabolism much more than lifting lite weights. If we use the analogy of a sports car compared to a Honda civic, the sports car has a heavy engine and will go hard for a short sprint and burn a ton of fuel. While a Honda civic is light and efficient. The Honda civic will go much longer but use less fuel.
This is the same for lifting heavy weights or using lite weights all the time. Do you want to burn more calories in a short period of time? Then lift heavy. If you want your body to be efficient at using energy and not burn many calories, then use a light weight all the time. I am not saying you have to lift heavy every time, but you should be doing so frequently throughout your program.
This also brings up my pet peeve of lifting weights on a bike. This seems to be the new fad and it is just that, a fad. If you want the true benefits of strength training, then do strength exercises off the bike with a weight that will challenge you in 1 to 15 reps. If you have to do 20 or 30 reps of every exercise you are going to turn into the Honda civic we talked about and you will not overload your muscles which gives you the benefit of increased metabolism that building muscle provides. Your workout will be much more efficient if you use your bike for cardio and then do proper strength work off the bike with proper form and technique.
If you are just getting started in fitness than yes, this is better than not moving at all, but it will not allow you to progress your strength training routine and will leave you plateauing and not seeing the results you should be.
Train smart and keep it real!
Book a free call here for more coaching.