Bigger and stronger muscles are the goal of everybody who lifts weights at World’s Gym. But not everybody knows the proper way of achieving said goal!
Repetition Is the Key
Researchers have found that while there’s truth in lifting heavier weights to achieve bigger and stronger muscles, there’s also an alternative view. Lifting lighter weights with a greater number of repetitions can be as effective as lifting heavier weights with a lower number of repetitions.
The key in gaining bigger muscle with greater strength: Working your muscles to the point of fatigue, a condition where you can’t seem to lift the weight anymore. You have to actually feel the muscles burn, a sensation often described as a warm, tingling, and slightly painful yet oddly pleasurable feeling in the muscles being worked.
The higher number of repetitions was also essential in sustaining the desired muscle-building response a few days after the workout. Emphasis must be made that the body actually makes bigger muscles during the recovery period, usually a few days after the strength exercises.
During exercise, your muscles experience microscopic tears brought by the stress placed on them from lifting the weights. After the workout, your body starts to repair these microscopic tears by producing new muscle and skin tissues – think of it as bridging the gaps between the tears.
Implications on Your Workout
Let’s assume that for bicep curls, you’re using a 3-pound hand weight, which is relatively light. You don’t have to switch to heavier hand weights for bigger biceps, if you want. You just have to perform bicep curls – with proper form and technique, of course – until you’re fighting to pull up the 3-pound hand weight every time.
Due to their differences in physiology, men and women will have different points of muscle fatigue. Men, in general, will likely perform a lower number of repetitions than women, even for those who work out on a regular basis.
Regardless of your chosen path toward bigger and stronger muscles, you have to remember that seeing concrete benefits from weight training lies in two things. First, you have to use sufficient weight so that you’re always challenged; and second, you have to repeat the movement for a sufficient number of times until you reach muscle fatigue.
You must also keep in mind that as you become stronger with regular and proper weight training, you have to switch to heavier weights. This way, you will continue to feel the burn.