Have you been lifting lighter weights for a long time but are skeptical about going to the next level? Whether you lift weights for a living or simply as a hobby, as you contemplate moving on to lifting heavier weights, you should know the advantages and disadvantages associated.
Specialists, researchers, and trainers over the years have concluded that lifting heavier weights is more beneficial than lifting lighter weights. But should you completely do away with lighter weights? Here we’re going to cover why lifting heavier is a much better option.
Benefits of Lifting Heavier
The single largest benefit of lifting heavier weight is that it can help prevent osteoporosis. Lifting heavier weights will make your bones much stronger and less fragile over time. Research has shown that lifting heavier weights can also facilitate the buildup of new bones. (source 1)
Hormonal change is a major cause of this disease which is characterized by feeble and fragile bones. This is why women after menopause are advised to practice in lifting heavier weights as a natural way to prevent this condition.
Improves Physical Strength
Obviously, one of the major reasons you get into weight training in the first place is to improve physical strength. If you want to increase your strength, the lifting heavy weight is the fastest way to do this. Lifting weights not only improves your level of strength, but it also improves your physical appearance as well. By breaking down your muscles with weight lifting, you are also forcing your body to repair them, only bigger and stronger than before.
Improves Brain Function
Among other hormones, heavier weight lifting facilitates the production of LGF-1, which enhances the cognitive function of the brain. In the long run, your brain becomes more alert, you are able to think quickly and you become more rational-minded. (source 2)
As you start to get older, your muscles start to deteriorate and you will have to live with or try to control it. Muscle weakness has been known to be a sign of aging. Inactive adults usually lose anywhere from 3-10% of their muscle mass over a span of 10 years. One way you can prevent this is to lift heavier weights. By lifting heavy weight, you can at the very least slow down this aging process, if not prevent it for a little while. (source 3)
Improves Physical Appearance
This was touched on earlier in the article, but we’ll go over it a little bit more in this section. It’s common knowledge that if you want bigger muscles, then lifting heavier weight is the way to do it. While this isn’t a problem for guys, women often don’t want bigger muscles, as they believe it will make them look masculine. However, that is not the case as women usually have very low levels of testosterone. Therefore, it’s almost impossible for a woman to achieve the same look as a man. Lifting heavier weight will give women a toned, defined look that is both healthy, and appealing. And for men, it will give them that muscular and aesthetic look.
Helps Burn Fat
Again, it’s common knowledge that any form of exercise helps you burn extra calories. The fat already stored in your body is used to create more energy when you are exercising. But, what many people don’t know, is that weight lifting raises your lean body mass and increases your metabolism, thereby burning even more calories. Muscle burns more calories when at rest than fat does. Therefore, the more muscle that you have, the more calories that you will burn when at rest. (source 4)
Anything that has pros has cons as well; lifting heavy weights also comes with a number of concerns as well. These include:
- Increased potential for injury. Obviously, when dealing with heavyweights there is also the possibility of something going wrong. That being said, using proper form and using a spotter can significantly decrease your chance of injury.
- Lifting heavier weights with poor form can cause long term injury. Weight lifting, if done with poor form, can cause serious injury, and in some cases be fatal. So it’s important that you research the proper way to perform an exercise before attempting it. Also, always use a spotter when lifting heavy, that way someone is there to help you when the weight is too heavy and you can’t lift it. This WILL happen to you, it happens to every weight lifter.
To summarize, lifting heavier weights is by far more effective than lifting lighter. However, before deciding to lift heavy weight, consult your doctor or primary physician to make sure you are fit for these kinds of activities. Also, always make sure there is a trainer around who is able to assist you or answer any questions that you might have. Finally, remember that weight lifting is a lifestyle, not just a hobby; do it with passion and dedication and you shall reap the rewards.
About The Author:
Ethan is a 24-year-old fitness enthusiast and college student who studies marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing. I’ve always had an interest in health and fitness, ever since middle school. I do what I love, and I love what I do. You can learn more about Ethan by visiting his website.