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The Difference Between Lifting Heavy Weights and Lifting Light Weights
Have you ever wondered why many professional strength trainers have dumbbells and barbells of different weights? Is there a difference between heavy lifting and light lifting and what are the effects of those differences? This article aims to clear your doubts concerning the right weight to lift and whether you should lift heavy or light weights in Singapore
How heavy is “heavy”?
The definition of heavy weights varies quite substantially from one individual to another, while there is no fixed benchmark, the general rule is that any dumbbell that exceeds 15kg is considered heavy as that is the maximum weight for most teenagers, for barbells, the weight is 30kg to 40kg.
Benefits of lifting heavy dumbbells in Singapore
Many experienced strength trainers and bodybuilders prefer lifting heavy dumbbells as that is the only way to force their muscles to grow. Heavy weights provide plenty of resistance for the breakdown of muscle fibres. The process of muscle building involves 2 simple steps, that is the breakdown of muscle fibres and the rebuilding of muscle fibres which leads to growth and increase in muscle size.
Dumbbells that challenges the muscle to its limits causes increase bloodflow into the vessels in the targeted muscle group(s) and causes the muscle fibres to tear when sufficient resistance is applied. That explains the phenomenon known as muscle aches or soreness experienced after the workout session. During the process of muscle rebuilding, the body uses protein to repair the damages muscle tissues, the result is a stronger and bigger muscle tissue.
As a result, many experienced in strength training go for the heaviest dumbbells in order to maximise the process muscle breakdown and allow maximum muscle rebuilding. However, there are disadvantages for a workout routine that focuses only on lifting heavy dumbbells.
Cons of lifting heavy dumbbells
While lifting heavy dumbbells is effective at building muscles there are several disdvantages to strength training with heavy weights, especially if the dumbbells you’re using is too heavy. Firstly, heavy dumbbells tend to compromise on your form and posture when performing dumbbell or barbell exercises, in an attempt to lift as much weight as possible, most people sacrifice their form and end up injuring themselves or damaging their muscle tissues. For example, using too much weight on your dumbbells for dumbbell curls can lead to swinging of the body and shoulder swaying during the exercise, which decreases the effectiveness of the workout.
In addition, heavy dumbbells limits the number of repetitions that you can perform for the exercise which causes less calorie burn compared to performing higher reps with lighter dumbbells. The result is the decrease in physical stamina and decreased physcial functon, which means that you will not be able to do as many pull ups or push ups as your friends who train with lighter weights.
Advantages of lifting light dumbbells
Lighter dumbbells on the other hand allows for more repetitions to be performed which means that you can burn more calories with the same exercises and achieve better muscle definition. Your stamina and endurance will also improve with higher repetition exercises. Professional bodybuilders are known to train with high repetitions before competition to burn the extra layer of fat that they have accumulated during their bulking phase. Lastly, higher reps exercises with lighter dumbbells allow you to focus on your form and work your entire body in the process of achieving perfect form. For those who wants to achieve high levels of physcial fitness or who are training for a fitness assessment, high repetition exercises with low resistance is recommended.