Resistance training is essential to toning your body and giving yourself that sexy definition we all love. Though when it comes to lifting weights, it doesn’t have to be heavy to be effective! Using moderate weights and repeating set movements is also an effective way of both burning calories and toning the many different areas of your body.
Even though spending the time lifting light weights might seem a little counterintuitive, or that lifting heavy weights would be the only way in which you can
Muscles grow when you stress and tear the muscle fibres enough to make them build and repair themselves bigger and stronger than before. Lifting heavy weights is often the most effective way to do this, but lighter weight resistance training can also be very effective.
A study that was published in the Journal Of Applied Physiology backs up the claims of both Phillip and Dr Jackie Mills (the creators of Body Pump), that fatiguing the muscles using lighter weights and practicing more reps, will actually have the same effect.
So how does it work?
Obviously you still need to be working against resistance. When we lift heavy weights in order to gain strength and, definition and mass, we usually lift 75-90% of what our one repetition max is (the maximum amount we can safely lift if only doing one rep) But instead of lifting your maximum weight with the muscle group you are using, we aim for 30-50% of your one repetition maximum. This way we can complete many more reps and sets, allowing the muscles to become fatigued slower, whilst still engaging the whole muscle.
So don’t let the idea of lifting heavy weights put you off your resistance training. Go try a pump class and experience the strengthening and toning effects for yourself!