Guys who regularly participate in strength training know what it’s like to have their muscles shaking during a hefty lift. That shakiness is your nervous system engaging more motor units and muscle fibers to give you the power necessary to finish the lift — so, it’s a good thing.
When you activate type II muscle fibers, you trigger the muscles responsible for your muscle size. Seasoned lifters and beginners alike can benefit from working with heavy weights. Not only can you increase your strength, but you can also embrace the lean, muscled body you’ve always wanted. If you have a case of the dad bod, it’s time to run for the heavy equipment.
Forget Slacking and Start Lifting Heavy Weights
Beware of plateauing. A lot of guys who stick to the same routine day in and day out quit making gains. When you consistently expose your body to an exercise stimulus, you experience general adaptation syndrome. First, there is a shock phase, which happens when you first start a new workout. Next, you have the adaptation phase, which lasts for about eight to 12 weeks. This is when your body experiences its best results. Around 12 weeks in, you may reach the exhaustion phase.
Once you hit the exhaustion phase, you stop seeing the results. To keep gaining, you will have to adjust the workout intensity. The fastest way to see a change is by increasing the pounds.
Reap the Benefits of Lifting Heavy Weights
Studies show if you want gains, you have to put in the work. To activate all fibers, you have to fatigue your muscles. While you can do this with high reps and light weights, you accomplish more with fewer reps if you have higher weights. Higher reps with lower weights result in cardiovascular exercise. You burn calories and fats, but you may not increase muscle mass. When you use heavy weights, you break the muscle fibers down. Increased muscle mass raises your metabolism, therefore increasing the amount of calories you can consume. You will keep losing weight even after you finish working out.
If you are not convinced yet, we have five reasons as to why you should consider lifting heavy weights.
1. Increase Your Endurance
A common misconception is that those who use heavy weights are more fatigued after their workouts. In reality, if you want to increase your endurance, you can start by increasing the plates on your bar.
Your running economy is the amount of energy it takes to perform activities like running. Strength training increases your running economy, speed and endurance. Stop going for the light equipment if you want to do better on your next cardio session.
2. Fight Your Age
Inactivity speeds up the aging process. You lose 3% to 8% of your muscle mass for every decade you are inactive, and you have a higher likelihood of succumbing to illness and premature death. Heavy resistance training prevents the loss of muscle mass. Not only do you look younger when you take care of yourself, but you also feel younger too. You do not have to age with the aches and pains everyone laments about. Give up the idea you have to feel worse than your high school self and strive to feel even better than you did before.
3. Raise Your Testosterone
Did you know lifting heavy weights improves your testosterone? A study following athletes who ran at least 40 miles every week showed that they actually had lower testosterone than those who did not exercise. Without testosterone, fatigue and depression can put a damper on your life.
Lifting may help men with low testosterone. Strength training is the most effective exercise for boosting testosterone. When you target several muscle groups simultaneously, you increase the effect.
4. Show Off Your Smarts
Let go of the myth that you either have a brain or brawn. Except for the guys relying on steroids, men who lift tend to be smarter than those who do not. Intense workouts increase the size of your memory center: the hippocampus. These workouts also boost your brain-derived neurotrophic factor hormones, which stimulate the growth of new brain cells.
5. Boost Your Confidence
Everyone wants to be confident in their skin. Weightlifting increases your feel-good chemicals during your routine. With boosted endorphins, you may feel calmer and in a better mood on a regular basis. If you struggle with depression, exercise can have a similar effect to antidepressants. For example, four strength sessions a week may help you see a significant improvement in your mental health.
The happier you are, the more confident you will feel. On the one hand, it is hard to be self-conscious when you are feeling good after a workout. Likewise, you will love the changes in your body that you see in the mirror.
Meet the Best Version of Yourself
Lifting heavy weights can make you into the best version of yourself. Some workouts you can try include:
- Seated machine shoulder press
- Suitcase carry
- Farmer’s carry
- Dumbbell shrug
- Chest press machine
- Seated row machine
Strength training is essential to increase strength, endurance and confidence. While you should focus on the number of pounds you lift, do not forget to vary your workouts. For optimal fitness, you need to switch it up now and then.
For example, you may lift heavy most of the time, but try occasionally taking a class that focuses on your core. You can even integrate weight training into other routines. For example, some forms of yoga include dumbbells and weights.
Live Up to Your Potential by Lifting Heavy Weights
Stop slacking on your weightlifting. Using the same light dumbbells day after day will not give you the gains you deserve. Switching to heavy weights can help you avoid a plateau and give you the body you want.
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