From the moment you see a muscle building magazine or a movie with Arnie or whatever when you see a big guy the perception is that, that guy must lift some heavy weight! With most bodybuilders in the 60’s or 70’s being former power lifters the image of heavy lifting is now deeply engrained into everyone who comes to the gym and wants to build muscle.
New studies are being produced where the evidence is showing that heavy lifting might not be all its cracked up to be. Researchers in the United kingdom had trained men perform 4 sets of leg extension using a weight that would limit them to 4 reps per set and another group to complete a set at 25 reps. The evidenced showed that the protein synthesis (which will lead to muscle growth) of the quadriceps was elevated by 60% in the 25 rep group than the 4 rep group.
Tom Platz (guy on the left) had some of the best legs in bodybuilding but he was more known for his insane leg workouts. While weighing less then 230 pounds, he squatted eight reps with 635 pounds and 52 reps with 350 pounds. On numerous occasions, he squatted for 10 minutes straight for more than 100 reps with 225 pounds.
So what does this mean for the gym goer? I personally don’t believe in super heavy lifting in the first place. Remember unless yours a professional, being injured due to a dumb squat could have huge impacts on your life and work.
Yes you do need to lift enough weight to stimulate the muscle however I don’t believe that lifting with super bad form just to move a weight is the right way! So make sure that you lift correctly and choose a weight that you can achieve the set and reps you had in mind. Also change you rep range on a regular basis to make sure that you are constantly shocking your muscles for new growth.