Light Versus Heavy
I get asked this question a lot. What is the difference between using light weights versus heavy weights? Let me clarify for you!
⏩️ Light weights are great to help improve our muscular endurance. That’s the time our bodies can perform a movement. We tend to recruit a muscle type called slow twitch fibres. They are the ones that use + convert more oxygen, which means we can go for longer. 🙌🏻
⏩️ Muscular endurance is important for everyday activities- walking, running, cycling, shopping, household chores or looking after children. Plus balance + posture! 💯
⏩️ When we use lighter weights we tend to go for more reps + a greater time under resistance. This helps us to build up our endurance + therefore our muscles will work for longer periods of time without fatiguing! In terms of fitness this might be that you can do 20 squat per minute when you previously could perform 15. Or you are able to run 5km when you could previously run 3km. Your muscular endurance is improving! This type of training is really important - we are basically improving our muscle capability to use oxygen + therefore will feel fitter + less fatigued!
⏩️ Heavier weights + increasing load is more about our ‘pure’ strength + the maximum we can lift. These activities tend to recruit our fast twitch fibres. These use less oxygen, but produce power very rapidly, so fatigue more quickly the slow twitch fibres.
⏩️ Muscular strength is great for lifting + shifting heavy things, gardening + activities we need a quick bout of strength. As well as maintaining strength later on in life.
⏩️ To train muscular strength involves less reps + increasing the load over time. The key here is to build up gradually over time to prevent injury + maintain your form as you build strength. Quality over quantity is the most important thing.
⏩️I use both methods in FITNESS BITES! URfit tends to be lighter weights + higher reps. URstrength is more about bigger compound exercises using heavier weights with less reps. ✅ I like to mix it up, as it is important to train both of these elements as they compliment each other - increasing your strength as well as your endurance!
⏩️So what weights to use? The most important thing is use the weights which are RIGHT for you! I always recommend to start light + build up gradually. Of course it depends on your goals, but if you start to feel the weights you are using are no longer a challenge, its time to build!
If you would like to chat more about what weights to use or what it right for you, please get in touch!