Navigation Links
Light weights are just as good for building muscle, getting stronger, researchers find
Date:4/30/2012

Lifting less weight more times is just as effective at building muscle as training with heavy weights, a finding by McMaster researchers that turns conventional wisdom on its head.

The key to muscle gain, say the researchers, is working to the point of fatigue.

"We found that loads that were quite heavy and comparatively light were equally effective at inducing muscle growth and promoting strength," says Cam Mitchell, one of the lead authors of the study and a PhD candidate in the Department of Kinesiology.

The research, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, challenges the widely accepted dogma that training with heavy weightswhich can be lifted only six to 12 times before fatigueis the best avenue to muscle growth.

"Many older adults can have joint problems which would prevent them training with heavy loads," says Mitchell. "This study shows that they have the option of training with lighter and less intimidating loads and can still receive the benefits."

For the study, a series of experiments were conducted on healthy, young male volunteers to measure how their leg muscles reacted to different forms of resistance training over a period of 10 weeks.

The researchers first determined the maximum weight each subject could lift one time in a knee extension. Each subject was assigned to a different training program for each leg.

In all, three different programs were used in combinations that required the volunteers to complete sets of as many repetitions as possible with their assigned loads typically eight to 12 times per set at the heaviest weights and 25-30 times at the lowest weights.

The three programs used in the combinations were:

  • one set at 80% of the maximum load
  • three sets at 80% of the maximum
  • three sets at 30% of the maximum

After 10 weeks of training, three times per week, the heavy and light groups that lifted three sets saw significant gains in muscle volumeas measured by MRIwith no difference among the groups. Still, the group that used heavier weights for three sets developed a bit more strength.

The group that trained for a single set showed approximately half the increase in muscle size seen in both the heavy and light groups.

"The complexity of current resistance training guidelines may deter some people from resistance training and therefore from receiving the associated health benefits," says Stuart Phillips, a professor in the Department of Kinesiology and supervisor of the study. "Our study provides evidence for a simpler paradigm, where a much broader range of loads including quite light loads can induce muscle growth, provided it is lifted to the point where it is difficult to maintain good form."


'/>"/>

Contact: Michelle Donovan
donovam@mcmaster.ca
905-525-9140
McMaster University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. October 2008 GEOLOGY and GSA TODAY media highlights
2. Agricultural research highlighted in Houston
3. Atomic-resolution views suggest function of enzyme that regulates light-detecting signals in eye
4. Can genetic information be controlled by light?
5. AGU journal highlights -- Oct. 16, 2008
6. Scripps research team sheds light on immune system suppression
7. Study sheds new light on dolphin coordination during predation
8. Spotlight on cosmetic ingredients conference
9. Polarized light guides cholera-carrying midges that contaminate water supplies
10. Study sheds light on genetic differences that cause a childhood eye disease
11. Hydrogen tank lighter than battery
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global ... ... at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. ... the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... April 11, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... company, announces the appointment of independent Directors Mr. Robin ... its Board of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance and ... Gino Pereira ... look forward to their guidance and benefiting from their considerable ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute ... Allen Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital ... 3D imaging data, the first application of deep learning ... human stem cell lines and a growing suite of ... platform for these and future publicly available resources created ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings announced ... by which its ProCell stem cell therapy prevents ... ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment with ProCell ... limbs saved as compared to standard bone marrow ... HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... At its national board meeting in North ... in Harvard University’s Departments of Physics and Astronomy, has been selected for membership in ... winning team for the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental physics for the discovery of ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... 2017, in the medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s SPEAC® System which uses ... EEG, in detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using surface electromyography (sEMG). The ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... , ... October 06, 2017 ... ... in Hi-C-based genomic technologies, launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, featuring ... kit and accompanying cloud-based bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using ...
Breaking Biology Technology: