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Curtis Harwell Discusses The Controversy Heavy Resistance or Light Weight

  • Broadcast in Fitness
Curtis Harwell Fitness Radio

Curtis Harwell Fitness Radio


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The nauseating belief has been that to obtain larger and stronger muscles athletes should use heavier resistance. To achieve “toned” muscles and endurance, athletes should go with lighter resistance. Do your muscles grow better with heavier resistances as opposed to lighter resistances? What type of development do you obtain with different levels of resistances? I'm biting my tongue on this one. Regardless, what is your opinion?

Light and heavy weights are relative terms determined by the number of repetitions you can complete in a given exercise and the weight’s relative percentage of one-rep maximum, or 1 RM. (The one-rep maximum is the maximum amount of weight you can lift in a single repetition of a given exercise.) If you can finish more than 12 repetitions with a given weight, the weight is considered light. This typically corresponds to about 50 percent of 1 RM. However, if you can complete fewer than eight repetitions -- corresponding to greater than 75 percent of 1 RM -- it is considered a heavy weight. Whether a weight is light or heavy is also determined by the exercise itself. For example, while a 15-pound dumbbell could be a light weight for biceps curls, the same weight would be considered heavy for lateral deltoid raises. You should get a doctor's approval before beginning any exercise regimen.