Do yourself a favor next time you hit the gym: lift heavy! Get in there, get out and lift as much poundage as you can! You’ll burn fat, increase your strength and endurance and make those muscles of yours a little bigger! But getting big/bigger is only a side benefit when you lift heavy. Why? Because when you lift heavy with a minimum of down time between sets you don’t give your arms, legs, shoulders – whatever – a chance to get lazy. And that means you burn fat while building muscle! In fact, according to bodybuildingfor you.com, muscle burns fat four times more efficiently than the fat you have on your body. So, it only makes sense that you’d want to be all muscle! Lesson number one class: the more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn.
So What’s Heavy?
Lifting heavy is all relative. What’s heavy for me may be a walk-in-the-park for you! What’s heavy for you may be nothing to the individual next to you. It doesn’t matter because you’re lifting for YOU. If you’re doing bench presses and 100 pounds is your max – than that is heavy! In other words, heavy is not a weight you cannot handle, it is a weight you can handle.
According to bodybuilding.com when you lift heavy you promote strength and size, but at the same time you significantly increase your metabolism. Lifting heavy weights stimulates both testosterone and the body’s growth hormone. These hormones are attributed to building muscle and losing fat. Therefore, these hormones make losing fat and building muscle much quicker. You can preform with light weight and high reps all you want but when you lift heavy your metabolism really ramps up.
This is not to say that doing a “light workout” doesn’t have it’s place. Light weights and high reps provide some benefit (mainly when you want to give you’re a rest) so you don’t want to eliminate that kind of workout altogether. But a light workout is the exception not the rule.
The only way to increase intensity in the gym is to lift heavy a consistent basis. What I want to share with you is how to enjoy 60 minutes of the most exquisite pain you ever dreamed possible while at the same time getting that heart of yours pumping up a storm. Isolation training with heavy weight is just what it sounds like: you are isolating a specific muscle or muscle group and generally devoting no more than 5 exercises to said muscle while at the same time lifting as close to your maximum poundage.
Example: On Monday’s I just do chest . Now there are a lot of exercises for your pecs and I rotate my routine so my pecs are always being shocked. My core exercises always include flat or incline bench press and dumbbell or cable flys and enough push-up super-sets to make even Rocky Balboa jealous. Supplemental exercises may include dips. The main ingredient is lift heavy! I’ll do one or two warm-up sets at light to medium weight but after that I give myself 5 sets at my max weight.
On Tuesday I do my biceps and triceps: and it’s a vicious circuit: barbell curls followed by triceps pull-downs followed by triangle push-ups and then dumb bell curls. That’s the circuit for 1 set and my weight increases set by set. On Wednesday I do my legs. On Thursday I do my shoulders and back.
No matter what routine you do remember: lift heavy and lift intensely! Even when you are lifting heavy, in order to keep your metabolism high, you should rest for no more than a minute between sets, preferably, even less than that. You want to keep your heart rate up and you are also building muscle because your muscles are constantly stimulated every minute during your workout!