Exercise Lifting Heavy Will Not Make You Bulky

lifting heavy

Why “Lifting heavy weights, makes you bulky” is a myth

It is 2022, 21st century and there are people that still believe that lifting heavy weights, makes you bulky, and lifting light, doing a gazillion reps, will make you look tone….

As I have mentioned before, the body is way more complicated than that. That was a myth created by 80s’ magazines that have been long debunked. However, some people despite having the latest Iphone, and being on the latest trend with the Kardashians, seem to still be on that era when it comes to this (and they call you crazy if you tell them they are wrong).

Let me explain it to you in simple terms so you can understand why this is just a myth and BS..

In order for the body to gain muscle or get “bulky” you need to be intentional. Not only with your training, but with everything else you do. Apart from “lifting heavy”, you would have to go to a certain rep range, certain amount of sets, bring the muscle to failure, etc. If, just if you do all these, you would tear the muscle fibre and that’s how the GAINZ happen. Cool… however… you would also have to:

  • Eat in a caloric surplus for an extended period of time.
  • Get proper sleep, 6-8 hours.
  • Focus on your recovery.
  • Make sure you are not over training.
  • Be consistent over an extended period of time.

See? Building muscle is not just about how much weight you lift, building muscle is hard and it takes time and commitment. Nobody has accidentally woken up looking like a professional bodybuilder. I have tried, unfortunately, it has not worked yet. They are all intentional about what they do.

On the other hand, lifting light does not necessarily mean that you will automatically tone your muscles. This has been taken out of context.

How so? Well, it has already been shown that when someone is in a “toning” or fat loss phase, the best way to keep as much lean muscle mass as possible, you have still have to lift heavy (to your own capacity) because you need to still challenge the muscle. If you do not use it, you lose it.

“Ok fine, but what does that have to do with lifting light?”

I am coming to that, chill bro.

When the term “light” is used, it should be used more as light”ER” and this vary between individuals. When using the term light”ER” weight, it is mostly to pick a weight that even though it is “heavy” and “challenging” you can still feel the muscle. Creating that muscle-mind-connection, this is the KEY to “toning”, FEELING THE MUSCLE. It is not a matter of doing 45 reps with a 15lb dumbbell that creates 0 challenge for you. It is based on what max resistance you can use, that allows you to really feel that muscle-mind-connection, while still giving you a challenge.

Lifting “heavy” and challenging yourself while resistance training, provide way more benefits than just getting “big muscles”, such as:

  • Increase in bone density
  • Thicken ligaments
  • Thicken tendons
  • Thicken cartilage
  • Thicken intervertebral disks

Note: I used the term toning/tone in quotation (“tone”) because I do not really love or agree with the term, there is not such a thing as “toning”, but instead, a fat loss.

Do not fall in the FAD traps, you are better than that. If you would like more tips or would like to work with me, just email me at [email protected] or add me on Instagram @vangaless and DM me.

Until next time, nos vemos!


Aquam Fitness

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