Light or Heavy Weights All the Same in Muscle Building, New Study Reveals

While some firmly believe that the size of the weights you lift or the number of reps you do can significantly affect the process of building your muscles, a group of researchers in Ontario, Canada think differently.

Apparently, a recent study is conducted last February 2016 by the Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada about factors that determine one’s strength gains. Surprisingly, the study provided a different result, which contrary to what we usually believe.

The study’s results proved that weights and reps are not the ones that matter but the extent to which you exhaust yourself in doing the routine.

Robert Morton, a McMaster University graduate student in Kinesiology, stated and vouched that the effort that you exert in weightlifting should be the focal point of the session.

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The Scope of the Study

Morton, who is a weightlifting coach himself, revealed that he and his co-authors made the research possible with the help of 49 men from the area as the study’s participants.

These men are about the age of 23 years old, has an average weight of around 86 kg, and a height of 181 cm. Moreover, the participants have been lifting weights for a minimum of two years.

How was the Study Conducted?

The research proceeded with the men being divided into two groups. One group lifted the lighter weights (20-30 repetitions) while the other group for the heavier ones (8-12 repetitions). The participants did a full-body training four times weekly.

They are also encouraged to push their limits and are only allowed a minute break after each set. Furthermore, they are not authorized to do any other outside exercise to gather fair and accurate data.

The Significant Details from the Study’s Results

The participants did this the same routine straight for three months. The result of the experiment after the given time is quite spectacular. The researchers not only found out that regardless of the weights and repetitions both groups do, they still achieved similar extent of muscle development, but the study also revealed that the building of muscles has nothing to do with the body’s hormone levels.

This conclusion is drawn through examining the participant’s blood samples before and after the weightlifting session. All men have the same levels of hormones and testosterone, ending the speculations about how muscle gain promotes growth hormones in the body.

How Did the Researchers Supervise the Research?

Morton and, one of his co-researcher, Sara Oikawa individually trained each participant and conducted a close watch session to each one of them. Morton added, “We were the ones, who, every single set, made sure that they were spent.”

They made sure that every single participant were all out in doing the reps. If they saw that the participants can still do more additional reps, they forced them to continue and even slightly increased the weight.

The study has indeed challenged the conventional notion wherein heavier weights are usually preferred to build more muscles and changed how people should approach muscle building.

Morton and his co-researches knew that although the study was not that huge and did not cover as many factors as compared to the other studies, they are confident about the results’ accuracy and believed that the results could put other perspectives for those people who are very adamant in building more muscles.

If there is one thing the study has taught to all muscle building aficionados out there, it is that the amount of effort and the consistency of the workout are the key points to achieve a good shape.

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