Do I Need to Lift Heavy to Get Ripped?


As is always the case with fitness, there are several confusing pieces of advice on how to get in shape. You would mostly hear in the gym that the only way to build muscles and get strong is to lift heavyweights. But it’s a bad idea to conclude only what you hear in the gym without confirmation from the experts; so, do you need to lift heavy to get ripped?

You need to lift heavy to get ripped if you want to build muscle mass faster. Do this with fewer reps. Lifting light with higher reps aims more at increasing muscle endurance. When you combine this method with a well-crafted diet plan to fit your goals and lifestyle, you will see amazing results.

This article will break down everything you need to know about lifting weights and getting ripped. You’ll also learn about the best option for your goals and fitness level. 

What Does It Take to Get Ripped?

You’ve probably seen someone on the internet or in the gym with well-defined muscles, and you’re wondering why layers of fat hide despite your efforts in the gym.

Getting ripped is a goal that can only be achieved by combining the right diet and weight training. With the proper diet, you consume more proteins, fats, carbs, vitamins, and minerals, all in carefully combined proportions. 

Also, protein shakes and supplements such as creatine can help you reach your daily protein intake. The goal is to stick to the right diet and reduce your body fat percentage.

Your weight training regimen can either be of more reps with light weights or lesser reps with heavyweights. Its purpose is to speed up your metabolism, helping your body use up the fat deposits hiding your muscles.

In summary, the requirements for getting ripped are:

A carefully crafted diet for your fitness goal

Lightweight or heavy weight lifting or both

High testosterone levels

Supercharged metabolism throughout the day

Which Way to Go: Light or Heavy Weights?

Both methods are an excellent way to gain muscle mass and build strength. However, one is more effective than the other. We will explain how these two weight training categories can help you lose fat and get you ripped.

Lifting Light Weights and Getting Ripped

Lightweights are typically what most gym-goers move when you hear them say they completed 20 reps and above in a set. Of course, light weights to a veteran in the gym will be the weight plates of around 25 to 35 lbs (11 to 16 kg). or something a beginner can probably not remove from the rack. 

If you can complete 12 reps of any compound exercise in a set easily, your strength has gone beyond that weight level, and you need to up your game.

Lifting light weights builds muscles and speeds up fat loss by boosting metabolism. However, it won’t help you achieve that ripped body you’re looking for as fast as you want. Here’s why:

Light Weights Are Majorly for Building Endurance

When you lift light weights and go beyond 12 reps, your muscles start to get tired, and you need to recruit your mental strength to go through more reps while your muscles get fatigued. From the point you feel your muscles getting tired till you drop the weight, you “endure” the pain.

This method of training builds strength, but it majorly builds your endurance. While that is not a bad thing as it will help you lose fat, it won’t get you ripped as you would want. 

Light Weights Employ Slow-Twitch Muscles

When moving light weights, your body employs slow-twitch muscles to handle the brunt of the work. This muscle movement is why you feel all swollen and jacked after a session of lightweight training. The slow-twitch muscles fill your muscular tissues with blood and make them grow big during training. The blood later dissipates from the tissues the same way they came.

The testosterone boost you felt while lifting also dissipates faster. As a result, your metabolism gets slower as your testosterone level drops.

Light Weights Don’t Keep Your Metabolism Elevated for Long

As previously mentioned, a drop in your testosterone level, which you experience after training, also results in a drop in your metabolism rate. When your metabolism rate What this translates to is that you won’t burn as many calories throughout the day as you should.

Lifting Heavy Weights and Getting Ripped

With heavyweights, you’ll have to reduce your reps to between 1 to 5 or a maximum of 12. Many competitive bodybuilders believe you shouldn’t be able to complete more than six reps before you can say you’re lifting heavy.

Regardless, some pointers are common to all rep ranges below 12 are:

Utilization of fast-twitch muscle fibers

Increased testosterone levels for longer

Increased metabolism rate for prolonged periods

Less time under the weights

Looking at these pointers, you will find that they are similar to the requirements for getting ripped. Let’s see how these pointers can help you achieve your goals.

Employs Fast-Twitch Muscle Fibers

Unlike lightweights, lifting heavy weights activates your fast-twitch muscle fibers to move these weights. These muscles are critical in building strength and increasing muscle mass and growth.

Fast-twitch muscles are better muscle mass builders than slow-twitch muscles, and having more muscles allows your body to burn more calories.

Increased Testosterone Levels That Lasts Longer 

With weight-lifting comes increased testosterone. Lifters of lightweight have increased testosterone as much as lifters of heavyweights. However, their testosterone levels become significantly different hours after they’ve left the gym. While the heavy lifter maintains a spiked testosterone level, it becomes reduced in the light-weight lifter. 

Consistently Burn Calories Throughout the Day

An increase in testosterone level comes with an increase in metabolic rate. When the heavy lifter experiences a relatively stable testosterone level throughout the day, he will also have a stable calorie-burning experience for the whole day.

Less Time Under the Weight

Who wouldn’t want to achieve their fitness goal faster? Lifting heavy is proven to be a better muscle builder than lifting light weights. And the more muscles you can build, the more calories you can burn. Consequently, the more calories you burn, the more ripped you become.

Combine Both Weight Training Approaches

For long-term success and to keep your workouts interesting, you can combine the two methods. Since lifting heavy increases your muscle mass and lifting light increases endurance, changing things up between the two can help you build the type of body you’re looking for.

If you stick to the same workout every time, things will eventually get boring, and you’ll hit a plateau. Doing something different like lifting light will make it more challenging, give you more motivation, and encourage more progress.

Also, lifting heavy all the time exhausts your body faster. If you switch to lighter weights and do more reps and sets, your muscle tissues will have more time to recover. This training technique reduces the risk of injuries and chances of your form breaking down.

Final Thoughts

While lifting light has its advantages, lifting heavy is better if you want to build muscles and get ripped. However, from a fitness perspective, the more muscles, strength, and power you can build, the closer you are to getting ripped. So, it’s never a bad idea to combine both to achieve your fitness goals and help you make continuous progress.

Other factors like diet, hormone levels, genetics, and body type determine how fast you can build muscle mass and get ripped. If you’re incorporating heavyweight into your workouts, do it in small amounts. Make little and gradual changes to achieve results.

Sources

abel

Retired Athlete, Retired Personal Trainer, Retired University Teacher, Retired Sales Manager...

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