Women are weight training more often than ever before, yet one of the lingering myths around the gym is that in order to lose weight and tone your muscles you need a high-rep workout with low weights.
In fact, if you weight train on a regular basis and you want to increase your body’s fat-burning potential at every workout, the key is to work with heavier, more challenging weights at low rep ranges with one or two sets per exercise. This is much more effective for losing fat and shaping up than training with low weights for high reps.
Despite the undeniable truth and science that surrounds this concept, some people still believe that if women train with heavy weights they will get bulky instead of lean.
The truth is although you can use weight lifting to increase the size of your muscles (hypertrophy), this is not a given result of using heavier weights. Increasing your muscle mass also depends on the type of exercises you do, the intensity of your training and the quality and quantity of the nutrients you consume.
If you want to make the most of EPOC and increase your post-exercise calorie burn for up to 36 hours you need to make sure your weights are heavy enough. But how do you know? A simple guideline to help you is this: your weights are not heavy enough if you can lift them 15-20 times. To maximize the afterburn you should be lifting weights that are around 85% of your upper lifting range. Ideally, most experts agree that being able to complete only 6 or 8 reps of an exercise means that it is heavy enough for this purpose.
If you aren’t used to training this way, it will take some time for you to plan, execute and see results from changing up your routine. Luckily, your body has probably adapted to the way you’re training currently, so even a short period of time might show you some physical changes.
The moral of the story is, ladies, don’t be afraid of big weights. If you want to get slim, you’ve got to lift heavy.