Apply For Coaching

Looking For Something?

Light Weights VS Heavy Weights | How To Gain Muscle Fast

light weights vs heavy weights


Are you not sure of the difference between lifting heavy weights and light weights? Here’s everything you need to know about what rep ranges you should be training in and how heavy of weight you should be using to maximize muscle growth.

One of the biggest questions I hear, and I also once had in the beginning of my weight lifting journey is: How heavy of a weight should I be using and what is the best rep range to train in for muscle growth?

Is there really a difference between light weights vs heavy weights?

Will your muscles grow bigger, faster, if you train with higher reps or lower reps?

Your First Muscle Building Mistake

Now before these questions start to keep you up at night – let’s not forget the cardinal rule of your training: progressive overload.

You must go through a period of time where the main focus is getting as strong as possible.

That’s how you’re going to see a dramatic change in your physique. Give your body a reason to grow.

This was actually a huge mistake I made when I first started out. I had no plan for getting stronger. I always went into the gym with the goal of fatiguing my muscles as much as possible through drop sets, super sets, giant sets or whatever they call them nowadays.

We will soon undercover how this type of training can have a place in your routine. For now, always remember that you need to constantly lift heavy enough weights to stimulate muscle growth.

What’s Going To Cause Muscle Growth At The Fastest Rate?

I believe this is the first question to ask.

So here’s the deal if you want to maximize muscle growth. You need to train with heavy weights with enough volume and intensity each week.

That is, you’ll want to emphasize heavy weights around 80% to 85% of your one rep max.


Check out this well conducted research study about the difference between lifting heavy weights and light weights. It’s been shown that heavier weights stimulate more muscle growth.

There were two different groups that performed higher reps (10-12 reps) with 70% of their one rep maxes. The other group lifted heavier weights in the 3 to 5 rep range with about 90% of their one rep maxes.

With that said, each group did the exact same exercises and after the 8 week period of training. They found that the group who lifted heavier weights gained significantly more muscle and strength than the first group.

Heavier weights are going to induce more mechanical stress, as well as recruit more muscle activation. This will lead to a larger adaptation across a larger percentage of the muscle tissue.

Light Weights VS Heavy Weights And Muscle Growth

light weights vs heavy weights

I now wanted to discuss the two different types of muscle growth in terms of light weights vs heavy weights.

Lifting heavy, lower reps (roughly 4-6) is going to contribute to myofibrillar hypertrophy. This type of development is caused by the actual increase of the contractile filaments within the muscle fibers.

Resulting in hard, dense muscle that’s there to stay.

Lifting lighter weights, for higher reps (roughly 8-12+) is going to contribute more to sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, the increase of fluid around the muscle fibers.

So here’s the thing, this type of muscle growth can add some size to the muscles fairly quickly, but it’s also considered temporary. If you follow a routine with high reps, then take some time off the gym, it will feel like your muscles are flattening out. Not fun.

What Light Weights VS Heavy Weights And Muscle Growth Ultimately Comes Down To

The bottom line is, the more weight you’re able to push and pull, the more muscular you will be.

Every ectomorph needs to focus the majority of their training time on lifting heavy weights (80% to 85% of one rep max) within the 4 to 6 rep range (with emphasis on the main compound movements).

Then, after you build up a solid strength foundation you can then add in higher rep training to maximize muscle growth. Which will bring yourself closer to your genetic potential.

What did you think of this article? Did I miss anything? Did this article make you reevaluate your training? Comment below!



circle trent

About Trent McCloskey

I'm Trent, the creator of Train. Eat. Live. My mission is to empower people around the world to take control of their bodies and change their entire life’s course through fitness.

Interested in working with me? Click here.

Leave a Comment