Tag Archives: heavy lifting

Heavy Lifting Leads to Faster Gains

31 Jul

isThis from Men’s Health:  Lifting to failure with a heavy weight activates 53% more muscle fibers than doing so with a light one, according to a study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology.

Keep your loads at a level that allows 6-10 repetitions per set, but don’t eliminate light loads completely, says lead study author Brad Schoenfeld, PhD.

Perform 6-10 rep sets, with heavier loads, and (occasionally incorporate) 20-30 rep sets, with lighter loads, to ensure that you activate both fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers.  This strategy will help you maximize your overall growth.

When lifting heavy loads, remember to increase the poundage gradually, in order to minimize the potential for injury; and allow adequate time for rest and recovery between sets.


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How to Improve Force Production

4 Feb

revwads18cut-1[1]There are many factors that affect force production (the amount of force produced in a muscle, or muscles).  Improvements in force production can optimize sport-specific skill performance, including running, jumping, throwing, and hitting/striking.

Lift Heavy

Lifting heavy weight (e.g, 65-80% 1RM) produces greater tension in the muscle which, in turn, leads to greater motor unit (neuromuscular) recruitment, which affects force production.  The number of active motor units is directly proportional to the amount of force production.  (It should also be noted that heavy lifting and explosive concentric training [see below] have the potential to activate more fast-twitch muscle fibers)


Preloading is the tension developed in the muscle before you move the weight.  When you bench press, deadlift, or squat, you can’t move the bar off the rack or floor until sufficient force is developed in the muscle to overcome the inertia of the barbell.

Overload Eccentric Training

Use very heavy resistance (≥ 100% 1RM) to perform “negatives,” which emphasize the lowering phase/movement of a lift.  For safety reasons, it may be advisable to use a spotter (or spotters) for certain exercises, such as the bench press, to assist in returning the weight to the original (up) position.

Explosive Concentric Training

When training for explosive concentric movements — where the goal is generating velocity — use relatively light resistance.


Plyometric exercises exploit the stretch-shortening cycle to generate maximum force in minimum time.  This involves “prestretching” a muscle immediately before a concentric action to enhance force production during the subsequent muscle action.


It’s important to incorporate rest days into your training regimen in order to allow muscles time to recover and repair.


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