Do Heavier Weights Build More Muscle? Not Necessarily, According To One Expert
If you love lifting weights, then you probably dig how strong and empowered you feel during your workouts. However, once you've been lifting for a while, you might start to wonder if and when you'll hit a plateau in your progress, and whether that means you should start lifting heavier weights to build more muscle once you reach that point. Well, according to at least one fitness trainer, lifting more weight during each workout session might not actually be the best way to see results, not to mention it's likely not the kindest way to treat your body. I know guys, I'm kind of shook, too.
Sebastien Lagree, creator of theLagreeFitness Method, which is a patented high-intensity, low-impact workout, is a firm believer in the idea that less is more when it comes to lifting weights. He tells Elite Daily that the reality is, most people actually don't know how to lift weights properly in the first place, so the solution is almost never to throw more pounds on the weights you're using, but instead, to become a bona fide expert at the workout technique itself.
Building strength and endurance isn't about lifting heavier weights, Lagree says, but rather, intensifying your workout by having more control and less momentum behind each lift.
"[When people] don't use good form, the chance to injure oneself faster, and for the injury to become more serious, [increases]," Lagree tells Elite Daily. "I always recommend lifting less weight and lifting it with control as a safer approach, to avoid the risk of injuries."
To have more control in your weightlifting workouts, Lagree says the key is to eliminate momentum. Basically, you're not going to want to use gravity to your advantage here. It might feel easier in the moment to lift the weights with momentum on your side, but according to Lagree, this isn't ideal for your body. Instead, he suggests, take your sweet time lifting those weights; specifically, try taking eight to 10 seconds to lift them to where they need to go, and another eight to 10 seconds to get the weights back to their starting point. Slow and steady really does win the race, fam.
"When you go that slow, you can feel a greater number of muscle fibers being stimulated," Lagree tells Elite Daily. "The benefits are that you are getting a deeper muscle stimulation, and the action is safer on your joints, which promote longevity in the training."
Personally, I'm loving the sound of this, because there's nothing more frustrating than having to sit on the sidelines while you're waiting for an injury to heal. The fact that you'll be less likely to hurt yourself and more likely to enjoy training for a long time will help you see the results you want in the gym on a consistent basis, and you won't have to take days, weeks, or even months off due to pesky, unnecessary, and totally avoidable injuries.
What's more, Lagree says, sometimes those weightlifting injuries aren't as temporary as you might think.
"I've seen this happen too many times, unfortunately," the trainer tells Elite Daily. "I have friends who lifted heavy back in the day, but with bad form. Today, none of them are able to lift weight."
Of course, none of this is meant to scare you. Rather, Lagree is simply reinforcing the idea that slow, mindful, controlled movements are your best bet when it comes to lifting weights. It can be easy to forget about this in the moment, when you're caught up in trying to beat your own personal record, or pushing through to complete a certain number of reps. But if you want to keep enjoying this empowering workout for years to come, take Lagree's advice and slow it down, girl. After all, it's not a race, right?