Regardless of what the “everything-in-moderation” preachers try to tell you, big weight will lead to bigger muscles! I firmly believe heavy, overload training is the cornerstone to effectively building high-quality, dense muscle mass. I like to refer to the human body as a “sensitive adapting machine.” When you lift heavy weights, you cause your body’s adaptive abilities to make the necessary adjustments to handle the burden of heavy weight. In other words, you literally force your muscle to grow! Your body has no other choice but to grow—if it wants to survive the trauma you generate. Rest assured, your body will do everything it can to do so. It will become bigger and stronger in order to survive your heavy training. That’s what’s defined as muscle hypertrophy. The muscles of the human body grow larger and stronger in an effort to cope with the demanding conditions of its environment.
I realize everyone does not share my point-of-view. I often hear people say things like “Bodybuilding is about working the muscle—not about how much weight you can lift! It’s powerlifters who train to see how much weight they can lift!” I admit there is a way to stimulate muscle growth without lifting heavy weights. Heck! You could build awesome arms doing curls with a 5-pound dumbbell—as long as you train each set until true, complete absolute failure. That may take you 1,000 reps and 15 minutes per set, but you could do it I guess, if you really wanted. I don’t know about you, but I’m not that mentally tough to concentrate for that long of period of time!
Heavy training, however, is the most efficient way to build muscle. I define efficient training as building the most muscle; with the least amount of effort; and in the shortest period of time. Why is heavy training so efficient? Physically, you reach absolute failure much sooner during each set. Absolute failure, or working every set until you are so fatigued you can’t do any more, should be the goal of every set of every exercise. Heavy training is more efficient mentally because, if you reach absolute failure sooner rather than later, you are required to concentrate and focus for a shorter period of time. The shorter the period of time you need to concentrate and focus, the better your chances of truly exerting 100 percent of your abilities.
You’re going to have to trust me when I say, if a person is experiencing good muscle gains while lifting light or moderate weights, they would achieve great gains if they challenged themselves to lift heavy weight. Big weight leads to big muscles. In my humble opinion, there’s no doubt about it! You must make lifting heavier weight a major goal or a top priority. The day you all-of-sudden become strong enough to go “up the rack” will NEVER come around unless you make doing so a real, tangible goal that you are determined to achieve.
Before you can lift heavier, however, you need to check yourself. Striving to lift heavier weight requires you to muster up some courage. If you don’t believe in the theory that heavy training leads to more muscle, you won’t even put yourself through this sometimes-uncomfortable mental process. Do you have enough courage inside of you? Do you want to earn more muscle more quickly? The risk of injury is always looming, you know. Only you can make that decision. I’m not here to pass judgment on you or tell you what to do. All I ask is that you admit to yourself that heavy lifting isn’t worth the risks to you-and not because it’s not really necessary.