Heavy Weights vs Light Weights | Build Muscle (THE WINNER IS…)


What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com. Got a little quiz for you today. Look at me doing this side delt raise. Tell me which one is more effective for building
muscles. You see, I’m doing one variation where I’m
using a light weight. A really light weight, actually. Then I’m going really slow on the way up. Really focusing on the muscle. Then I’ve got this version where I’ve traded
in my perfect form to move some heavy-ass weight, and I’m doing more of a cheat lateral
here. You’ve seen me do both on this channel. As a matter of fact, I’ve covered videos on
five reasons to lift heavy and five reasons to lift light. People sometimes got confused by that. “But Jeff, you can’t do both!” You need to do both. As a matter of fact, if you wanted to experience
max growth you’d better do both. Today I’m going to tell you exactly why. I’m going to try and simplify it for you. You see, if you look at the first variation
there done with the light dumbbell – which I’m going to demonstrate again here – what
we’re really trying to do here by using light dumbbells is overload the concentric. When I say “overload the concentric” I’m talking
about the positive portion in the rep. The part where you’re moving the weight up. What we’re trying to do when we do that is
deliver as much focused tension on the muscle we’re trying to build. Now remember, I said this is about aesthetic
end goals. Muscle growth. We’re not talking about performance. I’m going to get into that in a second. If we’re looking for just aesthetic muscle
growth then what we need to do is focus the tension on that singular muscle that we’re
trying to develop. In order to do that we need to slow it way
down because momentum is the biggest killer of the success of this type of training. You see, if I come here and I get close, and
I try to do my side-lateral raise, and I lean in, and I allow it to just go a little bit
with some momentum – with my torso coming this way – or my traps getting involved
to lift it up, what were doing is, we’re actually defeating the purpose of the focused tension
right here on the middle delt. So what I want to do is I want to act like
I’m going to try to sneak my hand underneath the fence here, right? Not allowing it to come up as my trap comes
up, but actually allow it to kind of stay down, and focus the contraction right here. This is the middle delt. From here to here. So we want to contract that. And I covered that in the video with Jessie
in our hard gainer video. So we come up and we try to go really slow. You’ll be surprised with what the weight is
that you’re going to have to lift to be able to accomplish this. Even for, maybe, six, or seven reps, get ready
to drop the weight a lot because you’re not going to be able to do this with really strict
form without having to drop that weight a lot. But forget the ego hit you take because you’re
doing that. The fact is, the results will go way up because
you’re delivering the tension where it needs to be. But then we do need to hit the heavy stuff
because if you don’t deliver the heavy training, then you’re not going to be able to overload
your eccentric. Your heavier dumbbells and your heavier exercises
are meant to be a vehicle for overloading your eccentric when you’re training. That is the stress portion, or the lowering
of – in this case and this exercise – the lowering of the dumbbell. What we do here is, we want to make sure that
we allow the other muscle groups that can safely help us to get into this position concentrically
to then lower the weight down. If you can’t get there safely, and if you’re
using too heavy of a weight here, don’t bother because you’re doing more damage than
good in the long run. I’m talking about smart eccentric training. It’s a necessary component of a complete training
program. So what you do is, you allow this ability
of your torso to pop a little bit, and your torso to help a little bit, and you use some
of the rear delt to help get that dumbbell up. Then when you get to the top, now is where
all the action starts. Can you eccentrically control and slow down
that dumbbell on the way down? Challenge yourself there to get stronger in
this portion and see as these fibers get overloaded here, where the real muscle growth lies because
this is where the damage occurs that allows our body to rebuild itself bigger and stronger. So as I come down here, again, what I’m trying
to do is get the eccentric, and then get a little bit of a stretch here, by allowing
it to crossover my body. So I come up and I’m fighting, fighting, fighting,
fighting, fighting, and I get a little bit of a stretch, and I use a little bit of the
momentum at the top, and I come down. Again, I’m doing this all safely with a weight
that I can actually handle, but much heavier than I was doing initially. I talked about that third component as well. That’s athletic training. You see, because it’s not always about aesthetics. If you want to become big, strong, and functional
then you’d better be understanding on how to incorporate an element of power as well. That is speed applied to your strength. So now what we’d probably do is find that
we’re going to have a middle ground. Not the light, light weight, and not the heavy,
heavy weight. But a weight in between that we can execute
our strength and realize the strength we have, but at a much faster way, adding speed to
it. Being able to concentrically explode through
the rep and control it on the way down. That is where true athleticism lies. Training without all three of these elements
is leaving a hole in your training. The idea is this: you need to do them all. Don’t ever let anybody tell you that light
training is bad, or heavy training is bad, or either one of them is too good. They’re all necessary, guys. You need to do them all. The idea is you need to know when to do them,
how to stack them all together so you’re not overdoing one of them to pursue another. You just need to know how to put them together
into a training plan that makes sense. I’ve actually put them all together already
for you in ATHLEANX. I lay it all out for you, step by step. They’re all important. You can’t overlook any of them. The ATHLEANX program is over at ATHLEANX.com. In the meantime, if you’ve found this video
helpful, if you finally grasped onto the concept that you need to be multipurpose and multifaceted
in your training – which I hope you’ve already garnered here by watching our videos week
after week – then make sure you leave a comment and thumbs up below. Also, let me know what else you’d like me
to cover here because this came as sort of a follow up to a video I did this past weekend
using 30lb dumbbells and still being able to get a really intense workout in because
we’re incorporating new techniques into the way train with them. All right, guys. I’ll be back here again soon. Leave your comments and thumbs up as I said,
and I’ll be back here in just a couple days. See ya!

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Post navigation

100 thoughts on “Heavy Weights vs Light Weights | Build Muscle (THE WINNER IS…)

  1. Please make a video on increasing muscle hardness. …. and density, i've got okay sized muscles ..and can lift some weights aswell.. but the thing is that they are soft… to touch .

  2. Hey, so my dad lost his right arm when he was a kid, and he wants to workout but doesn't wanna get all unbalanced with muscle since he can't do anything with his right arm. So can he still workout his upper body, are would it get to off balanced? And if he could workout his upper body, what would you suggest him doing? Thanks in advance if you do a video on it, and if you don't that's fine to, cause it's not something that a lot of people struggle with.

  3. So how do we combine heavy and light? Do we mix this on the same day or do we separate heavy and light on different days/weeks? Please can anyone reply? Thanks.

  4. Can someone explain to me how you apply this to your workouts? What I mean by that is, how often do you switch your focus from lighter weight and more reps to heavy weight and lower reps? Do you have a little of both in each workout? Switch it up a few times a week? A few weeks out of the month? I just want to be sure that my next bulk is as productive as possible.

    I plan on focusing mainly on heavier weights and getting stronger and using that method to gain muscle. Hearing this, however, makes me want to have a little mix of both. Any answers are appreciated. Thanks guys.

  5. Do one for TUT vs fast reps.fast twitch vs slow twitch fibers.foot ball players do alot of power/exsplosive workouts.fast twitch fibers is bigger than slow twitch but when is it good to go slow

  6. I wonder how faster/heavy lifting vs. slower/lighter weights is related to also firing slow-twitch muscle fibers vs. fast-twitch fiber muscles like a sprinter's explosive fast-twitch muscles vs. a marathon runner's slow-twitch muscle use.

  7. I love Jeff's take on workouts..!
    He always gets me in the mood to try out his teachings as soon as I'm done with his vids! "LET THE GAINS BEGIN!"

  8. I just go as heavy as I possibly can whilst maintaining perfect form… usually train compounds 5x5s and everything else 3x8s

  9. Jeff, man, it's every video I watch and learn from you. I only get to watch after I went to the gym, and watch again in the morning to refresh, like flashcards for the gym.

  10. I'm fairly new to bingeing these videos. And I have big confidence problems in sticking to training. But this kind of learning about stuff, it makes me more fired up, connects that nerdy part of my brain to the enjoying physical activity part! The thought is, "yes, here is a way how I can improve, now I want to try it out!" Very interesting and very cool. 🙂

  11. Should the high reps and low reps be mixed in every single workout or we should do high reps workout for some weeks and then low reps workouts for other weeks ??
    Thank you

  12. This man answers every question I've ever had. Days of scrolling through Google never finding any direct answer . Glad I find this dude

  13. Which do i need to eat? Fruits or vegetables? Answer: both. Which is more important? Calories or macros? Answer: both. Which is more important sleep or activity? Answer: both. Seems to be a pattern there.

  14. Went 10 lbs heavier than my usual load on lateral raises and had mad pain at deltoid insertion for days. Made the mistake of doing chest the next day which probably exacerbated my issue. Now I’m scared to go that heavy with the lat raises again. Advice?

  15. Very good information here. This is exactly how I try to lift. I see a lot of people at the gym who, even in this YouTube era, are absolutely clueless about what they are doing. Some people get more exercise walking into the gym than they get while they are in there.

  16. This makes a lot sense, I never understood the difference. But when you say you focus on the muscle . You’re actually make the muscle work and grow . Thanks dude.

  17. Can you talk nutrition specifically macros what do carbs do what can too much or not enough do to your body and same for proteins and fats???

  18. Ive heard that High weight and low reps is better for muscle mass and strength and low weights with high reps are better for muscle definition and endurance. If i am after muscle mass which should i do?

  19. Excellent set of weights!>>>ur2.pl/1182 I start with these for motivation, then I get on my BOWFLEX M3 MAX TRAINER! I can do cardio and strength in the same workout! I do a set of reps for three different muscles, then after I do a set for each of those muscles, I FEEL ENERGIZED TO HOP ON MY ELLIPTICAL (the M3) FOR 20 MINUTES, then I get off and do 2 more sets for those three different muscle groups, and I'm done!! Excellent equipment, just gotta keep doing it at least 5 times a week!

  20. so i ususually use weights as heavy as possible, assuming i do the exercise 100% correctly and not hurting myself. should I keep doing so or switch more lighter weigts and more reps?

  21. I don't have time for both, I'm already in the gym 2 hours 3 times a week wich is way longer than you say, if i do everything heavy and everything light it will take me 5 hours, each session cuz of the extra light weight reps needed. Wha should i do ?

  22. I agree, however I think if you're new to lifting or coming back after not lifting for awhile though you should focus on light weights and SLOWLY build up. I went up too fast and hurt myself, your muscles are ready faster then your smaller tendons are. The tendons take a lot longer to build up then the muscles, so even though you can lift the weight you will be prone to injury.

  23. since I hit every muscle 2 times a week. first half of the week heavy with form and second half of the week lighter but better form and slower. Is that a good way to hit everything?

  24. In short If u want to train for muscle hypertrophy then go for low weight and slow reps!! in case of muscle STRENGTH (athletic) high weight, fast reps

  25. It doesn’t matter if you can do big weight if you can’t do it the right way. Start off small and do it the right way then work your way up. It doesn’t get you stronger if you don’t do it right

  26. أَفَحَسِبْتُمْ أَنَّمَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ عَبَثًا وَأَنَّكُمْ إِلَيْنَا لَا تُرْجَعُونَ
    Then did you think that We created you uselessly and that to Us you would not be returned?"

    فَتَعَالَى اللَّهُ الْمَلِكُ الْحَقُّ ۖ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْكَرِيمِ
    So exalted is Allah, the Sovereign, the Truth; there is no deity except Him, Lord of the Noble Throne.
      The holy Quran.
    -Sura Al-Mu'minun, Ayah 115/116

  27. Dam Jeff should train people to become just like him and work for the lean x industry to spread his teaching. This should be a career/job. Plus a perfect lifestyle for everyone. He needs workers to make him go global. Hmu jeff

  28. Can’t there be a middle ground between Hypertrophy and Strength Training? What if I use a heavier weight with really slow and concentrated reps but also lesser reps will I get the best of those two training techniques??

  29. I am 11 years old and I lift 8 pounds but I bench 16 pounds because I have two 8 pound dumbbells and I bench them, Deadlift and I squat with them and my light weight feels like I am energized and lifting air.

  30. Im not taking his advice, look at how he was curling at the beginning, he threw his body around with the weight and had horrible posture

  31. Big weight cause big muscle. You swinging some isn’t hurting you at all. It will help take the pressure off the rotor cuff. You have a limited amount of creatinine phosphate in the muscle while in a set so get that weight up as fast and explosive as you can until it runs out then rest a few minutes and then doit again. Lifting slow and light is so stupid

  32. Would this works I do push pull legs split should I do lightweight for one push pull legs and fairly heavy the be the next push pull legs

  33. everytime i have a question about working out when in the gym, i get home, watch athlean-x as usual and find out its always the more difficult thing that needs to be done.

  34. So how do you train all three methods in the space of a week without overtraining? It’s impossible..

  35. I wanna know is it possible to gain a big amount of muscle on every part of my body without using any weight I'm 16 and I'm about 170 pounds my body is like an average i have like a little fat in my stomach so is it possible to use my own body weight to work out

  36. Okay sir, then how do I know whats my lite weight value (X) to go slow with and the heavy weight value (Y) to go faster with ? This idea would then apply for all weight lifting exercises.

  37. Yeah I always did my laterals with both light and heavy from very long time like the way how Jeff showed and others laughed on me saying that it's useless, it sucks and its pointless. I ended doing wrong workout thinking that maybe the way I feel the tension on my shoulders was the right way and other said that doing this would injure my shoulders even though knowing that I was the right guy with right workout I ended up working out wrong

  38. Thanks for all your videos, I’ve been watching them for a couple of months and I literally watch your videos while I work out at the Gym and in my Livingroom, and from your health eating videos, from both types of videos, in almost 2 moths I went from 245 to 220 pounds, oh your vids are the best. Keep up the years of good work, your my favorite bro.

  39. For light weight training. How many sets and reps should i use? Same for heavy weight? Im doing reps with 12,10,8 with sometimes doing 13,11,9,7 when i dont feel anything because the weight is a bit light

  40. This is good news for me. For the last 6-8 years….I go one week heavy reps 6,6,10,10…..next week less 10,10,15,15…..👊🏻

  41. Me: *sees one of Jeff's videos before going to the gym.
    Me* goes to the gym to try and apply jeff's teachings.
    Me* leaves the gym feeling good.
    Also me* an hour later having second thoughts on whether I even tried my hardest to make my work-out count.
    Me* Goes back into the gym again to repeat the exercises

  42. I prefer medium weights and 3 sets of 20 and then a drop set to finish out.Make sure you use correct form or it's all for nothing!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *