I lift heavy to build muscle, but it’s not because I care about the numbers on the bar or feeding my ego. It’s about challenging my muscles because that is how they will grow. I try to keep my reps between 6-12 on compound movements so the sets don’t drag on, my heart rate doesn’t remain elevated for too long and I can maintain the focus required to train near to failure.
The following study cited stresses that whether you use lighter weight or train heavy it is imperative that you challenge yourself. They looked at two groups, one using weights that were greater than 60% of their 1 rep max I prefer prefer to train with and another group using weights that were less than 60% of their 1 rep max. Both groups trained with these weights near to failure. This is the only way to change your body by pushing yourself in the gym.
Source: Schoenfeld, Brad J. et al. “Strength and Hypertrophy Adaptations Between Low- vs. High-Load Resistance Training: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” J Strength Cond Res, December 2017
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