Busting Fitness Myths – I Need Heavy Weights for Strength Training
If you want to grow stronger, then you’ve probably been told to pick up the heaviest weights you can find and get to it. While challenging yourself with heavier weights can be beneficial at times, it’s not always necessary to improve your strength. Plus, you might not have heavy weights lying around to use during your workouts, which means you’ll have to find other options. Luckily, there are a lot of different ways you can increase your strength without using heavy weights. We’re breaking down this fitness myth today, so you can see how it’s possible to crush your strength goals without touching the heaviest weights on the rack.
Understanding How Muscles Grow
Before we go over the different ways to build strength, it’s important for you to know how your muscles grow and get stronger. The SAID Principle, which stands for Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands, is a good place to start. According to SAID, our bodies are able to adapt to different levels of stress and overcome them in due time.
Exercise is a common form of stress that’s used to increase our body’s adaptations, including the size and strength of our muscles. As you introduce new stressors through your fitness routine, your muscles work to overcome them so you can grow stronger. During an intense workout, your muscles generate microtears that need to be repaired during the recovery process. Given the proper amount of time and rest, these microtears will heal and your muscles will grow bigger and stronger.
Appreciating All Types of Resistance Training
Lifting heavy weights is one type of resistance training, but there are many types of resistance training you might not know about that can help you increase your strength too. The type of resistance training you choose will depend on what your fitness goals are and the type of workouts you enjoy.
For example, heavy weights are a popular choice for body builders and those who want to grow large, defined muscles. However, if you want to build lean muscle to appear slim and toned, other types of resistance training are just as beneficial and can help you build strength as well.
Believe it or not, bodyweight exercises like push-ups and squats are a type of resistance training too. These types of exercises rely on your body weight and gravity to add resistance to your workout routine. The more reps you do, the more endurance and strength you’re able to build. These are a great type of exercise for any fitness routine, especially since you can do them anywhere without any equipment. We love to incorporate bodyweight exercises into our 9Round Workouts for resistance training, as it helps us achieve our mission of making members stronger in 30 minutes.
Lifting lighter weights like dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, etc., can also add resistance training to your workouts. Incorporating various smaller weights into our 9Round Workouts allows our members to customize the workout to their fitness level. The key is for them to select an amount of weight that is challenging, but also sustainable throughout an entire three-minute round without stopping. This not only helps their muscles grow stronger, but it also helps increase their endurance.
With lighter weights, you can also follow the time under tension method. This method involves slowing down your reps to help create more tension for a longer period of time. This added tension helps strengthen your muscles and also builds up your endurance. Using the time under tension method is a great way to increase the intensity of your workout without increasing the amount of weight you’re holding.
Common exercise equipment, such as treadmills, leg and arm press machines, ellipticals, etc., is also something that can add resistance training to your workouts. Leg and arm press machines add resistance by incorporating different amounts of weight to help challenge you. You can also add resistance to a walk or run on the treadmill by increasing the incline of your machine. On ellipticals, you can increase the incline too, but there is often a separate resistance setting that makes it more difficult for you to push the pedals, so your workout will be more challenging.
Now, let’s talk about one of our favorite ways to incorporate resistance training into our 9Round workouts using kickboxing bags! These bags provide a unique type of resistance training to our 30-minute workouts to help you grow stronger. The various kickboxing bags we use can weigh anywhere between 65 and 105 pounds, which means you get tons of resistance each time you punch or kick the bag. Plus, who doesn’t want to punch away their stress with a fun kickboxing workout? It’s a great option for people who want to mix up their typical weightlifting or bodyweight routines.
If you’re looking for a fun workout that can help you grow stronger physically and mentally in just 30 minutes, then click the link below to claim your FREE Introductory Workout at your local 9Round studio.
This is not medical advice. Please speak with your doctor regarding any health concerns and before starting a new workout routine. This article was written in conjunction with our certified 9Round Exercise and Nutrition Specialist, MacKenzie Rowand, CSCS, NASM-CNC.