The concept of “heavier is better” when it comes to muscle building was studied at McMaster University over the course of 6 years (2010-2016). The study was conducted using regular gym-goers who had experience lifting weights. They were divided into two groups – one group that lifted heavy for 8-12 reps and one that lifting light for 20-25 reps. They were required to train under these requirements for 12 weeks. Throughout the 12 weeks, participants had their muscles measured and were required to give blood samples.
After the 12 weeks were completed, it was discovered that the muscle gains from each group were identical. However, the trick with lifting light is that you must lift until the point of exhaustion, which means performing more reps than if your lifting heavy.
There are benefits of lifting light, such as less chance of injury and easier on your joints. Now that we know that “heavier is better” is a myth, why not lift lighter and save your joints so you can lift for many more years?