Go Heavy!!!! What does this mean? Well, to Ronnie Coleman, former Mr. Olympia, it might mean an 800 lb. squat. (See below)
To me, it might mean a 350 lb. squat. To you it might mean a bodyweight squat. The point is it doesn’t matter what heavy means to me, or Ronnie Coleman it’s what it means to you that matters. It’s completely relative, but we all can and should go heavy. That’s what challenges our bodies and forces changes. No more sets of 15 or 20. Try to keep everything at about 8 reps. See how that feels. Play with it from there, but don’t go above 12 at the very most. On the big, compound lifts, go down to three or five reps. There are a couple of exceptions to this. If you are a beginner, keep it lighter until you really get your form down. If you have injuries, don’t be stupid. The big thing whoever you are and whatever your experience, of course, is to be sure to keep proper form at all times. Your set is over when your form goes, no matter what.
Going heavy also goes with what we talked about yesterday concerning consistency and working hard. Basically when you are doing a set of an exercise, lifting heavy does many things for us. For those who are looking to lose fat, it has been shown that a shorter, heavier set burns more calories than a longer, lighter set. For those looking to get stronger, lifting heavier gets your muscles and all of your connective tissues used to handling heavier loads. Your body learns to activate more motor units and you get stronger. For those looking to get bigger, lifting heavier gives your muscles a reason to grow and, for those looking to develop improved cardiovascular health, doing heavy sets has been shown to improve that better than lighter sets, as well. Just feel your heart beating during a good set of deadlifts, for example.
Going heavy helps fix muscle imbalances, can improve our posture and, frankly, can really boost our self-esteem. These are all things that doing pink dumbell 20 rep sets can’t do. Also, one more thing: being a man or a woman doesn’t matter. Women are the biggest victims as far as exercise advice goes. For the most part, there really should be no difference between the way men and women train. Most of the advice women get on Oprah or in Marie Claire is WRONG! At best it will get you nowhere, at worst it will get you hurt or starving. Just ask yourself if you ever want to pick up your kid or a bag of groceries. That should give you the answer as to whether you want to follow the “women should never lift more than three pounds” workout style that Oprah was promoting last week.
More soon and Go Heavy!!!
Mitchell Rothbardt www.mitchrothbardttraining.com (coming soon)