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Lifting Light Weights to Build Muscle Featured

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light_weightliftingBuilding muscle doesn't require a lifting heavy, just a lot of light weight lifting, according to new research. This new discovery about building muscle may prove beneficial not just to bodybuilders but for the elderly, as well as people who fear lifting heavy weights for risk of injury.  
Heavy Lifting Not Required
You can build muscle and pump up your muscles through volume: by lifting light weights a greater number of times.The secret is simply to pump iron until muscle fatigue sets in, says Stuart Phillips, PhD, associate professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
"Rather than grunting and straining to lift heavy weights, you can grab something much lighter but you have to lift it until you can't lift it any more," says Phillips .
Muscle Building Study

Researchers recruited 15 healthy men. The average age was 21. Each was told to lift light weights and heavy weights with varying repetitions (reps).
Heavier weights were set to 90% of a man's best heaviest lift, and light weights at 30%.
Phillips says weights set to 80% to 90% of a person's best lift required five to 10 repetitions before fatigue set in. At 30%, it took at least 24 lifts before similar fatigue developed.
The researchers measured muscle fatigue at the cellular level by examining results of muscle biopsies done 4 hours and 24 hours after workouts.
Similar amounts of protein used in muscle building were produced whether volunteers lifted at 90% of their maximums until they ran out of steam and when they lifted only 30% of their best until they could lift no more, the researchers say.
What this means is that similar muscle mass can be built by using light weights as with heavier ones; as long as you are lifting to fatigue. This stimulates your muscle to make new muscle proteins, a process in the body that over time accumulates into bigger muscles," says Phillips says. "We're excited to see where this new paradigm will lead."
Discovery Important Not Just for Bodybuilders
The research has practical significance, and not just for body builders, because building muscle is important for people with compromised skeletal muscle mass, such as cancer patients, the elderly, or people recovering from trauma, surgery, or even stroke, the researchers conclude.
They didn't measure actual muscle growth, relying instead for their conclusions on the cellular markers.
Slow Down Aging by Lifting Light
The researchers write that a "high-volume low-load resistance exercise" program may help reduce loss of muscle tissue that occurs as part of the natural aging process.
Lighter Weightlifting Safer
Lifting lighter weights to fatigue may also reduce orthopaedic injury and soft tissue according to the research. The study is published in the journal PLoS One.
Burd, N. PLoS One, August 2010.
News release, McMaster University.
Last modified on Saturday, 28 December 2013 11:42
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