In a recent study researchers found that the average weightlifter, selects lower weight than optimal when allowed to self-select. When choosing weight, the lifter was choosing weight at around 50% of 1RM. With enough volume and reps this can be adequate for size, but not strength.
Why Lift Heavy Weight?
Lifting heavy is the best way to increase strength in the gym. The extra load can improve your central nervous system functioning. Additionally, lifting heavy weight has been shown to improve bone and joint health when done properly. These benefits can improve your mental and physical health substantially in the short term as well as the long term.
Are You Lifting Heavy Enough?
Soreness isn’t always the best indicator, but if you are doing all of your lifts with perfect form you probably aren’t lifting heavy enough.
How to Add Heavy Lifting to Your Workout
You don’t need to change your whole workout routine to benefit. One heavy exercise per workout is enough to benefit.
One heavy workout per session-If you want to add some heavy lifting just add one heavy exercise at the beginning of your workout. After you’ve warmed up, do a compound lift that you can only do for 6 reps. If you can do any more than that you aren’t lifting heavy enough. For the average lifter this is going to be about 60% heavier than they’re used to.
It is important to go slow here if you aren’t used to heavy weight. Heavy weight can be what brings you the most benefits in the gym, but can also be a potential for injury.