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Written by Karel Nunnink   

Effort based training

For building muscle, study's at McMasters university in Canada confirmed earlier findings that light weights are as effective for building muscle as heavy weights, the key it seems is the amount of effort put in each set.
3 sets built more muscle than 1 set with no difference in load requirements( 80%-or 30% 1 RM).
So if you're looking toward increasing seize and gaining muscle mass, lighter weights will work as well as heavy loads and therefore decrease the risk of injury and shearing forces at work during heavier loading workouts. Just remember that the intensity of the two final repetitions will be the determining factor in your failure or success.
This is crucial for individuals over 40, where the ability to recover decreases and other age related issues start to come into play.
Now for strength and power however, here's where there is a small but noticeable difference because of the adaptations to muscle
hypertrophy and neural adaptations.
This is because neural adaptations are largely specific to the movement and load used in training and the recruitment of more motor units as soon as possible.
It makes sense that lifting an 80%  load  requires more dynamic nerve impulse than lifting a 30% load.
Again specificity rules and a power lifter has widely different goals then a triathlete.
This just shows how we can increase muscle mass with lighter weights, but to increase strength and or power, the use of  heavier loading is required for any measurable gains to take place.
Finally to effectively increase both muscle seize and strength and power, a proper sequence of periodization is required, change your workout routine, every 8-10 weeks .
Live long and strong.
Karel.

 

 

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