Pushing big weight and setting new personal best in the gym can be a great thing, and there is no question that there is a direct correlation to the amount of weight lifted and muscle growth. By now most of us should understand that simply moving weight is not what builds a great physique. Hopefully, all of you understand that moving weight that is too heavy to move while using proper form is a complete waste of time.
The Ultimate key in bodybuilding, when it comes to the weight training game is stimulation. We aim to stimulate our muscles in order for them to grow. The more thorough the stimulation, the more we recruit various muscle fibers and the more powerful our results. The more we learn how to control our lifting by means of muscle contractions, developing a sound muscle mind connection, the far greater our results.
To accomplish this there is one key principle many overlook. The key is making the light weight heavy.
- Guy 1 performs one set using 50lb dumbbells. Guy 2 performs one set using 30lb dumbbells
- Both perform 10 reps
- Both are of equal size and strength.
- Guy 1 heaves each dumbbell into position on each rep, they are a struggle
- Guy 2 controls each rep up and down with perfect form and holds and squeezes the muscle at the point of contraction yet he still struggles, but not at the expense of losing his contraction.
Guy 1 performed the set with more weight but Guy 2 got more work done. Without the squeeze at the point of contraction, the lift becomes useless in terms of full stimulation. Assuming Guy 1 didn’t use horrendous form and was able to lift the weight, he did reap some benefit. But if he was not able to fully control it and squeeze, he did not reap the full benefit of the exercise.
There are times when heavier weight is needed to simply provide variety and give your muscles a different type of overloaded stimulation. But as a general rule, what we’re after as bodybuilders, or fitness enthusiast is simple: muscle stimulation, full muscle contractions and in the end better physiques then we had before we stepped into the gym.
If Guy 1 trains chest every Tuesday but always uses weight that is heavier than needed, meaning if he always uses weight that is too heavy for him to fully contract, he is wasting his time. To make matters worse, he is more than likely causing a lot of undue stress on his joints as well as his central nervous system. Guy 2 trains chest every Tuesday as well, and luckily for him, he contracts on every rep of every set. In short, Guy 2 will always have a better chest.
Even in bodybuilding there are certain unquestionable laws. Law 1: stimulation plus contraction equals growth and development. End of story.