Lifting lighter weights for more reps is great for building muscle endurance, but if you want to increase your strength, increasing your weight load is key.
Add compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and rows to your heavy weights and you’ll be amazed at how fast you’ll build strength.
Love the lean, defined muscles on super-fit ladies? “If women want more definition, they should lift heavier since they cannot get bigger muscles because of low testosterone levels,” says Dr. Jason Karp, an exercise physiologist, and author. “So, lifting heavier has the potential to make women more defined.”
The key to this one is consistency, as research has shown that lifting heavy weights over time not only maintains bone mass but can even build new bone, especially in the high-risk group of post-menopausal women (Women and Weight Training for Osteoporosis).
You may burn more calories during your 1-hour cardio class than you would lifting weights for an hour, but a study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that women who did weight training burned an average of 100 more calories during the 24 hours after their training session ended.
The effect is magnified when you increase the weight, as explained in a study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Women who lifted more weight for fewer reps (85 percent of their max load for 8 reps) burned nearly twice as many calories during the two hours after their workout than when they did more reps with a lighter weight (45 percent of their max load for 15 reps).