Is it true that if you lift heavy weights you will get bigger, and if you lift lighter weights you will get cut?
Well, it is true that heavier weights and lower reps will be more effective in building size and strength. However it is not true that lighter weights get you cut. This is a myth in the fitness world that has been perpetuated for many years, and is still alive and strong today!
Getting cut or lean requires proper diet and nutrition, and while you are on a “cutting” cycle you should still train with heavy weights to maintain your muscle mass. There is a principle referred to as “use it or lose it”, it basically implies that if you do not utilize your muscle mass your body will see no reason to maintain it. So, even during a cutting cycle you still want to train as heavy as possible, it’s inevitable (especially if you’re natural) that you willsacrifice some size while cutting. But if you train with light weights you will most likely lose twice the amount of muscle mass than if you continue to train heavy while cutting body fat.
Now, this does not mean that you should never go through “light cycles” of training, I truly believe that you should. Using short meso cycles in 4-6 week periods is extremely important if you want to continue to make progress. So, training heavy year around is not a good idea either, it will lead to over training and ultimately injury.
What exactly is “over training”, is it caused by training too long?
Over training is basically the result of accumulative micro trauma and it can take several weeks before you’re in a true state of over training. It is not necessarily from training too long, however that can be a factor. Usually there are several factors involved, such as not enough rest between work-outs, improper nutrition, failing to take time off from training (complete breaks), etc.
Here are some guidelines to follow that will help you avoid over training:
1.) Use a planned training system employing cycles of training, e.g. 4 week Heavy cycle, 4 week Light cycle, 4 week Medium cycle.
2.) Utilize therapeutic modalities such as massage, whirlpool, etc.
3.) Use proper lifting techniques avoiding excessive use of ballistic (uncontrolled) movements and excessive eccentric contractions (negative work).
4.) Give yourself sufficient rest between work-outs, such as two on, one off, one on, one off. Also, every 2-3 months take a full week or even two weeks off from training to allow your body to fully recuperate.
5.) Take advantage of sports supplements to “complement” your diet, e.g. protein powders, and multiple vitamins & minerals.
6.) Use techniques like super sets, giant sets, etc., sparingly. Excessive use of these shocking techniques can lead to overt raining.
7.) Do not go to positive failure on every set, every workout!