Lifting heavy weight all year can result in excessive wear and tear on the joints. Lighter weights can result in equal muscle growth with less wear and tear on the joints.
WHY LIFTING HEAVY ALL YEAR IS PROBABLY NOT THE BEST WAY TO KEEP MAKING GAINS KEY POINTS:
- Lifting heavy year-round can add excessive wear and tear on the joints, it is best to cycle your training with periods of lighter weight train that can equally stimulate muscle growth.
- There is no definitive answer as to the best way to accomplish progressive overload. You can either add weight and use the same number of reps, use the same weight for each workout and do more repetitions, or add sets.
IS THE COST OF LIFTING HEAVY ALL YEAR WORTH THE WEAR AND TEAR ON YOUR JOINTS WORTH IT?
For decades, many bodybuilders have adopted the high-intensity principles of using heavy weight to complete failure with few sets. Keep in mind that lifting heavier weights (>85% of a 1RM) risks excessive wear and tear on the joints and predisposes you to injury. A sample of powerlifters found that 73% were currently injured, and 87% of powerlifters reported having sustained an injury in the prior year. Remember that muscle growth can occur from 30% to 90% of a 1RM; you do not have to lift heavy year-round to build muscle.
Using a combination of light, moderate, and heavy weight seems to be a prudent way to train to gain muscle yet prevent wear and tear on the joints and ligaments. Always remember that it’s better to use a lighter weight with better technique than to use heavy weight with improper form. Using a full range of motion is always optimal for muscle growth. You don’t have to lift heavy all year long to build muscle because there are many ways to increase tension on the muscle without using a heavier weight.