Heavy vs Light
Well here we are again, another month gone and all I could think about is the question that I always get from most people who are sometimes confused about the issue of Heavy weight vs light weight. Well let’s see if we can clear the air a bit and see how we can incorporate these two issues and make them beneficial for great new gains in muscle growth. We all know that in order to build more muscle you have to put more stress on them then they are used to having so they will be forced into new growth but you ask how can these 2 principals work to accomplish this.
First, let me take you back some years ago say 1984 when I used to live in the frozen tundra called Stockholm, Sweden. I was there getting ready for the Pro World Championships which where to be held in Toronto, Canada. I was training at a very well know Gym in Sweden named World Class Gym owned by the Swedish Champion Ulf Bengston. Down the street was another gym where some of the biggest Power lifters in Sweden Trained. I got a chance to meet several of the power lifters. I became friendly with one of them who also competed as a bodybuilder as well. He then became my training partner, and I would have to say that luck was in my corner but I didn’t really recognize it at the time. He was one of the nicest guys you wanted to meet but he was so much stronger than I was. He had great thickness that you didn’t normally see on a bodybuilder. Even though I was a World Class Bodybuilder I was curious how he acquired such thickness. In our conversations that ensued I asked him what type of training he was doing and understanding how life works in general I was always open to learning more because remember you can never know it all and there was always room to learn more.
That’s when I really started to understand the Heavy Light training principal. He told me that he would incorporate his power lifting in with his bodybuilding program. I then asked how are you going to do that. He said it is simple we will train 2 weeks very heavy with mostly power lifting training and 1 week with bodybuilding training. At first I was a little skeptical at first but after we got started on this program I was very convinced that I had now found the new secret to building more thicker and quality Muscle. I have to tell you this was probably some of the most grueling training I had ever done in my entire bodybuilding career. This guy put me trough some of the toughest workouts that one could do. Now with that being said would say that lifting to heavy could cause quit a few injuries and not build to much muscle seeing that we know as bodybuilders that repetition is the key to muscle growth, and that may be true but remember, we have to types of muscle one is called fast twitch and slow twitch and each one has a different function. Slow twitch is used for speed and endurance where as fast twitch is used for explosive and heavy movements so to build them you will sometimes have to embark on two different training styles, but I had always been a high volume high rep trainer even to this day. But like I said before I am always open to something new especially if it was going to improve my physique. But let’s not get side tracked with the task at hand. Here is how this training program went.
Like I said previously the first 2 weeks were extremely heavy. And 1 week was light meaning more reps and lighter weights. Here is a sample now of what we did hoping now that you too can pack on some extra muscle with this explosive program and remember it is not for the week at heart.
Chest: Bench Press and on each set you will increase the weight 1 set x 10 reps 1 set x 8 reps 2 sets x 6 reps 3 sets x 5 reps 2 sets x3 reps 1 set x10 reps
Incline press using dumbbells: 3 sets x 8 reps using a weight that will allow you to do only 8 reps per set
Dips: 3 sets x 8 reps
On the same workout you will then do shoulders and arms and you would do only 2 exercises for both body parts
Shoulders: Presses 3 sets x 8 reps Upright Rows: 3 sets x 8 reps
Arms: Barbell Curls 3 sets x 8 reps superset with triceps extensions 3×8
Note: You will do this program for 2 weeks
Next workout: Tuesday: Back: Dead lifts 1 set x 10 reps, 1 set x 8 reps, 2 sets x 6 reps, 3 sets x 5 reps, 2 sets x 3 reps, and 1 set x 10 reps Lat pull downs 3 sets x 8 reps Cable rows 3 sets x 8 reps Pullovers 3 sets x 10 reps
Note: Rest on third day Thursday: Legs: Squats 1 set x10 reps, 1 set x 8 reps, 2 sets x 6 reps, 3 sets x 5 reps, 2 sets x 3 reps, and 1 set x 10 reps Leg extensions 3 sets x 10 re[s Leg curls 4 sets x 10 reps Calves: Seated Calf Raises 3 sets x 12 reps Standing calf raises 3 sets x 12 reps
Note: Rest 3 days then repeat same workout the next week. On week 3 you continue your regular bodybuilding program remembering to do light weights and doing no lest than 10 reps per exercise you can do more if desired but no less than 10, with less rest in between sets. On the heavier days of course you will have to take longer rest periods between exercises. Now you may think as I did that this does not seem like enough work but believe me you will think other wise when you start this program. It will take more rest to recover from this workout then it will for the light workouts. Although there is that popular belief that more is better but in this case less is better again remember if you do not recover properly you will not grow and you will also run the risk of injury. Just food for thought. Good luck with this program and welcome to new and more exciting Muscle growth and strength.
Bill Grant’s Old School Training Series: Total Body Training Bill Grant is a world reknowned fitness expert with more than 45 years of professional experience in bodybuilding, health and fitness. Learn how to train like a old school pro. Check out my new Old School Training DVD available now! So until next time…
Stay Strong, Train Hard Bill Grant