Would you like to know how heavy to lift for maximum muscle growth?
Before you think that doing the heaviest lift is the flat-out answer, we have to bring you down to reality and say upfront that is not the case.
BOXROX recently unveiled how many sets you should be making to get stronger and also how long to wait between sets. Although those are valid questions that shape muscle growth, perhaps the biggest factor when it comes to hypertrophy is how heavy to lift for maximum muscle growth. And that is a question posed and answered by Dr Mike Israetel who has a PhD in Sport Physiology and is the co-founder of Renaissance Periodization, a YouTube channel focused on hypertrophy.
Check out what he came up with.
How Heavy To Lift For Maximum Muscle Growth
There are a couple of factors you need to think of when it comes to hypertrophy. You want to find the sweet spot of lifting heavy enough that promotes muscle growth, but that leaves you to minimum risk of injury and allows you to recover properly for training regularly.
Israetel says that anything under 30% of your one-rep max causes muscle growth, but is not efficient per working set and converts muscles to slower-twitch fibre, which reduces their growth sensitivity. On the other side of the spectrum, anything above 85% of your 1RM also promotes muscle growth, but it is also not efficient and causes joint and connective tissue fatigue.
Still, the question remains: how heavy to lift for maximum muscle growth? Well, the answer is somewhere between those numbers.
According to Dr Mike, the best bet is between 30-85% of your 1RM – this translates in the 5-30 reps close to failure, depending on what exercise you are doing. That doesn’t mean that doing fewer than 5 reps in any exercise won’t promote muscle growth, it just means that it won’t grow as much as it could because it lacks stimulus.
Antigravity compound movements, such as rows, squats, or deadlifts, work better in the 5-15 rep range. You should go heavier on these exercises and perform fewer reps.
Other exercises, typically using machines or isolation movements, are better for the higher end of the spectrum, so 15-30 reps are usually best.
In the end, the best answer is to mix up and add variety to your training. Israetel says that is a good idea to, for example, do a quarter of your exercises in the lower rep range (5-10), another quarter in the higher rep range (20-30), and the remaining in the middle ground (10-20 reps).
And that is how heavy to lift for maximum muscle growth according to Dr Mike Israetel. If you want to see his full explanation, click on the video below.
VIDEO – How Heavy To Lift For Maximum Muscle Growth
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