Lifting Heavy Shit – Do you Really need to Lift Heavy and Why Ronnie is Not Actually Lifting Heavy

Do you see what the pros are lifting? Some heavy poundage, some heavy-ass sh¡t! And what do you do? You do your best to lift the heaviest weights available thinking that would get you some freakish size. Do you really need to lift some heavy ass weights in the first place?

Because let me tell you one secret (an obvious secret):  the pros aren’t lifting heavy!

Yes; take a look at Ronnie Coleman here with some dumbbells from the freak-side of the rack:

Ronnie coleman Chest dumbell press

He’s not lifting heavy!!!

No Sh¡t!! He’s not lifting heavy! Let me tell you why:

Ronnie lifts that weight for 4 sets of ten reps which is his usual rep range. That might be heavy for you – not for him.

You see, “HEAVY” is relative

A 300 lbs bench press may be heavy for you and me, not for Branch, not for Grimek, not for Ronnie.  And furthermore what is heavy for you might not be heavy for the person next to you. You may also be stronger in some lifts and not in others.

You see we need cycles of heavy lifting to maximize our gains and with that I mean a periodization week where you do sets for 5-6 reps for you compound lifts.  But the take home message would be to not be obsessed with the poundage itself.

The POUNDAGE doesn’t matter – What matters is the stimulus

The stimulus that the workout serves and the nature of time under tension you give to your muscles must be your top priority. On most lifts you must concentrate on getting at least 7-12 reps – that means you must fail at the 10th or 12th rep which is the same as what Ronnie does in the photo therefore, not heavy at all.

“Heavy” or “light” is measured by the amount of reps that you can do.

As a general rule, any weight where you would fail before reaching 5 reps can be considered heavy. If you want to become a power lifter and strength is your main goal and not hypertrophy brought about by time under tension- then you must utilize regimens that have rep ranges around 5 reps and 5 sets like the 5×5. Truly if you are competing in strongman or in powerlifting you would not want to be bigger than you are supposed to be since you will be competing in weight classes.

Concentrate on the feel, the time under tension, and the quality of the reps – NOT on the weight itself! Eat your eggs, people!

A-Lifter- Don't forget to leave your comment/feedback below.  If this article was helpful, I am sure our book Real Talk Muscle will help you even more in your quest for muscle gain. Check it out you can read the first few chapters as well.
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