Lift Light Weights for Higher Reps
This one always makes me laugh a little. Lifting light weights for a high amount of repetitions is similar to the long bouts of cardio at low intensity. Your body will simply not burn fat as fuel, and will not increase any of your fat-burning hormones, such as growth hormone and testosterone. Only higher-intensity exercise will burn fat and increase muscle tissue (muscle tone).
In order to increase muscle tone you have to put a high demand on your muscles and nervous system. The stronger you are, the more muscle fibers you can recruit. Stimulating all your muscle fibers with each set skyrockets the metabolic cost of your workouts. Metabolic cost is a measure exercise scientists use to determine how many calories you’re burning through exercise. The higher the metabolic cost, the better.
Furthermore, recent research by McBride proves that getting stronger makes you run faster. And the faster you can move, the more fat you’ll burn through exercise.
Better Bet: Make sure when lifting weights you use loads that you struggle to lift for at least four, but no more than 15 repetitions. For bodyweight exercises, move as fast as possible through the repetitions and through the circuit of exercises.
Justin Grinnell, C.S.C.S., is the owner of State of Fitness in East Lansing, MI. Grinnell received his Bachelor of Science in kinesiology from Michigan State University, specializing in exercise science, fitness leadership, athletic administration, and health promotion in 2004. He is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and the International Sports Sciences Association. He also holds a certification from the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and is CrossFit Level I certified.