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Is lifting light weights effective for building muscle?

While many bodybuilders swear by lifting the heaviest weights they can safely handle, research indicates that going with lighter weights may be just as effective for building muscle. A study from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, analyzed biopsies of leg muscles after training sessions of 30% of maximum weight that the study subjects (men in their 20s) could handle versus 90% of their maximum lifts. Using cellular markers, the scientists discovered that each type of lifting was equally effective in growing muscle tissue.

The takeaway: The key in lifting lighter weights is to lift until you reach exhaustion just as you would with heavy weights. That means more repetitions when using lighter weights, but it's a safer way to train and easier on your joints.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.