Advertisement

Should I lift light weights or heavy weights to tone my muscles?

The word “tone” does not exist in Muscle Science. You can only make a muscle bigger or make it smaller. The same rule applies to fat tissues. You can’t shape, elongate or tone a muscle as they claim in some exercise trends. So basically if a lean athletic look is what you are after, you should be aiming to build more muscle and lose some fat. Gaining more muscle makes your body burn more calories even at rest, as a result you are going to lose some fat. These two together will make you look leaner and tighter.
To gain more muscle, you need to follow a systematic and progressive training plan. This program works with both heavy and light weights in different stages.

To improve muscle tone, you should use both light and heavy weights as part of your resistance training program. Using different amounts of weight prevents your muscles from getting too accustomed to any one stimulus, which will lead to constant progress toward your goals.  It is popular thought that if muscle tone is the desired goal, that heavier weights should never be used; however, variety in the amount of resistance placed on the muscles from using a combination of light, moderate, and heavier weights will progressively overload them and force them to continue to change. Really achieving that toned look that you are after will come from focusing on proper food intake and using varying amounts of resistance in your exercise program.   

Continue Learning about Resistance Training

Resistance Is Far From Futile...It's the Best
Resistance Is Far From Futile...It's the Best
Jeri Ryan, as the Seven of Nine Borg in Star Trek: Voyager, claimed resistance was futile. Turned out not to be the case. In space, and right here on ...
Read More
What is the tempo that I should be performing my weight training?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, you will perform tempos from slow, to moderate, to e...
More Answers
What is contrast training?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
Contrast training refers to a type of resistance training that alternates the use of heavy and light...
More Answers
How does resistance training build muscle?
Phil Holbrook , NASM Elite TrainerPhil Holbrook , NASM Elite Trainer
Resistance training builds muscle by placing demands on the body that help muscle fiber grow...Once ...
More Answers

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.