Training with light loads is not nearly as effective as training with heavy loads! That’s what we still hear in most gyms, and not just.
However, here and for many years, we know that we can gain muscle with long series and light loads. Indeed, the method Lafay, a method based on training without additional charge, has been as effective as conventional gym training. I confirm this for having tested and practiced these two ways of training.
The question that often comes up is: “Should we work in long series or short series of fat burning workouts? If the training in short series is not discussed, the one in long series still makes a lot of ink. No offense to the fanatics of heavy training, recent research tends to show that we can build muscle with the long series!
Short series and long series!
Contrary to what we hear everywhere, we can take muscle by doing long series. Who has not heard of the famous “Super Squats” program, a program based on a series of 20 repetitions for performing a squat. Created in the 30s and resumed in the 80s, this type of training allowed gaining strength and mass, making many rehearsals.
Recent research confirms what our ancestors had experienced on their own.
In a 2012 study that compared the effects of long and short series on muscle growth, it was found that long sets with light weights generated as much muscle growth as the heavy and short series. During the experiment, the subjects had trained their thighs on the leg-extension quadriceps machine 3 times a week over a period of 10 weeks. They had tested one of the following three protocols:
3 sets of 10-12 repetitions (80% 1-RM) to fatigue
3 sets of 30-40 repetitions (30% 1-RM) to fatigue
1 series of 10-12 repetitions (80% 1-RM) to fail
The figure below shows the changes in quadriceps circumference:
As we can see, the long series with light weights seem as effective as the short series with heavy weights in terms of muscle growth. The average size of Type I and II fibers increased similarly with either heavy or light loads, suggesting that both types of fiber were recruited during handstand training.