One of the most common and dangerous misconceptions about lifting weights is that muscle growth only occurs when you lift heavy weights...
So many beginners start loading up barbells and only performing 2 or 3 reps, thinking they're getting a good workout. The thing is...without proper form and warm-up, you're pretty much asking to get injured.
Building muscle takes time and consistency.
Lifting excessively heavy weights can cause injury to joints and tendons which will prevent lifters from obtaining their goal of building muscle.
How Is Muscle Built?
Muscular growth occurs when muscle failure is incurred. The last rep of every set of your workout should be the last one that you are physically capable of doing.
The rep ranges should be high especially for beginning lifters who are easing their body into the strain weight lifting places on it.
Try doing your workouts in sets of 40-30-20-10 of one exercise and then 10-20-30-40 of another, using pyramid lifting principals.
With these high rep ranges, lifting very heavy won't really be possible. But, you're guaranteed to go until you literally can't do another rep - and that's how you grow.
On top of that, lighter weight will protect your body from injuries while maximizing muscle growth.
How To Use Rest Pauses
When completing high rep ranges, you should use a technique called rest pauses.
You pretty much do as many reps as you can until failure, then rest about 10-15 seconds and keep going again until you reach the number of reps your doing.
For example, when you're doing 30 reps, you probably won't be able to do it all in one shot (if you can then it's too easy!). So maybe you do about 20 - rest and catch your breath - then hammer out the last 10.
This principal is especially useful when performing reps from the 20 to 40 range.
To Sum It All Up
If you're the type of person used to lifting heavy with short rep ranges, try giving high rep training with rest pauses a try.
Muscles grow when exposed to change so this new style of working out will help you see some serious gains. You'll be shocked at how ridiculously sore you are in the morning.
About the author:
Justin Hilgart is a Mens Physique Bodybuilder who most recently competed in November 2014. For more tips follow him on Instagram @Jhilgart.