Is It Possible to Gain Muscle Mass With Lighter Weights?

lifitng light weight

Lifting heavy to gain muscle is seen as the driving force behind any transformation and award-winning feat of either aesthetics or strength. 

It may seem too rudimentary for its own good (or primitive, even, to some). However, the concept of increasing one’s weight to spike muscle gains isn’t out of the question because it actually works. Whether you’re someone looking to boost your muscular endurance or someone looking to get big and shredding, the principle of “lift heavy, gain muscle” is one that can be helpful for your journey. 

But is it really worth it to lift ridiculous figures each time you’re at the gym?

The problem with lifting heavy 

Any private personal trainer in Vancouver will tell you that lifting heavier than usual is critical for gaining muscle, and rightfully so. However, it isn’t a sort of “one-and-only situation,” especially when you consider the associated problems. 

Sure, there is no denying that being able to lift a higher weight than last time does both your mindset and body a whole lot of good. There’s a reason a lot of strength coaches walk around with aches, pains, and limps. 

The biggest problem with using weights for gaining muscle is that higher figures boost the likelihood of using poor form during any set. 

So, is it possible to gain muscle by lifting lighter weights? (and how?)

You might be wondering whether it is possible to gain muscle by lifting lighter weights or not. Fortunately for any injury-prone or conscious lifter out there that wants to pack on some more lean pounds and boost their body’s capabilities, it is definitely possible to do so. 

According to groundbreaking research out of McMaster University in Ontario conducted by Dr. Stuart Philips of the school’s Department of Kinesiology, the link between lighter weights and more muscle is clear. The study itself suggests that “lifting lighter weights can be as beneficial as lifting much heavier loads for fewer reps” as growth greatly depends on the presence of intensity of a movement.

And the way you can achieve this intensity without the need for bigger dumbbells and heavier plates? Here’s the answer: performing the reps to exhaustion.

For starters, the aforementioned study’s findings were gathered from 49 healthy college-aged men who all had at least four years of prior weightlifting experience. During this study, participants trained four times a week using the following four exercises: barbell bench press, incline leg press, machine shoulder press, and machine leg extension.

Based on the reports alone, half the study’s participants lifted lighter weights at 30 to 50 percent of their 1 repetition max for 20-25 reps. Conversely, the other half lifted heavier weights at 75 to 90 percent of their 1 RM, but only for eight to 12 reps. Based on the measurements of the muscle fibre size of all participants and analyzed blood samples, Dr. Philips and this team discovered gains in muscle mass, fibre, size, and strength! 

If you want to see considerable lean muscle gains without breaking your back over tiring lifts, then it’s ideal that you enlist the services of an expert like Kalev Fitness Solution!


The common notion is that getting big means that one has to lift big, and it and continues to be passed around between newbies and intermediate lifters. However, recent scientific studies have shown otherwise. Through the help of the research mentioned above and the advent of sustainable training principles, any gym-goer will be able to reach their full potential with ease without the need to go HAM! 

If you’re looking for a private personal trainer in Vancouver to help you gain muscle without trouble or injury, Kalev Fitness Solution is here to help. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can best serve your needs!