Being Big vs Being Ripped: The Lifting

This week in the series, I will be discussing how each person should lift in order to achieve their goals.  Most people think that going to the gym and just lifting weights haphazardly will eventually lead to them looking good, and this is actually true.  However, in order to achieve each specific goal, there is a specific method that must be followed.

People that are trying to get big have a very simple routine.  Their workouts usually consist of the “big four” compound movements that are the basis of every lifting program (bench press, squat, deadlift, and overhead press).  The key is to progressively increase in weight week by week and try to go for heavy sets of 3-5.  This is the optimum range to increase strength but conserve energy.  Breaks in between sets can last as long as five minutes, or as long as it enough recovery time to perform the next set of five.  The goal with this program is to try to lift as heavy as possible, because the body will have to use a lot of muscles to pull the weight.

An example of a starting routine for getting big.

Weightlifting to get ripped is an entirely different animal.  Because the goal is to tone as much of the possible as possible, weightlifters will usually try to achieve between 24-36 reps of every exercise, with multiple exercises for every muscle.  This is the optimum range to achieve hypertrophy, or the state where muscles are being broken down.  In addition, these lifters will also have to include some kind of cardio in their program in order to burn off fat.

An example of a lifting routine to get shredded

Clearly, there is a huge difference in lifting for each of these goals, and these are just the basics of each area.  This is just a light skimming of the topic though, so if you’d like to learn more, you can visit this article, which I found to be really helpful.


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