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You don't NEED to lift heavy to build muscle.

2 main pathways drive muscle growth: Mechanical Tension (how heavy a load) & Metabolic Stress (how long can it go).
And each NEED to follow the progressive overload principle.

Both pathways have their pros & cons.

For mechanical tension:

  • Pros: much easier and faster to build muscle mass | Cons: higher chance of injury, much faster plateau reach, highly reliant on "knowing what to do".

For Metabolic stress:

  • Pros: A lot safer to implement, less reliant on equipment, sustainable | Cons: slower to build muscle, requires a minimum level of intensity for effectiveness, slower rest times.


What is Progressive overload? simply the principle that your workouts NEEDS to be harder every time in some way WITHOUT! progressive overload, you either stay in maintenance phase or regression (muscle loss).


So what if you chose to NOT lift heavy weight for whatever reason(s), but yet need to build muscle, how do you go about it?

  • Increase the Volume. overload your targeted muscle group, NOT by increasing the rep range but by combining different exercises. For example: if chest is your target, add a push up right after your Dumbbell chest press. If biceps is your target, add a chin up right after your dumbbell bicep curls.

  • The reason 1 why you just don't want to increase the rep range is because we need to maintain a minimum level of intensity. By switching exercises within the same muscle group, you hit those muscle fibers at different points in an ever slightly different way, combined with a slight pause in between (transitions), you create an interval environment for that muscle group...highly effective volume

  • The reason 2 is because of the progressive overload principle, by just increasing the rep range you will pigeon yourself in a situation where you'll end up doing a never ending increase of reps which will lead you down the path of potentially creating a stress injury, caused by repetitive motions...not good.


Should you need help to get you started on your fitness journey, contact us at and let's make that step towards your fitness journey TOGETHER!

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