If I want to get lean and toned, should I still do heavy days?

“It’s 8pm. Time to pull up SugarWOD and see what tomorrow’s workout is!”

Deadlift
3-3-3-3-3-3-3

“Is that it?” You ask yourself. “That can’t be it? No conditioning? No cardio? Eh. Guess I’m not going tomorrow.”

Heavy days, like the example above, is a day of programming that is usually lower reps, but designed for you to challenge yourself with how much weight you can lift.

They commonly get skipped because people assume it won’t help them towards their goal. This is in fact far from the truth. Let’s dive into 3 reasons why EVERYONE should be coming to heavy days!

  1. Heavy lifting days help build muscle. More muscle helps you burn fat, and look more toned. So it’s actually a win-win because it PREVENTS you from getting bulky!
  2. Heavy lifting days help you get stronger. By getting stronger, you can move more weight in other workouts, which will help you get results faster by increasing your power output. (more on this in another post)
  3. Only training in one area, (say cardio, or high rep light weight), can lead to plateaus in progress. By mixing in days of pushing yourself with heavy loads, done for fewer reps, you help ensure that you’ll avoid stagnation and keep making progress!

So the next time you see a day with only heavy lifting, don’t skip it! It’s actually one of the best things you can do to help you towards your goal!

As a side note, doing a heavy day will not make you “bulky”, or gain weight. This is a common misconception because the next morning your scale may tick up, but that’s because the demand you placed on your muscles led to them pulling in more nutrients, and without proper hydration, they will still be holding onto those. You should always make sure you’re drinking sufficient water (anything caffeine-free and/or 0 cal. Water in your protein shakes and coffee don’t count!). To know how much to drink, take your current body weight, divide it by 2, and drink that many ounces of water (i.e a 150-lb person would need to drink 75 oz of water a day, or 4 shaker bottles worth!) This is a MINIMUM amount of water. The more food you eat, and the more training you do, the more water you should drink.

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