Once dominated by men who strived for superhero physiques, the art of weightlifting has gone mainstream over the past decade as both men and women are hitting the gym to lift heavy handweights and load their barbells. While weightlifting certainly yields a positive aesthetic result, it also has proven health benefits including a lowered stress level, better bone density, and improved balance.
Unfortunately, weightlifting comes with some consequences—when lifting heavy, it's easy to throw out your back with one wrong move, or maybe the size of a weight leaves you too intimidated to start at all.
In July, a study found that lifting light weights (but doing more reps) yields the same results as lifting heavy ones. To which we say: Hallelujah!
As we work to shake up our fitness routines in the new year, we decided to get to the bottom of how effective light weights really are and why so many people prefer them. So we consulted fitness experts Lisa Tanker, Kristin McGee, Krista Stryker, and Jesse Barton. Here's what they had to say.