The answer is “NO.”
Please allow me to explain.
Let’s first take a look at what “lifting weights” really means. Lifting a weight at the gym means using a tool with the purpose of targeting a specific muscle group.
Whether by using a 10-pound dumbbell, pulling on an elastic band, or holding a yoga pose, they all basically accomplish the same thing. These exercises, exercise machines, yoga poses, and training regiments are designed to stretch and develop new muscle fiber. During the training process, muscle fibers often break down, encouraging the body to build new, stronger ones. Your muscles grow according to the amount of pressure (also known as pounds/kg) you apply to them. In other words, the more you stimulate a muscle fiber, the more it will respond to that stimulus.
That having been said, if you are strong enough to curl 10 pounds for 15 reps before you exhaust a muscle group, your muscle stimulation is optimum. However, if you only use 8-pound weights or curl only 10 times because you’re afraid to bulk-up, that targeted muscle group won’t get stimulated enough. When that happens, you won’t tear muscle fibers, and therefore, your body won’t feel the need to build new, stronger ones. That’s just a waste of your time. It’s the same principle as never driving a Ferrari past 60 miles per hour. On the flip side, you will only build muscle according to the strength you currently possess.
For example, if lifting 10 pounds is challenging for you, you won’t be building the same amount of muscle as someone who’s able to lift 100 pounds. Your body’s genetic blueprint is designed to build a certain muscle mass, lift a certain amount of weight, and to look a certain way. Therefore, stop worrying that you’ll turn into a bodybuilder by lifting heavy weights. You can only grow in proportion to as much weight as you can lift.
With what your Momma gave you, you can only grow so tall, so strong, so limber, or so lean. The fear of growing bigger or stronger than your body’s natural ability is the same as racing a Honda down a landing strip and being afraid that you’ll take off like a turbojet!
However, it will be a waste of your natural resources if you possess the ability to get stronger, leaner, more limber, and are able to reach past your limits – but, do not do so. If you are a Ferrari, you should behave like a Ferrari. If you are a Honda, you should drive like one. One of the biggest mistakes most people make is to act like a Ferrari when they are really a Honda, or to perform like a Honda when they are a Ferrari. Those mistakes eventually result in injuries or gaining of extra fat.
There’s nothing wrong with being a Honda or a Ford, as long as you reach your highest potential. Your goal with every training session is to lift as heavy a weight as you are capable of lifting, run as fast as you are capable of running, stretch as far as you are capable of stretching. In other words, your number-one priority with every day’s workout is to perform at your best.
Whether you are at the gym exercising, at school learning, or at work working, make sure that every day, you are giving your absolute best effort. Everything else is just less than your highest potential.
When I work with my clients, I don’t see them for who they think they are. I see them for who they are capable of becoming. I don’t see the “lazy Mike,” or talk to “sleepy Brandon,” or look at “clumsy Jennifer.” What I am really looking at is the “disciplined Mike;” I am talking to the “focused Brandon;” I’m working with the “amazing Jennifer.” We are either our best version of ourselves or we’re not. We are giving our absolute best, or we are not. We are living our best lives, or we are not. There’s nothing in between.
If you are capable of making MORE money, wouldn’t you want to make MORE money?
If you are capable of looking LEANER, wouldn’t you want to be LEANER?
If you are capable of being HAPPIER, HEALTHIER, even LIVING A BETTER LIFE — wouldn’t you want to HAVE IT ALL?
Leo Frincu is a world wrestling champion, author, speaker and performance coach for business leaders and athletes worldwide. To learn more about his training philosophy, check out his latest book, “WELCOME HOME, 3 Simple Steps On How To Reach Your Highest Potential,” available on Amazon and iBooks.