Top 5 Reasons You NEED to LIFT HEAVY!! (Important)

  • Published: 17 June 2014
  • Learn how much weight you should lift, when and why in one step by step system

    Knowing how heavy you should lift to see the best muscle building results is a question that needs answering. In this video, I show you the top five reasons why you need to lift heavy weights in order to build muscle fast.

    To start, I think it's important to define what heavy truly is. I believe that heavy weights are those that cause you to fail in the 3 to 8 rep range. I say that knowing that most people don't ever truly fail with weights since they quit the minute they feel discomfort or burning in their muscles during the lift. A well executed heavy set would likely cause you to fail in the 5 to 10 rep range.

    That said, the best way to build muscle is to workout with heavy weights within these rep ranges, but not all the time. When you train heavy, you have to be sure that you allow enough time for recovery between workouts. There is no best weight to lift if you constantly find yourself under recovered every time you hit the gym. The weight you lift becomes irrelevant. So you'll want to be sure that you recuperate between heavy workouts.

    During your heavy workouts however you want to concentrate on overload. There is an old saying that says, if it doesn't challenge you it won't change you. In order to build muscle fast you have to be willing to challenge your muscles. Heavy weight lifting is one of the absolute best ways to do this.

    Beyond that, lifting heavier weights allows you to expose muscle imbalances between your right and left sides and more importantly, lets you correct them. Just like a car that is out of alignment, you truly don't see the problem until you start to drive fast. Same thing applies in your gym workouts. Until you start lifting heavier you won't see the imbalances. As long as you are lifting under control, you will see the compensations and have an opportunity to fix them.

    Lastly, doing workouts with heavy weights allows you to break through training plateaus by using what we call touch-up sets. These brief bouts of heftier loads allows you to bring up your lower end lifting weights. Once you feel how much more effort is needed to lift 20 or 30 more pounds, when you drop back down the original weights feel much much lighter.

    It's muscle building tips like these that have allowed top professional athletes to make the gains that they do with their workouts. These same exact lifting protocols and principles are available now to the non professional athlete in the ATHLEAN-X Training System. You can find this program today at

    For more information on the best weights to lift to build muscle and workouts to build muscle fast, be sure to subscribe to our RUclip channel at
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Comments • 1 296

  • raymon kravagna
    raymon kravagna  2 days back

    Sometimes you can't do 2 more reps!!!

    • Los G
      Los G  3 days back

      Can you build just as much muscle w/machines like you do w/free weights?

      • Juan Cazadore
        Juan Cazadore  2 days back

        There are a lot of opinions on this topic. Bottom line is they both work. It's good mix the two and even better to also throw in body weight exercises as well. It keeps your body guessing and also keeps it from getting boring. A lot of older folks prefer machines to free weights because they're easier on the joints. Hope this helps!

    • bull moose
      bull moose  7 days back

      Leave the grabbers off the bar if you are lifting alone. The weight will come off easier in case of emergency.

      • bull moose
        bull moose  7 days back

        Why don't I get sore when I lift anymore?

        • hassa
          hassa  6 days back

          cuz your bodys used to the style of training

      • Mon-ika
        Mon-ika  1 weeks back

        " You're not gonna look like a badass, you're gonna look like a dumbass. "

        -Jeff Cavaliere

        • Tamer Said
          Tamer Said  1 weeks back

          Lift heavy👍🏻💪🏻

          • Dario Spirit
            Dario Spirit  1 weeks back

            Jeff, thank you for doing what you’re doing and for sharing it with us 😎

            • Christaki
              Christaki  2 weeks back

              Watching this in 2019 when Jeff is twice the size! 🤯

              • John Nye
                John Nye  4 weeks back

                How many sets at 5 to 10 range

                • Takeiteasy 2
                  Takeiteasy 2  3 weeks back

                  Depends on the percentage of your 1rep max. For example if you can do squats 3x5 315lb then doing doing 3x10 225lb sounds ok... Rest between sets 1min to 5min depending on your fatigue. Experiment... You can even do 5x5 5x10 or do a 3x3 heavy and then a 5x10 light...
                  As novice the standard is 3x5 on the heavy compound movements.
                  Check starting strength from Mark Rippetoe.

              • gabikun
                gabikun  1 months back

                life saver

                • Gs_kills G10
                  Gs_kills G10  1 months back

                  293 haters

                  • Chameleon569
                    Chameleon569  1 months back

                    you Dont want to maximise mtor jesus christ! mtor ages you and increases risk of cancers

                    • Josh B
                      Josh B  2 months back

                      One of the best things I ever heard from Jeff on this channel, overload till failure. I took a lot of my lifts from 12 reps down to the 5-8 range with added weight.

                      • Jeff Bouchard
                        Jeff Bouchard  2 months back

                        Sweet bonus tip.

                        • Samuel Adams
                          Samuel Adams  2 months back

                          "You're not gonna look like a badass, you're gonna look like a dumbass."

                          • E M
                            E M  3 months back

                            No clothing at all were used in the making of this video.

                            • Emerald City
                              Emerald City  3 months back

                              Nobody puts their barbells away - not on my watch.

                              • MrBullya
                                MrBullya  3 months back

                                Can't bench press heavy.. if I can't pick it up, I'm dead. There is no one at the gym at the time I go,

                                • peapod
                                  peapod  3 months back

                                  Isn't 3-8 too low for reps? Always thought it was 8-12 for size gains? 3-8 is more for strength. Someone help?

                                  • JD Nutrition &Fitness
                                    JD Nutrition &Fitness  1 months back

                                    peapod progressive overload helps you gain muscle and strength ..volume will build muscle if you do 6 to 8 reps with 4 sets for 4 to 5 exercises

                                • mRkAcHING
                                  mRkAcHING  3 months back

                                  Is this guy making videos in the nude!??

                                  • mondo Gamino
                                    mondo Gamino  3 months back

                                    #1 reason why you shouldn't lift heavy. You are more susceptible to injury. When you lift heavy, form goes out the window and you get hurt. I know plenty of guys that make that mistake, including myself.Its a marathon not a sprint.

                                    • Jeff Wolfenson
                                      Jeff Wolfenson  4 months back

                                      Thanks Jeff. Love you video's. I have been working to not count the reps too much and just keep going until I can go no longer for my last set.

                                      • Hermit Hermit
                                        Hermit Hermit  4 months back

                                        lift moderate

                                        • Ahhh Unagi
                                          Ahhh Unagi  4 months back

                                          Guys - if you’re lifting heavy and maxing out at around 6 reps per set, you need to rest between 3-5 mins between sets.
                                          Very important

                                          • Raphael Delima
                                            Raphael Delima  3 weeks back

                                            Uh... I know? I wasn’t giving it as fact. I was saying I agree with the opinion.

                                            You train however you want. If size is your thing train for size, if it’s for strength train for that.

                                            Exercise goals should matter only to the person doing them. That’s it.

                                          • Almog H
                                            Almog H  3 weeks back

                                            @Raphael Delima it isnt a fact. Its an opinion

                                          • Raphael Delima
                                            Raphael Delima  3 months back

                                            Yep. Completely agree. That’s why I give myself time to recover. And I also agree that strength is better then size.

                                          • Ahhh Unagi
                                            Ahhh Unagi  3 months back

                                            SoCal Justice Warrior
                                            It may halt your size. But it’s very important for strength.
                                            3-5 mins between sets will allow you to keep perfect form and continue to get stronger and lift heavier.

                                            Strength > Size.

                                        • Chriz Roman
                                          Chriz Roman  4 months back

                                          Lifting heavy isnt worth the risk. Light weights can give essentially tue same benefots if you do it right.

                                          • Stan Bryson
                                            Stan Bryson  4 months back

                                            2 years ago I woz a 9 stone weakling now I’m 14 stone of power I have my own home gym yes I have spent a fortune but has been worth it wish I could send a before and after and most of were I am is down to listening to Jeff thankyou Jeff

                                            • Jeff Sternon
                                              Jeff Sternon  4 months back

                                              Hey Athlean team, quick question, if you train heavy (5 to 8 reps), there's just no way you'll be able to get the 45 seconds of muscle tension right ? So how should you balance those two things ?

                                              • GrodyMaroon
                                                GrodyMaroon  4 months back

                                                This was working great for me...until I dropped the damn dumbbell on my ear. Lucky I got the important bits out of the way. Can't go to true failure when you workout alone.

                                                • its me hahaha
                                                  its me hahaha  5 months back

                                                  Your chest is winking at me

                                                  • BASEDLORDXY
                                                    BASEDLORDXY  5 months back

                                                    I hate heavy weight it's mostly the rest time you have to do I really don't have time to sit in the gym for hours on end because of that crappy rest time I prefer to just start light and work my weight up or vice versa witha 45 second restt

                                                    • The present moment
                                                      The present moment  5 months back

                                                      C'mon *your first name* just one more

                                                      • Bodhi
                                                        Bodhi  5 months back

                                                        Makes good sense ... thanks Jeff 👍🏼🇦🇺

                                                        • Andrew Jones
                                                          Andrew Jones  5 months back

                                                          Bonus part was genius. Good call.💪

                                                          • James Bond
                                                            James Bond  5 months back

                                                            Right on Tips!

                                                            • Michael Nicholson
                                                              Michael Nicholson  5 months back

                                                              Jeff Cavalier knows his stuff and now I've started to lift heavy, train hard for about a month now and I'm seeing good results. Wished I followed his channel years ago.

                                                              • The Gefster
                                                                The Gefster  5 months back

                                                                IF you do HIT training to failure there is scientific results... SCIENTIFIC that if you go to FAILURE there was no difference in growth whether or not you go heavy and low reps or light and many reps Not to risk if you are older lifting heavy has much more possible to go. This heavy thing is relative

                                                                • Stee Green
                                                                  Stee Green  5 months back

                                                                  Put a shirt on so unhygienic

                                                                  • Stanley13
                                                                    Stanley13  5 months back

                                                                    alan partridge can bench 66lbs.

                                                                    • Black Marble
                                                                      Black Marble  6 months back

                                                                      That Pyramid though

                                                                      • the conquering truck driver Can/USA

                                                                        Loved the bonus point. Soooooo to the point

                                                                        • Kiteboarding34 Kiteboarding34

                                                                          Jeff! If I start lifting heavy 3-8 reps. How many sets should I do and how many exercises per that muscle group ??

                                                                          • Vincent Cieluch
                                                                            Vincent Cieluch  6 months back

                                                                            Put the shirt on, please no one cares.

                                                                            • Brad Bryce
                                                                              Brad Bryce  7 months back

                                                                              Good stuff, Thank you

                                                                              • myname Jeff
                                                                                myname Jeff  7 months back

                                                                                Jeff, you have touched every single body part. How can I make my cock look swole? Send us some cock lifting exercises bro

                                                                                • David Ferguson
                                                                                  David Ferguson  7 months back

                                                                                  Got it! I will lift heavy! * proceeds to load 1000 pounds on a deadlift *

                                                                                  • The Truth
                                                                                    The Truth  7 months back

                                                                                    Guys if your looking for a program that teaches you all this and helps you get the gains you want go to Athlean-X . Com and sign up for one of our programs . Stop making excuses and start making commitments

                                                                                    • Nabil Abdulrashid
                                                                                      Nabil Abdulrashid  7 months back

                                                                                      Wow these old videos are so low tech compared to the new ones (started from the bottom)

                                                                                      • Sunnie Victoria
                                                                                        Sunnie Victoria  7 months back

                                                                                        #5 made all the difference for me....