A common belief about working out might be bogus -- and it's good news for anyone trying to tone up

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
4 Things You Should Never Do Before Working Out

Whether you want to tone up, slim down, or give yourself a mood boost, you've likely taken a stab at mixing some kind of weight training into your routine.

There's a common conception that the best way to build muscle quickly is to do fewer repetitions, or complete cycles of the exercise, with heavier weights.

For example, you might be encouraged to do five reps of arm curls with 15-pound weights instead of doing 12 reps of the same exercise with 8-pound weights.

A new small study published this month in the Journal of Applied Physiology (based only on men, unfortunately) suggests that's not true.

RELATED: Celebrity workout selfies

23 PHOTOS
Celeb summer workout selfies
See Gallery
Celeb summer workout selfies
We werked it out this AM w @spingalnichelle πŸ’¦πŸ’ͺπŸ½πŸš΄πŸΎπŸ‘― @tracydawnhall #sundayfunday
Let's do this! Who's with me? #WOLFPACK v. #DOGPOUND
Got it in today with @forcefitnessinc my seed over there like "Mom enough with the pics my turn to get it in" HA! #JustDoIt #Nike #AFamilyThatWorksOutTogetherStaysTogether πŸ˜‚πŸ˜­πŸ˜‚πŸ˜­πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹βœŒπŸΎοΈπŸ’ͺ🏾
#HustleHart #DopePic #Results #GettingCloserToMyGoal #StayTuned #BigThingsHappening #Focused #Motivation
Gettin closer to my goal of "light weight body builder"!! Haha. @barrysbootcamp πŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺ⚑️⚑️
Took such an awesome spin class taught by the amazing @ErinRomney at @romneypilates this morning.. Followed by a great stretch... It's so important to listen to your body and see what you need each day from your workout... Thank you Erin for making today's session so perfect, for getting me ready for my day, and helping me to feel strong and balanced! #YouFirstFitness πŸ˜ƒπŸ’ͺ🏻
Getting ready for MOVE live on Tour this summer... Therefore I left #Dwts last night after the show and worked out... Hair and makeup still on! Haha gotta get the stamina up since we'll be dancing for 2hrs almost every night! :) thanks @bodybysimone (Erica) for your killer workout! I highly recommend washing your face before you work out! 😜 get tickets at www.moveliveontour.com
Morning workout @pg13fit tightened my tush with @SPRI bands #ouch #Nike #heidibraids YES, I'm wearing a heart rate monitor and my #applewatch #comparing #kickin'ass
Happy Monday! Start your week off on the right foot πŸ’ͺπŸΌπŸ‘ŠπŸΌπŸ‘Ÿ
LOL πŸ˜‚ stretching at the gym isn't the best look. It’s finally here and I'm so excited to be apart of it! Download the new @StarShopApp and get access to amazing products and #exclusive videos! #StarShopLaunch
πŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺπŸ˜œπŸ’¦ #SkechersDemiStyle
Rope time ........
Woke up at 5am each morning this weekend to hike for 10-12 miles... @stephaniehartherman I can't believe we did it!!! ❀️πŸ’ͺ🏻
I actually landed on him sorry @fizzle_28
Good Mornin' To Ya! Up since 4:30am cuz I'm jet lagggged and excited about the LA premiere of #SanAndreas tonight. Just got out of class with with the goddess herself @shapewithangela: BEST way to start the day! Thank you for your generosity of spirit and true inspiration!! And got to have @flynneve and @pilarspics at my side. Perfection. Miss you @vanessahudgens! :) #thisisasweetseason #beherenow #soulcycle
#Pacman, I have done everything I can...the rest is up to you πŸ˜πŸ‘ŠπŸ’₯
First time doing calisthenics and look at the gym I got to use! Doesn't get better! Thx @calisthenicspuertorico for the great workout! #coachdavidomar #PuertoRico #Playa #training
Stability Ball Ab Pike @bodybysimone @errrrrrrka #Abs #Strength πŸ‘ŠπŸ’ͺ😜
IMPACT I'm running a #halfmarathon this weekend to benefit my favorite #charity @baby2baby This amazing organization provides low-income children with diapers, clothing and all the basic necessities that every child deserves! Please support my run by purchasing an item from their registry! http://bit.ly/1PDB5fk Thank you so very much! #Asics #runner #thirteenmiles #igotthis
Summer workouts β˜€οΈ@modelfitbyjustingelband @victoriassecretsport
Tear down, to build... muscle building time... it's a process that does not happen overnight. It ain't cute. It ain't easy. Folks will chime in and make comments instead of working on their own life... but you have to figure out what's healthy for you. We all don't look alike so every persons "healthy" will be different and that's ok. Cheers to everyone who has embraced being in a better place... mind, body and soul β™‘β™‘β™‘ #spreadlove #support #rejectthebullshit #42
Push yourself to be better πŸ’ͺ
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Instead, the paper suggests that lifting lighter weights for more repetitions is just as good as lifting heavier ones for fewer reps. That's good news for those of us who might have been turned off by the idea of having to pump hefty loads that could end up injuring us.

The new study looked at 49 young men who'd been weight training for at least a year. For about three months, half of them did the standard heavier-weight, fewer-rep plan. The other half did a lower-weight, more-reps plan.

As part of the first group, the lifters used weights set to be between 75% and 90% of the highest weight each person could lift once. The men in this group were instructed to do 8 to 12 reps, or until they were completely worn out — something the researchers called "volitional failure."

The men in the second group, on the other hand, had their weights set at between 30% and 50% of the highest weight each person could lift once. They were told to lift 20 to 25 times, or until they were also worn out.

All of them did three sets of the exercises four times a week.

At the end, the researchers found no significant differences between the two lifting groups — they'd all built bigger, stronger muscles.

So if you've ever avoided the weight room because you're turned off by the idea of pumping fistfuls of bulky iron, think again, and consider trying out a plan doing multiple reps with lighter weights.

NOW WATCH: 5 scientifically verified ways to appear more attractive

See Also:

UP NEXT: 11 fitness 'truths' that are doing more harm than good

RELATED: We talked to an exercise scientist about whether diet or exercise is more important for weight loss, and his answer surprised us

Read Full Story

People are Reading