It's a commonly held belief that lifting heavy weights builds bulky muscles, and if you want to slim down and tone up, lighter weights and higher repetitions are the answer. The New York Times' health writer Anahad O'Connor explains otherwise:
The notion is not supported by science. Producing bulky muscles requires not just heavy weights but heavy calorie consumption as well, typically far above the 2,000 daily calories recommended for many adults. For people who lift weights to tone up and slim down, experts say, a regimen that includes a combination of challenging weights and fewer repetitions can help significantly.
The post cites two studies backing up the heavier-and-fewer-is-better claim, leading the author to a pretty simple bottom line: "For better tone, try fewer reps and more challenging weights." (Sounds pretty good, considering even 10 minutes and three days a week is a solid start for shaping up.) Photo by jontunn.