How fast you lift weights also plays a huge role in strength exercises

By Nicole Ganglani | Photo by Limor Zellermayer /Unsplash

According to a study by the European Society of Cardiology, how fast you lift weights can determine whether or not you’re likely to die early. This is because when you lift weights at “normal speed” you get much less watts as compared to when you lift “as fast as possible.”

The study examined over 3,878 participants ages 41-85 who underwent a maximal muscle power test. The average amount of power used for the measure was 2.5 watts per kilogram for men while 1.4 watts per kilogram was used for women. Based on the facts that power is defined as force times velocity and that maximal muscle power is proportional to body weight, the researches came up with the following metric: The highest number of reps a participant could do with increasing weight is directly proportional to their muscle power.

Lifting weights has long been appreciated for building muscles and overall power. But for it to be really effective, it’s important to pay attention not just to the weight you can carry, but also to how fast you can complete your reps.

After seven years, a follow-up report to the study found that over 247 men (10 percent) and 75 women (six percent) had died. In addition, it was also found that men who could lift the heaviest weight at a higher speed had a death rate of only 2.1 percent while women who generated more than the average amount of power had a death rate of only 1.3 percent per year.

What these results mean is that participants who generated less than the average amount of power had an early risk of death specifically between four and 13 times higher than those who could lift faster.

Keys to Effective Strength Training

Lifting weights has long been appreciated for building muscles and overall power. But for it to be really effective, it’s important to pay attention not just to the weight you can carry, but also to how fast you can complete your reps.

The study’s author Claudio Gil Araujo told Bicycling that two to three sets consisting of eight reps each completed as fast as possible is ideal when it comes to weights excercise. If you perform the workout at the right form in a high speed, you recruit more motor units that add more power to your body.

Araujo also said that each rep should take approximately 0.5 seconds in the concentric phase and one second returning to the initial position. If you can perform the strength training exercise correctly as fast as possible then it’s a good sign for your health.