Are you looking for a workout routine that will help you build strength and muscle mass quickly and efficiently? Heavy, light and moderate (HLM) training might be just what you need.
HLM workouts are a type of strength training that involves alternating between heavy, light, and moderate loads to stimulate muscle growth and improve overall performance.
The principle behind HLM training is simple: by varying the intensity and volume of your workouts, you can keep your muscles guessing and prevent plateaus.
Heavy lifting is ideal for building strength, while light loads with high repetitions are best for muscular endurance, and moderate loads are ideal for hypertrophy.
In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of HLM training and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to design an effective HLM workout program.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced lifter, HLM training can help you achieve your fitness goals and take your strength and muscle gains to the next level.
What is HLM Workout?
The HLM (heavy, light, and moderate) workout program is a type of training routine that has gained popularity in recent years.
This program is designed to help individuals achieve their fitness goals by incorporating weights of different intensities into their training routine.
The HLM workout program is based on the principle of progressive overload, which involves gradually increasing the weight or resistance used during exercises to continue challenging the body and promoting muscle growth.
One of the key benefits of the HLM workout program is that it provides a balanced approach to fitness by incorporating heavy, moderate, and light weights.
Heavy weights are used for low-rep, high-intensity exercises such as deadlifts, squats, and bench presses. These exercises are designed to build strength and increase muscle mass.
Moderate weights are used for moderate-rep exercises such as lunges, rows, and shoulder presses. These exercises are designed to promote muscle endurance and improve cardiovascular health.
Light weights are used for high-rep exercises such as bicep curls, triceps extensions, and lateral raises. These exercises are designed to improve muscle definition and tone.
Research has shown that incorporating a variety of weights and rep ranges can result in increased muscle strength and mass, as well as improved cardiovascular health.
A systematic review and meta-analysis conducted by Grgic et al. in 2018 found that resistance training frequency significantly affected gains in muscular strength (1).
Another study by Gentil et al. in 2019 found that heavy and light resistance training were equally effective in promoting musculoskeletal strength and hypertrophy in trained men (2).
Who Should Try It?
The HLM workout program is highly recommended for individuals who are looking to build muscle mass, increase strength, and improve overall fitness.
This program is suitable for both beginners and experienced athletes who want to try new approaches to them workout routine.
Incorporating all three weight categories into a workout program provides a well-rounded approach to fitness and allows individuals to target different muscle groups and achieve a balanced physique.
Additionally, the variety in weight and rep ranges helps prevent boredom and plateaus in progress.
It is important to consult with a fitness expert or personal trainer when starting the HLM workout program.
They can help you create a customized workout plan based on your fitness level, goals, and preferences.
A customized workout plan will help you achieve your fitness goals more efficiently and safely.
With dedication and proper guidance, the HLM workout program can help you become stronger, fitter, and healthier.
Benefits of HLM Workout
HLM (Heavy-Light-Medium) workout has been gaining popularity due to its effectiveness in building strength and muscle mass.
A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that heavy resistance training can increase muscle mass and strength (4).
Another study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that heavy resistance training can improve muscle protein synthesis, which is important for muscle growth and repair (5).
Additionally, HLM workout may be beneficial for people with certain medical conditions.
Another study published in the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention found that resistance training can improve cardiovascular function in people with heart failure (6).
In conclusion, HLM workout can be an effective way to build strength and muscle mass and may have additional benefits for certain populations.
However, it is important to use proper form and technique to avoid injuries, and to consult a doctor or a certified trainer before starting any new workout program.
Downside of HLM Workout
While there is limited research on the downsides of HLM workout specifically, there is evidence to suggest that heavy lifting can increase the risk of injury if proper form and technique are not used.
A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that improper lifting technique was a major risk factor for injury among weightlifters (3).
Another study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found that heavy lifting was associated with an increased risk of shoulder injuries in athletes (7).
Additionally, HLM workout may not be suitable for people with certain medical conditions or injuries.
A study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness found that weightlifting was contraindicated for people with herniated discs, osteoporosis, and other medical conditions (8).
Finally, HLM workout may not be the best choice for people who are looking to lose weight or improve cardiovascular fitness.
A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that while heavy resistance training can improve muscle mass and strength, it does not provide significant cardiorespiratory exercise (9).
In conclusion, while HLM workout can be an effective way to build strength and muscle mass, it is important to use proper form and technique to avoid injuries.
People with certain medical conditions or injuries should consult a doctor or a certified trainer before starting this or any other workout program.
Additionally, those looking to lose weight or improve cardiovascular fitness may want to consider other types of exercise in addition to or instead of HLM workout.
Best HLM Workout split
Here is an example of an HLM workout program that can be modified based on your fitness level and goals. This is just one of many possible HLM workout programs that can be tailored to your needs and preferences.
Day 1: Upper Body Heavy
- Bench Press: 4 sets x 6 reps
- Barbell Rows: 4 sets x 6 reps
- Overhead Press: 4 sets x 8 reps
- Pull-Ups: 3 sets x maximum reps
- Biceps Curls: 3 sets x 10 reps
On day 1, you will focus on your upper body with heavy lifting, which includes the bench press, barbell rows, overhead press, pull-ups, and biceps curls. These exercises are designed to target your upper body muscles with high intensity, which will help to stimulate muscle growth, increase strength, and improve overall fitness.
Day 2: Lower Body Heavy
- Squats: 4 sets x 6 reps
- Deadlifts: 4 sets x 6 reps
- Leg Press: 4 sets x 8 reps
- Leg Curls: 3 sets x 10 reps
- Calf Raises: 3 sets x maximum reps
On day 2, you will target your lower body muscles with heavy lifting. This includes squats, deadlifts, leg press, leg curls, and calf raises. These exercises are designed to target your lower body muscles, which will help to increase strength, improve balance, and stimulate muscle growth.
Day 3: Upper Body Light
- Incline Bench Press: 3 sets x 12 reps
- Lat Pulldowns: 3 sets x 12 reps
- Dumbbell Flies: 3 sets x 15 reps
- Dumbbell Rows: 3 sets x 15 reps
- Triceps Extensions: 3 sets x 15 reps
On day 3, you will focus on your upper body muscles with lighter lifting. This includes incline bench press, lat pulldowns, dumbbell flies, dumbbell rows, and triceps extensions. These exercises are designed to target your upper body muscles with moderate intensity, which will help to improve muscle definition, increase endurance, and aid recovery.
Day 4: Lower Body Light
- Lunges: 3 sets x 12 reps
- Leg Extensions: 3 sets x 12 reps
- Romanian Deadlifts: 3 sets x 15 reps
- Seated Calf Raises: 3 sets x 15 reps
- Abdominal Crunches: 3 sets x 20 reps
On day 4, you will target your lower body muscles with lighter lifting. This includes lunges, leg extensions, Romanian deadlifts, seated calf raises, and abdominal crunches. These exercises are designed to target your lower body muscles with moderate intensity, which will help to improve muscle definition, increase endurance, and aid recovery.
Day 5: Upper Body Medium
- Dumbbell Bench Press: 4 sets x 10 reps
- Bent-Over Rows: 4 sets x 10 reps
- Arnold Press: 4 sets x 12 reps
- Cable Flies: 3 sets x 15 reps
- Cable Rows: 3 sets x 15 reps
On day 5, you will target your upper body muscles with medium intensity lifting. This includes dumbbell bench press, bent-over rows, Arnold press, cable flies, and cable rows. These exercises are designed to target your upper body muscles with moderate intensity, which will help to improve muscle definition, increase endurance, and aid recovery.
Day 6: Lower Body Medium
- Bulgarian Split Squats: 4 sets x 10 reps
- Leg Press: 4 sets x 10 reps
- Good Mornings: 4 sets x 12 reps
- Leg Raises: 3 sets x 15 reps
- Plank: 3 sets x 30 seconds
On day 6, you will target your lower body muscles with medium intensity lifting. This includes Bulgarian split squats, leg press, good mornings, leg raises, and planks. These exercises are designed to target your lower body muscles with moderate intensity, which will help to improve muscle definition, increase endurance, and aid recovery.
Day 7: Rest
Remember to warm up before each workout and stretch after each workout to prevent injury and improve flexibility. Also, make sure to progressively increase the weight and intensity of each exercise to keep challenging your muscles and avoid plateaus. Good luck with your HLM workout split!
Remember that this is just one example of an HLM workout program. You can modify the weights, reps, and exercises to suit your goals and fitness level. It is important to consult with a fitness expert or personal trainer before starting the program to make sure it is safe and effective for you.
- Grgic J, Schoenfeld BJ, Davies TB, Lazinica B, Krieger JW, Pedisic Z. Effect of Resistance Training Frequency on Gains in Muscular Strength: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med. 2018;48(5):1207-1220. doi:10.1007/s40279-018-0872-x
- Gentil P, Soares S, Pereira MC, da Cunha RR, Martorelli SS, Martorelli AS. Effectiveness of heavy and light resistance training on musculoskeletal strength and hypertrophy in trained men. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2019;59(9):1543-1551. doi:10.23736/S0022-4707.19.09579-9
- Keogh, J. W. L., & Winwood, P. W. (2017). The Epidemiology of Injuries Across the Weight-Training Sports. Sports Medicine, 47(3), 479–501. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-016-0575-2
- Burd, N. A., West, D. W. D., Staples, A. W., Atherton, P. J., Baker, J. M., Moore, D. R., … Phillips, S. M. (2010). Low-Load High Volume Resistance Exercise Stimulates Muscle Protein Synthesis More Than High-Load Low Volume Resistance Exercise in Young Men. PLoS ONE, 5(8), e12033. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0012033
- Vincent, K. R., Braith, R. W., Feldman, R. A., Magyari, P. M., Cutler, R. B., Persin, S. A., & Lennon-Edwards, S. (2002). Resistance exercise and physical performance in adults aged 60 to 83. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 10(2), 219–235. https://doi.org/10.1123/japa.10.2.219
- Braith, R. W., Beck, D. T., & Casey, D. P. (2008). Exercise training improves function in chronic heart failure patients on beta-blockers. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 89(4), 616–622. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2007.10.034
- Carofino, B. C., & Mazzocca, A. D. (2008). The Epidemiology of Weight Training Injuries. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 7(6), 323–328. https://doi.org/10.1249/JSR.0b013e31818f15f8
- Schoenfeld, B. J. (2010). Squatting kinematics and kinetics and their application to exercise performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 24(12), 3497–3506. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181d321bc
- Kraemer, W. J., & Ratamess, N. A. (2004). Fundamentals of resistance training: progression and exercise prescription. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36(4), 674–688. https://doi.org/10.1249/01.mss.0000121945.36635.61
The HLM workout split is a versatile and effective training approach that can be customized to fit a variety of fitness goals. By alternating heavy, light, and moderate workouts, you can challenge your body in different ways, promote muscle growth and recovery, and avoid plateauing in your training. When designing your own HLM workout split, it’s important to consider your fitness goals, current fitness level, and schedule. Overall, the HLM workout split can be a great addition to your fitness routine and help you take your training to the next level.