Knowing the right weights to use for which workout can be a challenge, especially when you're trying to match the equipment to your fitness goals. If you're wondering whether heavier weights equal greater fat burn, we reached out to Clarence Hairston, IGNITE master trainer, NASM certified personal trainer, and AGM of Fitness at The Bay Club Company. The question makes sense to ask — heavier weights equal more effort, which should result in greater burn. But the answer isn't that simple.
According to Clarence, "there really is no clear answer" as "both heavier and lighter weights will help you burn fat." The determining factors, however, are based on how much effort you put in and what your goals are. "If you are looking to build strength and muscle, take that weight up and push yourself," he told POPSUGAR. "If you are looking to tone or build lean muscle, try a lower weight with higher reps."
You can also do a combination of both as we've discussed before. Performing an exercise with a heavy weight and low reps (up to six) and then another exercise that targets the same muscle group with higher reps (up to 12) and a lighter weight can be an effective way to shed fat.
But keep in mind that you won't be doing yourself any favors by going too light, either. If you're able to swing the weight around, if you don't feel your muscles contracting, or you're just not seeing results, you're likely not lifting heavy enough.