Reach for the heavier weights in class

You’ve seen them staring at you underneath the reformer and you’ve given it a thought or two but in the end gone for the safe option, those lighter 2 or 3 kilo weights. I am going to discuss the potential benefits of having extra ambition and plunging for those heavier 4/5 kilo weights.

We need to consider the psychological, as well as physiological adaptations of using heavier weights from shocking your core, to shaping your body and explain the relationship between heavier weights human growth hormone and firmer skin.

Firstly, and some would argue most importantly, increasing increment in weight and intensity has the human psychological effect known as…. progress. When you start and put a lot of effort into a fitness program you will want to know that it is working. So increasing the size of those dumbbells after your body has adapted to the previous set is a sure sign that your fitness level is improving.

As you know Bootcamp Pilates is centred on core training. Once you have re-established the mind body connection with your core stabilisers, you can use heavier weights to significantly alter your centre of gravity. Holding a weight out to the side will orientate your centre of gravity to that side, and so the muscles supporting your spine will have to work to avoid you falling that way.




You can also use heavier dumbbells to re- shape your body. Another way of looking sleeker around the waist is by increasing the width around your upper torso, allowing the muscles to tailor into the waist creating an attractive V shape. With some of our Bootcamp Pilates better bum exercises you can use higher resistance to get your Beyoncé butt, again making the appearance of your waist slimmer.

Training with heavier weights forces your body into naturally releasing more human growth hormone (HGH). Not only will HGH increase lean muscle but will result in firmer skin. So… who said you can’t get younger?

Heavier dumbbells require more energy to lift and so more calories are burnt during the workout.  If your goals are to get leaner and have more muscle tone, use heavier dumbbells. Having more lean muscle will lead to a higher resting metabolism, basically your body will burn more calories as your rest. So either you can meet your fat loss goals faster or, like me, use this increase in metabolism to eat more food without putting on added fat.


James Woodhouse has a laid-back – if highly active – approach to life, believing that if you take care of your health, everything else will follow. Ever since he was an overactive kid he’s wanted to keep moving, taking part in everything from football to hiking. James teaches the notion that the human body should be able to function for more than 100 years, making all the niggles that can appear in early middle age totally preventable. By practicing movement with good technique, he thinks we can live a pain-free life – and even attain that much-wanted six-pack.

For more information and to follow James’ blog visit  www.jameswoodhousefitness.co.uk