Light, medium, or heavy resistance bands

Light, Medium, Or Heavy Resistance Band: Which Should You Get And Why?

Sometimes it’s hard to take up resistance band training because the sheer variety of choices can be overwhelming. And one of those choices is deciding on what resistance band weight to buy. But don’t be intimidated! This post will help you decide whether to get light, medium, or heavy resistance bands.

A set of bands that include light, medium, and heavy resistances are ideal. Light bands are ideal for beginners to do cardio and burn fat. Medium bands are good for intermediates to build muscle. Heavy bands are best suited for advanced muscle and strength gains.

I’ve been using bands for 5 years now so I know a fair bit about choosing the ideal band level.

Getting yourself a set to cover all bases is inexpensive and allows you to progress smoothly in your training.

This the best option in my experience.

However, for those who need to choose one resistance over the other (i.e. light, medium, or heavy), this post will also help you make a decision.

Let’s jump right in!

Should you get light, medium, or heavy resistance bands decision helper.
Keep reading to find out the reasoning behind these suggestions!

Remove The Headache From Choosing The Right Band Weight!

As I’ll explain in detail why below, it’s always best to get a set of resistance bands with light, medium, and heavy increments where possible.

You’ll reduce the risk of outgrowing a specific band as well as lower the likelihood of being stuck with a wrongly-sized band for your workouts.

Buying a set of bands often works out to be cheaper than buying each band individually.

Additionally, you don’t have to go through the headache of choosing between specific band weights.

Undersun set has light, med, and heavy increments.

The set comes in 5 increments (extra light, light, medium, heavy, and extra heavy).

It’s great for newbies as well as battle-hardened gym rats alike!

I’ll also help you decide between light, medium, or hevay if you are adamant about choosing one weight over the others!

I use and recommend the Undersun fitness bands (you can find the cheapest price here).

Differences Between Light, Medium, And Heavy Resistance Bands

Light, medium, and heavy resistance bands differ in size and strength. Generally speaking, the heaviest bands are the thickest and provide the greatest level of tension. In contrast, the lightest bands are the thinnest and provide the least tension.

Differences between light vs medium vs heavy resistance bands.

Let’s first explore the differences between a light, medium, and heavy band in more detail.

There might seem to be more shapes, sizes, and styles of resistance bands online than you can count.

But they all share one thing in common; resistance bands are always categorized as light, medium, or heavy according to their weight.

In turn, the weight of a band gives it different properties as follows:

  • Heavier bands have a higher tension level. Lighter bands have a lower tension level. Tension level refers to how much weight the band provides and how difficult it is to push/pull it.
  • Heavier bands are harder to stretch. Lighter bands are easier to stretch. The easier a band is to stretch, the more beginner-friendly it is to use.
  • Heavier bands are wider. Lighter bands are thinner. Width affects the elastic properties of the resistance band. The wider the band, the more tension the band provides.
  • Heavier bands are suited to compound movements. Large compound-type exercises include presses, rows, squats, and deadlifts. Lighter bands are more suited to small isolation-type exercises like curls, extensions, kickbacks, and flyes. Thus, the weight of a resistance band affects how well-suited it is for different types of exercise.
  • Heavier bands are suited to building muscle. Using bands to gain strength and build muscle requires heavy lifting. In comparison, lighter bands are more suited to cardio, weight-loss, and general fitness workouts. Therefore band weight affects suitability for different training goals.

Next, I’ll help you decide whether you should get a light, medium, or heavy resistance band.

Should You Use Light, Medium, Or Heavy Resistance Bands?

Resistance band weight should be chosen according to goals and abilities. Light bands are ideal for beginners to do cardio, burn fat, and keep fit. Heavy bands are great for building muscle in intermediate-advanced lifters. Medium bands offer a balance between the two.

How to choose between light vs medium vs heavy band weight.

That’s the simplest answer to the question “should I use light, medium, or heavy resistance bands”.

The table below can help you to more decisively choose a resistance band weight according to your own goals and abilities:

Training Experience (Months)Band Weight To Build MuscleBand Weight To Lose FatBand Weight For Cardio
Beg (0-3 months)LightLightLight
Int (3-12 months)MediumLightLight
Adv (12-24 months)HeavyMediumLight

This is a very generalized view of things.

In reality, it’s usually best to have a set of bands comprising light, medium, and heavy resistance bands (one of each).

Why It’s Good To Have More Than One Resistance Band

Have you ever noticed online that resistance bands with different colors and weights are usually sold as a set?

Yet other brands also sell their bands as a set labeled light to heavy.

Why it is good to have more than one resistance band.

Here are the main reasons why it’s beneficial to have more than one resistance band at your disposal:

  • Different muscles need different resistances. Smaller muscles like the biceps need lighter bands. Larger muscles like the legs need heavier bands. It’s best to accommodate both in your program.
  • Different exercises need different resistances. Lighter bands are great for isolation-type movements like the bicep curl. But heavier bands are required to challenge you on compound movements like the squat.
  • Strength increases with training. You’ll naturally get stronger the more you train. If you don’t accommodate for strength gains by using progressively heavier bands, your training results will stagnate.
  • Different goals need different resistances. As mentioned before, muscle-building workouts require a heavier resistance band than fat-loss workouts which can make do with a lighter band. Most people will undertake multiple goals throughout their journey. Sometimes even working on two goals at once.
  • Stacking multiple bands gives greater versatility. Having more than one resistance band allows you to stack them in different combinations to create different weights. This gives you a much more versatile range of resistance band weights to work with.

Therefore to enjoy the full benefits of using resistance bands, it’s usually best to buy more than one band.

That being said, some people may still choose to buy a specific weight range for their resistance bands.

They just can’t decide which to get.

For example; it’s not uncommon to be stuck between choosing light vs heavy, light vs medium, or medium vs heavy resistance bands.

That’s what I’ll help you to decide next!


If you don’t know why band weights are given as a range, you can go to my other post which explains what resistance band weight means!

Should You Get Light Or Heavy Resistance Bands?

Beginners who are interested in cardio, weight loss, or general fitness should get light resistance bands. In contrast, intermediate-advanced lifters who are interested in building muscle and strength should get heavy resistance bands.

Should I use light or heavy resistance bands?

This is a fairly straightforward decision.

Here’s how to decide between getting light or heavy resistance band:

Light Resistance BandHeavy Resistance Band
Great for cardio, weight loss, and general fitness workouts.Great for workouts aimed at building muscle and strength.
Suitable for beginners with 0-3 months of weight training experience.Suitable for intermediate and advanced lifters with 3-24 months or more of weight training experience.
Safe for people who can lift 0.5x their body weight on the main compound lifts (bench press, squat, row).Safe for people who can lift 1x their body weight on the main compound lifts (bench press, squat, row).
Ideal for training the upper body.Ideal for upper and lower body training.
Mainly used for isolation-type movements.Mainly used for compound-type movements.

I use and recommend the Undersun Fitness bands. The set has 5 bands in total including extra light, light, heavy, and extra heavy bands.

If you’re interested, you can find the cheapest Undersun price here!


You may also be interested in my other post to find out the lightest and heaviest resistance bands currently available on the market!

Should You Get Light Or Medium Resistance Bands?

Beginners who are interested in cardio, weight loss, and light muscle-building should get light resistance bands. In contrast, intermediates who are interested in gaining muscle and strength at a moderate level should get medium resistance bands.

Should I use light or medium resistance bands?

Choosing between a light or medium resistance band is slightly more difficult as the lines are more blurred.

You may be looking for a light band, but what if it’s TOO light? Will you need something heavier? I.e. a medium band?

Here’s how to decide between getting a light or medium resistance band:

Light Resistance BandMedium Resistance Band
Great for low-intensity cardio, weight loss, general fitness, and muscle toning workouts.Great for moderate-intensity cardio, weight-loss, and muscle-building workouts.
Suitable for beginners with 0-3 months of weight training experience.Suitable for beginner to intermediate lifters with 0-12 months or more of weight training experience.
Safe for people who can lift 0.5x their body weight on the main compound lifts (bench press, squat, row).Safe for people who can lift 0.75x their body weight on the main compound lifts (bench press, squat, row).
Ideal for training the upper body.Ideal for upper and lower body training.
Mainly used for isolation-type movements.Mainly used for compound-type movements.

Both resistance band weights are also suitable for banded pull-ups (depending on how much resistance you require).

As mentioned before, it’s usually best to get a light AND medium resistance band.

But you can refer to the above table if you’re only looking to get one or the other.

I use and recommend the Undersun Fitness bands. The set has 5 bands in total including extra light, light, and medium bands.

If you’re interested, you can find the cheapest Undersun price here!

Should You Get Medium Or Heavy Resistance Bands?

Intermediates who are interested in cardio, weight loss, and moderate muscle-building should get medium resistance bands. Advanced lifters who are focused on building maximum muscle and strength should go for heavy resistance bands.

Should I use medium or heavy resistance bands?

Again, the lines get blurred for someone trying to decide between using a medium or heavy resistance band.

You may be set on a medium band but what if it’s not enough to challenge your muscles for growth? Will you need a heavier band?

Here’s how to decide between getting a medium or heavy resistance band:

Medium Resistance BandHeavy Resistance Band
Great for moderate-intensity cardio, weight-loss, and muscle-building workouts.Great for high-intensity muscle and strength-building workouts.
Suitable for beginner to intermediate lifters with 0-12 months or more of weight training experience.Suitable for intermediate to advanced lifters with 12-24 months or more of weight training experience.
Safe for people who can lift 0.75x their body weight on the main compound lifts (bench press, squat, row).Safe for people who can lift 1-1.5x their body weight or more on the main compound lifts (bench press, squat, row).
Ideal for upper and lower body training.Ideal for upper and lower body training.
Mainly used for compound-type movements.Mainly used for compound-type movements.

Both resistance band weights are also suitable for banded pull-ups (depending on how much resistance you require).

As always, it’s usually best to get a set of resistance bands that covers the medium and heavy increments.

But if you have to choose one or the other then the above table should help you to decide!

I use and recommend the Undersun Fitness bands. The set has 5 bands in total including medium, heavy, and extra heavy bands.

If you’re interested, you can find the cheapest Undersun price here!

Best Resistance Band Set Recap

FAQ: Light Vs Medium Vs Light Resistance Bands

Here are some commonly asked questions on how to choose between light vs medium vs heavy resistance bands:

Are light resistance bands effective?

Light resistance bands are effective for low-intensity workouts. They can be used by beginners for cardio, burning fat, and increasing muscle tone. These bands are also used by intermediates for small exercises like the bicep curl and by advanced lifters for stretching.

Are medium resistance bands good?

Medium resistance bands are good for moderate-intensity workouts. They can be used by beginners to build muscle. These bands can also be used by intermediates to build muscle on large exercises like the squat and by advanced lifters on small exercises like the bicep curl.

Are heavy resistance bands good?

Heavy resistance bands are good for high-intensity workouts. They are commonly used by intermediates and advanced lifters to build muscle and strength. These bands are ideal for training the lower and upper body with compound as well as isolation-type exercises.

Conclusion

I’ve tried to help you decide whether to get light, medium, or heavy resistance bands.

In an ideal world, you would have access to a set that includes one band from each weight class.

However, that’s not always feasible.

If you’re trying to choose between one resistance band or the other then a general rule to help you decide is :

  • Light resistance bands are great for cardio, burning fat, and general fitness.
  • Medium resistance bands are perfect for muscle toning and light muscle-building.
  • Heavy resistance bands are ideal for building maximum strength and muscle.

What resistance band weight will you choose?

Let me know in the comments!

You may also be interested in the downloadable Kalibre Blueprint PDF which details exactly how I gained 40lbs of lean muscle (it’s 100% free!). It details the exact exercises and nutrition I used to go from skinny to ripped!

Thanks for reading guys!

Peace Out,

Kal

(Biochemistry BSc, Biomedical Sciences MSc, Ex-Skinny Guy)

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