How Much Weight Should You Lift?

How Much Weight Should You Lift?

It’s a well-known fact that if you want to develop your muscles, you need to lift weights. But how much weight should you lift?

There’s actually no definitive weight that’s right for everyone. A 20-pound weight might be too much for skinny newbies, but it might be inconsequential for huge, muscular guys.

Instead, you have to factor in your own fitness goals, along with your current strength levels. There’s a certain amount of trial and error involved, but you should be able to identify the correct weights for you.

First, the Form

Before anything else, you need to master the proper form for lifting weights. It’s not just that the right form makes it easier for you to lift heavier weights. It’s also because the wrong form increases the risk of injuries.

That’s why in the beginning, start with very light weights while you master the right form for your lifting exercises. You can check out the right form in YouTube videos, or you can go to your local Planet Fitness gym and get a trainer to help you out.

Then you can go with heavier weights, while still focusing on the form. If the weight is messing up your form, then it’s probably too heavy.

Lightweights for Muscular Endurance

It’s not always right that lighter weights aren’t that good for you. These lighter weights are good enough to help you master the form. Also, lighter weights allow for more reps, and that’s good for muscular endurance.

This is what you need if you’re a fan of endurance sports. These include rowing, cross-country skiing, distance running, and the triathlon. It’s also good for hiking, and for energetic sports such as basketball.

The right weight allows you to do up to about 12 to 15 reps per set. If you can do 30 reps and you’re not tired afterwards, then the weight is just too light.

The last 3 reps should feel challenging enough, but still light enough that you can do the exercise with proper form. You still have to train to fatigue, when another rep is just not doable anymore.

Heavier Weights for Strength

This is perhaps the more common reason for lifting weights. It’s not just about achieving personal records in the gym, either. Strength is useful for everyday life. You’ll find it easier to lift various stuff around the house, and it’s easier to lift your kids (and your significant other) as well.

You need the resistance because of how the process works. You lift weights to create micro-tears in your muscle, and then your muscle uses the protein in your system to rebuild to become bigger and stronger.

But you won’t stress your muscles enough unless you’re going with the heavier weights.

So, how much weight is heavy enough? Generally, you gain muscle if you lift weights that allow you to do about 6 to 12 reps at the most per set. You need more weight than more reps. And as a side benefit, it’s more time-efficient because you’re not doing as many reps.

Progressive Overload

Whether you’re going with light or heavy weights, another important factor to consider is progressive overload. In other words, you have to keep increasing the weights over time, or you need to increase the reps.

This is because your muscles get stronger, and they adapt to the current weight you’re lifting. Eventually, the weight isn’t stressing your muscles enough. Your results have to be better over time. If they’re not getting better, then you’re actually getting worse.

Finally, the right weight is a truly serious issue if you have a medical condition like arthritis or you’re obese. You might want to be very sure by checking with your doctor first. Your doctor might also know a trainer who can help you out.

How Do I Choose The Right Weight?

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