What Weight Should I Use?

 

Goals

Knowing what weights to lift is determined highly from your goals.  

Are you trying to get Tone?  SWOLE?  Strong? 

Knowing your goal, you can choose between these three set and rep ranges.

Set and Rep Ranges for Specific Goals

Set and Rep Ranges for Specific Goals

Feel

Using strict form, as you should always be doing, a good way to judge appropriate weight is this...

If you are going for a set of 10 reps, rep 8 should be difficult forcing you to really have to go after rep 9 and 10. 

If you get to rep 10 with ease, increase the weight (typically 5 pounds at a time unless you know it was entirely too light).

If you can't get passed 6 reps, you know to decrease the weight.

Warm Up

Don’t forget to warm up!  Warming up is a great way to prevent injuries.  Just think about it…

You just got off of work where you’ve probably been sitting for 7 hours straight, you walk into the gym "cold", load the bar for a heavy back squat and then SNNNNAAAAPPP!  You just tore your knee, broke your hip and bulged a disc.  Why?  Because your body wasn’t primed to exercise.

You can’t accelerate in your car without first putting the key in the ignition.

The three W’s of exercise:  Warm up, warm up, warm up.

My favorite warm up is a simple half mile jog or a 5 minute jog.  This gets my heart rate up and my body ready to squat.  I still do a minimum of two warm up sets of whatever exercise I’m starting with to prime my body even further.

If my workout is a circuit, I will go one or two times through the entire circuit using low weights.  I do this to give me an opportunity to search for sore spots or tightness.

Get out there, warm up and work hard in the gym.  I'll talk to you next week!