How Heavy Do I Lift?
The weight should be so heavy that you can only move it 10 times in a row. (10 “reps” in gym-speak).
If you can lift it for more than ten reps, it’s not lifting weights any more; it’s cardio. Cardio is good for you but we’re talking about lifting for now.
That said, technically, there are many set and rep ranges.
- 5 sets of 5 reps
- 4 sets of 15 reps
- 3 sets of 8 reps
But you can get great results with three sets of 10 reps and it’s easy to remember!
Whatever the rep range, it better be really hard to move it at the end!
Hey! This is uncomfortable!
YES! It’s called exercise and it makes your muscles burn! In my experience, new exercisers stop at the first sign of discomfort. Muscle pain good. Joint pain bad.
Side Effects Include Getting Stronger
Ooops, don’t look now, but the weight you were using last month is probably too light now. In fact – in the first MONTH YOU MIGHT GET TWICE AS STRONG (without getting big or bulky). It’s because strength is a product of nerve coordination, not just muscle size.
Train hard, but don’t let your form break down.
Poor form hurts us in two ways:
1. You’re not using the muscles you’re supposed to develop. So what’s the point of that lift?
2. It’s not safe. Our body is strong in certain positions and extremely weak in other positions.
I don’t get asked this much anymore, but ladies, if you’re worried about getting big and bulky, relax. You have to eat a ton to do that. Lift heavy and you can still be small and feminine, if that’s what you’re going for. Personally I don’t think small = feminine, but a lot of my female clients are going for that look. But hey, whatever you’re into, I can help you get there. That’s why I customize nutrition and training programs, because there are options for how our body looks.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably new to exercise. I want to tell you that you should change your set and rep range every 4-8 weeks. You should also change the movements you do.