One of the hardest lessons for starting athletes is figuring out how much weight they should be lifting. Should they be focusing on more reps rather than more weight? Should they be lifting to the point of pure exhaustion? When should they lift heavier? Even after you figured out the balance between reps and weight, the time will eventually come where you feel like you should be doing more. You may feel like what you’re doing is too easy, but how much is too much?
Evaluating Your Current Form
When it comes to recognizing the point you need to upgrade your weight, your form will be the main factor. How fast your lift your weights and how you feel after finishing a set are your primary indicators. If your last several lifts are markedly slower than your first, and you feel they are a challenge to finish, then you are still lifting at the right weight. If you finish your reps at a regular pace with only a little bit of sweat, it’s probably time to start lifting heavier.
Many athletes see lifting heavier weights as an excuse to go big. They overcompensate how much they can lift and, thinking it will lead to big muscles fast, bite off more than they can chew. Stay realistic, add only a little bit more weight on a weekly basis. If you get used to lifting 20 pounds, lift 22 pounds the next week. If you feel as if the 22 pound weight doesn’t require significant effort, move up to 24 pounds the week after. You’ll eventually get to the weight that makes you feel like you did when you first started lifting, without going so high that you break form and risk injury.
Keep in mind that adding weight is not the only way to improve your workout. Sometimes switching up with other exercises, or adding a couple of more reps may be the answer. Usually, you can do a combination of all three! To find a fun new way to exercise, try one of our free classes at PumpFit Club!