Knowing When And How to Increase Your Weights in Your Workouts

Getting in shape is always an exciting time. If you haven’t been to the gym for a while, the thought of getting back into the groove of pumping iron and getting your sweat on can be invigorating. The problem is that lots of people get overwhelmed once they are back in the weight room. They pick up some weights and start lifting, feeling good about themselves. But after that, what happens? How many sets should they do? Was the amount of reps enough? Are they going too easy? too hard?

This is a common affliction for beginners, but also for those who frequent to the gym often it can get a little confusing to know how and when to increase their regimen. I answer some questions that many members have when it comes to increasing weights.

How do you know when to increase weight?

Everyday is different. You should always start out light and if you feel good, move up on to your next set. What does feeling good mean? Feeling good means you can do 3 to 4 more reps no problem. If you feel weak that day keep it light. Unless you are competing at a high level, you should always stop when you know you can only do 1 or 2 more reps. This really helps to prevent injuries.

Is there a certain amount of weight that should be increased?

It depends on the lift. For upper body lifts 5 to 10lb increases. Legs can be anywhere between 5 and 25 pounds.

When do you increase reps rather than weight? How do you know to do which one?

This is a personal preference, depending on how you feel. The standard reps for my workouts are 10 reps upper body 15 reps legs, 20 to 30 reps abs. Some times to push it I will do 15 reps upper and 20 to 25 on lower body.

When you add weight, should I do the same amount of reps or start lower?

I keep my reps the same unless I am trying to build strength and size, then I will lift heavier with fewer reps.

Something To Remember

Extreme workouts with reps and weights can be challenging and fun but there is a higher risk for injury. Unless you have a big sports contract where your feeding your family on your performance. Keep your work out simple and safe. It’s a marathon not a sprint.

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