How Much Weights Should I Be Lifting?

Man lifting a barbell

Weight lifting is becoming much more popular in terms of exercise training. Once considered to be the realm of men, more women than ever are turning to weight lifting as well to help define their muscles and build strength.

But men and women alike need to have the facts about weight training before they get started. And one of the biggest questions is how much they should be lifting.

What Happens To The Muscles When You Lift Weights?

Before you can determine how much you will need to lift, it can help to understand what the process of weight lifting is doing to your body. As you lift a weight, you stress the muscles that are involved in the process.  When you stress the muscles, they will start to break down slightly.

There are microscopic tears that form in the muscles as you work to your limits, but this is a good thing. When these tears repair themselves that is when you will start to build muscles and become stronger. However, your muscles will need time to finish these reparations, so a rest period of about forty-eight hours between routines is recommended and strongly advised.

How Heavy Should I Be Lifting?

When you’re just starting out in weight lifting, you’ll want to remember one thing: less is more. Since you’re not sure of your current muscle strength capabilities, you will want to make sure that you’re not trying to do too much too soon.

This overexertion can lead to injuries that will put a damper on your training plans. You will want to start by not using any weights at all until you have learned the proper form for the weight training exercises that you want to perform.

When you feel that you have the movements correct, you can then move to light weights. Try to pick the lightest weight that you can to see how many repetitions you can do.

If you can do 10 to 12 repetitions without straining, you may want to try a heavier weight.

The perfect weight will be one that allows you to perform the movements correctly, but leaves you feeling tired during the final repetitions. You should feel at the end that you cannot complete any more.

However, not all of the repetitions should feel like this. When you’re having trouble with all of the movements, you need to lighten the weight that you are using until you grow stronger.

Increased Strength Gains Will Allow Heavier Lifting

As you increase your strength, you will be able to increase your weight that you are lifting.  Some people find that raising their weight by five pounds each time is enough to be harder on their muscles without being impossible, but it might be different for you.

This is why many beginners like the gym weight machine setup, as they are able to test out a wide range of weights before selecting the one that suits their strength.

If you ever feel pain when you are lifting a weight, you need to stop what you are doing, check your form, and then lighten the weight to see if the pain returns. If the pain does return, you should stop lifting and consult a physician, but if the pain is gone, it may have been that you were trying to lift a little too much.

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