Choosing a Safe Weight for Your Workout

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Although you may be tempted to lift as much as humanly possible, that’s neither smart nor safe. Being able to lift very heavy weights is a skill that will take time to master.

Most fitness experts will recommend starting small and increasing size as you advance. So caveman, put down that gianormous weight before you hurt someone.

Listen to Your Body

Your body will give you signs that you’re lifting more than you should. Symptoms may include pain and extreme muscle fatigue. It may take your muscles longer to recover and you may have to wait for a longer period of time until you’re able to lift again.

Try and Try Again

At first, you’ll need to go through some trial and error before you settle on the right size weight for your exercise. No single weight will be viable for all exercises. For instance, it’s unlikely you’ll use the same sized weight for bicep curls as leg presses.

The Right Way

You must test out a weight to determine if this is the size you should be using during your workout. Your goal should be to have the ability to do at least 8 to 12 repetitions with the weight. By the eighth rep, muscle fatigue should set in and the last few reps should feel very difficult. Go up one step in weight as you grow accustomed to the correct amount. Once you’re satisfied with the weight, increase resistance no more than 10 percent each week.

The Wrong Way

Are you able to lift a weight over 20 times without breaking a sweat? Or can barely do more than five reps with your selected weight? Too light is ineffective for building strength and endurance. Lifting too heavy of a weight puts you at a greater risk of injury.

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