How To Choose An Appropriate Weight

Everyone that goes to a gym goes for a reason, they want something to change. They want to get “better at something” those things can range from body composition, improve their lifestyle, sports performance, reduce or prevent aches and pains, and just feel good overall.


No matter what your goal is, one thing that is always the same is, you need to continually challenge your body in different ways.


One way I feel that people fail to challenge themselves is with the weight that they use. Frankly most of the time it is too light.


Too help understand this I want to use a little analogy.


I am sure we can all agree that reading books is good for you and will help stimulate your brain and increase your cognitive abilities correct?


However in order to truly stimulate your brain would it make sense to constantly read a children’s book that is about 8 pages and mostly pictures day in and day out? You may get a little something out of it but you know you are much more capable than that. You would just be going through the motions. You would want to find a book that you can read successfully but provides some sort of challenge.


The exact same concept can be applied to lifting weights. In order to get stronger and see results we need to use an appropriate weight. This is not to say that lifting lighter weights is bad but if you are not seeing the results you want then maybe it’s time to change something.


Our muscles have the ability to create a certain amount of force. If we are using a weight that is too light our muscles will not be stimulated as much. It is pretty simple; in order to see change you must first choose a weight that is appropriate and second continually increase that weight as needed.


Now I know there are two major reasons people are a little skeptical to increase weights.


The first reason being that they don’t want to get hurt. I don’t want someone to take what I said and turn it into “I need to use the heaviest weight possible”. That is not what I am saying at all. Focus on form first no matter what, being in a good safe position is always the number one priority with strength training. If you safely increase the weight as your body adapts to it you won’t increase your risk for injury.


Another common thing I hear is that people don’t want to get “bulky”. Now I completely understand that and my job is to help you get the results that you want whatever they may be. Lifting heavy weights does not make you bulky, it simply does not work like that. There are many different factors that determine ones body composition.


Remember I am also not saying that everyone needs to lift the maximum amount of weight they can, all I am saying is that in order to see results you must choose a weight that provides some sort of stimulus for our muscles.


-Coach Pat

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