When it comes to lifting weights, two of the most common errors found in gyms, even resistance based group fitness classes, are reduced ranges of movement and loss of form or technique as a result of poor weight selection. Potentially this could lead to injury and the person not achieving their desired health or fitness goal.
At the other end of the scale, large numbers of people will opt out of training with weights all together or, train with weights that are simply not heavy enough to achieve their training goals.
So, where do we start?
Researchers at a Midwest US University wanted to find out if beginner exercisers were lifting the right amount of weight when exercising. Studies were conducted on 30 men and women, asking them to choose their weights for five different exercises. The majority of the participants chose weights that were too low (42% - 57% of their One-Rep Max) to result in any physical gains.
The One Rep Max (1 RM) is the highest possible weight you could lift on a particular exercise if you only did one repetition. When strength training, you should be lifting a weight that is about 60-70% of this 1 RM. While a trainer could help you figure this out, here’s an easier way: With a bit of trial and error, find a weight that you can lift (with proper form) at least 8 times, but no more than 15. As you get stronger, and reach 15 reps, it’s time to increase your weight again.
Jon Morgan is a fitness expert and transformation specialist from Eastbourne ( East Sussex, UK ). Having worked with professional athletes and everyday people Jon uses his innovative techniques, education...