Mon, February 9th, 2004, 10:46 AM
Hi all --
Here is the biggest problem I have. At what point do you increase the amount of weight that you are using for any particular exercise? I know the most obvious answer that people are tempted to give is "Increase the weight when it becomes easy" but it's not that simple. What is normal (on average) when it comes to lifting? Should I expect that if I'm training my biceps once a week that I should be able to increase the weight every week? Every 2 weeks? Longer? I would just like to know what's average in regard to this. I'd hate to be psychologically pigeon-holing myself into thinking that I can't lift more weight when I really could, but I also don't want to strain myself or lose good form by feeling obligated to increase weight when it's not practical.
Mon, February 9th, 2004, 11:06 AM
I know the most obvious answer that people are tempted to give is "Increase the weight when it becomes easy" but it's not that simple. How about "Increase the weight when you're not sore after a workout any more" ? Trying to find these averages is pointless. You're unique. You are not the average. It doesn't apply directly. You have to figure this out for yourself. Your body will respond differently than anybody elses and you have to listen to your body. It's tough!
Mon, February 9th, 2004, 11:35 AM
when you can do 7 or 8 reps to failure on that weight.. i'll bump it up 5lbs
Mon, February 9th, 2004, 03:20 PM
are you just starting out?
what are your goals?
generally if you are lifting to failure (after a few light warm-up sets), you should not be able to do more then 8 reps with a given weight...
so when you can get the 8th rep without a probelm, then it is time to increase the weight for the following week.
Tue, February 10th, 2004, 03:07 AM
As long as you log every rep you lift, you can develop a method that will give you a clear signal when to add weight. For example, I've been going by Max OT, (6 sets of 4-6 reps), so I keep my weight logs like this:
Date.. Exercise... Wt. Sets
02/07 Barbell Curl 65 666554
Each digit in the Sets column tells how many reps I did for that set, so here I did 3 sets of 6 reps, two sets of 5, and one set of 4. I keep using the same weight each week, adding reps as I gain strength, until the sets read 666666. Then I increase the weight.
Of course, it's good to mix up the exercises for each muscle group, so for a biceps workout, I might do 3 sets of barbell curls and 3 sets of concentration curls or something, but the method is the same: whenever I get sixes across the board for a given exercise, I increase the weight the next time. (I don't count warmup sets in this.)
Naturally, you can plug in whatever combination of sets/reps you want for your target, but I've found it helpful to give myself a nice, simple rule for when to increase weight.
BTW, regarding frequency of weight increase, I imagine it differs from person to person, somewhat. When I started in September, I took a couple weeks to figure out my appropriate weight levels for the various exercises, and I was adding weight every week or two for a while. Now, I think I'm past the initial surge, and I tend to add weight about every 2-3 weeks for most exercises. (Ectomorph here.)
Tue, February 10th, 2004, 07:10 AM
If you usually do your sets to 10 reps with 50# and now you can do 12 reps, I would increase 5#. At 55#, you should be able to 8-10 reps. When you are in the same situation, up the weight again. I hope that helps!