How Much Weight to Use During Strength Training Activities

Thursday, November 29, 2012

hand weights

Many women want to start a strength training routine but aren’t sure how much weight to use. Start with resistance bands, soup cans, or light weights (1 to 3 pounds) and build up to tighter bands or heavier weights as you feel and become stronger.

Not sure whether you’re at the right level for you? Wondering if it’s time to ramp things up with your strength training routine?

Use these general guidelines for each exercise:

1. You are probably working with the right amount of weight or resistance if:

  • You can do 10 repetitions but then need to take a break.

  • After a break, you can do a 2nd set of 10 repetitions.

2. You may need to reduce the weight or resistance if:

  • Getting up to 10 repetitions is really, really hard.

  • You cannot do 2 sets of 10 repetitions.

What you can do:

  • Try working with less resistance or lighter weights.

  • Try starting out with 5 to 7 repetitions, and then build up to 10.

  • Can you do 1 set of 10 repetitions but not 2? Make your second set 5 to 7 repetitions and work your way up to 10.

3. It may be time to increase the weight or resistance if:

  • You feel like you can keep going after 10 repetitions.

  • You can do 15 to 20 repetitions without a break.

  • You can do 2 sets of 10 repetitions, with only a little break.

What you can do:

  • Try doing the first set with your current weight or resistance and go to the next weight or resistance on the second set.

  • Try heavier weights or greater resistance for both sets.

Lifting weights that are too heavy or over doing it can lead to injury, so it’s important to listen to your body during strength training activities.


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