Samara Donald is: The Gym Coach

Make the most of your workout!

Picking the Right Weight

A question arose recently from a new friend who knew of my adventures in Gym coaching. “How do I know what is the right weight to work with at the gym?”

This is a great question that everyone should ask before working with weights. Work with a weight too light and you waste time in the gym. Too heavy and you could really hurt yourself.

Here are my tips for choosing the weight that’s right for you. Before beginning any new exercise with weights, do this TEST set to help you determine the right weight for you. Remember, what’s right for anyone else is not necessarily right for you – don’t try to keep up with someone else in the gym just for your ego.

  • Start knowing you are going to lift 12 reps (12 ‘lifts’ of the exercise)
  • Your ideal weight is that which begins feeling ‘heavy’ at around rep 6, heavier at 8, and by 10 you should be feeling like you can almost barely lift any further – then do 2 more reps to get to 12.
  • If you can’t get through 10 reps, the weight is to heavy.
  • If you’re getting to rep 12 and you can still keep going with no problem, the weight is too light.

As you keep doing a particular exercise, you get stronger (that’s the point!), so remember to constantly “check your weight” and insure that reps 10-12 are “very hard.” This will mean you will likely be increasing your ideal weight by 2-5 lbs every 2 weeks or so.

With these tips you are sure to get your maximum results from weight training.


One comment on “Picking the Right Weight

  1. Pingback: Basics for Beginners « TheGymCoach Blog

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This entry was posted on November 8, 2009 by in Training planning.
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