It’s Trainer Tip Tuesday. Here is a question I get all the time. How much weight is considered lifting “heavy”?
The short answer is that heavy is relative to YOU, your fitness and strength level, and dependent on which exercise you are doing. There is no set number, but it is definitely more than the weight of the purse you carry!
How much you lift while doing a back squat will be very different from what you use on leg press. The amount you pull in a row will be very different from what you use for a bicep curl, etcetera. Your heavy is unique from anyone else just like your journey.
You will never know what your heavy is until you challenge yourself to try. Stop fearing the heavy weight section of the gym. Walk over there and pick up a weight, one you never thought you could lift (be reasonable of course). Aim for as many reps as possible with proper form for that exercise. Knowing proper form is vital so you don’t risk injuring yourself as you experiment with heavier weights. ASK QUESTIONS of professionals that are available to you, google and you tube are not always the best resource, since there are millions of “experts” online now. If you can lift that test weight for 8-12 reps that’s a good starting point. If you can lift more than 12 reps it’s too light. If you can fling it easily, it’s too light. If you can do your reps fast, it’s too light. You need to move carefully, slowly in both phases of the movement and focus on your core stabilization, the working muscle groups and the opposition groups as well. Continue to challenge yourself weekly or every few weeks and you will build muscle AND strength. As you do so, you will ramp up your metabolism and resting calorie burn! Remember muscle makes your body a fat burning machine!!! Don’t worry, you won’t suddenly bulk into a she-hulk...you need massive amounts of testosterone (steroids) and calories to grow that big...and to get super lean you would also need to focus on eating precise macros at a caloric deficit. It’s a complicated science, but know that getting started is as simple as experimenting.
If you are struggling to lose fat, the answer is not more cardio...it’s lift heavier and more efficiently and eat at a careful caloric deficit to burn fat but not lose muscle mass.
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