Whether you’re beginning a strength training routine for the first time, you’re working to build your athletic performance, you want to build muscle mass or you’re trying to lose weight, lifting can make a meaningful difference. To do this, you’ll need to use the right sized weights. However, choosing weights can be easier said than done.
If you want to make sure that you get results and avoid injuring yourself, then learning how to pick the right size weights should be one of the first steps you take. This means that you will need to choose a weight that will have enough to it to force you to use your muscles in a challenging way. The purpose is to encourage your muscles to grow stronger and adapt based on your demands of them.
However, the right size weights won’t be so heavy that you’ll sacrifice the form of your movements and either use your joints improperly or engage muscles that aren’t supposed to be a part of the exercise.
Use the following points to help you to know whether or not you’ve selected the correct weights for your current needs, fitness levels and goals:
• Those last few reps are work
At the same time, while the last few reps from your set should be challenging, they shouldn’t cause you to compromise the proper form of the movement. You need to be able to maintain your form right up until the last rep, though know that you wouldn’t be able to do it much longer.
• One weight size may not be right for all exercises
If you’re using weights for different types of exercise and different muscle groups, you may need to use different sizes. The weights you use to work your legs will likely need to be heavier than the ones you’re using to work your arms, for example.
• The size of the weight depends on the type you’re using
Just because your hand weights are a certain size, it doesn’t mean that you’d be able to use the same weight in kettlebells, dumbbells or other forms. Consider each exercise and type of weight independently as you determine what you should be using.
• Add more weight as you get stronger
The weights you choose won’t be the same ones you’ll use forever. As you get stronger and the weights you’re currently using become lighter to lift, you’ll need to get heavier ones to make the exercises challenging once again.