Trainers call this intensity, and there are many formulas for determining which muscle-building intensity is ideal for you. Do not look at numbers in training programs, you should only trust your intuition. Use a weight that is heavy enough to challenge yourself on every rep, but not so heavy that you lose weight control, break technique, and risk injury .
How to understand that the weight is too heavy? In fact, everything is simple, if you help with jerks, perform an exercise in an incomplete amplitude, break the technique of execution or otherwise distort the shape of the body during execution, then the weight being lifted is too large.
How to calculate your training intensity
Now let’s figure out the numbers. The intensity of the exercise should be measured by 1RM. Which means “1 repetition with maximum weight”, which is the weight that you can only lift once.
- The minimum weight that will be useful to you in gaining strength and muscle mass is 60-65% of 1RM. For example, if you can lift 100 kilograms at one time, then the minimum weight that will benefit you is 60-65 kilograms.
- To maximize strength and muscle mass, use weights that are 80 to 90 percent of your 1RM. If you can lift 100 pounds, then that means you need to use 80 to 90 kg weights in your workouts.
- If you use weights below these thresholds, then you will train muscle endurance. You can incorporate lighter weights into your workouts to give your muscles rest and also increase their ability to distribute strength over a longer period.
In other words, you need to pick the heaviest weight that will allow you to complete all planned reps (the last rep can be done with the help of a buddy). That is, the fewer reps, the heavier the weight you should use, and vice versa, the more reps, the less weight.
Let’s say you are doing 10 reps, and if all 10 seem light, then you are using the weight too light. Conversely, if on the eighth repetition you already begin to struggle with weight, then the weight is selected correctly. What does “fight weight” mean? This is when the speed at which you are lifting the weight slows down significantly. If there was a struggle with weight, then this means that your muscles received the proper load. But the weight should not be such that you have to change the shape of the body, break the execution technique in order to lift it. So, when you choose the weight that you will lift, then your goal is to pick up such a weight so that you have muscle failure after each set. For example, if you chose 8-10 reps, then the lift should be difficult after six reps. After completing the last repetition, you should be sure that you would not have done another 1 repetition.
When to increase weights with exercise?
By using the weights described above, you will gradually build muscle and become stronger, and you will soon notice that the weight lifted is more familiar and easier to perform than before. This means that your body is improving, adjusting, and the weight that was ideal is no longer suitable for you. Weight gain is needed.
But before changing the weights, it is necessary to raise again the maximum weight by 1 time (which will already be more), and from it again to pick up the working weight.