I get it… Not everyone loves strength training. It makes a certain amount of sense since there is plenty of chatter about using lighter weights to tone the muscles. Now, trust me… I’m not mocking what other people say, that’s there prerogative.
Here’s the deal from my perspective though.
Strength training assists us with
- burning fat
- increasing bone density (this means less breaks and fractures as we age, particularly women)
- boosting confidence AND…
- gets us through every day life
Here’s the other BIG thing to consider, strength training or resistance training is unique from person to person. The maximum amount of weight that I can lift today will be different from yours, which will also be different from your friend and your other friend. The common ground is that it is really important, for all of us.
I know another big concern is that some of us get a little more bulky than others when doing some serious strength training. If this is the case, which it certainly can be… then you want to vary the weights that you use throughout your workouts on a weekly basis. Not to mention there’s zero benefit to lifting the max amount of weight you can lift every single time you workout.
So how do you know where to start?
There’s a little bit of trial and error that goes into it. For starters though, you’d want to set aside some time to pick few exercises that you’d be curious to knowing your max amount of weight that you can move. You’d likely only want to test 1-2 of these exercises a day and spread them out over the course of a week. Trying to lift your maximum amount of weight for a single exercise will be very challenging, you don’t want to test several in one day, unless you are at a competition.
Once you know your numbers take them into consideration when you are deciding which weights to use for your workouts. If the workout has rep schemes that 8-12 or more, use a lesser percentage of the weight. If the rep scheme is 3-5 or less, consider using a greater percentage of your maximum weight and vary those higher percentages from workout to workout so you aren’t always doing the same. Remember, attempting 100% of your weight all the time isn’t a good thing.
When it comes to H.I.I.T. (high intensity interval training) keep in mind that high intensity doesn’t necessarily mean fast. This could be a great opportunity to use a slightly heavier weight for one exercise and lighter to moderate weight for the other exercises, provided the rep/set scheme is appropriate. Adding in strength training here will help with all the attributes of lifting heavier weights that were listed out above while also feeling like you’ve worked out doing the H.I.I.T. component of the workout.
If you aren’t quite into the whole idea of lifting heavier weights this will be a mindset shift for sure. It’s OK to ease into it, remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. Mixing up the amount of weight you use during your workout program as a whole (meaning month over month) helps you to avoid serious plateaus so from that standpoint it’s highly important to vary the amount of weight you use for both different exercises and the same.
Want to see what I’m talking about, stop in to set up a success session with one of coaches today!