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How much weight should I start lifting?

When starting resistance weight training for the first time, it is advisable to keep your intensity low. To determine your intensity level think about the hypothetical maximum amount of effort you could possibly commit to a particular exercise. In this case, you could think about it as the largest amount of weight you could lift. Do not do this; this is simply a mental exercise intended to help you find the correct starting point. Your intensity level will be expressed as a percentage of your maximum possible effort. In the beginning, you should keep your intensity level at about 50%. You should be able to complete 12 to 20 controlled, quality repetitions. The focus should be on achieving correct form and maintaining control over the entire range of motion. Starting at too high of a weight can result in bad form, which will not work the muscles you intend and could cause injury. If you injure yourself you will not be able to exercise, and this can completely derail your goals. As you progress, you will be able to periodically increase the weight you lift. Just remember that you should never sacrifice good form and control for higher weight.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.