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How much weight should I use for resistance training?

Depending on your goals, you can use as low as 10% and as high as 100% of your one repetition max. Your one repetition maximum (1RM) is the heaviest weight you can lift, one time. There are typically four results (physical and physiological adaptations) individuals are trying to accomplish when performing resistance training: endurance, hypertrophy (increasing the size of a muscle), maximal strength, and power. Power adaptations require 1 to 10 repetitions performed as fast as possible at 30 to 45% of the one-repetition maximum (1RM), or approximately 10% of body weight. In other words, you will be lifting very lights weights but as quickly as possible, such as throwing medicine balls. If maximal strength adaptations are desired, the repetition range is one to five at 85 to 100% of the 1RM (or very heavy weight). Common examples of maximal strength exercises include performing heavy squats, dead lifts and bench press. Hypertrophy (muscle growth) is best achieved using 6 to 12 repetitions at 70 to 85% of the 1RM (or moderate weights combined with lots of exercises). Endurance is best achieved by performing 12 to 25 repetitions at 50 to 70% of the 1RM (or light/medium weights with short rest periods).

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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.