Today’s “Ask Lee”, comes from John Robertson, Seattle. He says: “Mr.Labrada, I am a just starting out with weight training and I’m really not sure how to choose the right amount of weight to train with? Can you give me some guidelines?”
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John, congratulations on starting out your workout program. There’s no other kind of exercise that is more rewarding, nor more productive in terms of body composition and health.
The important thing to remember is that you will be using the weights and machines to stimulate your muscles. You want to stress your muscles enough to make them grow, but not so much that you over train them and break them down more than you can recover from. It’s helpful to think about this example.
Think about sun tanning. The right amount will of sun will get you nice and tan. Too much sun results in a sunburn. Same with muscles! The right amount of training makes your muscles grow. Too much makes you lose muscle.
OK so how do we choose the right amount of weight? Select a weight you can lift about 10 times. This weight should be heavy enough that by the 10th repetition, it should become difficult to lift.
This will take a little trial and error at first, but you’ll quickly figure out how much you can handle.
Each repetition, or “rep” should take you about 2 sec to lift and 3 sec to return to the start position.
Exercise until you cannot do another unassisted repetition. Once you can do more than 10 repetitions with the weight increase the weight by a little bit, as little as 2 1/2 pounds. Incidentally, this is why weight training is called progressive resistance training. That is once we become acclimated to training with a certain weight, then we increase it slightly to keep the muscles growing and progressing.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Until next time, I am
Your Lean Body Coach™
About the Author
One of the world’s most well-known and celebrated bodybuilding legends, Lee Labrada holds 22 professional bodybuilding titles, including the IFBB Mr. Universe. He is one of few pro bodybuilders in history to consistently place in the top four at the Mr. Olympia competition (the “Super Bowl” of bodybuilding) for seven consecutive years—a feat he shares with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
He has appeared on the covers of more than 100 bodybuilding and fitness magazines and has been featured on CNBC, FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and ESPN as a fitness and nutrition expert.
Lee was also inducted into the Bodybuilding Hall of Fame, is an Internationally known best selling fitness authos and holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. For more about Lee please visit his page here: Lee Labrada’s page.