How Much Weight to Lift?

I just thought I'd post a tip for those out there who may be new to weight training. How do you know when you should increase the weight you are lifting on a certain exercise?

While it is important not to over do it in the beginning and to start with light weight, most women never use a weight that is challenging enough. Using the same weight and the same amount of repetitions over and over again will not get you anything.

If you are just beginning a weight training program, I think it's best to stay between 8-12 repetitions. At first you may have to experiment to see what weight you need to use for a given exercise. Pick a weight and do 12 repetitions-if that's too easy and you feel like could have done more reps, then you know you need to go heavier on the next set.

However, if it's so heavy that you lose good form, or if you can't complete at least 8 repetitions, the weight is too heavy. You do want to make sure that the last couple of reps in the set are hard to complete, but without losing proper form.

Your muscles have to be challenged a little more each time you train them. It's called progressive overload. That means that as you get stronger and the weight begins to feel easier, you should try to increase the weight. That's the only way your muscles become stronger and bigger. Otherwise, they just stay the same and you are achieving nothing. Remember-don't even think about "toning" vs. building muscle. They're basically the same thing. You can't be toned without building muscle!

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