Posted on September 08 2023
Whether you’re an absolute novice at the gym or go beast mode every day on the bench press, weight training is a great way to get in shape and increase confidence. However, knowing which weight set is right for you and your fitness level is crucial. Read on to discover some tips for finding the best weight for your fitness needs and avoiding gym injuries.
How To Find the Right Weight Set
Learning about the right weight set before attempting any weight training exercise is crucial. You don’t want to lift more than you can handle or attempt so little weight that you fail to challenge yourself. Let’s review tips for knowing which weight set is right for you and how to make progress with your physical strength.
Challenge Yourself at the Last Few Reps
Fitness is often a physical experiment to see what weights, exercises, and movements work best for your body. More specifically, it can take a few sets to see where your sweet spot is for the exercises, which can help determine which weight to pick up the following set. If the weight is heavy enough that you struggle to complete the last few reps and have a chance of failure, it’s most likely the best weight for you.
For instance, if you plan on performing three sets of twelve repetitions, you should focus on resting on the eighth rep. This pause can allow you to correct your form and focus on how the last few reps feel. If a weight is too heavy, you will struggle with maintaining proper form or hitting specific repetitions during a workout.
Correspond Weight With Specific Exercises
Each type of weight training exercise you do will involve a different weight. For instance, your lower body tends to be physically stronger than your upper body, so it’s common for your lower body to handle more challenging weights. Lower body exercises, including deadlifts, lunges, and squats, can subsequently take more weight.
On the opposite hand, working your upper body, such as your back, chest, biceps, and triceps, requires you to start with less weight. Because these muscles are significantly smaller than your lower body muscles, it’s best to choose lighter weights that provide better control and movement. Don’t compromise form by selecting a weight that doesn’t challenge you or by selecting one that hurts you—focus on using weights that support each exercise in your routine.
Practicing Trial and Error
Ignoring bodily cues can quickly lead to injury and compromised form. Whether you choose 10 or 75 pounds, your performance comes down to your experience. When starting weight training, try to avoid increasing your weight too quickly to ensure proper form.
One method of moving up in weight is by practicing progressive overload—this training technique involves performing at one weight for two sets and seeing if you can increase volume. If your first two sets are relatively easy and lack challenge, you can add a few pounds pounds to your final set and perform until failure. Trial and error is a big part of determining which weight set is right for you.
Tips for Avoiding Injuries
One of the most important parts of weight training preventing injuries and long-lasting damage to the body. Use these helpful tips to ensure your body can handle weight training and continuously progress. The satisfaction you’ll feel from taking precautions in weight training will increase your confidence and progress!
Practice Proper Posture
Performing the exercise with improper technique and posture can quickly lead to injuries. Poor posture can rip, wrench, and pull muscles or tear delicate tissues within a second. Furthermore, a stray dumbbell or rolling barbell can also create a dangerous scenario in the gym. It’s crucial to understand the specific bio-mechanical pathways each body part goes through—legs and arms move in particular ways, and it’s crucial to keep these movement patterns in mind.
Striving for technical perfection in each exercise and not performing uncomfortable twisting, contorting, or turning can help you push or pull weight properly. Practicing core engagement, moving slowly with control, and learning how to bail out safely can protect you from bodily injury.
Warming Up Before Exercise
Warming up is a helpful way to prepare your body for challenging exercises and complex movements. The last thing you want is to pull a muscle or accidentally obtain a physical injury while performing weight training exercises. So, practicing proper warm-ups can help prepare your muscles for your favorite activities.
Warm-ups consist of low-intensity, high-rep, and rapid-paced exercise movements that increase blood flow throughout your muscles and joints. It helps to increase bodily temperatures while decreasing blood viscosity, increasing flexibility, and promoting mobility. Warm muscles with blood surging through them increase in pliability and elasticity compared to cold, stiff muscles. Warm-up exercises such as swimming, stair climbing, jogging, and stationary biking can help warm the muscles.
Don’t Go Overboard on Weight
It’s easy to go up to a squat rack, immediately put on 125-pound plates, and attempt a squat. However, without the proper gauging and preparation, overloading can quickly lead to failure and bodily injury. Doing too much too quickly can lead to long recovery times and potentially life-long physical damage. So, it’s incredibly important to gauge where your weight set challenges you in the last few reps.
As previously discussed, too much weight can have a high risk of bodily injury. Using too much weight can often result in being unable to control the weight as you go down, inability to contain movement, and more. Start with lower weight to master form and core engagement, then use the progressive overload method in your last set to challenge yourself until failure.
Let Your Body Rest
If there’s one crucial aspect to avoiding bodily injuries during weight training, it’s to let your body rest. Rest is essential in allowing your muscles to repair themselves and ensuring your physical progress continues. Overtraining can negatively impact your body’s strength levels and conditioning, deterring progress.
Furthermore, it interferes with your nervous system and muscle’s ability to repair, as glycogen and ATP chemical storage become depleted when metabolic agitation occurs. When your body enters a weakened, depleted state, injuries are more likely to occur in athletes. Learning to cut back to three or four workout sessions a week and keeping training to between 45 minutes to an hour can do wonders for physical progress.
Extreme Training Equipment is a professional-grade gym equipment provider that supports local gyms, military, police, and fire facilities, high schools, and more. Our Olympic weights allow bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts, and athletes to challenge themselves at competitive prices without sacrificing quality. For more information about our gym equipment, contact us today.