As everyone else has said, you need to increase the weight. Sitting around and doing something 100 times isn't beneficial, and you can get the same result with 8 reps at a higher weight. Can you buy resistance bands? I hear they are very effective, and cheap! Also, body weight exercises may be the way to go. Do push ups (on the wall, or on a staircase if you have one), squats, walking lunges, triceps dips. Google body weight exercises and you will find dozens of options.
There are no shortcuts. No magic bullets. No secret spells. What works is hard work, dedication, and a daily dose of chocolate.
Go up in weight, lower your reps. Staying at the same weight and just going up in reps is not particularly useful, really.
I am 5'4". Starting Weight (4.6.11) 164.6 First Goal 130 - Reached September 2011 Currently maintaining under 120 and working on changing my mental image of myself!
3/8/13 8:45 A
Strength training is not so much about burning calories-- cardio is that. Personally I track ST to see my progress over time, not so much for the calories burned.
Ruth in Cookeville, TN Central Time Zone
Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think - Christopher Robin to Pooh
Fitness Minutes: (85,382)
3/8/13 8:32 A
You should use weights that are challening enough that your muscle(s) reach exhaustation (you cannot possibly do another rep in good form) in 8-12 reps. Once you can lift 2-3 sets of 8-12 it's time to move up in weight/resistance.
I would highly recommend investing in barbells, they are more cost effective in the long run. Otherwise you're going to have to keep buying new sets of dumbells every time you need a more challenging weight. Resistence bands are another good addition.
If you are not challenging the muscle to exhaustation each set, your results and improvements will be much slower. Lift heavy and even heavier if you want to build strength. I know, been there... I lifted Barbie weights (high reps) for my first 6 months of strength training and didn't see much, if any improvement. It wasn't until I started lifting heavy that I built muscle and strength. I think my first 6 weeks of lifting heavy I saw more improvement than I did in my first 6 months of strength training.
The other bonus to lifting heavy is it will shorten your strength training program by half with better results. ;)
"Toning" is marketing muscles to women who are afraid if they pick up a barbell, they'll leave the gym looking like She-Hulk. It doesn't happen, what does happen is you get results. Lifting Barbie weights does nothing but waste time.
Fitness Minutes: (34,007)
3/8/13 7:37 A
Thank goodness for personal trainers. The one at the gym I goto, said, you should feel the muscle working on te first setbof the exercise around the 7th or 8th rep. If you feel no effort, you may need to add more weight.
I have heard that you should lift the amount that it feels like your muscles want to fail (ie your muscles are starting to shake by the time you get midway or to the end of your workout while still keeping proper form). If you aren't challenging your muscles, you won't gain. So if you are on 5 lb, try 8 lbs if that's a good challenge for you.
I also recommend resistance bands! You actually use your body for the resistance. You can get an incredible workout with them..I have woken up sore plenty of times with them but I'm at the point where I need to get stronger bands for a harder workout.
Fitness Minutes: (186,632)
12,734 3/8/13 7:15 A
You should increase weight every 2-3 weeks or whenever it starts to feel too easy.
If you are looking for equipment to add to your personal equipment, I suggest resistance bands. They are usually less expensive than weights, easier to store, and can travel anywhere. You can do the exercises as with free weights.
Fitness Minutes: (2,976)
349 3/8/13 7:09 A
So when I began, I chose some of the strength training activities suggested by sparkpeople for beginners, and they were hard at first but I am actually to the point where I am finding the 2 sets of 15 reps to be EASY. Yay!
So my question is, what is an appropriate way to move to the next level to make it a bit more challenging. I do own ankle weights which I was thinking of using for the lower body activities. But if I did that, how would I record it in my fitness? i don't know if that would actually burn more calories (significantly, anyway). What I DON'T want to do is just increase the reps or sets because I'm scared I won't have enough time to eventually keep up, you know, a hundred reps or whatever. I'm barely fitting in what im doing now as far as time goes.
I'd love any advice! Please keep in mind that I do not own a single piece of equipment except for those ankle weights I mentioned.
"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it." Michelangelo
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