Fitness Articles

4 Signs You Need to Lift More Weight

When and How to Increase Your Resistance

When I was a Wellness Director for a YMCA I overheard a member ask my fellow director to help him adjust his workout regimen. He just “wasn’t getting anywhere” despite being very committed and diligent to his workouts. This was a very normal request from a member so my friend thought nothing about it and scheduled an appointment.

When they finally met, the member brought along with him a thick stack of stapled workout charts, which he had used for the past three years. (As I said, he was diligent, but also highly organized!) The director was shocked, not because of the years of detail, but because this member had never increased the weight or number of repetitions he lifted since his first introduction to the fitness center equipment. For over three years, he had done the same exercises, lifted the same weight, and performed the same number of repetitions day after day.

The fact that he wasn’t seeing results wasn’t entirely his fault, although the reasons were obvious to the director. The member simply did as he was instructed on day one, and no one had taught him the importance of progression in his strength training program. Are you stuck in a strength training rut too? Find out!
Continued ›
Page 1 of 3   Next Page ›

Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

About The Author

Jason Anderson Jason Anderson
Jason loves to see people realize the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. He is a certified personal trainer and enjoys running races--from 5Ks to 50K ultramarathons. See all of Jason's articles.

Member Comments

    So AGE has got to have something to do with increasing weights. I am 70 years old.
    I ride my bike (causal) 2x's a week, power swim (2x's a week) and 'work out' (2x's a week) and on the 7th day I rest. I must CUT BACK on the number of reps if I go from say 10lb weights to 12lb just gets too difficult and I stop at pain. Suggestions?
    - 4/19/2015 8:08:54 PM
    You know your weights are too light when you can do more than 10 reps in a set. - 4/18/2015 10:03:10 PM
  • I am thankful I was introduced to http://wwwQuality here in Tucson. I have been training with them since April, and this husband and wife team are VERY knowledgeable, and have been so helpful in my actually gaining muscle! I actually AMAZE myself!!!! - 11/9/2014 9:39:29 PM
    Excellent advice! - 8/7/2014 11:14:08 AM
  • I have been attending a gym here since March, that is all about Quality Strength. I started out with very little weight, and could not fathom lifting anything heavier, yet today I am up to 44 lb. in my dead lift, and 20lb. each barbell dead lift. Not easy, but I could have done ALOT more. My instructor promised I was going UP next week. I have been advanced since March, and the progress is phenomenal....AND I am almost 70! - 6/4/2014 10:50:31 PM
  • Great article! - 1/22/2014 2:50:58 PM
  • The body adapts to what it is doing. If someone lifts 5-pound dumbbells, then their body will adapt to lifting 5-pound dumbbells. That is a very good thing compared to doing nothing, but there is a lot of space for further improvement! - 10/13/2013 5:54:59 AM
  • Great article. I have to get back into lifting weigh. - 9/2/2013 2:16:52 PM
    You are only limited your mind. i don't buy the there are limits. Go for the big weights they are fun.

    Set a goal and work towards it. If at 52 I can do 1125lbs on the reclining leg press anyone can work their way up. - 4/9/2013 4:56:41 PM
    I know when the number on the bar in under 3 digits

    4 if you could the leg press . - 4/9/2013 4:53:51 PM
  • Oh, and for those who commented below regarding concern about being able to increase the weight forever: Don't worry- you can't. There are simply limits to how much your body can lift given your sex (women who aren't on steroids lift less than men of the same height/weight because we are short on testosterone), height,and weight (bio-mechanics play in, here), and physical limitations. I have been lifting what most people would consider "Heavy" for many years now, and my increases now come infrequently and in very small increments.

    No one can add 10 lbs a week until they are lifting thousands of weight, no matter how hard they try. - 4/9/2013 1:35:33 PM
  • Well, yes to all the above, but you also need to change up exercises regularly if you want to see a change in your body shape. - 4/9/2013 1:29:03 PM
  • I don't think anyone can tell usat what weight we have to stop. The article doesn't talk about excersizing like a body builder, it simply shows us how to change things up so we don't waste our time at the gym. All of the suggestions built up on the extreme example at the beginning. I thought the article and advice was good. I always change things up at the gym; different weights, different routines - keeps it interesting. Thank you! - 4/9/2013 10:40:29 AM
  • Thank you for the advise. I think it's excellent advise for beginners. Though I do agree with Fiddlemom's question, "when is enough enough?" - 4/9/2013 10:24:18 AM
  • Funny, they never talk about when to stop upping things - whether it's weight or reps. Always it's articles and advice like this.

    If this follows through, logically, we're all supposed to end up lifting like a competition "strongman", lifting several hundred pounds. OR we're supposed to end up in the gym all day because we've increased our reps to the point where we have no time for anything else.

    Will they ever tell us when we can say when?

    If the only way to keep fit is to keeping upping everything into infinity, then I'm not interested. I don't want to be a bodybuilder/stron
    g-woman. I don't want to spend my day exercising. To me, that's not living. There are other things I want to do with my life. - 4/9/2013 8:07:39 AM

x Lose 10 Pounds by January 9! Sign up with Email Sign up with Facebook
By clicking one of the above buttons, you're indicating that you have read and agree to SparkPeople's Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy and that you're at least 18 years of age.