University researchers in the Midwest wanted to find out if beginner exercisers were lifting the right amount of weight when exercising. They studied 30 men and women, asking them to choose their weights for five different exercises. The majority of the participants chose weights that were too low (42% - 57% of their One-Rep Max) to result in any physical gains. |
The One Rep Max (1 RM) is the highest possible weight you could lift on a particular exercise if you only did one repetition. When strength training, you should be lifting a weight that is about 60-70% of this 1 RM. While a trainer could help you figure this out, here’s an easier way: With a bit of trial and error, find a weight that you can lift (with proper form) at least 8 times, but no more than 15. As you get stronger, and reach 15 reps, it’s time to increase your weight again.