Find the Right Weight for Strength Training

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. 

Action Sparked
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.
Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints

Member Comments

Absolutely Report
Good article. Report
This is really helpful info! Thanks. Report
Amazing what you can do when you push yourself! Report
Incredible change happen in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over. - Steve Maraboli ~ 2/16/18 Report
good information. Report
great. Report
thanks for sharing.... Report
This is information that is helpful, thanks! Report
very interesting I am going to give this my best effort
very interesting I am going to give this my best effort
Missed my workouts... Report
This is a very tricky thing when starting to workout again. Report
I kind of felt like the others as there is no guides as to how much to increase the weight by (is it a percentage of the weight you are currently lifting or by some arbitrary fixed amount like one pound?) Also I know from personal experience that at least some of us will PLATEAU at some point in time with weight training. No mention of that either, Report


About The Author

Nicole Nichols
Nicole Nichols
A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, Nicole loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Nicole was formerly SparkPeople's fitness expert and editor-in-chief, known on the site as "Coach Nicole." Make sure to explore more of her articles and blog posts.
Close email sign up
Our best articles, delivered Join the millions of people already subscribed Get a new exercise each day, handpicked by our certified trainers. We will never sell, rent or redistribute your email address.

Magic Link Sent!

A magic link was sent to Click on that link to login. The link is only good for 24 hours.