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JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
Fitness Minutes: (86,286)
Posts: 2,489
1/8/14 5:30 A

Lifting weights will help build lean muscle. The more lean muscle you have, the smaller you will be at the similar weight. Fat takes up more room than muscle per pound. Weight/resistance training is important at any weight because you lose 5% of your muscle mass every 10 years as an adult. When you are losing weight, you lose even *more* lean muscle/tissue if you're not weight/resistance training, up to 25-30% of your weight loss. Losing lean muscle will make you flabbier even at a healthy weight. Not to mention all the other wonderful health benefits it provides. It also boosts your metabolism, muscle burns more calories than fat at rest so the more muscle you have the more calories your body will burn naturally.

5 lbs is definitely too light and you shouldn't be using the same weight for all muscles. All your muscles are different sizes and strengths. There is a big difference between your triceps muscles and your quads. To really challenge your quads you're going to need a much heavier weight or resistance.

I'm 5'2 115 lbs and use weights ranging from 20 lbs (bicep curls/tricep extensions, smaller muscles) to 100-200 lbs (bench press, squats, deadlifts, larger muscles).

To grow muscle you need to create microscopic tears in the muscle fibers. When these tears heal is when muscle is grown and you become stronger. Now you *could* do this with 5 lbs weights but it would probably take you hundreds of repetitions to create these tears OR you could use 20 lbs and create these tears in 6-8 reps and around 3 sets. And don't get me started on how long it would take doing 10 lbs weighted squats.

If you don't have access to a gym or barbell to really get some heavy weight. I recommend resistance bands for a beginner. They are affordable and versatile and should provide you with enough resistance to start. Remember you must keep increasing weight/resistance in order to encourage the muscle to grow and to build strength. Next, look into some adjustable dumbbells with plates.

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,764
1/7/14 9:44 P

definitely use heavier weights

NANLEYKW SparkPoints: (76,244)
Fitness Minutes: (31,253)
Posts: 867
1/7/14 1:48 P

You should almost certainly be lifting heavier weights. You should only be able to do 8-10 reps of an exercise. If you can do more than that, lift heavier.

That said, being that close to goal weight, proper nutrition is more important than ever. Make sure you're tracking your food and sticking within your calorie range, and eventually, those last few pounds will come off. (They do come off slowly, though--expect only about 1/4 to 1/2 pound of loss per week!)

KJEANNE SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (31,713)
Posts: 2,093
1/7/14 11:46 A

Good for you! You're within sight of your goal.

Remember to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you take in. So focus on your food intake and cardio. BTW what do you do for cardio?? Are you doing the same workout that you were doing 3 months ago? Time to change up and challenge yourself in that area.

SUSAN_FOSTER Posts: 1,229
1/6/14 9:44 P

I would definitely say you can up your weights. Think about things you lift and carry on a regular basis - groceries, laptop, maybe a kid or two? All much heavier than 5 pounds, and you do it without thinking.

As others stated before, you need to have a weight where you can just barely complete the last rep in a set while maintaining good form.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (199,795)
Fitness Minutes: (195,158)
Posts: 15,862
1/6/14 7:54 P

You need to trial and error to make sure the last 3 reps or so you truly cannot do anymore. Most people equate feeling a little bit of burn = can't do any more reps.

PEARLIEB9 Posts: 4
1/6/14 7:38 P

The key is when the weights become 'easy.' If you can do a set of reps easily, it's time to up the weights. You are on the right track with the cardio, but the firming up you desire will best be accomplished with heavy weights, more reps. In the past I have used the New Rules of Lifting for Women book, and DVD's from Jari Love and Cathe Friedrich. You can go to Collage to check out their DVD's (as well as many others) to see if they are something you'd like to follow and learn how to work with heavier weights safely.

FIRSTBB24 Posts: 572
1/6/14 7:10 P

I'm 5'3 138 trying to get to 130. For the last 3 months I've been working out and eating right but mostly focusing on cardio and 5lb weights which are really easy for me now. I've lost a few inches and some fat but no actual pounds. My question is when do you know when to increase weights and is it better to focus on diet and weights more then cardio when you don't have much to lose??? Can someone explain. I've got rolls on my back and a pot belly that I can't stand!! I do have muscle but not enough. I feel like all this cardio is just pointless!

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