Things to Know Before Lifting Heavy Weights - FitWell Content

Things Your Clients Need to Know Before Lifting Heavy

Blog Strength Reading Time: 8 minutes
BY: jacob wildman

With the start of strength training, you may ask yourself: “How to understand how much weight a client needs to lift and when to raise it?”. It’s a pertinent question, as weight changes are a must to increase strength and build muscle mass. A client’s strength training results depend on your ability to overload their muscles using the right training programs progressively. Increasing physical stress on the muscles is necessary to adapt and become stronger.

Knowing how to increase weight safely is crucial in achieving your clients’ goals and preventing injury. We’ll cover what you need to know about choosing your client’s starting weight and how to know when a person is ready for a heavier load. After reading our article to the end, you will also learn about other aspects that affect the successful training factor to lift heavy weights

You can also find out about new programs for your clients on our FitWell Content website. Interest among your clients will grow at the speed of light, and you will not have to spend time creating content yourself.

How to choose the right starting weight before lifting heavy weights

Stick to the following pattern to select the right starting weight:

  • Do the first set with the bar
  • Add 1.25 kg or 2.5 kg weights to each side
  • Keep adding weight in this way until you reach your peak

Let’s consider these methods in more detail:

  1. Do the first set with the bar. Tell your client to do the exercise with focus and full force, even if it is very easy for them. It will help them warm up and prepare the muscles and nervous system for training with more serious weights.
  1. Add 1.25 kg or 2.5 kg weights to each side. The weight will depend on how easy the client finds it. After completing the following approach quickly and with perfect technique, it is still excellent and easy for the client even in the last repetitions, add another 5–10 kg. Be guided by the client’s feelings – the easier the heavy weight training is perceived, the more weight can be added to the bar.
  1. Keep adding weight in this way until you reach your peak. As soon as this happens on any of the repetitions, roll back to the previous number of kilograms – this is the working weight of your client.

For example, a man did squats with a 50 kg barbell on his back. All five reps were in good form, although he struggled on the last one. You hang another 5kg, and on the fifth rep, the client fails to keep their back straight, and their knees roll inward. It means that the working weight of the client in this exercise is 50 kg.

But remember, a new client should not work with weight during the first weight strength training session. To begin with, they can use an exercise PVC stick – there are such in almost any gym. As a gym instructor, you must evaluate their technique and recognize mistakes. The client needs to study all the technical aspects of strength exercises and try to perform them in front of the mirror, tracking their form with the trainer. As soon as their number is reduced to a minimum, the client can proceed to weight-bearing exercises.

The specific weight on the bar depends on how many sets and reps your client will do. For beginners, as a rule, use the following options:

  • 5 sets of 5 reps.
  • 3 sets of 8 reps.
  • 3 sets of 10 reps.

Choose any – they will equally well help build muscle and strength.

lift weights

Facts your clients need to know before beginning heavy weight training

Strength training is usually used to increase muscle strength gradually. Strength training is primarily anaerobic, although some proponents have adapted it to benefit aerobic exercise over-circuit training. Here are the most significant weight lifting tips

Proper technique is the key to success

The appropriate technique not only helps you train safer and not end up on fitness trips in a couple of weeks with a knee, shoulder, or torn back injury. 

  • It allows the client to load the target muscles better and not overload the secondary ones. 
  • This is also why the training program should not have dozens of exercises. 
  • It is simply impossible to work out each technique if a person has something new every time.

Don't overdo the workout

For beginners, too exhausting training is harmful – neither the muscles, the joints, nor the heart are ready for this. 

  • Some people think that a wet T-shirt, green complexion, fainting, and a jumping heart are something to strive for, and the more suffering, the greater the reward. And there is some truth in this: to get what you don’t have, you need to get out of your comfort zone, which always causes stress and discomfort.
  • But more doesn’t mean better. Two-hour workouts seven days a week will not help your client reach their goals faster. On the contrary, they can lead to under-recovery, which, when accumulated, depletes the body and interferes with achieving results. It is much more effective at first for the client to leave the gym feeling that they did a good job and could do more. It supports the client’s motivation to go to the next workout and not wait for it, like an execution.

Diary of weight strength training

An easy and free way to progress in the load, pump up muscles, and become stronger and more resilient is to keep a diary and plan workouts.

  • It is necessary for all clients who want to engage in results and not just go to fitness.
  • Training is a controlled way out of the comfort zone. No one can keep all the numbers in their heads but only engage haphazardly. It happens that a person has gradually reduced the weight they lift over time, and there are no results. You should not increase the load on the client, but if you look at a month or two, it should grow.
training with weights

How to add weight when working with dumbbells and on simulators?

As with the barbell, when working with dumbbells, you should start with the lightest weights and gradually move on to heavier ones. For example, let’s say your client is doing dumbbell reps with 8kg, and you realize that five reps with that weight are too easy for them.

You give him the next weight – 10 kg dumbbells, and the muscles fail already on the third repetition. In this case, you can increase the number of repetitions in the approach with dumbbells by 8 kg – do them not 5, but 6-8 times – until the client begins training with weights with incorrect technique.

The same goes for working on simulators. If your client can’t complete the required number of reps with good form, go back to the previous weight and increase the reps per set.

When is it time to increase the amount of weight your client lifts?

When the last reps of a set are as easy for your client as the first, it’s time to add weight. In addition to weight, you can also increase the number of repetitions in the set for the client. However, it all depends on the goals of the person:

  • If the client’s primary goal is to build muscle, he should stay within 8-12 reps per set. This amount is considered ideal for hypertrophy.
  • If he wants to increase strength first, work them with fewer repetitions – 2-6 times with a weight sufficient to fatigue the muscles.
  • If the goal is muscle strength endurance, they should do 15-20 or more reps with light weights.

You can also combine these techniques within the same workout. For example, a client starts an activity with 5 x 5 back squats. Then he performs 5 x 10 rows on the chest, standing dumbbell presses, leg curls in the machine, and at the end of 3 x 15 biceps curls and triceps extension with dumbbells. This approach will allow you to load the client’s muscles well while not overworking the central nervous system with heavy weight training.

weight strength training

What does proper strength training give besides muscles?

As mentioned above, the muscles that develop during strength training play an essential role in the body. Remember about the effects of strength exercises in this article. They include:

  • working with weights for no more than an hour a week reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke by 40-70% (for loads over 60 minutes a week, this effect was not found), and regardless of whether there is aerobic training in the person’s schedule;
  • reduced mortality from cancer and all causes in general;
  • hand strength at an older age is associated with better cognitive performance –several researchers suggest using this indicator to monitor cognitive function in the elderly.

Use our FitWell Content articles to understand better how strength training works.

FAQ

No, not all training with lifting heavy weights can make your muscles large. The main thing is to feel the muscle working and bring it to a burning sensation to build muscle mass with heavy weights.

Indeed, when a person is engaged only with small weights, he will not be able to build muscle mass. However, he can use a lot of reps and feels during the muscles’ contraction. This is a great method for muscle building.

To develop strength, you can perform exercises with a lot of weight but with only 2-5 repetitions per set. And the weight must be selected, reaching up to 95% of your one-rep maximum.

Use weights 80 to 90 percent of your 1-rep max to maximize strength and muscle gains. If you can lift 100 kilos, you need to use 80 to 90 kilos of weight in your workouts.

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