Am I lifting too heavy?

By Andy on February 25, 2016

As a Crossfit Coach in Dubai Marina, I’m often asked this: “how much should I be lifting and how much should I go heavier?”

I have 3 answers for this:

If you are new to an exercise: then be sure to lift a weight where you can complete at least 10 very well controlled reps. These are reps where you are in complete control and able to inhale before you complete the hard part of the exercise / eccentric phase and exhale on the hard part of the exercises / concentric phase. This is a safe and good start.

How much should I go heavier: when referring to upper body exercises you can increase the weight by 5% of the current weight you are lifting every 4-6 weeks of training. With lower body exercises you are looking more at a 10 % increase every 4-6 weeks just because the mechanics in the lower and upper body are very different. So If you can complete a back squat with 40 kg and feel you can go heavier I would propose a 4 kg increase as this allow enough of an increase and space for the supporting structures of the muscles like the tendons, bones, and cartilage to adapt to the new stressors.

Everyone should do a max strength test to be 100 % sure: We all have different abilities on different exercises. No one is the same – so knowing the exact weight that you are lifting at a given rep range is a MUST to track your progression and see how much heavier you can go while maintaining a good and controlled form. I would propose a strength test for all power and strength exercises – Bench press, Back squat, Deadlift, Clean & Jerk, and also the snatch to track your progress at 1 rep – 10 reps.

If you are not familiar with the process of doing a max lift test accurately by yourself then you need to read this previous blog on – Train the way you should! (click here)

 

Coach Hannes

Iconic Fitness, Dubai Marina

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