Know How Much Weight To Lift (Part 2)

how much

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

If you didn’t read the Part 1, click here 

Several workouts later

several workout

Now that you know your starting weight, you can do the « progressive overload » method.

« Progressive overload » method involves gradually increasing the stress in your body during training.

For beginners, this means increasing the weight at each workout session. You know after each workout, your body is healed. And if you do things well by having good nutrition and good sleep, your body becomes stronger than before.

When your body gets used to your workout, it’s bad sign. When your body used to do 5 sets of 5 reps, it will become more effective so your body will burn fewer calories and use fewer processes to achieve movement.

To know when you need to add weight, you need to look at the difficulty you had in your last set. That’s why it’s important to track your workout to analyze your performance. You can use a paper notebook, Evernote  or a fitness app like Jefit . Document how much you lift, how many sets you do, how many reps you do, the degradation of your technique arrived at what set and what reps and quality of your latest set.

If you couldn’t do all reps of the last set with a good technique, take the same weight at your next session to improve your technique.

Doing this guarantee you that you don’t stagnate because every rep you do is more solid et better than the last time. To improve, it’s not necessary to increase weights at each workout. You can rest less between your set, improve movement control or do more reps. All these variations mean that you become stronger.

On the other hand if you can do all sets with an excellent technique without the barbell’s speed, it’s time to add weight. It doesn’t matter than you add 9 kg (20 lbs) or 1.1 kg(2.5 lbs), you progress.

All professional athletes will tell you it’s better to add weights slowly and progress constantly rather than to progress quickly and hit a plateau. In this way, you build your strength, your confidence and your momentum.

That’s why I recommend you to start too lightly for you progress constantly.

In life, there are ups and downs so there are days when you can’t add more weight because there is a lot of stress at school/work or you haven’t sleep enough and so on. It’s important to listen to your body rather than absolutely lift the weight you want.

Find your ta 1 rep max

1 rep max

It’s really fun to find the maximum amount of weight you can lift for a rep from time to time.

However for a beginner who has just started, it’s better to make the movement with a proper technique and add weight slowly to try to find. I advise you to follow a workout’s program for at least 6 weeks before to try to find your 1 rep max.

Why

Even if your technique is good for a beginner, you’ll have a better results by learning to make ajustements and corrections as you go. When you start, your body isn’t prepared to do this performance so if after 2 weeks you try to find your 1 rep max, it will not be your true 1 rep max.

In addition, when you train, you train everything in your body. Things like muscles and bones will become stronger while others like the nervous system will become more effective. The more often you do something and the better you do. When you’re a beginner you get better quickly.

And as you are a beginner, you haven’t yet experienced it. It’s not safe to try your 1 rep max when you learn the movement. Even if you have a good technique with a light weight, you’re going to hurt yourself because you don’t have the experience yet.

When your technique begins to deteriorate, you need to have experience to complete or stop the movement safely.

If you look at weightlifting or powerlifting competition, sometimes the way to lift does’t have the best technique you’ve seen. However, the lifters have enough experience to handle this and know how to stop the movement if something goes wrong. When you’re a beginner, you don’t know how to do it.

The respectable quantity to be lift

bench press fail

In fact, I think you already know the answer : it’s the weight that suits you. That’s why it’s important to keep track of your workouts because your’re competing with the « You » of the last week. It’s like racing your ghost in Mario Kart.

You’re like me, you want to have a strength better than average strength but it’s more complex that what you think because it depends on your body’s type, your background as an athlete, your genetics and other factors.

If there was a formula or a calculation, we would all have a superhero’s body but this is not the case.

This is why you have to concentrate on lifting the weight that is right for you today. At your next training, you’ll try to lift heavier and if you can’t do it, you will do more repetitions or decrease you rest time between your sets.

In this adventure to have an athletic body for life, forget people around you. The person who is next to you do squat at 226.7 kg (500 lbs) and you squat at 22.6 kg (50 lbs) ? Forget it ! If you squat at 22.6 kg (50 lbs) and it’s a challenge, it means that it’s the right weight you should lift.

Never modify your workout to impress the personne who is next to you. No one is judged by the weight he lifts and if people do that, they’re not future winner/champion. It’s the losers who seek shortcuts.

Remember :

  • Winners warm up with the empty barbell.

  • Winners focus on their reps and aren’t ashamed to lift less than the person next to them.

  • Winner take the time to do things right, even if it means lifting less than what they know can do.

  • Winners started with a beginner workout program like you

Remains cautious, begins slowly, adds weight slowly.

It’s better to train in safety early rather than hurt yourself and be frustrated before you’ve progressed like my friends hurt in the shoulder. My physique has progressed a lot while their bodies stagnate because of their shoulder injury.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Back To The Source Of Human Strength (Part 2)

source river

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

If you didn’t read part 1, click here 

Hypertrophy

When I started to train, I thought I can increase the amount of muscle fibers with strength training program. The truth is we have a specific number of muscle fibers. We can only increase the size of our muscles fibers, this is hypertrophy.

I discovered that there were several hypertrophies. Usually when people talk about hypertrophy, it’s sarcoplasmic hypertophy.

  • Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy

    This hypertrophy allows you to increase the amount of sarcoplasmic fluid in your muscles. This can increase the size of one of your muscles by 30 %.

  • Myofibril hypertrophy

    This hypertrophy allows you to strengthen your myofibril, the part of the muscle that contracts. This increase the strength of your muscle fibers, build strong muscles and super dense.

  • Transient hypertrophy

    This hypertrophy allows you to increase temporary the size of one of your muscles during and immediately after an exercice due to an accumulation of fluid (I still don’t know if it’s the sarcoplasmic fluid or glycogen) in the intercellular space. This is what gives the effect « the pump ».

To summarize to buid a muscle super dense and strong, it’s myofibril hypertrophy. To have bigger muscle, it’s sarcoplasimic hypertrophy. Transient hypertrophy is temporary and appears in the other 2 hypertrophies during the training.

During a strength training, here is what happens :

  • During an exercice you’ll break muscle tissue. Your body will repair this muscle and it will become stronger. Whenever you break muscle tissue, your body will do this process.
  • When you increase the number of repetitions, you increase the storage of glycogen in your muscle. This is where you muscle gets bigger.

For the training program

Strength training isn’t just lift weights. It’s more interesting and more complex than that.

Here are details :

chart hypertophy starting strength rep 1rm

A little help for this Excel’s table

  • Repetition (Rep) => An exercice is composed of a starting position and an arrival position. A repetition is when you make the movement from the starting position to the arrival position and you return to the starting position. All that make a repetition. For exemple when you squat, the starting position is standing. The arrival position is when your thighs are parallel to the floor and you return to the starting position, standing.

  • X Rep Max => This is the number of repetitions with the heaviest weight you are able to control. By exemple, 1 Rep Max (1RM), is that the weight is so heavy that you can do only one repetition. 10RM, is that you can control the weight successfully to do 10 repetitions. In the 11st, it’s the failure.

With this Excel table, you can have an idea to how you can do to gain stength (myofribril hypertophy) : A low number of repetition and heavy weight. To increase the size of your muscles (sarcoplasmic hypertrophy) : A high number of repetition and light weight.

ATTENTION : This Excel table give us an idea of how to do to reach our goal. It’s not something specific. When you do a high number of repetition to increase the size of your muscle, you gain also a little strength. Our body is smarter than us.

It’s for this reason I never understand girls or women who don’t want to « get bulk », so they do 3 sets of 16 repetitions or 5 sets of 1000 repetitions with a dumbbell of 2kg (4.4lbs).

It’s hard for a girl to bulk, no matter the weight or the number of repetitions, if they want to increase the size of muscles, that’s exactly what they have to do because it would make sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.

Recovery

recovery sleep

I’m sure you’ve already heard that muscles are built in the kitchen, not in the gym.

It’s because when you’re in the gym, you break your muscle fibers. When you’re outside of the gym, your body heals and your muscles become bigger and stronger. So it’s important to take a recovery’s day in your strength training program.

The general rule is to wait 40 hours before to work the same muscle group again.

Remember that your muscles works in team, which means that when you work your chest, you also work shoulders muscles and arms muscles.

Everyone at his own pace to recover, it depends on diet, sleep’s quality, age workout and other items like stretching or massage.

The basis of strength training is 4 days of training per week and one recovery’s day.

Sore muscles or DOMS

DOMS is the acronym for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Sore means that your muscles haven’t recovered to 100 % (hence the « delayed onset »). This can last 1-2 days after your workout and this is normal. The process for your body to rebuild your muscles takes several days after a workout.

It’s normal that you have sore muscle for several days after your first training or after a long break. With each exercice, your muscle gets used to a movement and adapts to the stress caused by this movement so that you have less sore muscles. Stretching helps you to decrease sore muscles.

I think you motivated now, to start a strength training. Don’t worry, there is a lot of stength training program great for beginners on internet. The book « Starting Strength » is excellent for beginners, the Excel’s table of this article comes from this book.

 

 

I also put free strength training program at your disposal. Click on the links below.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph