WeightsSo you’re a complete newbie to the fitness world. You step in the gym and you see guys curling and pressing really heavy weights and wonder to yourself: “how much weight should I lift?” Well the answer might seem to be obvious that you should lift weights that you can manage, but you’ll be surprised at how many people in the gym try to lift way heavier then they can manage with horrible form and it’s actually brutal to watch.

I was in the gym a few days ago and it wasn’t the first time I saw this, but it was a few teenagers working out in front of the mirrors doing some biceps curls. Now they were pretty scrawny kids but each of them had 40’s maybe 50 pound dumbbells in each hand straining, jolting and using every bit of momentum possible to get the weight up and call it a curl.

I’m sure some of you have seen this before, because in every gym during any time of the day there is usually one guy who is not at all interested in proper form during exercises and is simply trying to lift as much weight as he can. This got me to questioning whether or not some people know how much weight to lift and how to properly perform exercises. So first things first. If you’re in the gym, there is no point in lifting heavy weights to try and impress anyone around you.

You should be there to work out for yourself, not for others to watch. 9 times out of 10 you will just look plain stupid struggling and using improper form anyways. I’ve gotten numerous comments from new clients they are intimidated by how weak they are when they are just starting out. I always answer the question the same which is; everybody has to start somewhere. You can’t go in the gym and expect to lift as much weight as experienced guys who have years of experience, nor should you try to compete or lift heavier than you can manage just to not be judged.

How much weight you should lift depends on your goals that you set. If you want to build muscle, you will be concentrating on working your muscles to a state of hypertrophy. This means that you should lift a weight that is comfortable for you to be able to perform anywhere from 8 to 10 reps with strict form. If you are focusing more on strength, you should be lifting a weight that you can only do for about 3 to 5 reps with, also with strict form. Strict form is very important when it comes to performing exercises if you want to prevent any serious injuries. With that said, you should always aim to increase how many reps and with how much weight you use each time you set foot in the gym if you are focusing on increasing muscle size and strength.  So that’s pretty much it for the “how much weight should I lift.”

If you’re a complete newbie to this workout stuff, I hope you found this article interesting and informative and I hope I saved you from being one of the guys that perform exercises with horrible form. Like I said before, you should be in the gym to work on yourself and look to improve every week. Not to out-lift or try to impress anybody.

Join 3000+ readers and get science-based muscle building and fat loss tips, diet tips, motivational strategies and more sent straight to your inbox every week!
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.
Be Sociable, Share!


John considers himself as a fitness enthusiast who loves to do anything to keep the body in peak physical performance (much like a highly tuned machine). He mainly focuses on sports nutrition and supplement research, but is also highly knowledgeable in relation to muscle growth and fat loss. He's helped numerous people over the years achieve the body that they've always wanted and hopes his information will guide you to the goals you want.

More Posts