Weight and Resistance Training - How much am I really lifting?

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09-24-2012, 10:12 PM

These are the weight bars at my gym, and they're the ones I've been using since I transitioned over to the free-weight section of the gym. I started with the smallest one on the top, which is marked 20lbs, and am now using the second one from the bottom, which is marked 30lbs. My question is, is that 20-30lbs PLUS the bar, or is that how much the bar + the weights is? Cause if it's the former, that means if, say, the bar itself weighs 45lbs, then I started lifting at 65lbs and am now at 75lbs, which makes me feel pretty good! Otherwise, I definitely have a long way to go, lol.

Your help is appreciated!

09-24-2012, 11:15 PM
Usually with those preloaded barbells, the marked weight is the actual weight--it includes the weight of the bar.

If you go over to an oly bar and load it up with plates, then you would add 45lb for the weight of the oly bar to the combined weight of the plates.

09-24-2012, 11:16 PM
I'm pretty sure the weight of the bar is included. Still, 30 pounds is pretty good and you've obviously gotten a lot stronger - so good job!

09-25-2012, 01:18 AM
I am curious as to what type of lifts you are doing. 30 pounds is a lot harder when you are lifting it over your head versus a deadlift or squat. Not looking for an answer. Just sort of giving the random, unsolicited advice to consider finding a program that has you doing a variety of full-body lifts. Or maybe that's later on the agenda?

Congratulations on your migration to the free weight side of the gym. It's definitely a fun place to be.

09-25-2012, 02:05 AM
Typical strength day at the gym for me is this:

15-20 minutes on the elliptical as a quick zap of cardio, then it's out to the floor.

First I go to the dumb bells for bicep curls, tricep kick-backs, and a "total body press" workout I found surfing the web one time, which basically consists of touching the weight to the floor, then reaching it over my head. I just migrated to a 15lb dumb bell for these moves; I started with 10lbs, then 12lbs, and moved to the 15lb today.

Then I mosey over to the barbell side, and I do overhead lifts, squats (although I don't know if I do those right), bent-over rows, upright rows, and bent-leg dead lifts.

I usually do 2-3 sets of 8 or 10 for each move.

09-25-2012, 10:18 AM
So you are doing a variety. Sorry. Still going to make an unsolicited suggestion to use or discard, realizing I am still a newbie. I am guessing you could lift heavier on squats if you are lifting that much over your head. I squat 125, but can only lift 65 over my head. I am guessing you could squat more than you are simply because you are lifting so much overhead. And if you are not sure about a lift and you have watched videos, I have always found the testosterone boys to be very helpful, so long as I don't bombard them with questions.

Steve Troutman
09-25-2012, 12:04 PM
Ditto that. Different movements will require different loads since leverage, muscle mass used, etc all changes from movement to movement. It's fine to pick a rep range to do all movements in. But depending on the specific movement in question, the weight should be catered to it.

So if your goal is to shoot for 8-10 reps, the load used should be challenging for each movement. As noted previously, someone should be able to squat a lot more weight than they can overhead press or whatever.