Weight and Resistance Training - New with a question :)

View Full Version : New with a question :)

07-28-2005, 02:15 PM
I've been lurking for weeks, and have learned so much. So I thought I'd officially join the party ;)

Anywho, I have a question. I joined a gym about 6 weeks ago. 3 weeks ago I had an appt with a trainer to set up my machine and lifting plan. I was put on the remedial plan because it had been so long since I had lifted. Anywho, I was started out at 1 set of 12 on all the machines (varying weights). At the next appt she asked if I had gotten sore. I told her no, but it may have been because I was apprehensive about what she was going to make me do and I didn't work out my hardest. So, she said that if after that appt I still wasn't sore, to increase to 2 sets of 12, and after that if I still wasn't sore, to increase the weight on each machine.

I wasn't sore after that workout, and I wasn't sore after changing to 2 sets of 12. Tuesday, I upped all the weight by 5lbs (it's the next increment on all the machines except the shoulders which is 2.5lbs), and I went back to 1 set of 12. The ONLY muscle that was sore, were my shoulders, and it was minimal.

My question is...what do I do now? Do I increase the weight again by 5, and stay at 1 set of 12 or do I keep the weight the same and increase to 2 sets of 12.

Thanks in advance girlies!

07-28-2005, 03:17 PM
Hmm. I would say increase to 2 sets and then see if you need to up the weight again, mainly because doing 2 sets is going to get your muscles more than just one. I don't think there's a magic answer for this, necessarily, though - as long as you keep upping your reps/sets and weight, you'll keep improving.

07-28-2005, 03:20 PM
Yup, 'cause I would up the weight and keep doing 1 set. The amount of gain between doing one set to failure and 2 sets to failure is not enough for the time investment, to ME. You DO want to change it up over time, though, so whichever route you take, you'll eventually want to do something else to keep your muscles challenged and developing in different ways.

07-28-2005, 03:59 PM
Are you going to failure or to a count on the reps? I know it's easy to look at that number and think "I only need to do 12 reps" but if you're not stressing yourself, you're not getting the most from your workout.

For myself, I've put a limit of 20 reps per set. If I hit that and feel like I could do more, I'll up the weight on the next set or the next workout. I've read countless places that if you can lift more than 15, the weight is too light and if you can't lift to 8 or 10, the weight is too heavy.

I don't know if you carry a workout log, little notebook or sheet of paper, but I find it very helpful to track my reps, sets and weights. There have been times when I thought I was working out easy and then couldn't lift the same the next time and times I've thought it was too hard but the next session it was too light already. We've been going through some hot weather here and on those days that it's unbearable outside, even with the a/c at the gym, my body just doesn't have the same strength. Also, hormonal fluctuations, stress, sleep, etc. make a difference for me as well.

HTH & welcome!