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NROLW confusion re when to raise weights

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Old 03-26-2008, 03:16 PM   #1
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Default NROLW confusion re when to raise weights

Hi all, another newb question, sorry!

In the NROLW book, it says to try and use more weight "in every exercise, in every workout." Does that mean that I'd try to up the weight between sets of a particular exercise, or that I'd just want to try and up the weight from the last time I did that workout? I've just been adding weight the next time I do the workout, but using that new weight for both sets, is that right?

Also, is it safe to progress that fast when you're a beginner? I'm not afraid of hard work, not at all, but don't want to get an injury and not be able to do anything. It just seems like other exercise I've done, it's always recommended for beginners to take it slow, while with this weight training program, it's saying to push your limits every time, and I just want to make sure that's good advice. Doesn't seem like this book even acknowledges that someone "obese" would try this, so I thought I'd ask the pros here, in case there are special considerations.

So far, I've been using weight where the first set is hard, but doable (I could do a few more without rest, but don't wanna), and the second set is evil but I push and make the reps (I could probably do one more if you threatened me with a branding iron, maybe, lol). I'm loving it, just want to make sure I'm not setting up for an injury!

The only exercises I'm not pushing with are the squats and deadlifts, because I feel like I've not gotten the form down yet. I think I have the lift movement most of the time, but lowering it, I mess that up more often than not, on the deadlift at least. Might have to just wait to get some coaching on those from someone with experience. The gym membership is on hold until I can scrape the funds for an expensive repair my one-and-only auto needs.
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:35 PM   #2
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Cheryl,

As for weights, I tend to try to up them every set I do. I'm at the point where I'm doing 3 sets and I tend to start with the highest weight from the previous day (as long as it was challenging) for my first set and then go up a weight on the second and maybe even further up a weight on the third. The purpose is definitely to push yourself and you aren't going to hurt yourself as long as you have the right form and are warming up. That is basically why the warmup exercises are there and also why you are told to do a few warmup sets on muscles that haven't been worked yet in your workout.
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
In the NROLW book, it says to try and use more weight "in every exercise, in every workout." Does that mean that I'd try to up the weight between sets of a particular exercise, or that I'd just want to try and up the weight from the last time I did that workout? I've just been adding weight the next time I do the workout, but using that new weight for both sets, is that right?
The book is very much about how YOU need to judge your level of ability and work accordingly. If you are finding the lifting easy, then add weight. If you still find it easy, then add more weight to the next set. Basically, push yourself with every set of exercises/reps you do.

Quote:
Also, is it safe to progress that fast when you're a beginner? I'm not afraid of hard work, not at all, but don't want to get an injury and not be able to do anything. It just seems like other exercise I've done, it's always recommended for beginners to take it slow, while with this weight training program, it's saying to push your limits every time, and I just want to make sure that's good advice. Doesn't seem like this book even acknowledges that someone "obese" would try this, so I thought I'd ask the pros here, in case there are special considerations.
I'm really not sure where "obese" comes into this. I was obese and started out pushing myself hard to see where my limits fell. Just because someone is obese that doens't mean they're not pushing *themselves* to *their* limits, just as I'd push *myself* to *my* limit.

I dunno. I think you might be overthinking this one!

Push yourself as far as you're comfortable pushing - but don't be complacent. Don't say "well I can do these easily, so this is where I'm meant to be". If they're easy, see if you can add more weight. If you are lifting the most you can lift and still complete the reps, then wait before adding more. Don't lift to failure - lift to *almost* failure.

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Old 03-26-2008, 03:52 PM   #4
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Cheryl,

I try to do a little more each workout, as in one more rep, or another 5# on one set of a given exercise. I find that if I increase the weights on 3 or 5 sets all at once, I progress for a while (a few weeks or months) but then burn out. You can't keep piling the weight on forever.

Here is how I progress when training 5 sets of 5 reps:

Monday

Bench press:100#x5x5x5x5x5

Wednesday

Bench press:100#x5x5x5x5 105#x5

Friday

Bench press:100#x5x5x5 105#x5x5

If I feel close to missing a rep on the last set, I hold off increasing the weight the next session.
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:30 PM   #5
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The only caveat I have about adding weight every time is if you're a true beginner. If you're brand new to lifting (like the first 4 - 6 weeks), you need to be a little bit cautious, for the reason that muscles strengthen much faster than do the supporting ligaments and tendons (connecting tissue has a poor blood flow, which is why it's so slow to heal once injured). So you can quickly end up with your muscles stronger than the connecting tissue and risk tendinitis or another injury. I read a study that something like 40% of the people joining commercial gyms end up with injuries in the first 4 - 6 weeks. I agree with PhotoChick that a beginner shouldn't work to failure for that reason, but working to muscle fatigue is OK.
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Old 03-27-2008, 04:26 PM   #6
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Thanks for the helpful replies, all! Sounds like I'm getting the weights right, so I'll stick with what I'm doing.
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