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Weights for strength training

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Old 09-15-2009, 05:52 PM   #1
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Default Weights for strength training

So I read an article that says you should use heavier weights for areas like your chest, back and legs and smaller weights for your shoulders and arms. Has anyone else heard this? What are your thoughts?

Also, what's the most effective way to guage what size weights I should be using when I do strength training?
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Old 09-16-2009, 09:50 AM   #2
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I don't know what article you're reading but it sounds like they're advocating the philosophy that the bigger the muscle the bigger the weight which in part I agree with.

You have many options with weight training. You can use low weights and do more reps, or heavy weights and do fewer reps. The truth is that you should be using enough weight so that you can lift the darn thing easily at first but so that it feels nearly impossible to lift it by the 12th or 15th rep. That's how I've done it and it's working for me.

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Old 09-16-2009, 09:56 AM   #3
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Old 09-16-2009, 12:44 PM   #4
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Hi Britt Nice to see a fellow Buckeye on the board!

A heavier weight for a larger muscle? Yep. The idea is that you want to present a challenge to the muscle group you are engaging. The back muscle, latissimus dorsi, runs from under the arm, across the back and down to Iliac crest of the pelvis. That is one large muscle and it is very strong. It is capable of a very heavy weight. To work this area you would need to select something much heavier than you would use to work the shoulders, deltoids. For example, when working my lats, I choose a 40 to 45lb dumb bell to do lat rows to truly engage that muscle for 10 to 12 reps. However, I would seriously injure myself and those around me if I selected a 45 dumb bell to do lateral or frontal shoulder raises at that weight.

In the beginning, select a weight that is challenging for you to complete by the 10th to 12th rep of the set. As you progress, and you find that this becomes easier then it's time to alter your workout for another challenge.

Strength goals are usually met by selecting a weight that is heavy enough to fatigue you by the 4 to 6th rep of the set. This is going to be a rather heavy weight.

Muscle endurance goals can be reached by selecting a weight that allows you to complete 12 or more reps before experiencing muscle fatigue. This is going to be a lighter weight.

A good balance between the two that will encourage both muscle growth in strength and endurance is a rep range between 8 to 12 reps. With proper nutrition, leaning out, it will also allow you to reveal nice hypertrophy of the muscle group.

Happy lifting.
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Last edited by Lydia227 : 09-16-2009 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:57 PM   #5
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Thanks for all of the info everyone!
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