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When do you increase weights?

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Old 12-02-2005, 04:30 PM   #1
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Question When do you increase weights?

I went to the gym after work yesterday and did 40 min on the elliptical and circuit weights. I was aiming for three days a week with this routine, but it just seemed like too much, so now I'm doing this 2 days a week and also at least 1 1/2 hrs lap swim and 1 hr water aerobics in a week. So 4 days a week at the gym minimum.

I just checked my Fitlinx account to compare stats on my weight lifting.

Oct. 1: 11 different exercises for a total of 312 reps lifting 17,330 lbs.

Dec. 1: 13 different exercises for a total 472 reps lifting 28,378 lbs.

I am quite encouraged by my progress! I kind of felt like I wasn't doing enough or not lifting heavy enough weights, but I don't have a lot of experience lifting so I'm not sure. I know you're supposed to lift until the muscle is fatigued, but how fatigued? You know there's "wow, this is really hard, feel the burn" and then there's "oh my god I couldn't possibly move this weight one more time even if you paid me a million dollars". I think the intensity I'm doing is on the more bearable side, but I do kind of a lot of reps, 3 sets of 12 for each exercise. I guess Iím wondering how Iíll know when I need to up the weight. Should I add weight and then start doing fewer reps? Like 8 in a set?

Thoughts, suggestions, experiences? Thanks for your help!
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Old 12-04-2005, 12:42 PM   #2
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Hi Shenanigan's,
If you can do 12 reps on your third set, but not 13, you do not need to increase the weight, and are certainly still training for strength. If you do 12-reps but could do, say, 15 then I don't think you are using enough intensity. I would increase the weight when I could do all sets with good form and a reasonable amount of rest (maybe ~2 min. for 12 rep sets) and still have the ability to do a rep or two more.

Rep Range? That depends upon your goal. If you are really going after strength a 5x5 scheme might be worth trying (five sets of five reps with the same weight). You can get plenty strong with 3x10 or 3x12 , though, and there are bigger margins of error. If more size is the goal, then a higher volume (10x10) lower intensity approach might yield more results. I am going to keep chasing strength gains until I no longer gain size before thinking about pursuing that approach.

I find that, if I am dieting really strictly, I have alot of trouble with higher rep ranges (above 7), so I do a lot of 6x3 or ladders (1/2/3)x3.
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Old 12-04-2005, 04:19 PM   #3
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Resting 2 minutes or more between sets is a method of training for power gains. If you are training more for general fitness and fat loss, I'd suggest something more like a 45 second rest between sets or supersets.

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Old 12-07-2005, 01:51 PM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions. Ideally I would like to increase strength, gain lean body mass, and lose fat. But maintaining what lean body mass I have and losing fat are probably my biggest goals at the moment. I think Iíll try changing up my reps, weights and rest periods in my next few workouts and see what that feels like. I think my current static routine probably needs some variety.
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