How much weight you should be lifting very much depends on your goal and the level of strength and size of muscle you want to achieve. For long, lean muscle the ideal rep range is  around 12, so keep that number in mind.

If you are training to get ‘big’ your rep range will be lower – a max of 8 reps. Once you have discussed this with your trainer, and broken it down into manageable milestones, it’s time to start lifting.

As everyone knows you start with a lower weight and build up gradually. Don’t miss out steps in a misguided attempt to speed up the process. You will only damage yourself in the process.

Experiment with moves you know and different weights. The rule of thumb is known as the last 2 rep rule. You should feel for those last 2 reps (11 and 12) that you can’t lift any more and need a rest. If you are still very comfortable, you should try a little bit more weight.

This is also how you know to increase the weight over time. If you can complete 2 or more reps in the last set of 2 consecutive workouts of any given exercise then its time to increase the load.

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