It's not just "lift as heavy as you can." Now, don’t get me wrong here I am a big fan of pushing yourself as much as you can. However, it better be with 3 things on your mind: purpose , posture, control.
1. Purpose:Before you work on the control and posture of your exercise, you need to figure out why you are lifting. You must have a goal or a purpose for training. You cannot just lift heavy weights for the sake of it. Find out your purpose first, which can be varying reasons like becoming healthy, losing weight, bulking up or becoming a better athlete.
If you can't control the posture under the load, you are not really training with a purpose; you are just moving heavy things up and down.
Regardless of why you are lifting whether it be you are training to be a better athlete or to just function safely and be healthy, you must have a command of your posture under the load you are lifting.
Once you have command then load that bar up as much as you can handle on it. This is the only way you are going to be challenged.
Here comes the intensity level, which determines where you will go with your weight training, this refers to how much weight you will lift and exercising control over your body.
The intensity is usually recognized by one thing, how many reps (repetitions) you can do per set.
The lighter the weight for you the more reps you can do, the heavier the weight the less reps you can do... So the more reps you can lift , the lower your intensity level. The lower reps you can lift the higher your intensity level.
Why is all of this important to know?
This will all determine where you are going with your training and if it meets your goals or not. So, now you know the measuring tool, let's see how you can use it.
The question is: What training intensity suits your goals best? AKA how many reps should you do per set?
If you are aiming for muscular power, 1 to 5 reps per set.
If you are aiming for muscular strength and adding muscle mass from 6 to 12 reps per set
And, if you are aiming for muscular endurance do 15+ reps per set.
And to achieve the benefits of each set completely make sure that the final rep be performed at your maximum effort. This is when you are allowed to grunt and start making funny faces at the gym.
No one is able to tell you how you feel when using that weight, you are the only one who knows, so be honest with yourself. If you feel like it's easy and not challenging, you should push your limits a bit further that's how progress is made.
Whenever you feel like you are in a plateau and your body doesn't change anymore, then that’s your body's signal for you to push your limits a bit further.Photography: Drop Studios Model: Omar El Sheikh Venue: FITBOX Gym