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Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Are you lifting enough?

I just had a PT session over at F/F1rst. It occurred to me that some lovely ladies may not be lifting heavy enough weights.

With a new trainer and different exercises it is hard to know what weight to start at. So PT puts a barbell in my hands and I pump out 10 reps. The last couple start to burn a little but this is not what I want. We go for the next heaviest weight. This time 1-5 are OK but I am starting to have to work hard for 6 and 7. 8 and 9 take everything I've got and before I do number 10 I have to have a brief pause and a few deep breaths. Sometimes I make it number 10 on my own, sometimes Mr PT has to help.

I rest for 60 seconds and then go again, telling myself that the weight is light, my muscles are fully recovered (apparently they regenerate some chemical after a minute or so) and that the first 5 are easy. If I can't get all the way to 10 then that's OK too. I am doing it right.

I do not choose a weight that I know I can lift for 3 sets of 10. I choose a weight that I know I can lift for 1 set of 10 if I work hard. I am not "saving" myself for anything after all. It would be like going easy in RPM so that I can smash out track 7 - what is the point of that (smash yourself on 3, 5 and 7 and recover in between)?

There should be effort, sweat and heat in your muscles. There should be grunting and face pulling. If there isn't, you're not lifting heavy enough.


  1. Face-pulling, yeah!!

    Clients sometimes ask me how I know if they're working hard enough. My answer is always that when they start pulling the ugly face, I know they're working hard.

    I like to train myself ugly. :o)

  2. Okay, I'm delurking for the first time ever.

    I must have been lifting heavy enough today because I was grunting and puffing AND pulling those faces.

    I don't feel quite so stupid now!


  3. Anonymous8:14 am

    hi katie!
    just wanted to say a formal hello im jewel and one of those lurkers u r inspirational my blog is

  4. Anonymous12:51 pm

    I agree so much!! I'm in a small group of 5 that trains together with our personal trainer. I can see that I am lifting much more weight than they are...sometimes twice the weight. This is supposed to be an advanced training group yet I'm the only one that is REALLY taking it up a notch and banging out far less reps than the others for obvious reasons. I leave there a soaking dripping mess. The others look as fresh as when they came in. What's up with that?