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.