I read a Nerd Fitness article and I learned good stuff.
If you didn’t read the Part 1, click here
Several workouts later
Now that you know your starting weight, you can do the « progressive overload » method.
« Progressive overload » method involves gradually increasing the stress in your body during training.
For beginners, this means increasing the weight at each workout session. You know after each workout, your body is healed. And if you do things well by having good nutrition and good sleep, your body becomes stronger than before.
When your body gets used to your workout, it’s bad sign. When your body used to do 5 sets of 5 reps, it will become more effective so your body will burn fewer calories and use fewer processes to achieve movement.
To know when you need to add weight, you need to look at the difficulty you had in your last set. That’s why it’s important to track your workout to analyze your performance. You can use a paper notebook, Evernote or a fitness app like Jefit . Document how much you lift, how many sets you do, how many reps you do, the degradation of your technique arrived at what set and what reps and quality of your latest set.
If you couldn’t do all reps of the last set with a good technique, take the same weight at your next session to improve your technique.
Doing this guarantee you that you don’t stagnate because every rep you do is more solid et better than the last time. To improve, it’s not necessary to increase weights at each workout. You can rest less between your set, improve movement control or do more reps. All these variations mean that you become stronger.
On the other hand if you can do all sets with an excellent technique without the barbell’s speed, it’s time to add weight. It doesn’t matter than you add 9 kg (20 lbs) or 1.1 kg(2.5 lbs), you progress.
All professional athletes will tell you it’s better to add weights slowly and progress constantly rather than to progress quickly and hit a plateau. In this way, you build your strength, your confidence and your momentum.
That’s why I recommend you to start too lightly for you progress constantly.
In life, there are ups and downs so there are days when you can’t add more weight because there is a lot of stress at school/work or you haven’t sleep enough and so on. It’s important to listen to your body rather than absolutely lift the weight you want.
Find your ta 1 rep max
It’s really fun to find the maximum amount of weight you can lift for a rep from time to time.
However for a beginner who has just started, it’s better to make the movement with a proper technique and add weight slowly to try to find. I advise you to follow a workout’s program for at least 6 weeks before to try to find your 1 rep max.
Even if your technique is good for a beginner, you’ll have a better results by learning to make ajustements and corrections as you go. When you start, your body isn’t prepared to do this performance so if after 2 weeks you try to find your 1 rep max, it will not be your true 1 rep max.
In addition, when you train, you train everything in your body. Things like muscles and bones will become stronger while others like the nervous system will become more effective. The more often you do something and the better you do. When you’re a beginner you get better quickly.
And as you are a beginner, you haven’t yet experienced it. It’s not safe to try your 1 rep max when you learn the movement. Even if you have a good technique with a light weight, you’re going to hurt yourself because you don’t have the experience yet.
When your technique begins to deteriorate, you need to have experience to complete or stop the movement safely.
If you look at weightlifting or powerlifting competition, sometimes the way to lift does’t have the best technique you’ve seen. However, the lifters have enough experience to handle this and know how to stop the movement if something goes wrong. When you’re a beginner, you don’t know how to do it.
The respectable quantity to be lift
In fact, I think you already know the answer : it’s the weight that suits you. That’s why it’s important to keep track of your workouts because your’re competing with the « You » of the last week. It’s like racing your ghost in Mario Kart.
You’re like me, you want to have a strength better than average strength but it’s more complex that what you think because it depends on your body’s type, your background as an athlete, your genetics and other factors.
If there was a formula or a calculation, we would all have a superhero’s body but this is not the case.
This is why you have to concentrate on lifting the weight that is right for you today. At your next training, you’ll try to lift heavier and if you can’t do it, you will do more repetitions or decrease you rest time between your sets.
In this adventure to have an athletic body for life, forget people around you. The person who is next to you do squat at 226.7 kg (500 lbs) and you squat at 22.6 kg (50 lbs) ? Forget it ! If you squat at 22.6 kg (50 lbs) and it’s a challenge, it means that it’s the right weight you should lift.
Never modify your workout to impress the personne who is next to you. No one is judged by the weight he lifts and if people do that, they’re not future winner/champion. It’s the losers who seek shortcuts.
Winners warm up with the empty barbell.
Winners focus on their reps and aren’t ashamed to lift less than the person next to them.
Winner take the time to do things right, even if it means lifting less than what they know can do.
Winners started with a beginner workout program like you
Remains cautious, begins slowly, adds weight slowly.
It’s better to train in safety early rather than hurt yourself and be frustrated before you’ve progressed like my friends hurt in the shoulder. My physique has progressed a lot while their bodies stagnate because of their shoulder injury.
Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.