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Your Guide To Pick Right Weights for Strength Training

Updated on March 15, 2019
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Krithi is a blogger and fitness freak who loves sharing her experiences to people by knowledgeable content.

Choosing the right weight for strength training can be tricky as there are many options available to choose from. Strength training as a whole is an excellent way to increase lean muscle mass, reduce fat, maintain balance and coordination. It is, however, crucial to know where to start when it comes to choosing the right weight for you. Let us begin with a couple of tips.

Begin With Body Weight

Instead of opting a dumbbell, kettlebell, or a medicine ball try managing your own body weight. This will help you find balance, flexibility and the most important thing working out using body weight is challenging at any fitness level. The best way to do this is by performing traditional workouts such as body weight squats, push-ups, and core exercises.

Other alternatives? Well, one can include yoga in their routine as it focuses on the entire muscle groups of the body and it primarily utilizes the body weight to build strength and flexibility.

Benefits of body weight exercises:

  • They can be performed anywhere since the equipment is not necessary
  • There's never an excuse to not workout
  • You will burn fat fast
  • One can mix up various routines to recreate an interesting work out routine
  • You'll never get bored

Have a Keen Eye on The Number Of Repetitions

The number of repetitions and the resistance offered by the body to the type of workout plays an important role to estimate the strength built, endurance and muscle growth. A lower number of repetitions somewhere between 1-8 focuses on building strength, a higher no of reps such as 6-16 or more help in building muscle. If you gear up for 12-20 reps it helps in toning and increases endurance.

Once your muscle groups start accepting the resistance offered, then this is the point you can start working out with weight levels. The right amount of weight is one which makes the workout challenging, nonetheless, the weight to be chosen depends on an individual's strength and capacity to lift.

1 RM TEST (1 repetition max)

Here is a test which is considered as a "gold standard" for assessing the strength capacity of an individual in a non-laboratory environment. It is defined as ' the maximal weight a person can lift for only one repetition with correct technique. It is most commonly used to assess strength capacities, strength imbalances and the effectiveness of the workout.

This test has been proved to be safe to rely on for measuring the strength in young children, adolescent adults, untrained adults, untrained middle-aged individuals and also individuals aged 75+.

NOTE: However, heavy weight lifters are not suggested to take this test as there is a greater risk of injuries

It is also used to measure various other factors such as:

  • Force
  • Power
  • Velocity time characteristics

Before performing there are certain characteristics which should be paid attention:

  • Full range of momentum
  • Injuries
  • Circadian rhythms
  • Individual effort

So What's Next?

The most important thing to remember here is it is mandatory to conduct this test in the surveillance of an experienced and qualified person. Some coaches may believe that reading articles related to the topic can make them expert in test phenomena. This is not true as this test involves many crucial topics, and ignoring them will be pernicious to the athlete's success.

Be Slow And Consistent

While choosing weights for workouts always start with minimal weight. Through this process, you get to know how to manage the weight for a particular workout and also there is less risk of injuries. Safety should always be a top priority while working out. Also, a good form of training is very important in order to see accurate results. Not everyone is competing in fitness challenges! So it is important to maintain a proper technique when lifting a maximal weight.

It is suggested by the physical trainers to push harder and lift heavy but it is you who know what is suitable to your body and how much effort can you invest. When you're lifting, if you feel that you are arching your back then it is not the right weight which is to be used.

Then how would someone get to know whether the weight chosen is correct or not? Well, if you're lifting the right amount of weight, you should be able to maintain the stability of core with an appropriate pressure distribution on the elongated spine. Furthermore, the pain should be felt only on the targeted muscles, if this is not the case then something is definitely wrong.

Trial and Error Works For All

According to the workout and the number of repetitions the right amount of weight can be selected by trial and error. It is important to maintain proper form in order to avoid injuries. If after a few repetitions you feel the weight has to be decreased or increased feel free to adjust it. If you want to increase the weight it is suggested to make small increments at times.

Do not Skip The Article Without Reading This

Benefits of strength training:

  • Burns fat and increases muscle mass
  • Muscle strength increases and also the bone strength increases and helps to stay fit even if a person grows old
  • It is challenging at any point of the workout.
  • You'll gain core strength
  • Body conditioning and toning
  • It increases the recovery rate of the body.


Before we end up there are few important points to be discussed. " Always focus on keeping your form perfect. Though you can lift more with bad form, you increase the risk of injuries and don't effectively train the muscles. If you want to progress then you should always win the struggle with the last few repetitions of the last set". It all depends on your effort and skill! Just go for it.


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