So you’ve chosen to begin weight training, but is it really safe? Is this truly going to help, or will it do harm? You may be thinking to yourself, “surely lifting large weights is harmful and harmful,” or you may witness individuals going to the gym and say to yourself, “you’re not that sort of person.”
Well, the reality is that Weight Lifting can be used by practically everyone to make beneficial changes to their bodies, and chances are you are no exception.
- 1 How Often Should You Lift Heavy?
- 2 Are Heavy Weight Lifting Workouts Safe?
- 3 What Exactly Is Heavy?
- 4 What Are Rep Ranges?
- 5 What Do Lifting Heavy Weights Do to Your Body?
- 6 A Word Of Warning
- 7 So, how often should I lift Heavy?
- 8 Another Word of Caution
- 9 A Few More Pieces to the Puzzle
- 10 Is it Safe to Lift Heavy During My Workout?
- 11 Weight vs Form
- 12 Warm-Ups And Stretching
- 13 Those Who Should Never Lift Heavy
- 14 Those Who Should Definitely Lift Heavy
- 15 Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Should You Lift Heavy?
If you want to increase strength and power, you should workout at a high-intensity level with low rep ranges.
Your aim will be hypertrophy (muscle development) if you are aiming to gain solid muscle and size, hence your intensity level will normally be MIDRANGE with medium to high repetition.
Low-intensity lifting and high repetition weights may assist everyone builds resistance and stamina.
Are Heavy Weight Lifting Workouts Safe?
It is critical to learn and perfect the proper form and movement of the exercise before undertaking hard training sets.
Once this is accomplished, increasing the weight of the movement should be safe as long as you can maintain proper form and complete range of motion.
When your form begins to break, it is a warning that you are lifting too much and should reduce the weight.
This is presuming there are no medical issues, in which case you should always seek the advice of a certified medical practitioner first.
While these are broad answers, there is a lot more to learn about this topic that can help you determine what works best for you while lifting high weights.
What Exactly Is Heavy?
This will vary from person to person based on a variety of criteria such as gender, age, height, weight, and so on. Additionally, the more weight training you perform over time, the higher your ‘heavy’ threshold will grow.
Rep ranges (and sets) of a certain weight of an exercise are a common technique to determine what you consider as heavy.
What Are Rep Ranges?
A rep (repetition) is one full motion of an exercise, while a set is a collection of successive repeats. For example, you may perform 10 repetitions of Bicep curls for three sets. The end result would be 30 repetitions split over three sets. (10 repetitions, three times with brief rests in between).
The rep range is the number of repetitions you select to complete each set.
As you gain heavier with a particular exercise, you’ll be able to do fewer repetitions each set. This is a method of determining what you consider to be heavy.
Eventually, as you gradually increase the amount of weight on your workout, you will only be able to do one rep. This is known as your 1 Rep Max (1RM), and it is usually where many lifters determine their strength levels and estimate what they consider to be “heavy.”
It’s worth noting that many weightlifters have never reached their 1RM, and you shouldn’t have lifted weights for a long time and mastered all the exercises with perfect technique.
What Do Lifting Heavy Weights Do to Your Body?
Some of the advantages are as follows:
- Increased general strength and fitness.
- Increased bone density, stronger bones
- Increases metabolism, which aids in fat loss.
- Energy levels have increased.
And these are only a few examples. I wrote a whole article on the Benefits Of Weight Training For Men And Women.
I wrote another article What Happens To Your Body When You Start Lifting Weights. It goes through the pros and drawbacks of lifting weights in general, as well as what to anticipate.
For the sake of this post, we’ll concentrate on heavier weights.
Lifting high weights with low rep ranges promotes the development of type 2 muscular fibers, often known as ‘fast-twitch muscles.’
Because these muscles are related to explosiveness and burst power, exercising them will increase explosive strength.
A Word Of Warning
Weight lifters that consistently lift around their 1RM are devoted lifters who are focused on increasing their strength and power. While trying 1RMs on occasion is beneficial (depending on your objectives, of course), it does come with its own set of hazards.
Lifting weights to the limit of your ability puts a lot of pressure on your body and consumes a lot of energy. This is also where you leave yourself exposed to injury, which is typical amongst serious Powerlifters and Strongmen.
While weight lifting has several advantages, lifting in this way may not be advisable if your objective is total health and well-being.
So, how often should I lift Heavy?
This answer will vary substantially based on your objectives. A complete analysis of the various rep ranges and sets for each sort of object can be found here.
Again, for the sake of this post, we’ll keep things simple by concentrating on heavy weight lifting and demonstrating the fundamentals.
The diagram above shows how repetitions vary based on how heavy you choose to lift. It also shows how rep ranges alter based on your unique objectives.
The amount of repetitions in each set is referred to as volume.
The level of effort needed for each rep is referred to as intensity.
Simply said, the bigger the volume, the lower the intensity, and vice versa. The higher the intensity required for each rep, the less volume you will be able to accomplish.
With this in mind, we can see that lifting high weights necessitates few repetitions, often between 1 and 5.
Alternatively, if your aim is endurance, you would raise the volume while decreasing the intensity to somewhere between 12 and 20 repetitions. Your muscles are still becoming stronger, but they are doing it in a new manner. They will be able to withstand tension for a longer amount of time rather than having explosive power.
Another Word of Caution
This is not a hard and fast rule; rather, it should be regarded as a guideline.
In reality, high-intensity exercise will still develop your strength and muscle mass. The body is a complex mechanism, and we all operate in somewhat different ways.
While having this guideline will help you enhance one major element of your training, it is recommended that you include all of the other rep ranges into your exercise regimen on a regular basis; they will all work.
A Few More Pieces to the Puzzle
In the example above, you may have noted the Speed, Frequency, Capacity, and Rest. Along with Volume and Intensity, here are some more aspects that will come into play based on your objectives. Let’s go through each of them and see how they affect each training approach:
This relates to how fast you complete each repeat. This may seem little, but it has a significant impact on the amount of weight you can move and changes the dynamic of the exercise. If you move the weight slowly, for example, your muscles will weary faster and you won’t be able to accomplish as many repetitions.
Bodybuilders, in particular, concentrate on the concentric and eccentric sections of an exercise and like to manage the weight slowly in order to place more pressure on the muscle. In this scenario, weight isn’t as essential.
Powerlifters, on the other hand, and lifters looking to gain strength will concentrate on explosive strength and will aim to move the weight faster and do more exercises that include rapid, burst movement patterns.
This relates to the number of times each week you will be able to exercise. For example, if you lift at a high-intensity level, you probably won’t want to train on that muscle group or do that activity again until the following week.
Because of how strenuous this kind of lifting is on your body, you’ll need extra time to recuperate.
On the other end of the spectrum, people who train for endurance (lifting weights at a lesser intensity) will be able to recover considerably faster and so may work out more often. A greater frequency of exercise may also be beneficial in terms of improving total muscular endurance and stamina.
This refers to the length of time you relax between sets.
Longer rest times will be required if you are training for power since your sets will be more intense. Shorter rest times will be used by those exercising for endurance or muscle growth to maintain the muscles under strain.
This refers to the number of sets you’ll do for each exercise. The number of sets you can do may vary based on the intensity of your lifts.
Doing a 1RM for many repetitions, for example, is usually not a good idea and will rapidly tire you out.
You may need to recharge your weight and change the range of repetition in the long-term training with high intensity.
This is mostly a matter of personal choice and may rapidly become unnecessarily complex, so a decent rule of thumb is to aim for between 3 and 6 sets on a specific exercise.
Is it Safe to Lift Heavy During My Workout?
My advice is entirely weightlifting-related, and I have no medical background or knowledge, so if you have any problems or difficulties, disregard this and see a medical specialist.
Yes, lifting large weights during your exercises should be safe if you’ve learned the movement or exercise properly if you’re in excellent health and have no issues.
As previously said, defining heavy is difficult, but if we consider High Intensity to be heavy, it becomes easy to determine precisely how much you should be lifting for each of your sets.
Using the table above as an example, if you’re training for 5 reps (volume), you’ll need an intensity level of 5. For 5 repetitions, this will feel quite heavy; for 1 or 2 repetitions, it will feel light.
I believe the point here is to be cautious about how much weight you want to lift. Determine why you want to move that particular weight and how many repetitions you want to do.
Weight vs Form
As the weight grows and you begin to strain, your muscles will get weary, and your form on that exercise will begin to shatter.
In terms of safety, there is a happy medium here. You should ideally be training with maximum effort while keeping proper form. When your form begins to deteriorate, you put yourself at risk of injury.
Finding this happy medium is weightlifting’s holy grail, and the only way to achieve it is via practice and experimenting.
Finding your threshold is crucial since it will give you a sense of what weights you can safely manage.
Warm-Ups And Stretching
This one is quite clear, yet it is often forgotten. Stretching and warming up efficiently is a skill in and of itself that, like the exercises you’re performing, should be taught.
Learning to perform these things will undoubtedly aid in injury prevention in the long run.
When it comes to warming up and high-intensity training, always do a slew of warm-up sets before tackling your working sets. Work up to your heavy sets gradually, gradually increasing the weight to guarantee safety and avoid damage.
Those Who Should Never Lift Heavy
If you go to the gym just to demonstrate your awesomeness by being the largest alpha, tossing weights way too heavy for you about, and making as much noise as possible, you definitely shouldn’t be lifting heavy.
You’re certain to run across some of these guys at your local gym at some time; they’re fairly prevalent. Don’t be a fool and join the same camp; you’ll almost certainly be hurt at some time.
These folks come and go all the time; they don’t remain around for long, and if they do, they make very little progress.
Those Who Should Definitely Lift Heavy
Anyone who wants to be stronger and better should lift heavy. While there are hazards to lifting high weights, there are also several advantages.
As previously said, the objective is to lift with a determined effort level that corresponds to your own objectives.
If you do this, you will maximize the advantages of high weight lifting while reducing the hazards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it better to lift heavy or light?
This is very dependent on your objectives and what you want to acquire from weight lifting. If feasible, a combination of the two is preferred.
Lifting heavier will take a greater emphasis for athletes looking to grow muscle and strength, with rep ranges ranging from 1 to 12.
For individuals looking to train for endurance, lower weights with greater repetitions will be preferred, with rep ranges ranging from 12 to 20.
How many days a week should you lift heavy?
Experts believe that two to three days of hard lifting per week is sufficient for the typical individual.
Is it bad to lift heavy every day?
Daily training of the same muscle groups just does not allow for proper recuperation. “Lifting weights every day is safe as long as other muscle groups are rested,” Brathwaite explains.
Lifting weights on a daily basis may amplify the total effect on your body, making it more difficult to adjust to the pressure.
How often should I go up in weight when lifting?
You should lift weights at least three times a week. According to the study, a minimum of two days of exercise each week is required to enhance muscle development. The format of your exercises and the number of days you commit to strength training are determined by your current fitness level.