We’ve all heard it before: To lose body fat, lift heavy weights. While this is great and much more fun than tedious cardio sessions, what exactly is heavy? How heavy is heavy for women? Believe it or not, each person will have a different “heavy weight”, but keep reading for a general guideline to determine what YOUR heavy weight is and what heavy lifting means for women.
How heavy is heavy lifting for women?
Everywhere you read there is an article saying “Lift heavy weights to lose fat” or “Women are lifting, but they aren’t lifting heavy enough” but no where do you read what exactly you need to be lifting. You gather, from this information and your progress, that thee eight pounds you’re lifting, just are not cutting it. Although you sweat, and oh hey, there’s even a small bicep, you aren’t really feeling it or losing weight. Do you need to lift your body weight? Two times as much?
Actually, it’s a lot simpler and a lot less of a guessing game than it seems. This will not be one-size-fits-all, it will be more of how heavy is heavy for you? I have developed a sort of cheat sheet to start with, so you can get an idea of how to determine your weights. At first this might be tedious, because I want you to do a small test before each weight lifting movement, to see how heavy is heavy, each move will be different. Although you can lunge with a pair of forty pound dumbbells in each hand, curling those will be a lot harder.
How heavy is heavy?
Here is a rough outline of where to start:
Beginner: 12-15 reps 2-3 Sets
Intermediate: 10-12 reps 3-4 sets
Advanced: 10 reps 3-4 Sets
Begin with a weight that you can complete 2-3 sets of 12-15 repetitions each set. You want a weight that allows you to get through the reps, but by the 10th rep, you’re struggling. Let’s say 8 pound bicep curls, just for an example. Once, overtime, this becomes too easy, and you get to the point of being able to complete these reps and sets without any real struggle, increase your weight. If you are a more advanced lifter, start at the intermediate or advanced level and choose a weight that allows you to complete 10-12 reps for 3-4 sets.
Do this test to determine how heavy is heavy for you.
It’s okay, this information can vary so much for each body and it can get confusing. Before each move, do the 80% of 1RM Test.
Let’s use our bicep curls example again. Before doing your sets, grab a weight, something crazy that you have no idea if you can lift, and try to curl it, just once. If you can great, if not, go one weight lower. Once you have a weight you can do one curl with, determine 80% of that weight. Example: You curled a 40 pound dumbbell. 80% of that weight is 32 pounds. That is what you should be using to lift heavy for the above outlined sets and reps. You may not have 32 pound dumbbells, that’s okay, opt for the 30s and curl away.
Once you test your exercises once, it gets easier, at least now you have your starting point. Many of you are wondering “That’s a lot of weight, won’t I get bulky?” You would have to eat a lot of protein, a lot of food in general, and lift way more to get bulky. Take a read at a previous article I did on Common Misconceptions About Women and Fitness. I promise you, it will not happen that way.
Are you lifting heavy enough after reading this information? Tell us below.
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