How Much Weight Should I Lift?


If you are new to weightlifting, you may find yourself wondering how much weight you should be lifting.  It may actually stop you from lifting because you don’t know where to start.

First, PLEASE make sure you know how to do the move without weight. Doing a move incorrectly with added weight could cause injury. If you aren’t sure how to perform an exercise, you can Google search and find a video. I have provided videos of me doing each move as well, although they are sped up to keep the videos at 30 seconds.

Time to add weight.


I recommend starting with 5lb weights and adjusting from there. If you can perform the required number of reps easily (like you are flying through them), you need to up your weights for the next set.

Let’s say you are doing 15 reps. The best amount of weight allows you to perform the first 10 reps with moderate difficulty with the last 5 being a bit more challenging. If you are straining, shaking, and can barely perform the reps with good form, it’s too much weight and you need to drop down to a lighter weight.

When should I increase my weight?

If you are able to do the entire set without difficulty, breaking a sweat, or getting your heart rate up…it’s time to go up.

If you try to go up and it’s too heavy . . . perform as many reps as you can (with good form!) with the higher weight, then drop down to your previous weight. For example, you need to do 15 reps of bicep curls. Use your higher weight for 8 curls (again, with good form, without straining and shaking), and finish the last 7 reps with your lower weight. For the next set, you may need to do 6 reps at the higher weight, and 9 lower. You are training your muscles to be able to perform all 15 at your new, higher weight.


Progress On Paper


At one point of my weightlifting journey, I was using 15lb for everything. I couldn’t remember what I had used last time, so I stuck with 15s.  Obviously, I was making no progress because I wasn’t pushing myself.  To keep track of the weight I used, I created Progress On Paper. To download your free copy of this resource, click here.

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