Are you consistently hitting the gym but still not seeing significant increases in strength or muscle size? It might be time to consider going heavier on your lifts! While lifting heavy weights isn't always the answer for every situation, some tell-tale signs suggest it might make all the difference between a workout being good and great.
Progressive overload is a concept that's integral to lifting heavier weights—it basically states that for you to get stronger and build more muscle, the weight you lift needs to increase over time gradually.
If you've been lifting the same weight for a few weeks consistently, then it's probably time to increase how much you're lifting to continue making gains.
Depending on your goals, it will be more or less appropriate for you to take bigger jumps in weight, but it's good practice to consider increasing the weight from session to session as your body allows you.
This blog post will look at four surprising signs that indicate that you should start upping your poundage, helping to take your powerlifting journey to a new level. So without further ado, let's jump into these indicators and how they help show when it is time for bigger weight cuts!
How to Tell When the Weight You are Lifting is Too Light
Paying attention to this factor can be tricky since making progress is often associated with adding more reps or going heavier. But understanding your limits and learning when it's time to increase weight could mean the difference between hitting a personal record or plateauing.
Let's dive into these four signs for spotting whether weights are too light—so let's get started!
Sign #1 — You're Never Sore or Fatigued
Hitting the gym regularly is great for fitness and health, but unless you're lifting heavier weights, you may not achieve the desired results. If you are never sore or fatigued after lifting weights, chances are they were too light to challenge your body.
Heavier weights require longer rest periods between sets before moving on to the next muscle group. This ensures maximum productivity and ensures that your muscles recover sufficiently beforehand.
If you want to step up your lifting game, pay attention to how your body feels— soreness and a bit of fatigue will help indicate if your weights are heavy enough to give you real results.
Sign #2 — You Can Get Through All Reps Pretty Easily
If lifting weights is a regular part of your workout routine, then you're probably familiar with the struggle of finding the right weight to push yourself while lifting. The second sign that you may need to increase your weight is if you can get through your reps easily.
It's essential to challenge yourself by lifting heavier weights to continue to progress in your lifting goals. If lifting those same weights doesn't seem like much effort anymore, it's time to mix up your routine and increase the weight for each lift.
Sign #3 — You Don’t Feel Challenged Enough
If lifting weights doesn't register as a challenge to you anymore, and the weight you are lifting seems too light, this is sign #3 that you may need to switch it up a bit. Zoning out during sets can signify that your current lifting routine no longer challenges your body, and it's time to change.
As our bodies grow accustomed to lifting the same weight over time, it becomes too easy and no longer presents a challenge. When that happens, it's time to add heavier weights and push yourself outside your comfort zone.
Having an effective lifting plan with progressions that continually challenge needs to be part of any serious lifting program. As your strength increases and plateaus, so do the weights to keep improving and challenging yourself.
Sign #4 — You Have Been Using the Same Weights for Months
If all your lifting reps come pretty easily to you, that's a sign that the weights you've chosen may be too light. Usually, lifting heavier weights should be a bit of a struggle if you want to achieve maximum results. If none of your lifting exercises are really challenging for you, consider increasing your weight.
Adding heavier weights to your lifting routine can take your workouts to the next level by making them more challenging and effective. By increasing the intensity of each lift, you will be able to build more muscle and get stronger and push yourself further.
But make sure you do this gradually, don't jump right in lifting heavier weights that are way out of your comfort zone. Regularly lifting heavier weights is essential to achieving some serious muscle gains.
What Does the Right Weight Feel Like?
Finding the right weight can be tricky. While too light of weights won't get you the results you're looking for, lifting too heavy can sabotage your results. So what are the signs that you may be lifting too heavy? What does the right weight feel like?
Everyone's situation is different, and everyone's body is different. Generally speaking, signs you're lifting too heavy include muscle fatigue, a decrease in form and posture, lack of control over the weight being lifted, and difficulty breathing.
When you achieve the right weight for your fitness goals, an unmistakable feeling comes with it—a sense of accomplishment. Not only will you be able to complete full sets with proper form, but your posture will be significantly improved over time as opposed to if you had been lifting heavier weights without proper form or rest.
I'm a big believer in that "no pain, no gain" mentality when lifting heavier weights. However, when it comes to signs that I'm lifting too heavy, I know that one of the biggest signs is that my form is compromised. I will be too heavy if I can't do the exercise correctly with good posture and balance or if my muscles shake or tremble during a lift.
This can have many negative effects on your body and result in an injury. To avoid this, I aim for the right weights to perform the last rep while still doing it with good form. That way, I know the weight is pushing me some without pushing me too far.
Remember, Progress is Not Linear
When progressing with lifting heavier weights, you may feel as though you are stuck in a rut, unable to move beyond the same weight with each exercise. However, adapting your progression is key if you want continued seeing results.
According to the personal trainers, you can use various training methods to progress by increasing weight, reps, or sets of exercises. For example, progressive overload is a method that involves progressively increasing the demands on your musculoskeletal system over time while still allowing your body enough time to recover and adapt between workouts.
This could mean adding an extra repetition of an exercise each week or two until you reach a certain goal (such as 10 repetitions before moving up to the next weight). Additionally, incorporating variability into your program can promote adaptation and keep things interesting and challenging.
This could include using different rep ranges for the same exercise (e.g., performing three sets of 10 reps one week and three sets of 8 reps the next) or using different variations of exercises (e.g., alternating between dumbbell bicep curls and cable curls).
It is also important to ensure that you are tracking your progression to monitor your performance gains over time accurately. This will allow you to make adjustments when needed, such as changing up exercises or intensifying your workouts if necessary, to keep progressing towards the goals you have set for yourself.
Tracking progress also ensures that you motivate yourself throughout your journey—which is essential when achieving any goal! There will be bumps along the way and times when progress slows down or stalls out completely.
When this happens, do not get discouraged—instead, take some time off from lifting heavier weights and focus on perfecting form and technique on lighter loads before continuing again with more challenging weights when you feel ready for them.
With careful planning and consistency, you can continue pushing forward toward success. That's why we recommend listening to your body. If the routine you've created isn't providing the desired outcome, adjust it by recognizing what exercises give the best results - even if that means trying something new.
The goal isn't to overdo it to show immediate results; there are many ways to get better, faster, and stronger by understanding what works best for each body. Listen up because your body will tell you what it needs.
1. What is the benefit of lifting heavier weights?
Lifting heavier weights helps build muscle, increase strength and power, burn more calories, and help improve your overall fitness level.
2. What is an effective way to lift heavier weights?
Start with small increments when weight increases and focus on form over speed. Practicing proper technique will help you build more muscle and prevent injury.
3. What are some exercises I can do to increase my strength?
Squats, deadlifts, and bench presses are all great exercises for developing strength and power. You can also incorporate Regional Barbells, Adjustable Dumbbells Set, kettlebells, weight machines, or bodyweight exercises into your workouts. Doing HIIT and plyometric movements can also help increase your strength.
To properly progress with your workouts, it is essential to train using the right weight that allows you to be challenged without becoming injured. Remember, weightlifting and progressive overload is not linear process. One day you may feel stronger, while the next day might seem more difficult.
The goal of progressive overload is to push beyond your comfort zone to achieve results. If, at any point during your workout, you recognize signs that indicate the weight you're lifting isn't challenging enough—like little or no post-workout soreness or difficulty zoning out during a set due to boredom—then it's time for an increase. Listen to your body, adjust accordingly and maximize your strength training journey!