General Question

yesitszen's avatar

Re. free weights... a question for those knowledgeable?

Asked by yesitszen (1961points) July 15th, 2018

I was told to use weights that I can lift about 15 times and three reps. Is there a problem using less weight… perhaps 10 lbs instead of 20… and lifting about 40 times 3 reps?

Why or why not?


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9 Answers

snowberry's avatar

Not a weight lifter, but I read a lot, and my father lifted weights until he died at 89. His weights were light. I think his heaviest weight was 7 pounds. He said he built stamina as well as muscle by lifting the lighter weights longer.

zenvelo's avatar

The benefit comes from lifting enough weight to tear down muscle. That’s how you build strength.

To make an extreme example, lifting a piece of cardboard 200 times would make your arm tired, but wouldn’t build strength.

3×15 reps works the muscle enough to fatigue while having enough resistance makes you stronger. If the weight you are using is too much for you, reduce by ten percent and do the same reps until that becomes routine for you.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I typically use three sets of eight or ten reps.

yesitszen's avatar

@zenvelo Thanks. I would like comments specifically re. the example I gave… simply because I own and have been using those weights. I do feel a burn after about 30 or 40 times… can I do this instead of a heavier weight times 10?

chyna's avatar

Low weights and many reps tones muscle, doesn’t build muscle. I worked out at a gym for many years.

MrGrimm888's avatar

The rule is generally, lighter weights and more reps for toning, and heavier weights with less reps for building mass…

MrGrimm888's avatar

What are your goals @yesitszen ? Are you trying to add bulk, sculpt, rehab?

Love_my_doggie's avatar

I’m a long-term committed gym rat.

There’s never a problem with using lighter weights. What matters is good form – making sure that your stance and posture are right, and that you’re doing the full, correct range of motion. Bad form achieves wasted time, at best, and injuries, at worst. Just find the weight that challenges you but doesn’t compromise your technique. You can always add more weight over time.

I’m addicted to Les Mills Bodypump and go 3X per week. The approach = low resistance + a high number of repetitions; during a 60-minute class, we lift, squat, or lunge 800 – 1,000 times. The results are amazing. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been, and without any heavy load-bearing.

yesitszen's avatar

Thank you all very much.

@Chyna et al I think I got my answer. Thanks ☺

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