How Much Weight Should You Lift?

If you’re looking to get as strong as possible, you’ll be using a heavier weight than someone who is trying to get as big as possible. And to improve muscular endurance, you’ll use an even lighter weight.
Strength training means choosing weights that allow you to train in a rep range of 1-6

Building muscle mean choosing weights that allow you to train in a rep range of 8-12

Focusing on muscular endurance means choosing weights that allow you to train for at least 15 reps

1 TRAINING FOR STRENGTH
Rest periods between sets for main lifts are fairly long (3-5 minutes) so that incomplete recovery doesn’t inhibit succeeding sets. Of course, lifting heavy means warming up well beforehand, so a number of progressively heavier warm-up sets precede the maximal weights

2 TRAINING FOR MUSCLE SIZE
You must use good form. Perform a true set of 8-12 reps. Of course you can just put a light weight on the bar and stop at 12 reps but that’s not a true set A true set means that you’re very near muscle failure—the point at which you can’t do another rep on your own with good form. If you can do a 13th rep, the weight you used was too light. E.g if you can do only 4-5 reps, the weight is too heavy for maximum muscle-building The sweet spot lies in choosing a weight in which you can just do 8-12 reps on your own.

3 TRAINING FOR MUSCLE ENDURANCE
It means choosing very light weights that can be done for 15-20 reps or more. The weight stimulus just isn’t strong enough to maximize size or strength. That’s because the muscles are engaging the slow-twitch rather than the fast-twitch fibers. Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind:

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1. BUILD IN PROGRESSIVELY HEAVIER WARM-UPS

2. GO HEAVY EARLIER IN YOUR WORKOUT
Because your energy starts to sag over the course of a hard workout, choose the most difficult exercises early in your training session, when you’re fresh.

3. BE MINDFUL OF PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD
How do you know when to go up in weight? Try this method: When you can do 2 more reps with a given weight than you started out with, for two consecutive workouts, increase your weight.

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