Starting a solid muscle training routine needs to be planned properly. Even though it is not rocket science, you still need to know your “plan of attack”. One of the things that every lifter should plan ahead is the amount of weight they will be lifting for any given training day and any given exercise. You do not need a degree in Algebra to figure this out, but you will need to know some basic numbers.
Your one rep max-
Male or females who plan on utilizing weight training for their fitness needs need to know this amount. It is pretty self explanatory. Your one rep max is the amount of weight you can lift for that particular exercise one time. Trying to figure this amount out can be difficult and unsafe though. There are charts that you can search on the internet that will give you an estimated one rep max from the amount of weight you lift for other reps. This is a little unreliable. The best way to do it is with a spotter. Start with a weight you know you can lift 2-3 times. Rest a good amount of time and then add some weight. Try the lift again and repeat. Make sure your spotter is there to help you if needed. Once you feel that you have reached your one rep max for that exercise, write it down. Repeat these steps for each exercise you are planning to do in your muscle training workout routine. If you are unsure, then go lower with the amount of weight. There is no room for egos!
Why do I need this?
Knowing your personal one rep max on each exercise you plan on doing will give you the best results for each exercise. Many programs out there tell you how many sets and reps to do, but will not tell you the weight that you should use. This is because each individual is different. You may be strong with one exercise, but weaker in another. Knowing your one rep max will allow you to lift the proper weights for each exercise that the program calls for.
You do not need to lift your one rep max!
Now that you know your one rep max, this does not mean that you will be lifting that amount each time you train. If you are planning on losing weight, then usually a program will call for higher reps in a set. So now, you take for example 50% of your one rep max and use that amount for your particular sets and reps. A good muscle training program will tell you the percentage of your one rep max that you should be lifting for that particular training day. As the program moves forward, the weights will be adjusted by just inputting the particular percentages. This is called ‘periodization’. You are adjusting the weights, sets and reps throughout the program to make your muscles work harder. Doing 15 reps with 30% of your one rep max is not taxing. No matter what you may believe, there is no magic pill or no magic formula for either building muscle or losing weight. It requires hard work!
The muscle training workout routine you choose will be the ultimate deciding factor in the amount of weight you lift along with the reps and sets you will be doing. If you are planning on losing eight, then you will most likely be doing higher reps with a lower weight. A weight that will still make you work once you get within the final 3-4 reps of that set. If you plan on building muscle, then a higher percentage of your one-rep max for less reps will probably be the plan.
Knowing your one rep max will allow you to plan ahead and motivate yourself before your workout. You will have it all laid out so there is no guesswork. Go to the gym, train and go home. If you are serious about your muscle training workout routine, then sit down and plan ahead. The weight you lift will make or break your success.