Lifting weight for weight loss has multiple benefits over cardio, such as increased calorie burn and improving overall metabolism. However, it’s vital that you lift the right weight for your individual goals and capabilities, and that you lift it correctly.
While you should always seek professional advice on weightlifting, here’s our guide to finding your optimal lifting weight.
How Much Weight Should I Lift?
How much you should lift depends on your personal capabilities at any given time. As you gain or lose strength, the weight you should lift will change accordingly. You also need to choose a weight best suited for the type of training you do.
For strength training, you want to go heavy with weights that you can only lift for one to six reps. If you want to visibly bulk up, you should go a little lighter with weights you can lift for eight to twelve reps. And if you want muscular endurance, pick weights light enough for you to lift for at least fifteen reps.
Your age and body type also affect how much weight you should lift. As you approach your 40s, your body needs longer to recover from workouts. So while you may still be able to lift the same weight as you did in your 20s and 30s, you’ll need fewer sessions per week and fewer sets per session to avoid overdoing it.
There are three main body types, each of which is suited to different amounts of weight.
These people have a thin build and little fat, but struggle to gain muscle as well. With little tolerance for high frequency or intensity weight training, this body type needs to start off slowly with lighter weights and short workouts of 30-60 minutes.
This is a rounder body type with more fat, but an easier time gaining muscle. Endomorphs can handle more intense weight training, which they should pump out in short sessions to burn fat without also burning through their muscle.
These blessed people have an athletic build with a good metabolism to keep fat levels low, but also gain muscle easily. The only catch for this body type is that if you want to keep it, you have to keep the intensity up. Using weightlifting techniques and varying your exercises will push you to the limit and prevent your body from getting too comfortable.
Best Techniques for Weight Lifting
Lifting the right weight is a good start, but to prevent injury and get the most from your workouts, you need perfect form by using the correct techniques. Here are three weightlifting techniques that everyone should use.
A packed shoulder allows for optimal pressing and pulling on all lifts, and prevents bad posture from affecting your form. It’s all about drawing your shoulders toward you as you lift, like you’re bringing your arms to the opposing hip pockets.
Lots of people get the barbell back squat wrong. Here’s the proper technique:
- Hold a dumbbell vertically in front of your chest, your elbows pointing down.
- Keep your chest up and out as you squat.
- Keep your elbows inside your thighs.
- Lean forward slightly for balance, but don’t let your back go round. Keep your core tight.
Neutral spine is crucial for every exercise so you don’t hurt your back by putting strain on a bad posture. To find your neutral spine position:
- Do a front plank on your elbows and toes.
- Rotate your pelvis to experience full lumbar hyperextension and hyperflexion.
- Find a neutral middle position between the two extremes you just felt by squeezing your glutes.