Safe and effective weight in the gym

Figuring out what is the right amount of weight you can carry safely to prevent injuries from happening? This article will answer your burning question and keep you on the right track.

How much weight can I lift in the gym to prevent injuries?

A safe intensity for resistance training can be determined using your 1RM aka the maximum weight that can be lifted with only one repetition.

70% of 1RM will give you the appropriate weight. Eg, if 1RM is 50kg, the safe weight to use is 35kg, derived from 70% of 50kg.

How do you find out what is your 1RM?

To find out what's the maximum weight you can lift is to use a relatively lighter weight and lift it repetitively until exhaustion. If you are able to do it for more than 12 repetitions, the weight is too light and you should try to increase the weight. If you can complete 12 repetitions or less, apply the following equation to determine your 1RM.

RM = Weight × ( 1 + ( 0.033 × Number of repetitions ) )

Increasing your weight is only 1 way of increasing your training intensity. Try varying it with number of repetitions. Bear in mind that the training intensity will also depend on your training goals to achieve better endurance or strength. Generally endurance training involves higher repetitions using lesser weights and strength training involves lower repetitions with heavier weights.

Simple sets with 70% 1 RM -e.g 3 sets x 8 repetitions with 70% of 1 RM, is a good way to start off your resistance training regime. Know your training goals and pick the appropriate weight and intensity to meet those goals safely.

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