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Choosing the Appropriate Weights

January 12, 2011

By Gerard Bochese

Last week we talked about rep selection as a factor for creating “Time Under Tension”, which was critical for achieving a desired training effect.  Whether your goal is strength development, hypertrophy, or endurance, you must choose a weight that forces your body to adapt to the stimulus.

Many times I see clients or group class participants grab weights that are too light.  One of the primary principles of training is “progressive overload”.  If you do not apply overload to your muscles there is no reason for your body to make any adaptations.  Let the reps dictate the weight.  If you are choosing a rep scheme of 6 reps at a tempo of 3-1-1 to create 20-40 seconds of time under tension for a strength/hypertrophy training effect, than choose a weight that allows you to only do 6 reps.  If you can do 9-12 reps with that same weight it is too light.  Similarly, if you are looking for endurance with a 15 rep range you still have to chose a challenging load that fatigues you at 15 reps not 50 reps.

Remember if your body is not challenged it will not need to adapt.

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