Often on social media we hear everyone talking about lifting “heavy”, I know am! But very rarely do we talk about how to lift heavy SAFELY. The problem with using the word heavy is that it means something different to everyone, it is all relative, what is heavy to me may NOT be heavy to you etc.
First and foremost let’s talk about lifting, why do we lift? To get stronger & be healthy right; so we don’t want to be lifting so heavy that we are hurting ourselves that would defeat the purpose. Essentially when we say lifting heavy, you want to make sure you are lifting heavy enough where the last 2-3 reps of your set are difficult, but not so heavy that you cannot finish performing the movement CORRECTLY.
Remember, if you are training your back that is where you want the stress of the exercise to be. However, if you are lifting so heavy that you are cheating by using your shoulders as well to move the weight you’re doing it wrong! Don’t let your ego get in the way of the focus of your workout. Really concentrate on the muscle you are working in that movement and if you have to use another muscle to “help out”, you are losing your form and that weight is TOO HEAVY.
I also see a lot of people worried about what everyone else is lifting, and comparing themselves…STOP RIGHT THERE. Remember YOUR hard is YOUR hard, that is all that matters. If you are getting the same pump and burn, then that is YOUR heavy. You are getting the exact same benefits as someone else who may be lifting more weight than you, so who cares, mission accomplished!
If you are ever questioning if you are lifting too heavy, or not heavy enough and you are training alone video tape yourself. It is a great tool to be able to SEE what you are doing. I do it all the time, half of the stuff I video on my phone I don’t post I simply do it to see if I am doing something correctly. I used to do that all the time, when I played softball with my swing because how I felt vs. what I was doing were almost always two TOTALLY different things. I now do the same thing with training, video is one of the best tools and almost everyone has a camera on their phone, so use it! For example, if you are doing a lat-pulldown and you are arms are moving up and down quickly & jerky, that is probably TOO light. But if you’re really struggling and you notice your shoulders are curving in, that is probably TOO heavy. Don’t be afraid to keep moving the weight around during sets either, strength is not linear and can change from day to day even set to set. Remember work HARDER and SMARTER, longevity is the key for consistency and consistency is the KEY for results!