I was in the gym I train at and saw a younger guy who looked like he had no idea what he was doing so I decided to help him out, which is a risky move in any gym because people hate being told they don’t know what they’re doing!
So I asked the guy “what exercise are you doing” and he proudly told me he was doing a “standing overhead press.” Great exercise… when done right. However, when you bend your back like a bendy straw it becomes not so good! I told him to try a lighter weight because it seemed that he was having a little bit of trouble perfecting the form. He promptly told me to f*ck myself for telling him to use “sissy weights.” Oh well, it’s not my spine!
I tell you this story because it’s a very teachable moment. The weight doesn’t matter! The form is everything. Without form it doesn’t matter if you can lift a flower or a school bus, you will hurt yourself!
Other than form weight determines your rep & set amounts. Let’s go over a few rules of thumbs:
1. Your weight should start to get heavy about 75% of the way through your reps! If that’s at rep 6 then go for 8. If it’s at rep 12 then go for 15. This helps muscular growth almost as if it were a progressive overload, just with reps instead of weight.
2. If the weight is too heavy just be honest about it. Please don’t be the guy who tears a peck because your buddy who’s double your size did a 3 plate bench & now you wanna try “just for one rep bro”
3. Remember that “we don’t get to be the person we wanna be every day.” Sometimes your dead-lift numbers will be a little lower than usual, that’s perfectly normal. Why? Because you’re a human & not a car! Take this time to de-load.
Weight is just a number, nobody cares if you’re benching 30lbs dumbbells or 300lbs bars. There’s a woman at my gym who’s been fighting an uphill weight loss battle. Her goal is to lose 150lbs. She goes every day, lifts light weights, and does tons of cardio. I have more respect for her based on her level of dedication to her goal than anyone else in the gym.
Don’t judge yourself on your lift numbers, judge yourself off your character!