There is nothing like a good productive workout. When you can honestly say you worked hard and feel every fiber throbbing from the strenuous beating you just put your body through, you can truly be proud of a job well done. But keep in mind, a good workout doesn't mean you must be lifting extreme amounts of weight. In fact, too much weight can turn out to be counterproductive.
In bodybuilding, the idea is not to lift too heavy or too light. If you lift too heavy, you tend to cheat and when that happens, you do not work through a full range of motion and the benefit of the exercise is minimal. When you lift too light, you do not put sufficient stress on the muscles to make them grow, so again, you come away with minimal benefits. When training with weights, the ideal form of training is to use a weight that is light enough for you to pull out at least 10 repetitions but heavy enough that the last two are a little difficult to complete. In fact, it is even more beneficial to attempt 12 or even try to squeeze in 13. In doing so, you are not only getting stronger and challenging your body to respond, you are also getting your body use to a routine that will allow it to move on to an even more challenging set, because your body adapts as you get stronger. In order to choose the right weight, you need to be in tuned to what your body responds to. To find out, you have to experiment with lifting until you can distinguish between what's too heavy and what's too light.
There is a little bit of a gray area with lifting too heavy. Sometimes, lifting too heavy is needed to force change within the body. That's why it is good to understand when this applies and how to utilize it effectively.
Now, there is a flip side. The body is not always on point from day to day. You may have been really strong and on fire day one but day two, you can barely make it to 8 repetitions, even when you are using the same weight as you did day one. Well, this is common and will happen from time to time. However, if you continue to push yourself, the benefits will still be there.
Finally, when you train with weights, don't be intimidated by someone who may lift twice as much as you. There are those who are just seasoned enough to be able to withstand the heavy weight. But sometimes, you will see others who appear to be able to lift heavier but if they are struggling with their lifts, they are also doing themselves a disservice. This usually means the weight is too heavy.
What works for one may not work for the other. The most important aspect of training is to train smart and the results will follow.
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