When you are practicing weightlifting, it is not uncommon to default to the same amount of weight day after day, which turns into week after week. While this is great because you know what you can handle at the gym, you may not be getting the variety of weights that you need to get an effective workout session. Always maintaining your weight size will cause you to miss out on some great weightlifting benefits. Your body will get used to the weights and have no challenge to improve itself.
Your body adapts to the resistance when you train with the same weight all the time, which won’t result in strength gains or muscle size. This would be like doing the same cardio workout every day. Once your body is used to the workout and expects it, it is not going to improve because you are not surprising it in any way. The body needs to be challenged in order to grow, just like our minds do. If you learned the same lesson over and over each day, after a while it would stop benefiting you.
That said, one great thing for people who don’t vary their strength resistance is that they will continue to have muscular endurance. This means the muscles will still have the ability to work over an extended period of time, which is important for intense and long duration workouts, such as running a marathon. This type of endurance can also help you have more energy during the day, improve your posture, and decrease your risk of injury. Doing the same exercise each day is better than doing no exercise at all.
You will be able to tell if your muscular endurance is improving by how tired your muscles get during a set of reps with your regular weights. If you are able to perform 16 reps of an exercise when you started with 12, that means your muscular endurance is improving. You can continue to improve it by adding reps to your routine, which will always help to increase your muscular endurance. Keep track of the number of reps you do as you work out so you can keep track of your progress.
However, if you want to change your body and have it become more lean and toned, you will have to increase your resistance, which means increasing your weights. You will know it is time to add weight to your reps if you are able to do two additional reps than you intended to do with your normal weights. Start with an increase of 5% in weight and move up slowly from there. Each time you reach the point that you can easily add two reps, increase an additional 5%.
Try to keep the routine of your workout consistent with your fitness goals. If you don’t want to build a ton of muscle, you don’t need to aim for the highest weight. Maybe endurance is your only goal, which is fine, just continue to increase how long you are challenging your muscles so that they benefit from the exercise in the long term. Here are some recommended rep and set counts for lifting weights:
- For General Fitness: Do 1-2 sets of 8-15 reps with 30-90 seconds in between each set.
- Muscular Endurance: Do 2-3 sets of 12 or more reps with 30 seconds or less rest.
- Hypertrophy: Do 3-6 sets of 6-12 reps, with a 30-90 second rest.
- Strength: Do 2-6 sets of 6 or fewer reps with a 2-5 minute rest.
So with a little extra planning, you can adjust your workout routine as needed in order to fit your goals. While the easiest thing to do is to get into a routine and stick with it, it won’t necessarily continue to benefit your body in the long run. Try out different types of weight training and various activities to keep your body guessing so it will continue to grow strong.