Sizing Up Resistance Training

If you're like most of the people who train with weights, your goals center around building muscle and strength. Women might be inclined to say 'tone' muscle and build strength, but these very similar goals are approached the same way. However, according to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, most people who are starting a resistance training program are working out with just 42% to 57% of their one rep maximum (typically expressed as 1RM). That's insufficient for generating the results you're aiming for.

The Bigger Picture: Whether the exercise is bench press, leg extensions, seated back rows or bicep curls, grab a spotter and determine your one rep max (the highest amount of weight you can lift for one repetition). Then begin your program using 60% to 75% of that weight. You might only do 5 to 8 reps at first. But, over time, you'll gradually work your way up to 12. Then add more weight and decrease the number of reps. This is the right path to impressive size and strength gains.
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Jun 08, 2008
yes... thats actually right
Jun 13, 2008
thats true that is what i do and it works