How To Know When To Move Onto Heavier Weights In The Gym

How To Know When To Move Onto Heavier Weights In The Gym

There are two kinds of gym-goers: those who lift too much too soon and hurt themselves, and those who hold back and don’t lift enough — when they actually can (and should). For the latter group, it might be from not knowing if the time is ripe for heavier weights and glory. Here’s the breakdown.

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Being able to lift heavier weight is a good — but not the only — indicator of progress. It also helps keep your intensity and challenge high in the gym high, or else your progress could plateau. But there’s also risk of injury with going too heavy too soon. The wizards over at Greatist help you figure out when it’s appropriate to do so:

Take a look at the speed of the lift and how you feel after you complete your sets, Sulaver suggests. Those are both good indications of whether you should be going heavier. “If your last couple reps are slow and über strenuous, leaving you sweaty and short of breath, then you’re using the right weight,” he says. “If you’re performing the last couple reps easily at normal speed, you could probably go heavier.”

To be sure, there’s little quite like that feeling of badassery from knowing you got stronger than the previous week, but be careful about becoming obsessed with strength numbers. They do you little good if you become injured. While you want to be constantly improving, you can’t expect to increase weight each week forever. That’s why, as Greatist suggests, it’s important to start small.

Head over to Greatist for the full article.

Here’s How to Tell When You Should Lift Heavier Weights [Greatist]


  • Injury sucks. Broke one wrist, tore ligaments in the other, have to wear bloody yoga matt wrist braces to lift. My muscles could definitely lift a lot more, but my wrists just can’t handle it, which makes it all a bit boring and easy.

  • Rule I’ve always used is 3 sets of 12, stepping the weight up 1 rung between each set. If you’re able to complete the full 3 sets of 12, then the next time you do it you’re gonna start from the next level. Then every time you do that particular exercise you focus on getting at least 1 more rep out of the final set. Been doing this for ages & the progress may be slow however it’s consistent & makes sure your body is ready by the time you get to the next weight level.

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