Jeff from ATHLEAN-X shows us the how heavy should you go to get big.
If you want to get big, you have to lift big weights. That is the advice that you have probably been given by one of the trainers or meatheads at your local gym. The thing is, if you want to know how heavy should you lift to get big, it’s actually not bad advice if and only if you pay attention to one very important point. In this video, I’m going to cover the most important thing you should know when it comes to discovering how much weight you should be lifting when trying to get big in the gym. In fact, even when you just want to build better muscles, this advice still applies and always will unless you are competing as a powerlifter.
That said, the rule goes like this. If you want to know how much weight you should be lifting you only need to answer with the most you can lift without letting your posture succumb to the load. In other words, if your attempt to lift heavy weights makes your back crumble under a squat, or your knees cave in during a deadlift for example then you are lifting too heavy.
The main goal when trying to determine how heavy you should lift or how much weight to use on an exercise is to maintain proper posture under load. It is very easy to maintain a perfect posture on a squat when you are doing a bodyweight version of the exercise. Throw a bar on your back and add a couple of plates and everything could change. The big mistake you can make is thinking that just because your bodyweight squat is performed in good form that you are qualified to do weighted squats.
This isn’t automatically the case. If your posture rounds or breaks down as soon as you add a load you might want to reconsider the weight you are using if you want to stave off gym injuries. I’m not even talking about the injuries that happen on one single rep. I’m referring to those that occur over time as a result of the repetitive breakdown that comes from stringing too many ill performed reps together from workout to workout.
If on the other hand you can perform a lift while maintaining proper posture but feel comfortable with the weights you are using so you don’t add any weight to the bar, this is just as big a mistake. You must try at every opportunity to add more weight to your exercises if you want to develop into a bigger, faster or stronger version of you today than you were yesterday. If you add weight and your form breaks, then drop back slightly and work with the weights you can handle with good form as you aim to increase the reps you can do with it.
Once you get strong enough to handle the load of the new weight, you’re off and running and will have achieved progressive strength and likely size gains.