Lifting weights can be a great way to keep up your fitness, especially if you’re aiming to increase the strength of your muscles. However, whether you’re a beginner or a more advanced weight lifter, it’s super important to know exactly how much weight you can lift as a maximum, and how much you should be lifting for your size.
This isn’t only so that you can better achieve your fitness goals and muscle building appropriately, it’s also so that you minimize the risk of an accident occurring, or of you suffering an injury from lifting too much weight.
The amount of weight that you should be lifting, depends on how much weight your muscles can handle. First, you figure out what your muscles can lift in their current size, and then you slowly adapt your fitness heavy weight lifting routines to slowly push the limits, building up strength in your muscles so that they can handle more and more weight over time and training.
To determine your initial weight, according to your current muscle size, or capabilities, you need to work out the number of reps.
So basically, you need to decide how many reps of each exercise you want to perform. Then, it takes a little bit of trial and error, but you need to test out which amount of weight allows you to perform all of the reps in perfect form, without it being too easy.
Essentially: You should be lifting the amount of weight that allows you to perform all of the reps perfectly, without it being too easy, as you want it to be a bit of an effort so that your muscles are actually working.
If you’re looking to build up your muscle strength over time, along with muscle endurance, then it’s best to lift a bit less weight, but perform a higher number of reps. Meanwhile, performing fewer reps but lifting a higher amount of weight will train you to lift heavier weights a lot faster.
The ideal amount of reps for weight lifting is sets of between 3 and 6 reps.
What is considered heavy lifting?
Heavy weight lifting can help build up muscle strength within your fitness routine, but there are many things to consider, such as the amount of weight that you should be lifting.
But what is considered heavy lifting? After all, a weight that feels incredibly heavy for someone, might be considered light by someone else with higher muscle strength. Is there a minimum weight for an item to be considered heavyweight?
Truth is, there isn’t a minimum weight in order to consider an item to be for heavy weight lifting or not, because it would be rather unfair considering that the capabilities of different people can be extremely different, and an average weight would not work for everybody, and would just cause too many problems.
Instead, anything that acts like a heavy weight for a specific person, will be considered to be heavy weight lifting for that same person. This isn’t measured by the size or weight of the person, but rather the muscle strength that they have at the moment.
So in order for something to be considered heavy weight lifting, you should only be able to do between 2 to 6 reps before having to take a rest. If you can lift the item up for more than 6 reps, then it is not considered to be a heavy weight and is instead a light weight with which to exercise.
It is also worth noting, that with heavy lifting, the last two reps of your set of a max of 6, should be extremely challenging. If it’s too easy, then you should be lifting a heavier weight in order for it to be considered heavy lifting.
How much weight should I be able to lift?
The amount of weight that you should be able to lift on average, will largely depend on your own body weight, and the strength of your muscles.
It’s easy to look up the averages of weight lifting for men and women in different weight categories, but it’s important to remember that the amount of weight that you should lift should correspond to you, and you alone.
There’s no point in trying to lift the average weight if your muscles are not up to the task because apart from failing, you will also be putting yourself at a huge risk of suffering an injury or an accident.
Nevertheless, let’s take a look at the average weights that both men and women can lift as a general rule:
Average weight lifting for men:
- 148-pound category:
If untrained, the average is 110 pounds.
If trained, the average for a beginner is 140 pounds and the average for intermediate is 170 pounds of weight.
- 165-pound category:
If untrained, the average is 120 pounds.
If trained, the average for a beginner is 150 pounds and the average for intermediate is 185 pounds of weight.
- 181-pound category:
If untrained, the average is 130 pounds.
If trained, the average for a beginner is 165 pounds and the average for intermediate is 200 pounds of weight.
- 242-pound category:
If untrained, the average is 145 pounds.
If trained, the average for a beginner is 190 pounds and the average for intermediate is 230 pounds of weight.
Average weight lifting for women:
- 100-pound category:
If untrained, the average is 23 pounds.
If trained, the average for a beginner is 46 pounds and the average for intermediate is 78 pounds of weight.
- 110-pound category:
If untrained, the average is 27 pounds.
If trained, the average for a beginner is 52 pounds and the average for intermediate is 86 pounds of weight.
- 160-pound category:
If untrained, the average is 47 pounds.
If trained, the average for a beginner is 78 pounds and the average for intermediate is 119 pounds of weight.