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How heavy should the Heavy Things be?

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  • How heavy should the Heavy Things be?

    Hello! I've been primal for a month or so now and I ditched the bootcamp classes for body weight exercises at home. It's not so challenging any more so I think I am ready to start using weights now. We now have a load of free weights and a bar, and while I can google form, I can't work out how much weight I should start lifting or carrying for squats and lunges. I am 5'6" and I weigh 57kg (125lb). Please can someone help? Thanks!
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread55701.html

  • #2
    It depends on how much you can lift in general. There is no set weight per height/weight ratio.
    Really make sure that you get the form down with very light (even just the bar) weight. This will help immensely in preventing injuries.

    Lunges will be a lighter weight than squats because of the mechanics. As a basic starting place (and when you have your form down) I would try doing squats 3 sets of 8-10 reps with half of your body weight. If you can do that, then next time add weight (10-15%), if you can't do that, lower the weight and go from there. It might take a few workouts for you to figure out where the weights should be.

    Hope that helps some.
    People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.

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    • #3
      Are you a male or female? I am a female and weigh 127 pounds at 5'8'' so my heigh/weigh ration seems to be similar. If you are an absolute beginner I would start squats/lunges with bodyweight only until you master them with perfect form. That is absolutely crucial to remain injury-free! When adding weight I started with two 5-kilo plates attached to an 8 kilo bar (roughly 29 pounds alltogether). I quickly progressed to two ten-kilo plates (22 pounds) and I am now able to perform 6-8 reps with 15 kilo at each side + the bar = 33 kilo (about 70 pounds) with good form. However, you have to figure out what works for you and you have to experiment a little! Concentrate on form and range of motion! When adding weight, if the last reps definitely feel like work the weight is appropriate. Good luck!

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      • #4
        That helps loads! Thanks so much IcarianVX!
        Sonnenblume - I'm female. I feel pretty confident with bodyweight squats and lunges as I learned to do these at my bootcamp classes. Thanks for your advice!
        Last edited by Nibbler; 07-27-2011, 06:54 AM.
        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread55701.html

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        • #5
          Start it easy and add some every single time - it'll get heavy soon enough. You make progress by continually trying harder exercise, not staying with the same challenge, just as with anything else.
          If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tfarny View Post
            Start it easy and add some every single time - it'll get heavy soon enough. You make progress by continually trying harder exercise, not staying with the same challenge, just as with anything else.
            agreed. start with nothing but the bar and keep advancing. check out the stronglifts 5x5 beginner program, or starting strength. you'll be able to work up to your ideal numbers quickly and move on from there.
            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nibbler View Post
              Hello! I've been primal for a month or so now and I ditched the bootcamp classes for body weight exercises at home. It's not so challenging any more so I think I am ready to start using weights now.
              You've gotten some good advice about weight training in this thread already but I have to take issue with the whole "bodyweight exercises have gotten too easy so I have to do weights" argument. Nothing against weights, but you don't have to add weight to make your workout more challenging - you could just pick harder bodyweight exercises. Check out my master list of bodyweight exercises to see what I mean.

              Either way, keep training hard and challenging yourself!
              "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

              "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

              My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

              sigpic

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              • #8
                I agree with Al Kavadlo using your own body weigh gets easy? Change the body weight exercise. If that becomes easy change it again.
                I have nothing against weights but I much prefer testing my body against my muscles over testing weights against my muscles.

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                • #9
                  As heavy as it can get while still keeping good form.

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                  • #10


                    aint nothin but a peanut

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Conner P. View Post
                      aint nothin but a peanut
                      A peanut, girl!! A lonely little PEANUT!!!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bissen View Post
                        As heavy as it can get while still keeping good form.
                        +1

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                        • #13
                          Hi OP,

                          If you're looking to get into real weight training, I'd suggest starting with a time-tested program that a lot of people have had great success with: Starting Strength. The book was written by Mark Rippetoe and covers most of the basics. I'll say that you should additionally spend a lot of time working on form on the squat, bench, and deadlift, otherwise known as the big three. For each:

                          Deadlifts:
                          Start off with conventional form, take your time mastering the mechanics of the lift before going heavy and ALWAYS err on the side of caution. You might be more suited to pull "sumo" style after you've got a base, read a lot. I have a bad SI joint from a botched deadlift years ago and can only pull sumo style with heavy weight now. Sumo typically has a more vertical back position, so it's safer in that regard, but is harder on the hips.

                          Squatting:
                          There are two major types of squats, similar to how there are two major types of deadlifts. There is the powerlifting style squat, which is a wide stance squat with a low bar position on the traps in flat shoes like Chuck Taylor's or VFFs that emphasizes the posterior chain and is typically used in, well, powerlifting. I am of the opinion that care should be taken with the hips and it takes a lot of stretching to hit REAL depth on this type of squat. The Olympic style squat is more ballistic, with a more upright back, more knee travel, and is best done with a lot of ankle mobility, knee wraps for warmth, rock bottom, and with a high par position on the traps. It emphasizes the quads a little more and I find it to be safer on my battle-damaged SI joint.

                          Bench:
                          For safety, a narrower (close) grip is better This will shift more of the load away from the pecs and lower the risk of a pec tear. For aesthetics, a wider grip is better and also offers a shorter stroke if you're powerlifting with equipment or have the right leverages.

                          Military press:
                          Do it standing

                          Belt:
                          This is up to you! It's a controversial topic. Olympic squatters many times don't wear one.

                          Things to note: Rippetoe has a "keep it simple" approach to deadlifting and a hybrid style squat. I'd read a lot about both lifts. Gospel is that deadlifts are done in flat shoes or slippers, Rippetoe however lately recommends a low heel olympic shoe. The shoe involves the quadriceps more, generally, but makes the lift stroke longer and might put your back at a bad position. ALWAYS wear flat shoes like Chucks to deadlift sumo. A lot of these hard-asses will tell you to drink milk and eat potatoes, just ignore that stuff if you like!


                          After Rippetoe's program, lots of people do something like Madcow's 5x5. It's a modified version of the Bill Starr 5x5 that substitutes cleans with rows. Either is up to you.

                          Flexibility matters more than you think! Definitely ease into the heavy squats and deadlifts too.

                          Good luck.

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                          • #14
                            you are much better off doing bodyweight exercises especially starting out. it will help build tendon and ligament strength that barbells just wont do. if you think bodyweight exercises are too easy and can do 20-30 pistol squats and 20-30 one arm handstand pushups then by all means go lift some barbells.
                            Primal Chaos
                            37yo 6'5"
                            6-19-2011 393lbs 60" waist
                            current 338lbs 49" waist
                            goal 240lbs 35" waist

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mike Gager View Post
                              it will help build tendon and ligament strength that barbells just wont do
                              I'm sorry, I know I'm new and I hate to stir the pot, but this just doesn't make sense, or I'm missing something about how progressive resistance implies adaptation.

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