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    FireFinder's Avatar
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    What does lifting heavy mean??? (Woman)

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    I have been lifting for several months and am reasonably strong. I started with P90x a year ago, and since have continued on my own- 2-3 days/week. I do about 10-12 reps depending on the exercises (like shoulder presses, lat pul downs, chest press etc), except for things like push ups (can do 30-35) and pull ups (can do 1-2).
    Is this lifting heavy?? I keep reading that we all should lift heavy things, and I don't know what this means.

    How many reps should I be doing? Do I need to increase my weights so I reach failure at 2 reps? 5 reps? Also, are there certain exercises that are optimal and others that are not? Anyone have a good female lifting routine they can share?

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    When people talk about "lifting heavy", they are generally speaking about using free weights, ie, a barbell and plates. And they mean the basic exercises, which are bench press, shoulder press, squat, and deadlift.

    There really is no conversion between using machines to do isolation exercises and basic powerlifting exercises. They are entirely different.

    A woman who was starting with this might start with an empty bar, because that would be all the weight she could handle at that point, and for her it would qualify as "heavy". In comparison with other serious lifters, a woman who "lifts heavy" might bench press her own weight, squat 1.5 times her weight, and dead lift 2 times her weight.

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    Indeed, if it's all you can manage within a reasonable rep range (your 10-12 sound not bad, lower would be more intense and give better results) then it's 'heavy'
    Last edited by Greenbeast; 04-25-2013 at 07:51 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenbeast View Post
    Indeed, if it's all you can manage within a reasonable rep range (your 10-12 sound not bad, lower would be more intense and give better results) then it's 'heavy'
    Ok, so how many reps would be optimal? I am strong enough to progress toward heavier weights, but not sure how heavy to go. Heavy enough for failure at 5 reps?

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    "Lifting heavy" could mean different things to different people, but usually more than 80 % of one rep max (1RM)...

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    I have no spotter so when I am going up in weight for bench press I sometimes only do 2 reps and 3 or 4 sets. But then I mix it up and another day drop the weight so I can do 8-10 reps.

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    If you can do 5 reps with no more in the tank, that is heavy. 5-8 reps is optimal for gaining strength. Perhaps 3 for upper body, but I have my own doubts that this is effective for my own self.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 180 x 2. Current Deadlift: 230 x 2

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    For men and women both, imo lifting heavy is a progressive overload program that emphasizes:
    -compound free-weight lifts
    - a measurable and logged increase in muscular strength (rather than muscular endurance)
    -recovery between the sessions
    - eventually lifting weights comparable to or exceeding by a factor of 2 to as much as possible the body weight of the lifter

    Normally, this is achieved by lifting in a few sets (4 to 8) with low rep range (3 to 6), allowing for 1 to 5 minutes recovery between the sets, and 1 to 3 sessions per week. The basic large compound lifts consist of the Squat, Deadlift, Barbell Back Row, Overhead Press and Deadlift. Often, Olympic lifts (splits, snatches etc) are also added if one desires to add power training to the strength training.

    Pure strength lift (essential lifting heavy) is 1 RM Max for each lift on a completely recovered body.
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    www.strstd.com is a good place to start. Enter in what you can do, then click "generate 5/3/1/plan" (or something like that - it's at the bottom of the page) and it'll open a new plan for you based on the weights you entered. If you click on the "print 4 week plan" (or something like that - it's near the top of the page on the left side) link, it'll give you 4 weeks of activity.

    I wanted to give you a better explanation than that, but the site is giving me fits so I can't get it to load. Maybe you'll have better luck than me.
    Primal since March 5, 2012
    SW: 221 | CW: 182 | LPW: 166 | UGW: 140 (80 lbs loss)




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    Double post... awesome.
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