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It’s My First Time in the Weight Room. How Much Weight Do I Lift?


If you’ve never been in the weight room before, all of the different dumbbells and barbells can be overwhelming. Not knowing where to start is one of the most common anxieties when starting your fitness journey. Do you head straight for the 20KG weight plates or do you play it safe with those tiny dumbbells?

There’s no magical answer to how much you need to lift - what works for someone else might not work for you. Every exercise takes practice, and each movement requires its own varying weight. But if it’s your first time setting foot in the squat rack it’s beneficial to know what you can do to start off strongly. Here’s our hot tips for finding your perfect starting weight!


Your body is the best guide for how much weight you can handle. When you’re first starting our, take it easy but still make sure the weights are challenging. If you’re just starting out, it’s best to underestimate - you’ve got plenty of time to hit those heavier weights. It’s also super important to make sure you form is never compromised at any point, during any rep.


We know that we might sound like a broken record, but your weights should always be dictated by your form. At no point in your training session should the weights of your dumbbells or barbells compromise this. The moment that your form is off, your weights are too heavy and it’s time to tone it back. Your goal, especially when being a beginner at lifting, is to ensure that your form is as perfect as possible, not to lift the heaviest weight. We suggest this for a number of reasons, but especially for minimising the risk of injury, and ensuring that you are activating the correct muscles. The exciting heavy weights will come, but it can only happen if you focus on form, and build a strong, safe foundation to then work towards your lifting goals. 


If you’re not comfortable with the dumbbells, resistance bands can be a great place to start. Learn the feeling of activating and engaging the specific muscle groups, then work up to light weights when you’re ready.


For your first resistance training workout, you’ll want to be able to perform 12 reps without completely exhausting the muscle. You should be getting close to failure or feeling fatigued, but not completely exhausted to the point where you risk getting injured. Again, your form should never be compromised, and you should be able to execute all reps with perfect technique. 

By Mariah Lattas

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