“Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but don’t nobody want to lift no heavy-ass weights.” – Ronnie Coleman, IFBB Mr. Olympia 8 times in a row from 1998 to 2005.
I couldn’t have said it any better than him. Everyone wants to build muscle but don’t no one want to actually lift heavy to do so. You can’t expect to stay at 25lbs with your bicep curls, and expect to gain any significant mass. Not only that but compound workouts are very good for building overall mass also; military press, squats, bench press, bent over rows. All these help with overall mass gains. But, you also have to go heavy. A lot are afraid to go heavy on the bench press exercise and this is with reason.
Why remain intimidated, when you could be pushing more than you’re currently lifting?
I know the great fear of moving onto heavier weights and having the lack of confidence to believe in yourself and that you do have the gained strength to push that weight. Here are some things to take into consideration when deciding if you’re ready to move on to heavier weights.
Are you in the 10 to 12 rep range in that particular exercise? Example, if you are lifting 35 lbs on bench press with dumbbells, you are repping 10 with ease and good form. If this is the case, you can now move onto 40 lbs. Make sure to warm up to it using the 35s and then 40s for the last 2 sets. Slow and powerful movements, helps you keep control of the weight. Dumbbells are good alternatives to using the barbell for bench press, that will help you gain muscle mass.
Do you find the weights you’re currently using isn’t providing you anymore gains? This is a definite focus on whether you can lift more weights or not.
Finally, do you want to even gain mass at all? If you answer yes to this, you have to go heavy. Pick weights that you’re able to do 6 reps with, with good form. If you find that you’re struggling, return the weight to the start position and drop it on the ground, depending on what type of training you’re doing.
Having good grip on your weights, also helps with your confidence. Plenty people neglect to train their forearms, which helps with securing the weight and pushing more also.
You need to have a mind and body control, when it comes to training. You have to believe that you are capable of lifting that weight, at the amount that you need to cause hypertrophy. If you aren’t confident with the weight you’ve chosen to move onto, you’re not going to be able to do it. You have to absolutely believe you’re more than capable of it. But be realistic. If you’re moving from 35 lbs to 50 lbs, that isn’t going to happen for anything more than 3 reps. If you decide to do that, secure your legs firmly on the ground, make sure to kick the weights up to your shoulders, slowly lean back onto the bench and then do quick and powerful movements. When you reach 3 reps, stop. Last thing you want is the weight falling on you!
So please, if you decide to go to such a weight, do it with proper form. I am going to write up about proper forms for certain exercises, and how you can prevent injury. When you’re trying to lift heavy weights, you have to make sure you’re fully secured to the ground, so that your stance can support the weight you’re about to push. You don’t place your body in the same manner as if you were lifting weights you can push 10 to 12 reps with. Your body has to be placed in a position to help support the weight throughout the exercise.
If you are still afraid to lift more than you’re lifting now, you can always ask someone to spot you. People are more than willing and able to be a spotter for you, if you just politely ask them.
Lifting heavy is progressive. You start off with the weight you can do 12 reps with, and build up to the heavy weight. You don’t just jump to that weight as soon as you hit the gym. It’s generally done for 1 set or 2, for the most. Sometimes more but that’s when a spotter would be needed as you’re going to place yourself into fatigue.
So there is no room for intimidation when it comes to the weights. You just have to use logic when you’re doing it. Anyone can sense if the weight they are using is insufficient for them to gain muscle mass. Once it becomes easy, it’s time to move on.
So remember, believe in yourself. Believing you can lift the weights, has a lot to do with actually lifting it.Read More »