Eric ‘Fitman’ Brown: How heavy should you lift in the gym?

Fitman, owner of The Fitman Performance & Physique Center in Roslyn, has seen many people over time who go to the gym try to lift weights that are initially far too heavy.

“Lifting heavy doesn’t mean that you walk into the gym and just try to lift the heaviest weights in the gym,” Fitman said. “That’s actually a great way to be on your way to the Abington Hospital ER! Lifting weight that is initially too heavy for you to use with great form is complete tomfoolery.”

The NGA Pro Natural Bodybuilder says that the term “heavy” is relative to where you currently are on your fitness journey.

“Lifting heavy means lifting what’s heavy for you. If you are a beginner in the iron game, 95lbs or 135lbs in the barbell squat might be heavy for you and that’s fine,” he said. “Because if the set is presenting a real challenge for you then you are in the right place to get stronger and build muscle.”

Fitman told us that giving a consistent, quality effort in the gym is what will make the weight that’s currently heavy for you get lighter over time.

“If you continue squatting over time, that same 95lbs or 135lbs will eventually become a paperweight for you. Because to get stronger, you’ve got to progressively lift heavier weights over time.”

“It’s unfortunate but the majority of the people at the gym, who are always using the same weights and reps, year after year do not see any meaningful changes with their physique or performance in the gym. Easy, stale workouts do not build hard, athletic bodies.”

“Getting stronger over time does not mean that you will eventually bench press 2000lbs although that would be incredible,” he said. “But adding weight to your exercises over time along with consuming the proper diet is what allows you to transform your body.”

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