In weight lifting, as you have probably already noticed, everyone has an opinion about what is best. Some say high reps, and some say go with low reps.
Just like everyone else, I have an opinion and here it is. If you want to get strong, you have to lift heavy.
Your body adapts to what pressure you put upon it. If you want to be strong, you have to tell it that it needs to get stronger. This means pushing as much weight as possible and maxing out.
Personally, I like to max out every time I workout to push my body and while my 355 pound max bench is not the greatest in the world, it tells me that I am stronger than the average guy and is not to bad for a 45 year old. It tells me that I am doing something right.
Lifting heavy might not work for you but if you are stalling on your gains, perhaps you should give it a try.
Lifting Heavy Safety Tips
First, here are some tips to helping you lift heavy. Take them all under consideration because maxing out is dangerous I will be the first to say that. Not only will you be placing a large amount of weight over your body, but you will be stressing your muscles and tendons. This puts you at risk for injury. Be careful and listen to your body.
Use A Spotter
If you can, work out with a buddy. A spotter can not only help you lift that weight smoothly but they can also help you complete a rep should you stall.
Use A Safety Cage
If a spotter is not available, use a safety cage. and set it up properly. Before you place any weight on the bar, make sure the safety bar will stop the weight before it hits any part of your body. Do a trial rep with no weight on the bar to make sure the settings are right.
Do Not Use Weight Clamps
If you do not have a spotter or a safety cage, working out with max weight is NOT advised. If you must though, at least ditch the weight clamps. If you use the clamps to hold the weights on and fail, the weight is stuck on the bar. If you leave the clamps off, you can tilt the bar and slide the weights off to free yourself in an emergency.
Never go straight to your max weight. I like to do a pyramid routine where I work my way up to max weight and then work back down. If you go right to your max, you risk tearing a muscle or tendon.
Take Longer Breaks
It takes about 5 minutes for you to regain 95 percent of your strength after a lift. It pays to wait between sets. Do your cardio at some other time, weight lifting is not about getting that heart rate up, it is about pushing the most weight.
Listen To Your Body
If something does not feel right, STOP. A minor pull often proceeds a major one, so do not try to push yourself too hard if your body is telling you that it is hurt. There have been many times when I have stopped my routine because I felt off and many times that I dod not and regretted it.
Lifting heavy is not for everyone but it might just work for you. If you have stalled and need to change things up, give it a try. Just take it seriously. Using max weight can be dangerous, especially if you do it often. Listen to your body and take the necessary precautions.