Know What You Want from Weights

Today in the gym a woman was lifting weights next to me and she was clearly pushing herself. I was impressed how hard she was working, not resting between reverse bicep curls and cable curls and using pretty heavy weight.

I watched her for a moment, and, always excited to see another woman like myself in the gym, commented that she seemed to be getting a great burn. She replied that at age forty, she needed to work hard to get rid of the “triceps jiggle.” She said she always lifted super heavy to build muscle, in the 4-5 rep range.

While I admired her for striving towards a goal, I realized that maybe her goal needed some tweaking. A low rep range primarily increases strength, not muscle. And diet plays a big role too, as some of that jiggle is fat.

Know What Your Actions Will Get You

Obviously, everyone has very individual goals. Maybe yours are very specific, such as doing five chin ups and 20 pushups by a certain date. Or maybe they’re pretty vague, such “getting stronger.” But in my experience, the best results come from specific goals. because defined parameters equal more defined results.

When you’re lifting weights, you need to think through your goals and understand what your end result will be. You are sculpting your body when you lift weights – it’s an amazing and creative endeavor. Be sure you set goals that will really get you what you want – and the more specific the better.

As for the woman I met in the gym, if she wants to lose the tricep jiggle, she should do a variety of rep ranges (primarily in the moderate range of 8-12) and focus on diet.

Create a Plan

What would be the first step in setting a goal? First decide what you want: more mass, more strength, or both? Fat loss? Check out the variables you need to manage here. Your muscles need to be pushed in order to grow or they simply adapt and go into maintenance mode.

You can see that setting goals is important, but so is knowing the end result. I honestly started out not thinking about this and think just got lucky with the right formula (though I did plateau eventually). You CAN get the results you want with weights, but you need a plan.

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  1. Great info! My goal is definition, so I think I’m on the right track. It’s time to change up my exercises soon!

  2. Great article! I struggle sometimes with ‘not’ lifting as much as I can sometimes, especially for legs which are super strong and really I don’t want the muscles to get any bigger.

  3. Inspirational! I need to definitely add more weights. I am a triathlete. (Found you from @brooklyn_1012 on twitter)

    • Hi Pamela! Thanks for stopping by. You and I have opposite problems – I need to add more cardio! But I’m working on that (running is out but I do elliptical, hiking, etc.) Take care-

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