Weight Training Resistance

Identifying Workout Weight and Implementing Progressions

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Suggested Repetition Ranges

Population Rep Range
Healthy participants under age 50-60

8-12
Pubescent children
Pre-pubescent children

8-15
Individuals older than age 50-60 or frail persons

10-15
Individuals primarily interested in muscular endurance
Cardiac patients with physician's approval 10-12 comfortably
Pregnant women without contraindications who have previously participated in weight training 12-15

Also see

References


Identifying Initial Resistances

Lever Push Pull

Aggressive Method

    • workout weight can be found within one to two workouts
  • Warm-up set: light weight (12-15 repetitions)
  • First guess: choose weight you can perform, at least, at the lowest repetition (e.g.: 8 reps) but not the highest repetition range (e.g.: 12 reps)
      • attempt 1 to 2 repetitions
    • decrease resistance if you feel like you cannot perform at least the lowest repetition range
    • increase resistance if you feel like you can perform highest repetition range
    • beyond first few repetitions, continue performing more repetitions if you feel your first guess is correct or you are still not sure if weight is too light or too heavy
  • Second guess: adjusted resistance
      • perform more repetitions (set) until comfortably fatigued or highest repetition range is achieved
    • if lower repetition range was not achieved (weight is too heavy)
      • record lighter workout weight (best guess) for next workout
    • if highest repetition range was achieved (weight is too light)
      • record heavier workout weight (best guess) for next workout
    • if lowest repetition was achieved but highest repetition was not achieved (correct initial resistance)
      • record same weight for next workout

Conservative Method

    • workout weight can be found within several workouts
  • Warm-up set: light weight (12-15 repetitions)
  • First guess: choose weight heavier than warm up weight but lighter than what can be achieved for repetition range (e.g.: 10-15 reps)
      • perform full set until comfortably fatigued or upper repetition range is achieved
    • if lowest repetitions cannot be achieved (weight is too heavy)
      • record lighter workout weight (best guess) for next workout
    • if highest repetitions can be achieved (weight is too light)
      • record heavier workout weight (5-10% greater) for next workout
    • if lowest repetition was achieved but highest repetition was not achieved (correct initial resistance)
      • record same weight for next workout


Systematic Progress Methods

Weighted Dip

Merit based

  • Repetition range prescription
    • Increase resistance 2.5 - 10% when upper rep range has been achieved.
      • Subsequent increase in resistance should allow for lower rep range to be achieved.
      • Criteria Options
        • Achieving upper rep range on any workout set
          • increase resistance next set
          • if last set, increase resistance next workout
        • Achieve upper rep range on all workout sets
          • increase resistance next workout
    • Example:
      • 8-10 reps x 100 lbs
      • If 12 reps, increase weight to 105 lbs
  • Absolute repetition prescription:
    • Increase total resistance 2.5% for each additional repetition achieved
    • Example
      • 8 reps x 100 lbs
      • If 9 reps, increase weight to 102.5 lbs

Progression via Proxy

  • When performing program with varying workloads
    • Graduating resistance on one load may logically call for increasing resistance for an adjacent workload
  • Example Merit Based Proxy Progression:
    • Scenario
      • Light Day 9-10 reps x 100 lbs
      • Heavy Day 6-8 reps x 95 lbs
    • Possible Progressions
      • If 8 Reps are achieved on heavy day, weight is moved up 5 lbs (~5%) next workout on both light and heavy days
        • It would not make sense to move up only on heavy day since then the resistance would be the same on both workouts.
      • Double Load Progression: If upper rep range is achieved on either light or heavy day, both weights move up 5 lbs (~5%)

See Calculating Actual Resistance and Workload Adjustment Calculator for more precise techniques in estimating rep performance at various workloads.

Power Snatch

Micro Loading

  • Attempt periodic resistance increases of less than 2.5%
    • Use new resistance only if absolute rep prescription can be achieved in satisfactory form.
  • Ideal for low rep training
  • Example:

Periodized Progressive Workload Variations

See One Rep Max Calculator.


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