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Free weight training ?

For those of you who weight train- When do you move up in weight increments. Right now I am using 5 lb free weights with many reps to tone and lengthen-not bulk. When should I move up and how many lbs.? When it becomes too easy? Thanks in advance.

Wed. Apr 5, 12:55pm

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How many sets are you doing? When i do 3 sets of 12 with ease i know it's time to increase my weights.

If you can do 12 reps with ease, i would bump up your weight. they say your last 2-3 reps should be difficult. I would increase your weights by 2-3 pounds.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006, 1:00 PM

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increase by 2-3 pounds at a time. My gym sucks cause their free weights only go in incraments of 5.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006, 1:04 PM

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Whatever number of reps you are doing, your muscle should be fatigued on the last rep. You should be thinking "Thank god this is the last one because I can't lift this weight another time."

Do not be afraid of more weight! I have been weight lifting 3x per week for eight months. I am up to 8, 10 and 12 pound weights for arms and 20-24 pounds for squats and lunges. I weigh about 115 and am totally toned and defined, but not big at all.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006, 6:27 PM

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suggestion for 1:04 poster (or anyone)

There are some small magnetic plates made and if you don't mind spending the money, you can buy them for yourself and take them to the gym with you. One line I've seen is called "Plate Mates" and comes in 5/8, 1 1/4, and 2 1/2 pound sizes. These are magnetic and should be usable either on machines with metal plates, or metal barbells or dumbbells. I'm not so sure there is a strong enough magnet for them to work with plastic-coated dumbbells such as you often find in the small sizes. The cost always seems high for the weight (something like $15-20 a pair no matter how tiny) but it does solve this problem.
10% is a good amount to increase by when you're working up to heavier weight.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006, 8:39 PM

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5 pounds doing what sort of exercise? You will be able to handle different amounts of weight depending on which exercise you are doing. A lateral raise - less weight. A squat - much more weight.
And you can't 'tone' or 'lengthen' a muscle. You are either building muscle or you are not. And with five pounds you are likely not achieving any tangible results.
Do not be afraid of bulking up. It would take years of consistent training with "VERY" heavy weights and probably supplementation to come anywhere near that. I do leg presses with over 200 pounds and I am a 5'8" female who weighs 118 pounds. I am not the slightest bit bulky.
If you want to firm up your body then you need to go heavier. You should be able to do no more than 15 reps with whatever weight you are using for 2-3 sets. If you can go beyond that, your weight is too light. The last couple of reps should be very challenging - it should be impossible for you to continue on. At that point, you will want to increase between 1-2.5lbs.
And as I mentioned, each exercise you do you will use a different amount of weight. Maybe you can only do shoulder exercises with 8lbs but a chest press will maybe have you doing 15lbs. Larger muscles (chest, back, legs) - you can handle more weight.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006, 11:03 PM

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From OP

Thank you for your comments. Very helpful!

Monday, April 10, 2006, 2:48 PM

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A strenght training regime is like a living thing - constantly changing. I make a plan and then it usually takes me a few weeks to get it just perfect, adjusting my weights whether they are too heavy or too light. Then I usually stick with that for about 3 weeks then increase the weight. Then I play with those measurements until they are perfect, stick with it for 3 weeks and then up again.

Monday, April 10, 2006, 3:22 PM

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