How Heavy Weight to Lift for Optimal Muscle Growth?

How Heavy Weight to Lift for Optimal Muscle Growth?

A lot of bodybuilders look up to guys like Ronnie Coleman and Dorian Yates who are known for deadlifting, squatting and benching ridiculous amounts of weights.

These guys made bodybuilding synonymous with lifting as heavy weight as possible, setting new PRs and sacrificing a bit of form for more volume. Obviously this type of training works – they were both crowned Mr Olympia many times over. Lifting such heavy weight ensures constant progressive overload and maximum tension on the muscles.


Not only that but they also approached every lift with full intensity.

Having said that, there comes a point where you can actually be lifting too much weight – where the risks outweigh the benefits. You see, those videos online of Ronnie and Dorian setting new PRs – that’s now exactly how they train every day. In fact, they were playing it up for the camera. The reality is they spend most of their training at lower weights with higher reps.

They focus on contracting the muscle on every rep – not on lifting as much weight as possible.

This is why a lot of guys feel a better pump during their warm up than they do during their working sets. The lighter weight allows them to focus more on contracting the muscle rather than just moving the weight (and letting all sorts of other muscles get involved not to mention a little bit of swinging or momentum).

Remember that the more weight you lift, the more you need to recruit other muscles in your body just to help keep things stable. As a result you take pressure off the target muscle and move it to other muscles that you aren’t really trying to work.

Although progressive overload is crucial, bodybuilding isn’t entirely about moving a heavy weight from beginning to end – it’s about using that movement to stimulate the targeted muscle with maximum tension. When you lift too much you reduce your range of motion and take pressure off that muscle.

Not to mention you are so focused on lifting that super heavy weight that you forget to actually focus on hitting the right muscle.

Finally, you set yourself up for a huge risk of injury.

It’s a pretty common occurrence in the gym to see guys showing up and trying to max out every machine – determine to impress their friends or whoever is watching. You know those guys who try to bench press a weight well above what they can handle.

It always results in their spotter practically deadlifting the bar off their chest.

Look we understand that lifting heavy weights looks and feels pretty badass, but at the end of the day we are all going to the gym with one goal in mind – to get bigger. If using lighter weights helps you do that more effectively then you would be stupid to do it any other way.

No girl is going to ask you how much you bench, all she will care about is how you look. Same thing at a bodybuilding contest – none of the judges asked Arnold how much he could deadlift before rating his physique.

Now that you are training with a more manageable weight, feel free to add in the occasional low-rep, heavy-weight training session and try to set a new PR.

This type of training will help shock the muscles without putting a ton of stress on them like you would have if you trained that way every day.

So How much Weight Should I Use?

Generally speaking, training in the 1-5 rep range builds more strength and improves your central nervous system’s ability to get through difficult exercises.

If you are training for powerlifting this is where you want to be, but since most guys here are training for aesthetics they should use it sparingly.

Many studies have shown that training around 70-80% of your 1RM yields the best gains.

For example, if 200lbs is your 1rm on bench press you should be doing working sets with 140-160 pounds for 8 – 10 reps. If you are able to do more than 10 reps easily then you need to increase the weight!

Similarly, if you can’t handle even 6 reps then the weight is too heavy.

Just because you are training in the 8-10 rep range doesn’t mean you won’t build strength.

By ensuring you are progressively overloading the muscles you will make both strength and muscle gains, only the emphasis will be on the later.

Another important thing to mention is that you should always be focusing on the working muscle and not the actual weight itself. Sometimes that means adjusting the weight downwards, sometimes upwards. Nevertheless you should over time be increasing all weights as you progressively overload.


Some of you guys have been really skeptic on why we constantly talk about test boosters. I get that it might be annoying especially if you’ve never actually tried a product like that before. You’re probably just thinking “why would I even need this?”

Well guys to be honest we would never recommend something that we know wouldn’t benefit you. That would be wrong.

I hope that one day some of you at least will believe us because we’re in this together and we truly want the best for you and we truly believe that you will feel better once you start taking care of your testosterone levels.

Check this conversation out from our Facebook page as an example:


But anyway, let’s keep going with this article:

No matter which rep range you train in or which exercises you choose you simply will not make gains if your testosterone levels are too low.

We aren’t suggesting you go out and inject yourself with synthetic hormones like a lot of those guys you see at your gym who try and max out every machine.

Instead, you can naturally increase t-levels by

To really get your testosterone to the next level you will want to take a testosterone booster product.

These products use proven ingredients to help make sure you are constantly growing and getting stronger. Combined with a solid routine and diet you will be well on your way to building muscle mass at a faster rate than ever before.

See the top 3 testosterone boosters here.

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