How to Lift Heavy in Your Home Gym

This week I watched a web video where a 113 pound woman did squats with more than 100lbs on her back. This isn't rare, and it's not that big of a deal. Most women should be able to squat their own body weight. Can you?

The answer is probably. I'm guessing that I could squat 100 pounds. I have no idea because it's too dangerous to do alone. You need to safely get that weight over your head and safely behind your neck. Then you need to work yourself until failure and somehow get the weight back of your head....again safely!

So unless you work out with a partner (all kinds of gross) or you workout at a gym with either a trainer, friend, or squat rack - then I guess you'll never workout to your maximum potential.

All of this is true, but it's also an excuse. An excuse for not working out hard enough and an excuse to buy a gym membership. Believe me, I lusted over a gym membership for years.

I'm over it now. I have searched in vain for a fantastic book that I read last year that answers every thing you ever wanted to know about building appropriate muscle mass (this is the trouble with not owning any books...and the library not keeping an accessible record of the books you check out.)

Incidentally, I lost my library card years ago so I check out books with my husband's card. If the government keeps library records, I can only imagine his profile.

It might be this one (Power Factor Training) but the cover is different. I read the 1970s version - still very applicable and surprisingly in tune with the fads of today.

Bottom Line - building muscle is a factor of force over time. If you would squat 100lbs 4 times in 1 minute, then you can get the same impact on your muscles if you squat 50 pounds (super doable alone) 8 times in 1 minute.

The force on your muscles is the same, and that force is what spurs muscle growth. I said growth. Don't let that freak you out and make you think you'll turn into the hulk. Most men can't even hulk up. But it's virtually impossible for women unless you take steroids and eat all day long.

So even if you can't get to a gym or have someone assist you with heavy weights. Use the heaviest weights you have and work your muscles to fatigue (if not failure.) Aim for the same force on your muscles and your results should be similar.

Also - there are benefits of using lighter weights (not light - notice I said 50lbs is easy to manage alone, not 20!) They are easier to store, they are easier on your joints, and you have more options with what you can do with them.

Mix in body weight training (I recommend Turbulence Training) too to keep yourself lean and fast. Try to remember that strength gains almost always come at the expense of flexibility. Use that as a reminder to stretch and incorporate some yoga-like body weight moves into your routines.

Your back, shoulders and legs should almost always use heavy weights. The rest can really benefit from moves that increase balance and flexibility.

No more excuses - GET LIFTING!


Anonymous said...

This is good to know. I thought you had to lift heavy in order to build muscle. thanks

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