How do I know when I should switch up my weights?

How do I know when I should switch up my weights?

Knowing when to increase your weights in your exercise routine is essential for continued progress, motivation, results and to avoid plateaus. Here are some signs that might indicate that its time to adjust your weights:

  1. Current Weights Feel Too Easy – If you find that you can complete your sets and repetitions with ease, and it doesn’t feel challenging anymore, it’s likely time to increase the weight. Your muscles need a sufficient stimulus to grow and adapt – take a look at the blog on how to build lean muscle here.
  2. Consistently Meeting Repetition Targets – If you consistently meet or exceed your target repetitions without much effort, it may be an indication that your current weights are not providing enough resistance. Consider increasing the weight to maintain a challenging workout.
  3. Lack of Muscle Soreness – Now this is an interesting one… While muscle soreness is NOT the only indicator of an effective workout, if you’re no longer experiencing any soreness after your sessions, it could mean that your muscles have adapted to your current routine. Gradually increasing the weights can help reintroduce that stimulus. You shouldn’t be in constant pain post-exercise by any means but knowing the difference between a challenging workout which causes muscle fatigue and an easy one which doesn’t is key!
  4. Stalled Progress – If you’ve noticed a plateau in your strength or muscle-building progress, changing up your weights can be beneficial. Your body adapts to the stress placed on it, so introducing new challenges is essential for continued improvement.
  5. Changes in Goals – If your fitness goals have evolved, for example, from endurance to strength, or from general fitness to hypertrophy (muscle growth), you may need to adjust your weights accordingly. Different goals often require different resistance levels.
  6. Injury Recovery – If you’re returning to exercise after an injury or a break, it’s advisable to start with lighter weights and gradually increase them as your strength and fitness levels improve. Listen to your body and progress at a pace that allows for proper recovery.
  7. Periodisation – Some training programmes incorporate periodisation, which involves planned changes in intensity and volume over time. This may include phases of lighter weights and higher reps followed by phases of heavier weights and lower reps. 
  8. Remember in addition to the point above that not every workout is about going heavy/heavier! There are lots of exercises which are about endurance, time under tension without it involving a heavier weight so be guided by the program you are following. 

Remember, it’s crucial to make gradual adjustments to avoid overloading your muscles and risking injury – if in doubt start light and build up gradually. Aim for a progression that challenges you but allows you to maintain proper form and control during exercises. Always listen to your body and be mindful of how it responds to changes in your workout routine.

As always any questions, get in touch!

Caroline x

How do I know when I should switch up my weights?
How do I know when I should switch up my weights?
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Time to get outside!

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