So you want to have your muscles grow, huh? But how much weight is too much? And how little is too little? Getting it right isn’t that difficult, if you look for these signs…
You Are Using Too Much Weight When…
1. Last time you ordered plates, China declared a shortage in scrap metals.
2. Friends only agree to spot you when they can use a forklift.
3. When you lift your barbell, astronomers announce a solar eclipse.
4. Light bends around your barbell.
5. When you start your routine the up and down moves cause ebbs and flows in nearby oceans.
6. The people from CERN called and said you are on the verge of creating a black hole.
7. Your house is sinking on the side you store your weights.
8. Your plates get delivered by trucks with flashing lights and a flatbed.
9. …and the police closes off the area.
10. NASA is getting worried about changes in Earth’s axial tilt.
11. And CNN asks for an interview about your involvement in tsunamis.
12. The name of a freighter and the word “ballast” appear anywhere on your plates.
13. You live in a valley that was a hill when you moved in.
14. Seismographs in Italy register when you drop your barbell.
15. The counter weight of your lifting rack is a decommissioned tank.
16. After training, your arms reach to the floor – when standing.
You Are Using Too Little Weight When…
1. Your plates always end up in the jewelry drawer.
2. The cat swallowed one and now you rush to the vet for a laxative to do your workout.
3. You need a metal detector to find them.
4. Or an industrial-grade electromagnet.
5. You had to stop ants from carrying them off for construction work.
6. You play fetch with them with your toy poodle.
7. Your punk teenage daughter wears them as body ornaments.
8. Under the microscope you caught protozoans training with them.
9. You went out of the house forgetting the dumbbell in your hand.
10. You lost one and discovered it under the rug.
11. You were tempted to build a wind chime with them.
12. Your plates look like an Oreo with a hole.
13. You can put them in your luggage without paying for extra weight.
14. You replaced a broken axle on a Matchbox car with one.
15. Your plates were trolley tokens in their first life.
16. You can’t use them as doorstoppers, because they slip under.
I wouldn’t live up to the image of the
obsessive-compulsive scientifically-inclined German if I didn’t end on a serious bit of info about the right weight to let your muscles grow: use one you can do 6 to 12 reps with in 3 sets, and have the last rep on the last set be really the last you can do.
Picture courtesy of Paul Sableman.