Here's How You Pick The Right Sized Weights For Your Workouts

You've become the master of your cardio but now you'd like to add some weight training to the mix. But where do you start? Maybe you are already weight training but haven't changed the weight you're using in forever. So, how do you decide what weight to use? "Adding extra resistance in the form of weights, whether it's dumbbells, barbells, or kettlebells, is the most efficient way to challenge your muscles," says Liz Barnet, head instructor at Uplift Studios in New York City. "Only through strength and resistance training can you increase muscle density, which is essential for achieving a 'toned' appearance, and keeping your body working effectively." Toned is the key word here. There is a misconception out there that using weights will make you bulk up. Bulking up is awesome if that is your goal but if it isn't, there is no need to panic. Weights will increase your muscle density which will boost your metabolism and you will burn more calories and fat, according to Barnet. So how do you decide which size weight to use? Barnet suggest you choose and exercise and weight with which you feel comfortable. You should be able to do 10-15 reps with good form. If you feel like you can do more, you should up the weight. "If you're an experienced exerciser, you should increase weight when moves you are familiar with feel easy after 15 to 20 reps," she advises. "Increase by no more than five to 10 percent every few weeks." And remember, the size you choose doesn't have to be used for ALL your exercises. Maybe you're bicep curls are great at 15 pounds but you need to use 10 for your tricep extensions. Nothing wrong with that! "If you accidently select weights that are too heavy for you, you can always scale down to a more manageable weight," says Barnet. "It happens all the time at the gym. You want to push yourself but also be sure you're able to complete the entire workout as prescribed with good form." Is it time to consider changing your weights? Source: Shape    

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