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Go Lighter on the Weights

I’ve noticed that when im lifting heavier (sets of 8-10 reps) i rarely ever feel my muscles working in a way which makes me feel as if im hitting them adequately, even if taking some sets to failure and trying as hard as I can to maintain good form and a complete ROM. I can often leave the gym feeling that I could’ve worked the muscle more.

Would it be more beneficial if i was to choose a lighter weight and reaaaally focus on making the muscle contract, keeping absolute perfect form, total ROM and not going to failure?? In particular, I always feel as if my chest, middle delts and lats don’t feel worked enough after I hit them, and its really quite disheartening, especially as I did always feel satisfied after workouts in the past… Any advice would be great guys, thanks

How are you training?

Typically in the beginner stage you want your first exercises to be moving up in poundage as often as possible (bench press, squat, military presses, etc.), and its not always ideal to try and target one particular muscle group during the exercise.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t feel squats in your thighs, or bench pressing in your chest, because you should…

But as far as really directly hitting a muscle group and pumping it up, you get that from the other exercises in your program (DB bench, leg press, lateral raises, etc.)

Do you feel it later, DOMS? it is harder to focus on contraction when you go heavier, because you are focusing on “oh fuck- dont let this heavy ass weight crush me” a bit more, but it still happens, unless all form is lost…
you are recruiting other stabilizer/ surrounding muscle as well but the main muscles is still working, hard.

[quote]dakotah_13 wrote:
Do you feel it later, DOMS? it is harder to focus on contraction when you go heavier, because you are focusing on “oh fuck- dont let this heavy ass weight crush me” a bit more, but it still happens, unless all form is lost…
you are recruiting other stabilizer/ surrounding muscle as well but the main muscles is still working, hard.[/quote]

Rarely do I get DOMS either, which again makes me feel disheartened…

[quote]watermelon_2001 wrote:
dakotah_13 wrote:
Do you feel it later, DOMS? it is harder to focus on contraction when you go heavier, because you are focusing on “oh fuck- dont let this heavy ass weight crush me” a bit more, but it still happens, unless all form is lost…
you are recruiting other stabilizer/ surrounding muscle as well but the main muscles is still working, hard.

Rarely do I get DOMS either, which again makes me feel disheartened…[/quote]

Are you growing? Are the weights you are using going up? Progress is more important than soreness mate.

[quote]Nikiforos wrote:
Are you growing? Are the weights you are using going up? Progress is more important than soreness mate.[/quote]

+1

You want to focus on the things that are actually helping to build muscle…and forget about the stuff that makes you think you’ve worked hard!

if you can do 8 reps, it’s not very heavy. If anything you should lift heavier

  1. The time involved in the exercise is relevant. If you knock out 8 reps in 10 seconds this is different than doing your negatives (lowerings) slowly enough that the 8 reps take say 30-45 seconds.

You might not feel the first with a given weight, but for the same reps but different time, you likely would feel the second.

(I emphasize the might not because there are certainly other situations where the lifter will feel it and benefit from it.)

  1. Whether the target muscles are doing the lifting, or body English is doing a lot of it, also certainly makes a difference.

  2. How many sets are you doing? It could be that it feels like you didnt’ do enough because you didn’t do enough.

Generally speaking training should include times of using weights heavier than what can be done for 8 reps, but certainly one ought to be able to profit from weights allowing more reps than that, as well.

[quote]watermelon_2001 wrote:
I’ve noticed that when im lifting heavier (sets of 8-10 reps) i rarely ever feel my muscles working in a way which makes me feel as if im hitting them adequately, even if taking some sets to failure and trying as hard as I can to maintain good form and a complete ROM. I can often leave the gym feeling that I could’ve worked the muscle more.

Would it be more beneficial if i was to choose a lighter weight and reaaaally focus on making the muscle contract, keeping absolute perfect form, total ROM and not going to failure?? In particular, I always feel as if my chest, middle delts and lats don’t feel worked enough after I hit them, and its really quite disheartening, especially as I did always feel satisfied after workouts in the past… Any advice would be great guys, thanks[/quote]

Are you doing whatever when you go into the gym? Get a solid routine. A good upper/lower split or 2 bodypart split. Progress up in weights. Don’t forget the negative part of an exercise can just be as important as the positive. Nice and slow negatives seem to really blast my muscles also.

Sounds like you’re on a full body routine. If I could’ve started all over I would’ve probably done a upper/lower split, 2 way split, or 2 body-part split.

[quote]jake_j_m wrote:
Nikiforos wrote:
Are you growing? Are the weights you are using going up? Progress is more important than soreness mate.

+1
[/quote]

Yes I agree with the progression part. Yet, I don’t care what smoke someone blows up your ass, if you’re not feeling some sort of soreness, you’re not doing something right.

Hmm, I generally don’t have soreness in most muscles. Even with very high training volume and/or high percent 1RM, or “intensity”-boosting techniques.

And the one that ordinarily does get sore even when training is backed off, oddly enough had soreness disappear when doing Smolov Jr: 4 days per week, 31 total sets of the same exercise for the week, building to 10 sets of 3 at the end of each week: brutal.

It has been effective for hypertrophy and strength but has been the least soreness-inducing work I’ve done for the chest.

That’s why I stated some “sort” of soreness. I mean yes it will vary depending on how you’re training and how experienced you are. Yet especially in the beginning you should have a good overall feeling of your muscles being “hit”.

Your not going to “feel” you big lifts as much.

Thats what isolation exercises are for.

The big lifts are for lifting big weight, your body will choose to grow in the easiest way possible to move that weight.

The key word here is grow.

[quote]Carlitosway wrote:
That’s why I stated some “sort” of soreness. I mean yes it will vary depending on how you’re training and how experienced you are. [/quote]

I suppose I wasn’t clear: I don’t have ANY sort of soreness in most muscles from productive training, and the same is true for at least many muscles for many lifters.

[quote]LiamBrady wrote:
if you can do 8 reps, it’s not very heavy. If anything you should lift heavier[/quote]

and i can guarantee that squats are not on the menu. 25 heavy reps of squats (heavy meaning you can do no more than 4-6 on your first set) and you would likely “feel” like you have earned your daily gym pain.