How Long to Stay With a Weight?

For the serious, please, no article-followers…

To the point… Say you’re training and get to the top set for an exercise and you’ve been getting 6 reps for two weeks already. Now, that kinda seems too early to go up in weight, so you work on mastering that weight to get to a point where you’re more confident with it, better your form.So how long does that usually take you to get through that stage and at which point you feel you’re good?

Feel free to describe your process, I’m curious. This has always been one of the most instinctual parts of training for me and it’s interesting to see how other people describe it.

Usually if I see that I repeated the exact same reps as last week I go through with the set then rest and do 1-3 reps with super strict form just to dial it in etc

You get the picture…so spill your shit(just not literally)

In general, and of course there are many more factors at work, I will get to where I can do a certain weight about 8 good times before I move up to a heavier weight. Yes, there are times I may go up in weight if I can get it 5-6 times. I listen to my own body more than some preset list of markers for when to go up.

Anyone who has been lifting for a while knows that you won’t be going up in weight every workout. very often, the goal is to simply do the same weight for your heaviest set but with better form than last time.

X is of course right that you should listen to your body and has been at this longer and achieved more than myself, so listen to his advice.

I personally have a rep range that I’m shooting for when I train. If I reach that rep range, I add weight next time (could be as little as 2.5 lbs). If I don’t reach my rep range, then next time the weight stays the same and I try to get more reps with it.

How often it’s possible to add weight also is closely connected to your current level.

Beginners and intermediate lifters can probably add weight just about every workout (provided they’re on a well planned out program). Even some advanced guys are able to do this.

Really advanced guys though (elites) are going to have a harder time adding weight because they’re already so close to their genetic potential.

For instance, it’s a lot easier to add 5 lbs to a 300 lb deadlift than it is to add 5 lbs to a 1005 lb deadlift (Andy Bolton).

I’d say add weight as often as possible.

Thanks guys.

I rarely add weight now, usually just try to do more reps and master the current weight before adding a bit. I do try to reach at least 8 solid reps before trying more weight, and as X said, improve form on the same weight. Usually takes me about a month but the body’s unpredictable and it fluctuates.

Well, I was hoping for some tricks :slight_smile: but it’s good to know at least some people can relate.

A closely related followup question:

How do you decide whether you have hit a plateau? How long before you decide something isn’t working?

[quote]Gael wrote:
A closely related followup question:

How do you decide whether you have hit a plateau? How long before you decide something isn’t working?[/quote]

When you don’t make progress and make sure that everything else was in check.

A ‘plateau’ means that your current streak of gains is over and you have to stay on your current level long enough for the body to get fully accustomed to it. With time, the body adjusts. Then you can continue to gain.

It’s kinda like if you wanted to run cross the whole country, you couldn’t do it all in one shot, you’d need breaks. In fact, your break or walking time would be much longer than your running time. The same way in training you spend most of your time walking - making small improvements(more reps, better form), waiting for your body to adjust until it’s ready to get stronger and ‘run’ again.

So I think that when something’s not working it’s usually your consistency and commitment. There’s no ‘plateaus’, it’s the norm. Somehow it got to a point where people think that if they can’t add at least 5 pounds on the bar every week it’s time to print out another article. That seems to usually result in inconsistency and confusion. You change shit all the time and you end up telling your body to just adapt to different weights, sets, reps and exercises instead of getting stronger.