T Nation

How Often Do You Increase Weight?


#1

I was just wondering. Ive heard that some guys do it every two months but Im just curious


#2

Increase weight on the bar?

Why not trying to lift more when you can lift more. That’s always worked for me.


#3

Increase all lifts by 2.5# to 5# every 6 months. DO NOT INCREASE by more than 10# every 6 months-- you risk “overtraining”, or you could blow out a biceps or a knee.

You don’t want to get too big and ‘icky’.


#4

[quote]Stuntman Mike wrote:
Increase weight on the bar?
[/quote]

Yes that =)


#5

Every workout.


#6

You’re going to get a lot of sarcastic replies because it really depends on what kind of program you are running.

If you are really that new, keep adding a rep or 2 every workout, once you hit a target # of reps, drop the reps back down and bump up the weight, repeat forever


#7

Well it depends. When I was a little fatter, I was stronger (due to better leverages/more calories). So I am just trying to get back to what I used to do. I try to increase reps and/or weight if possible, but it is not going well. As an example, I used to do RDLs using 405, but I am stuck with 365x5 right now. My t-bar rowing used to be 8 plates but now I struggle with 7, and so forth in almost every exercise. So in reality I am not really increasing weight on any exercise as of right now, just trying to get back to before.


#8

I have a workout log that I take with me to every workout. I take a look at what I did the previous workout, previous week, etc. I also make notes on how I’m feeling that day (e.g. I may not be as energetic, may not have had much sleep, etc.) which affects my lifts.

I then use this info to determine what my starting weight is going to be.

On average, I try to increase 2.5lbs/side (5lbs total) each workout.

If I’m not seeing my strength increase over two+ weeks (e.g. I’m lifing the same, or less weight) then I can determine if it’s diet related, sleep/recovery related, frequency of hitting that bodypart related, etc. and will adjust accordingly.

Sure, the above sounds complicated, but it’s a no brainer and takes me a total of 5 mins to set it all up for the day… Best thing I ever did was start logging stuff, as I found (after I started) that all I was doing for the past year was just showing up and lifting the same weight and wondering why I wasn’t growing and seeing strength gains… Since using the training log approach, I’ve seen my numbers almost double…


#9

[quote]challer1 wrote:
You’re going to get a lot of sarcastic replies because it really depends on what kind of program you are running.

If you are really that new, keep adding a rep or 2 every workout, once you hit a target # of reps, drop the reps back down and bump up the weight, repeat forever[/quote]

I personally feel it should go the other way around… I can usually add incremental weight a lot more consistently than adding reps.


#10

This is interesting, everyone has a different view on what works for them.


#11

[quote]Tumbles wrote:
challer1 wrote:
You’re going to get a lot of sarcastic replies because it really depends on what kind of program you are running.

If you are really that new, keep adding a rep or 2 every workout, once you hit a target # of reps, drop the reps back down and bump up the weight, repeat forever

I personally feel it should go the other way around… I can usually add incremental weight a lot more consistently than adding reps.[/quote]

Yeah, by no means is there only one way of progression. I was just trying to answer a very broad and subjective question in a sentence lol.


#12

I try the next weight up every time I go to the gym. Sometimes I can only do 1 or 2 sets at the new weight but the next time I might manage 3 or 4 and I progress in that fashion.


#13

[quote]Tumbles wrote:
challer1 wrote:
You’re going to get a lot of sarcastic replies because it really depends on what kind of program you are running.

If you are really that new, keep adding a rep or 2 every workout, once you hit a target # of reps, drop the reps back down and bump up the weight, repeat forever

I personally feel it should go the other way around… I can usually add incremental weight a lot more consistently than adding reps.[/quote]

Very very true, unless you’re using little weight. A typical argument used to show this is to calculate the the total volume of both progressions and show that adding 5 lbs per rep results in less total volume.

Imagine you lift 200 lbs for 5 reps:

200x5 = 1000 total volume

If you next do 6 reps:

200x6 = 1200 total volume

If instead you add 5 lbs:

205x5 = 1025 total volume

So, adding 5 lbs actually result in less increase in volume than adding a rep. Therefor it’s easier. Uh, I don’t really like this argument, and if it convinces you, great. If not, there’s another more convincing one, IMHO.

Imagine you lift 300 lbs for 5 reps, according to http://www.exrx.net/Calculators/OneRepMax.html (1RM Calculator):

300x5 = ~338 1RM

If you next do 6 reps:

300x6 = ~348 1RM

If you add 5 lbs instead:

305x5 = ~343 1RM

So, adding another rep is like adding 10 lbs to your 1RM. Adding 5 lbs per rep is like adding 5 lbs to your 1RM. Therefor, adding 5 lbs per rep is easier than adding a rep.

Of course, the most convincing argument is experience. Can’t get 1 more rep in your chinups? Try adding 5 lbs or 2.5 lbs extra weight; I bet you’ll get it (assuming all else is decent in your training & recovery). Try it.

As far as adding weight, I typically tried to add weight every workout for the first 6 months or so. I then planned to do it every week. However, I would train less than 100% effort for a few weeks before attempting PR’s. I now don’t attempt that, exactly, but instead mostly expect adding 5-10 lbs a month (2.5 years training); but it’s not quite that simple, the progression in Wendlers 5/3/1 program is a bit more subtle than that. :slight_smile:


#14

just about every other week


#15

whenever i can get a solid 5 reps i will increase weight


#16

More weight/More reps is good. That’s all you really need to know. Do more and more (obviously to a point), especially of things you suck at.


#17

whenever i beat my logbook


#18

I run a 5x5 program so im increasing the weight on the bar 5-10 lbs every workout. If you’re new and are eating it shouldn’t be to hard to add a little weight every workout.


#19

[quote]Alcar wrote:
I was just wondering. Ive heard that some guys do it every two months but Im just curious[/quote]

LOL, today I added 20lbs to my deadlift and 10lbs to my front squat, the point is to try to out do your self every session. That’s how you will add muscle and get stronger, over the long run. Never settle for anything less, if you do, you’re wasting your time


#20

I ramp up the weights on the squat and deadlift only. 10 lbs each set.