T Nation

What is Considered Lifting Heavy?

(for a girl)?

I think I lift pretty heavy, but I’m always the only female in the gym…(its a small weight room in the basement of a drillhall on base) I’m not even sure if anyone even notices me, although I guess I stick out walking into the place, having boobs and all, HA!!

Sometimes I think it would be cool for someone to let me know that what I’m doing is good, or if they talked to me about lifting,gave me pointers(no, not those kind of pointers :P), etc…

That is a good question, I would think as far as benching goes…lifting your bodyweight or more would be considered heavy lifting.

wow, I have a ways to go then!

Lifting heavy is lifting anything in the 90% plus of your max range.

As far as strength standards here is a good article and discussion thread that follows:

I consider ‘heavy’ working in the area of 5 or fewer reps per set. It’s all relative so as long as you’re pushing yourself in the lower rep ranges you can say you’re ‘lifting heavy’.

(Higher rep ranges have their place, too.)

ugh, I should have checked my ego before I read that…

I guess I would say I lift heavier than the few girls I’ve actually seen in the weight room…but then again, don’t we all?

The bodyweight exercises always get me though!

I really think that the answer to this question will vary based on who answers. For me lifting heavy will be alot different than it would be for someone who does not compete. But for me I am currently hitting 1.5 times body weight on squat and deadlift, and body weight on bench – I do not consider this heavy yet. Heavy will be when I am going over twice body weight for both squats and deads and then 1.5 time body weight or close to it on bench ;).

I think the question you should ask yourself is What do you consider heavy and where would you like to move that mark to?

Malinda

Since I never see any women really lifting heavy, I always wonder the same thing.

I fall somewhere between intermediate and advanced per these charts.

http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/StrengthStandards.html

And good and great per the linked article.

The thing is… I think sometimes that I am a rather lazy lifter. I don’t keep a log, and I haven’t followed a program in a long time. I just sort of lift whatever I feel like lifting that day. I don’t set any specific goals either. I wonder sometimes what I would be capable of if I really applied myself.

Right now I have some muscle issues that I am working out, but once I am healthy, I am thinking of doing some sort of program with set progressions and setting some specific goals.

For me, heavy lifting means 1-3 reps. That is the rep range that I use for max effort days.

I think using anything more than 20-30lb db’s and more than just the bar for all lifts would be considered heavy at my gym…cause the few girls that I see stick to the 5-12.5lb range…

Matter of fact, the other day an older lady was going IRATE looking for her precious 5lb dbs so she could do her pullovers…funny thing is that she used the 10lb ones instead, and someone found the 5s and so she finished with those…

[quote]Christine wrote:
Since I never see any women really lifting heavy, I always wonder the same thing.

I fall somewhere between intermediate and advanced per these charts.

http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/StrengthStandards.html

And good and great per the linked article.

The thing is… I think sometimes that I am a rather lazy lifter. I don’t keep a log, and I haven’t followed a program in a long time. I just sort of lift whatever I feel like lifting that day. I don’t set any specific goals either. I wonder sometimes what I would be capable of if I really applied myself.

Right now I have some muscle issues that I am working out, but once I am healthy, I am thinking of doing some sort of program with set progressions and setting some specific goals.

[/quote]

I prefer the chart linked here over the one posted on T-Nation since it breaks it by body weight. Still there was some debate over the deadlifting numbers for women.

Obviously bodyweight makes a huge difference. I did 13 consecutive chin-ups this morning but can’t squat 225.

I have always wondered this myself. I know at my gym I lift more then any other woman I have seen. I also know except for bench press I lift more then a few of the guys, though I think they don’t go up in weight either because they don’t know they can or they are just lazy.
I compare what I can lift to the women here and comparing body weight I can see I have a long ways to go. I sometimes I even compare to the men… which just ends up making me feel weak…

According to the charts on that link provided by Christine I am between intermediate and advanced on every thing except for squats, which I fail at, and power cleans because I have never done those.

According to the one rep max calculator I am working to 90%-95% of my 1RM (245) on a regular basis and I believe next time I test it it will go up.

I don’t know if any of this means I lift heavy but I think I am getting there.

The ex-rx chart is interesting. According to that chart, I am just a few pounds shy of advanced on all lifts, except the clean, although I haven’t done any oly lifts for 3 months so who knows. I don’t think it means I lift “heavy” though when I compare to other women in my weight class in my federation. I need to add 170lbs to my total to be able to say I lift heavy by those standards.
“Heavy” is pretty subjective.

At 2 of my gyms, I’d say over 95% lift 'for real". At the other one, it’s 1% (me). It helps a lot mentally to be able to see other women close to my size and age training hard. If I only had the 1% gym, I’m sure my progress would be hindered in some ways because seeing other girls working hard and lifting “heavy” is motivational.

[quote]dianab wrote:

At 2 of my gyms, I’d say over 95% lift 'for real". At the other one, it’s 1% (me). It helps a lot mentally to be able to see other women close to my size and age training hard. If I only had the 1% gym, I’m sure my progress would be hindered in some ways because seeing other girls working hard and lifting “heavy” is motivational.[/quote]

I agree with this. I really wish I could see women who lift heavy because I think it would be motivating.

This is why I love Firebug’s videos too.

[quote]mom-in-MD wrote:
ugh, I should have checked my ego before I read that…

I guess I would say I lift heavier than the few girls I’ve actually seen in the weight room…but then again, don’t we all?

The bodyweight exercises always get me though!
[/quote]

If it makes you feel any better, I rank between “decent” and “good” on one chart, and “novice” and “intermediate” on the other.

I don’t care, though. “Lifting heavy” to me is whatever the next PR is. If I couldn’t lift it last week, it’s heavy. If I manage to lift it this week, I figure I’ve beaten a record. :slight_smile:

[quote]mom-in-MD wrote:
(for a girl)?

I think I lift pretty heavy, but I’m always the only female in the gym…(its a small weight room in the basement of a drillhall on base) I’m not even sure if anyone even notices me, although I guess I stick out walking into the place, having boobs and all, HA!!

Sometimes I think it would be cool for someone to let me know that what I’m doing is good, or if they talked to me about lifting,gave me pointers(no, not those kind of pointers :P), etc…

[/quote]

I think that lifting heavy is usually 70-100% of your 1 rep max. So it’s different from person to person depending on how strong they are.

[quote]EmilyQ wrote:
I don’t care, though. “Lifting heavy” to me is whatever the next PR is. If I couldn’t lift it last week, it’s heavy. If I manage to lift it this week, I figure I’ve beaten a record. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

This is pretty much how I determine heavy.

Thanks for posting that chart! I lift at home by myself so I really had no idea how my progress compares to anyone else. Now that I’ve found these forums I can see numbers here in logs and can see what strong women are doing but I really don’t know where to expect myself to be considering the amount of training I’ve put in.

I’m quite surprised to see I’m between novice and intermediate for bench press and power cleans (I expected much less) but my deadlift is in need of more work. Now I now what I need to be focusing on.

[quote]cvb wrote:
For me, heavy lifting means 1-3 reps. That is the rep range that I use for max effort days.[/quote]

3 words: Power lifitng MILF

I just cant read about women lifting without getting incredibly turned on, that cant be just me…

I’m glad I saw this thread! Thanks - I’ve been wondering this, too.

I’m on the intermediate with one and advanced on a couple others. Nifty.

I’m like Christine - I do my thing - I would like to have more solid goals. For the most part, I compare myself to what I could lift last week.

I’m sure I could squat heavier, if I didn’t feel like the bar was going to crush my vertebrae. I’d be happier to try heavier if I had a lifting partner to check my form. So I go a little heavier, and/or more reps. If it feels solid, I go 5-10 lbs heavier for 3-5 reps & see how it feels.

So far, so good! Not sure where I can go with this, but as long as it’s a stronger Me, that’s nifty.