Until a few years back, weightlifting didn’t find favor among women.
A woman lifting weight would certainly be a serious bodybuilder or athlete.
Cardio exercises were the best way to lose fat and strengthen muscles.
That, however, has changed with time.
More women are now interested in strength training to improve fitness.
Weightlifting has gained popularity and the number of women who lift weight at home and gym is gradually increasing.
Women have found that weightlifting isn’t just for men or hardcore bodybuilders, and ever since, the results have been killer.
How much weight can an average woman lift?
As a novice who has just joined a gym for strength training, the wide range of weights available may seem intimidating.
You may wonder which equipment you should use or what weight should you lift.
However, this must not deter you in any way because weightlifting isn’t rocket science.
All you have to know is what the right weight and equipment.
To know this, a 1RM test or one-repetition maximum test is very important.
The 1RM test reveals the weight that a person can lift at the maximum for one repetition while following the right technique.
The maximal weight will vary depending on the individual, level of fitness, training level, type of exercise, etc.
So, your 1RM score will vary from that of another woman for the same exercise.
What is considered heavy lifting for a woman?
There is no particular weight that is too heavy for a woman.
Heavy lifting is relative and subjective and depends on the person.
What is an easy lift for another woman could be a heavylift for you. One way to determine heavy lifting for a woman is to go by her body weight.
So, if you are 100 pounds, lifting anything up to 100 pounds in a deadlift is normal and anything beyond that is heavy lifting.
That said, you should never start at 100 pounds. Ideally, a woman should start at 40% of her 1RM value or 40% of the maximal weight.
Anything above 70% of your one-repetition maximum should be considered heavy lifting.
At this strength, you should be able to complete anything between 3-15 reps, with 4-6 reps being the average.
If you can easily complete 6 reps, you either need to increase the number of reps or increase the weight that you are lifting.
Either way, you should be barely able to complete the last two reps to ensure that you get the benefits of heavy lifting.
How much weight should a woman beginner lift?
As a beginner, you shouldn’t lift any weight at all initially.
What you need is to practice the right techniques – deadlift, back squat, bench press, overhead press, etc.
When you have the technique right, you can move on to weight selection.
If you have had no experience with weight lifting in the past, it is recommended that you start with nothing but a barbell.
Yes, that’s right. A standard barbell weighs 45 lbs (20.4 Kg) and that’s what you should start with initially.
This may seem like an awful way to start workouts, but that’s the ideal way.
If the weight of the standard barbell seems more than what you can handle, you can use a women’s barbell that’s around 35 lbs or use dumbbells.
You can also consider using a women’s Olympic barbell that weighs about 15 Kg or 33 lb.
However, if the weight is too easy for you, you can use a men’s Olympic barbell weighing 20 Kg or 44 lbs.
You may also add weights to your next workout sessions.
Remember that each repetition should be done correctly and ‘cheating’ your way to heavier weights with momentum is no use.
How much weight should a woman lift for toning?
Weight lifting can do two things – tone your muscles and grow your muscles.
It is a common myth that to grow muscles, women must lift heavier weights with fewer repetitions.
On the other hand, more repetitions with lighter weight will tone the muscles.
However, there is little truth to this belief. Lighter weights are good for improving muscle endurance, not so much for muscle toning.
Lifting lighter weights will not put as much pressure on your muscles as needed and the result will not be the same.
By lifting heavier weights, you will be able to marginally increase muscle mass. Don’t worry as this will not bulk you up.
Instead, this will give you the lean, toned look that you crave for.
That’s why heavy lifting with fewer reps is the best workout for muscle toning.
How much weight should a woman lift to lose weight?
Before you start working out to lose weight, you must know your one-repetition maximum for various exercises that you want to include.
A professional trainer will assist you with this.
He/she will guide you on how to warm up before the 1RM test for accurate test results.
Once you have your 1RM scores, you can now decide how much weight to lift.
For weight loss, lifting 60 – 80% of your 1RM for a particular exercise should suffice.
Heavy lifting can be a great way to enhance muscle tone and strength. However, restrain from being a copycat.
It is not a competitive or comparative play.
Lift too little weight and you will have no benefit; lift too much and you could have sore muscles or torn ligament.
What you need is what you do and there is no comparing with anything; not even self.
What was a ‘heavy’ weight a month ago will feel easy a month later as you improve your fitness level.
That is why it is best that you follow a progressive heavy lifting routine and gradually move on to heavier weights.
Make sure that you follow a healthy diet and lifestyle with your heavy lifting regime to ward of fatigue and muscle loss.