These are some personal observations on Weight Training, and some quick suggestions on how to improve your results.
Firstly, any weight loss program worth ANYTHING involves weight training. If you are not weight training in some way, you are selling yourself short. And if your goal isn’t weight loss but muscle gain, well I hope the need for weight training is obvious in this case 😉
Alright, on to the observations
I like to break weight training down into two core parts – Getting strong on some basic lifts, and then putting in the work.
Now, ‘Getting strong’ doesn’t mean you need to be a powerlifter crushing world records or an olympic gymnast doing mind-blowing feats of strength… you just need to get stronger then you were a month or two ago.
And though I do not think the relationship between strength and muscle mass is as linear as people would like to believe, there really does seem to be an elevated baseline of strength needed in order to truly reap the benefits of working out, but to reap those rewards you also need to ‘put in the work’.
‘Putting in the work’ simply means spending time challenging your muscles with sub-maximal work.
So time spent challenging the muscles with heavy weights in order to become stronger, and time spent challenging the muscles with sub-maximal weights in order build up their capacity to adapt to challenge.
My very general observations have been that when men are having problems getting the results they want from their workouts, there tends to be an overemphasis on getting strong, at the expense of time spent ‘putting in the work’.
For women I have found the opposite to be true. When Woman are having a hard time getting the results they want, there is a lot of time spent ‘putting in the work’ but not enough ‘getting strong on some basic lifts’.
To sum up, as a quick suggestion – If you are not seeing the results from your workouts that you would like, or that you expect, look to see if you are making either of these mistakes.
I don’t have fancy charts or graphs to tell you how strong you should be or how much work you need to do, but I can say that if you have been weight training consistently then you should be getting stronger, and your ability to do work (work capacity) should be increasing. If this isn’t happening it may be time to change your workout program.