weight lifting quickly

Often, when people want to look strong or want to finish their workouts quickly, they speed through their repetitions. But this isn’t the best way to lift.

Let’s assume for sake of this post that you’re not looking to be a body builder or to gain bulk in your muscles, but that you are looking to gain strength, endurance, and/or lose weight.

First, if you can do 18 reps quickly and easily at the weight you have chosen, the weight is too light. You should be able to get through 2 to 4 sets of 15 to 18 reps, but the last few in each set should not be easy.

If you take between 2 and 4 counts to move the weight (from resting to the turn-around point), hold it for 2, release it for 1 or 2, then pause for 1, your rep is going to take a lot longer. This means that the muscles that you’re working spend more time under tension. They’re working longer and they’re working harder. It also doesn’t allow you to let momentum move the weight.

“But that’s harder to do!” Yes. That’s the point 😉

What that looks like

Let’s use push ups and sit ups as examples.

Push ups: Take 4 counts to go from straight arms to as low as you can go; hold it at the bottom for 2; take 1 to 2 to push back up; pause for 1. That’s one rep.

Sit ups/crunches: Take 4 counts to go from flat on your back to a 45º angle; hold at 45º for 2; take 1 to 2 to lay back down; pause for 1.

On any exercise you do this with, it is important to let the release be smooth and controlled, especially when gravity is on your side. Use the muscles to lower; don’t just let go.

If you’re thinking about implementing this but don’t want to double the amount of time you’re spending lifting, simply don’t do as many exercises in one day. You could lift weights more often, doing half of what you’d been doing on one day, the other half the next (do exercises for different body parts on consecutive days to give your muscles a rest day), or just mix up what you’re doing so it’s not the same every time. That’s a good idea anyway.


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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Heather Dziczek, Brooke Jones. Brooke Jones said: weight lifting quickly « Change Is Possible: weight lifting quickly. Posted 14 September 2010 by Heather in exerci… http://bit.ly/9t3CSo […]

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